Notables relieved from camp include Julian Vauclair, Alexandre Giroux, Jason Maleyko, Layne Ulmer and Antoine Vermette. Vauclair was sent back to Europe while the others will most likely be playing in the CHL this year. Giroux has a shot with Grand Rapids.
John Gruden suffered a bruised tailbone but is expected to continue training camp. John has been fingered as a possibility on this years blue line. In last year’s camp Gruden was also injured. Chris Phillips suffered a minor groin pull and most likely will wait out the exhibition games.
After looking timid in the rookie camp Martin Havlat has bloomed into a budding star. This weekend against the Oilers Havlat had a spin-a-rama and a goal scorer’s missile. At this point Havlat will make the regular season roster and depending on how he performs in the first 10 games has an outside chance to stay with the big team. You should expect Havlat to be playing somewhere in the CHL this season.
In the first exhibition game of the season Chris Neil found himself on line with Alexi Yashin and dropped the gloves with Florida heavyweight Paul Laus. The former Centennial has turned more then a few heads in camp. For a team looking to add toughness Neil is just sort of player needed. Probably a mid-season call up with an outside chance of catching on. Next year is his year
The Buffalo Sabres 2000 training camp is now a week old, with the team wrapping up their “group hug” road trip in that well-known hockey hotbed, South Carolina. As usual, the annual embargo on training camp news is in place, but there have been some rumblings regarding the play of a couple prospects that are making a push to start the season in Buffalo.
One of those prospects, RW J.P. Dumont, is turning heads with his offensive play. Dumont was acquired in the seemingly one-sided trade with the Blackhawks that also brought Doug Gilmour to Buffalo. Rather than simply being a trade throw-in, however, J.P. has looked like the offensively gifted forward many scouts felt he would become, as he tore up the AHL last season in the late regular season and playoffs. Dumont has continued his strong play in training camp, displaying the nifty moves and quick release needed to become a scorer in the NHL. According to the Buffalo News, Dumont has been used on the LW due to the glut of veteran RWs on Buffalo’s roster, but this move has not affected J.P.’s game so far. Dumont has the coaching staff grinning from ear-to-ear, not just because of his offensive play, but also because he has shown the toughness and desire needed to be an impact player in the NHL.