AND SO IT BEGINS
The first group of the morning was the top players - minus Chris Pronger who is still rehabbing an injured knee.
Ville Leino and Blair Betts were out there, but were limited.
Here were the lines Peter Laviolette went with:
Expect Betts to replace Powe, Leino in Guerin's spot and Guerin in place of Carcillo if all are healthy, but that's where it'll begin Tuesday - assuming they all play in the preseason opener.
As for the defense, the pairs were:
Laviolette said he was happy with the speed and the skating but said the team needs to work on puck possession and passing. Of course, one would expect those elements of the game to be a little sloppy in the first practice of the season.
Look for a story from me on Nik Zherdev tomorrow (can we give the guy a chance please before we kill him?), and video later today on delcotimes.com of Laviolette, Carter and Guerin talking about the first day.
Also, a bit of news here:
Blair Betts had minor knee surgery three weeks ago and that, along with the shoulder surgery he had earlier in the summer is what's keeping him from contact. Paul Holmgren said Betts remains on schedule to return. One team source said the shoulder feels a lot better and that the knee is what remains gimpy.
Ville Leino told us he has about another week before he's cleared for contact.
Chris Pronger said he'll update us on his condition tomorrow.