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Eastern Conference

Panthers’ Owen Tippett: ‘I have the upside of Phil Kessel’

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When the Florida Panthers selected Owen Tippett in the 1st round of this year’s NHL draft, they believed they were getting a player with a ton of upside.

After all, the winger scored 75 points in 60 games, 44 goals, with the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads last season.

“Owen is a natural goal scorer with a bright future and he already possesses NHL-ready size and speed,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said back in July, via The Score.

“We’re looking forward to watching him compete for a spot on our NHL roster at training camp this fall.”

Tippett has a chance to fast track his way to the NHL and his confidence certainly make sit seem he believes he will be hitting the NHL ice sooner rather than later.

“I have the upside of Phil Kessel – the speed, the shot, the way he can make plays,” Tippett said in an interview with Luke Fox of Sportsnet.

“I also have some things I need to work on to be a 200-foot player.”

“I feel I can fight for a spot in Florida,” Tippett said.

“But at the end of the day, if I’m back in Mississauga, I’ll look at it as a chance to develop my game and get stronger and faster.”

Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Zach Werenski Hoping to be Ready by Season Opener

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Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski is hoping to avoid missing the start of the 2018-19 regular season as he continues to recover from undergoing shoulder surgery earlier this year, according BlueJackets’com’s Brian Hedger.

“My goal, ultimately, is to be there for Game 1,” Werenski said. “You never want to miss time, you never want to miss games, so my goal going into training camp and into the season is to be ready for Game 1.

“If it’s later, like Game 5 or Game 10, whenever that is, I’m going to work to miss as few games as possible and be ready to help the team.”

Werenski, 21, has begun skating but hasn’t progressed to contact drills as he continues his journey back.

“I feel great out there,” Werenski said. “There’s no problems right now. I’m just kind of ramping it up here, trying to get my timing back. Everything feels good on the ice. I haven’t had any contact yet. That’s not until later. I probably won’t do that until probably halfway through training camp, but everything is good. Everything’s on pace. I actually don’t know what my timeline is, to be honest, but I’m hoping to be back toward the start of training camp – probably not Day 1, but as soon as I can be.”

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Eastern Conference

Capitals Add Scott Arniel, Reid Cashman to Coaching Staff

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The Washington Capitals have added Scott Arniel and Reid Cashman as assistants to the staff of head coach Todd Reirden, according to a team announcement made on Monday.

Arniel played in 730 NHL games with the Winnipeg JetsBuffalo Sabres, and Boston Bruins throughout the 80s and early 90s, and served as the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets from the 2010-2011 season until the 2011-2012 season.

Cashman, 35, was the assistant coach at Quinnipiac University, his Alma mater, for four seasons before being promoted to associate coach in his final year, and spent the last two seasons as an assistant with the Capitals’ AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears.

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Eastern Conference

Senators’ Erik Karlsson Says Ankle is 110 Percent

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Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson is feeling pretty good about his ankle, although there is uncertainty surrounding his future in Ottawa.

Karlsson never seemed to get back on track after missing the first 5 games of last season after undergoing surgery on his ankle to repair tendons.

Karlsson now says his ankle is feeling better than it ever has.

“I think it’s better now than it was before because you work on it so much,” Karlsson said, according to The Athletic’s Chris Stevenson. “I’m very optimistic moving forward from here. It shouldn’t be an issue for me whatsoever, so that’s nice.

“110 (percent) probably,” Karlsson said. “It’s that good.”

“I’m seeing another ankle specialist in Ottawa a lot, too,” Karlsson said. “Mostly it’s just getting strength back and getting used to the feeling, which takes a bit of time now and that time is past. I’ve got my new normal again and it feels great.”

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