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Eastern Conference

Islanders’ Jordan Eberle Excited To Play Former Team

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New York Islanders forward Jordan Eberle has a certain game circled on his calendar and it’s against his former team, the Edmonton Oilers.

“If anything, you want to beat them,” said Eberle who was traded to the Isles for forward Ryan Strome.

Eberle, 27, was the Oilers’ first-round pick in the 2008 NHL Draft and posted 5 20-goal seasons during his tenure with the team.

“If anything, you want to beat them,” said Eberle.

“It’s a team that didn’t want you, so you want to bring your best, play your best and get your teammates going so they can try and help you out for a win. I think that’s the biggest thing. Anytime you have friends on an old team, you compete a little bit harder.”

Eberle has had a decent run with the Isles thus far.

“It’s figuring out the system, figuring out the style of game that we want to play,” Eberle said on the transition to his new team.

“That all comes with time. It’s nice to score. I think you get chances, you want to put them in. It starts to frustrate you a bit, but now they’re going in. You want to just keep riding it and keep doing the things that got you to that point.”

New York coach Doug Weight believes it’s just a matter of time before Eberle gets settled in completely.

“He’s a guy that we watch a lot of with,” Weight said.

“You’ve been in an organization for seven or eight years, I wasn’t in those tunnels. We stay on him in a positive manner and support him and try to get him out there in places to succeed.

“He’s a heck of a player. It’s always good to see him get on the board and contribute. I think he’s going to get better and better for our team and be more comfortable. I learn more about him every game. It’s definitely good to see him score.”

Eastern Conference

Devils’ Jesper Bratt Out 2-3 Weeks

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New Jersey Devils forward Jesper Bratt will be out 2-3 weeks with a broken jaw.

Bratt, 20, was injured Thursday when he was hit in the face by a puck that was shot from the point and deflected off the crossbar.

“It was just a freak accident after practice; he was in the corner and there was a shot that went to the net and it hit the crossbar and inadvertently hit him,” Devils head coach John Hynes said (h/t NHL.com). “He has a fracture and no surgery is needed, so that’s good news. He should be able to continue his physical activity over the course of that time and he’ll be back ready to go when that time comes.”

“It stinks because he’s had a great training camp,” Devils forward Travis Zajac said. “He was playing better than how he started last year, but he’ll get a chance to come back even stronger. It’s one of those things as a young guy you just have to take in stride, not let it bother you, and just make sure you’re prepared to contribute when you do come back.”

“I met up with him right away after practice Thursday, and you feel so bad for him,” New Jersey forward Marcus Johansson stated. “This is once-in-a-lifetime thing to play an NHL game in Sweden and having family and friends here. He was playing really well, too, and working hard all summer.

“It’s not a fun situation and he’s not happy right now, but he’s a young kid and he has a lot of hockey ahead of him so you don’t want to risk anything by coming back too soon.”

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Eastern Conference

Panthers’ Derek MacKenzie Retiring at End of Season

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Florida Panthers forward Derek MacKenzi will be calling it a career at the end of the 2018-2019 season, according to The Athletic’s George Richards.

MacKenzie, 37, is entering his 18th season and 5th with Florida and stated that he would like to stay involved with the organization when his retirement becomes official.

 

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Eastern Conference

Islanders Name Anders Lee Captain

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The New York Islanders have officially named Anders Lee team captain, who will don the “C” after the departure of former team captain John Tavares during free agency, per an official team announcement.

Lee, 28, is coming off a career year which saw him collect 40 goals.

Josh Bailey, Cal Clutterbuck, and Andrew Ladd will serve as the team’s alternate captains.

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