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Eastern Conference

Maple Leafs’ Patrick Marleau Returns To San Jose For 1st Time Since Departure

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It will be must-see TV for the NHL when Toronto Maple Leafs’ Patrick Marleau forward takes the ice against his former team, the San Jose Sharks on Monday.

It will be Marleau’s first game in San Jose and 1st game against his former team after playing the first 19 seasons of his NHL career in San Jose.

Marleau, 38, is the Sharks’ all-time leader in games played (1,493), goals (508) and points (1,082) and there are only six players in NHL history who have played more games with one team than Marleau did with the Sharks.

Opening night this season was the first time San Jose has played a game without Marleau in their lineup since April 7, 2009.

“I don’t know how I’ll react when it happens,” Marleau said recently about returning to San Jose.

“Hopefully there is someone beside me making jokes or something. Keep things light.”

Marleau anticipates a special occasion, one that will be very emotional as well, and expects friends and family to attend the game.

“My wife is taking care of those things,” Marleau said. “I think most of the friends and family who are coming took it upon themselves to take care of themselves.”

“We had some really good teams there and still fell short and didn’t win the Cup,” Marleau said. “I think it just goes to show how hard it is to win it. Everything’s got to line up for you.

“It just gives you something to strive for.”

“It wouldn’t surprise me if Patty cried at some point on Monday,” Sharks’ Joe Thornton said. “You spend 19 years in a place; well, he’s so beloved out there. The people obviously loved him. I’m sure he’s going to get a really, really warm welcome when he gets back.

“He’s a great human being, a salt-of-the-earth type of guy. He’s just one of the really good guys in the game, and I got a chance to play with him for a long time. I never took it for granted either. I appreciated every day I had the chance to play with him. Phenomenal teammate.”

“I think he’s got a great heart,” Sharks defensemen Brent Burns said.

“He cares for a lot of people. He did a lot for the people in this room, for the city, for the fans. He grew up there, and it’s pretty special. Obviously, we’re going to do something pretty special.

“For me, personally, he was huge for me. He taught me a lot, even just by watching. He didn’t say a lot. He didn’t have to. He had a pretty great personality. He was a pretty good buddy. We had a lot of fun.

“He was quieter, but then again most guys are quieter than Jumbo (Thornton).”

Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings’ Jeff Blashill Has Doubts that Henrik Zetterberg will Return this Season

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Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill has his doubts when it comes to the potential of Henrik Zetterberg suiting up this season, uncertain that the 37-year old will be healthy enough to do so and admitting that his status is currently in the air.

“He’s had a hard summer and I don’t think his back is reacting great,” Red Wings’ head coach Jeff Blashill said earlier this week, according to Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News. “Certainly we’ll know more in a month (at training camp), but as of today, there’s a lot of doubt as to whether his back will be healthy enough to play.”

Zetterberg did play in all 82 games for Detroit last season, but it was a tough task to enable he could do so.

“As you know, Hank wasn’t able to practice for half the year,” Blashill said. “He was able to gut it out through those last two months where he wasn’t able to practice. There were nights I didn’t think he’d able to play and he did play.”

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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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