NHL Training Camps Blog: Tavares in first Leafs scrimmage

John Tavares seen here for the first time in a Maple Leafs practice jersey (Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Sport Development/Youtube)

Players began to return to their teams Thursday and most started to hit the ice Friday, so we highlighted the storylines around each of the NHL’s 31 teams heading into the new season.

Thursday ended up being a wild day, starting with the re-signing of Tyler Seguin in Dallas, and followed later by the blockbuster Erik Karlsson trade to San Jose.

The obvious winners were the Sharks, who now have the two highest-scoring NHL defencemen over the past five years and a combined three Norris Trophies. But there’s another winner to consider here. The Colorado Avalanche hold Ottawa’s 2019 first-round pick acquired in the Matt Duchene trade. Ottawa had the option to send their 2018 first-rounder to Colorado, but instead took Brady Tkachuk.

With Mark Stone and Duchene both still pending unrestricted free agents in Ottawa, you have to wonder if they will be traded this season. And if they are, things could get even worse for the Senators, whose GM confirmed today are in a rebuild. If the Sens fall far enough, the Avs could find themselves in position to choose Jack Hughes, the consensus top prospect in 2019 who has “Connor McDavid-like qualities.”

Friday was less busy measured by transactions, but we started to see the earliest line formations. In Toronto, John Tavares played in his first scrimmage with the team and was lined up against Auston Matthews to start. It’s a new era for the Stanley Cup hopefuls.

Scroll down for a complete rundown of some of Thursday and Friday’s training camp news and notes.

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