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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Sunday, August 18th, 2013

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Erat prepares for first full Capitals season 08-18-2013
Martin Erat RW ARZ
Martin Erat is getting ready for his first full season with the Washington Capitals.

CSN Washington
Washington sacrificed top prospect Filip Forsberg to get Erat from the Nashville Predators during the 2013 trade deadline. Erat had a goal and three points in nine games following the trade. He also dealt with knee and elbow problems during his brief stint with Washington. The Capitals are hoping he can provide them with some secondary scoring, which is a pretty safe bet given his history.
Agent denies Theodore-to-Bruins rumors 08-18-2013
Jose Theodore G FLA
There is "no truth" to the rumors that Jose Theodore is close to signing with the Boston Bruins, according to agent Don Meehan.

Stephen Whyno on Twitter
Theodore would have theoretically served as Tuukka Rask's understudy. The Bruins current projected backup Chad Johnson doesn't have much NHL experience and it wouldn't be shocking if the Bruins end up finding an alternative despite Johnson's one-way contract. So even though this rumor has been shot down for now, this might not be the last time we hearing about the possibility of Boston inking another netminder.
Coach Mike Babcock thrilled to get Alfredsson 08-18-2013
Daniel Alfredsson RW DET
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock couldn't be happier with the Red Wings signing Daniel Alfredsson.

Detroit Free Press
Babcock pointed to Alfredsson's hockey IQ and competitive nature as two of his strongest assets, but he also appreciates getting a strong right-hand shot. "We haven't had a bomb like that on the power play since (Brendan) Shanahan left, from the right side," Babcock said. "He'll make us way better."
Leafs feel they can fit Franson under cap 08-18-2013
Cody Franson D BUF
The Toronto Maple Leafs remain committed to re-signing Cody Franson.

The Maple Leafs already have six defensemen signed to one-way contracts and that doesn't include Jake Gardiner. Combine that with the fact that they have less than $5 million left in cap space and still need to re-sign restricted free agent Nazem Kadri, and that's led to speculation that Toronto might simply trade the rights to Franson. That might still happen, but for now Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis is insisting that he can fit both Franson and Kadri under the cap ceiling.
Damien Brunner will wait for NHL, agent says 08-18-2013
Damien Brunner RW NJ
Agent Neil Sheehy, who represents free agent forward Damien Brunner, says his client is prepared to wait for as long as it takes to find the right NHL deal.

Sheehy claimed in an interview with a Swiss newspaper that there are NHL teams interested in the 27-year-old and that he remains confident his client will play in the NHL this coming season. Sheehy also dismissed speculation Brunner's salary demands are hampering efforts to find a new contract, insisting the he wants to play where he'll get the best opportunity. It's been rumored Brunner, who has only one season of NHL experience, is seeking a multi-year deal worth more than $3-million per season. The report speculated Colorado, Anaheim, Phoenix, Dallas or Buffalo were potential destinations but the Avalanche are top-heavy at forward while the Ducks won't have room for Brunner if they sign Teemu Selanne. Dallas and Buffalo could use depth on the right side, while Phoenix needs a top-six left winger.
This why Mikhail Grabovski remains unsigned? 08-18-2013
Mikhail Grabovski LW NYI
The Toronto Sun says an NHL general manager, unidentified, had this to say about why ex-Maple Leaf Mikhail Grabovski continues to hunt for a job after Toronto let him out of his contract and made him a free agent:

"He was trying to cash in on getting the buyout and double dipping," a general manager said. "And once everybody who wanted a center signed them, there was no place for him to get the kind of deal he wanted."
Jeff Skinner could be center or left winger 08-18-2013
Jeff Skinner LW CAR
Since winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie in 2011, Jeff Skinner has had two concussions and struggled to regain his playing form.

Raleigh News & Observer
Skinner's name was tossed about in some trade speculation and it's possible he could start next season on the third line - at center or left wing - after being among the Canes' top six forwards his first three seasons. "It's safe to say we're going to experiment in camp," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. "I don't want to say yet whether he will be a wing on center. It will depend on what he and other guys do in camp." Skinner was a 31-goal scorer as a rookie. The Canes badly need him to be that productive again.
Eric Staal (knee) will be ready for camp 08-18-2013
Eric Staal C MIN
Eric Staal, the Carolina Hurricanes' captain, was hurt in May playing for Canada in the World Championship, taking a knee-on-knee hit from Sweden's Alex Edler.

Raleigh News & Observer
But Canes management says Staal's physical rehab has gone well and he should be ready for training camp next month, though the center's health will remain in doubt until he's on the ice and playing.
C Aleksander Barkov: Panthers' top prospect 08-18-2013
Aleksander Barkov C FLA
Aleksander Barkov, 18, is rated by NHL.com as the Florida Panthers' top prospect - and the team's general manager expects good production from the youngster in the coming season.

"He really wants to be a star, he wants to play here, and he wants to play right away," Dale Tallon said. "It's a little frustrating for him right now that he can't compete with his future teammates, but he's in the gym working really hard and our trainers have worked extremely hard with him. He's excited to be here, he loves it here and wants to stay here, so that's a real positive." Also on the plus side is Barkov's experience playing for Tappara in Finland's top league, where at a still-growing 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds he was able to more than hold his own. His 48 points (21 goals) in 53 games ranked ninth in the league. "He's way beyond his age as far as maturity, and I'm anxious to get him playing and I'm anxious to watch him develop," Tallon said.
Jonathan Huberdeau gets high praise from GM 08-18-2013
Jonathan Huberdeau LW FLA
Jonathan Huberdeau, 20, won the Calder Trophy last season despite suffering with a labrum in his hip that required surgery immediately after the season.

"That tells you a lot about this kid," Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said. "He played hurt and played extremely well. And we didn't have a lot of players, with our injuries; (opponents) had to focus on that guy and he still contributed and played his heart out. It tells you what kind of player and person he is, playing hurt and he still won Rookie of the Year." Huberdeau was second on the Panthers with 14 goals and 31 points, skating in all 48 games. That's 23 goals and 53 points pro-rated to an 82-game season, numbers he certainly should be able to reach if he's healthy. "You feel good, but you don't want to go too quick too soon," Huberdeau said in mid-July. "With this injury you want to take it slowly; it's a process and I'm just following it."
Panthers plan to start Jacob Markstrom in net 08-18-2013
Jacob Markstrom G VAN
Jacob Markstrom is in and Jose Theodore is out as the Florida Panthers' starting goalie in the coming season.

Markstrom, 23, is being handed the starting job with the Panthers, who have chosen not to not re-sign veteran Jose Theodore and keeping Scott Clemmensen as veteran insurance. [Jacob is] by no means the complete goaltender we hope he will be someday," assistant general manager Mike Santos said. "But, again, he's young.'' Markstrom allowed 68 goals in 23 games last season for a 3.22 goals-against average that resulted in an 8-14-1 record. During the final month of the season, when the Panthers were playing a number of young players on a nightly basis, he gave up six goals in a game twice, five once and four twice. "We were forced into that situation last year because of the injury [to Theodore's groin]," Santos said. "[Jacob] was thrown into a tough situation. Given the time he came up and all the injuries we had in the short season, I think it was difficult to expect him to come in and play to the best of his abilities."
Panthers' Shawn Matthias has big aspirations 08-18-2013
Shawn Matthias LW WPG
Center Shawn Matthias, who was signed to a two-year/$3.5-million deal by Florida in the off-season, wants to emerge as the go-to guy for the Panthers in the coming season.

Matthias did not have a big April last season, going without a goal in 12 games, but said he was playing through an injury. "The thing a lot of people don't know is I was pretty banged up near the end of the year there," he said. "I think the key is to stay healthy, and I'm going to come to camp ready to go. . I want to be the best player on the team." That title in the past was held by close friend and former housemate Stephen Weiss. The forward signed with the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent, leaving Matthias, at 25 and with 253 games, as the longest-tenured Florida player. "He's a special guy. He's been with the team for so long and he really cared about the Panthers. . I learned a lot from him," Matthias said of Weiss. "Saying that, I want to be the guy now. He's a good guy, he's my buddy, but at the same time, I'm not too sad to see him go. I want to take on that bigger role now."