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|Jarome Iginla, Daniel Alfredsson and Nathan Horton are among notable players with new area codes.|
OK, so we're not quite ready to resume just yet. Let's enjoy the minute or two that passes for an NHL offseason before rushing back into the fray.
Still, it's never too early to imagine what might come to pass in the coming season. And goodness knows the Olympic orientation camps in late August, as well as rookie and training camps shortly thereafter, will be upon us all too soon.
With that in mind, we thought we would spend the week looking ahead to the 2013-14 season.
TODAY: OLD FACES, NEW PLACES
Every summer it's the same in terms of player movement, but after the lockout-shortened season and the blur of the playoffs, there will be something welcoming about the 2013-14 season. Patterns will be restored. Training camps will lead to the buzz and optimism that always greet a new season.
This fall, more so than others in recent memory, also will mark new chapters for a number of veteran players in unfamiliar places. How, for instance, will Daniel Alfredsson adjust to pulling on a Detroit Red Wings jersey after 17 years in an Ottawa Senators rig? The fact the Red Wings and Senators will be division rivals only adds to the intrigue.
And how about Vincent Lecavalier, certainly among the Tampa Bay Lightning's most impactful players ever, now wearing Philadelphia Flyers orange? Strange doesn't really cut it. And then there's Jarome Iginla, fresh from a brief stint with the Pittsburgh Penguins, settling into a Boston Bruins jersey, the very same jersey many had expected him to be wearing after this past season's trade deadline.
We were on hand for the first game in Boston against the Penguins after the deadline, and then for the Eastern Conference finals, when the Bruins swept the mighty Pens, and we're pretty sure Bruins fans will have to do an about-face come October, swallowing those boos they had heaped on Iginla.
Matt Cooke is with the Minnesota Wild, Nathan Horton with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Valtteri Filppula with the Lightning, Stephen Weiss with the Wings, and David Clarkson with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Not all will enjoy the spotlight in their new environs, but some will thrive in their new threads.