Training Camp Buzz: Stars cancel practice

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Welcome to the 2020-21 NHL training camp buzz. Training camp is underway for all 31 teams and NHL.com has you covered with all the latest news.

 
Dallas Stars

The Stars announced that they cancelled practice Friday. No reason was given by the team.

The Stars last practiced Wednesday and were off Thursday. They have not released a practice schedule for the rest of this week.

They are scheduled to open the 2020-21 NHL season at the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

 

Toronto Maple Leafs

Auston Matthews will be used on the penalty kill at times this season, coach Sheldon Keefe said Thursday.

“I don’t expect it to be any sort of full-time role or responsibility, but on a part-time basis as needed,” Keefe said. “We want to start getting him comfortable with those situations, and face-offs in particular, in an area where he can bring a lot for us on the left side.”

Matthews, who will practice on the penalty kill Friday, had 2:29 of shorthanded ice time last season and has played a total of 7:34 shorthanded in his four NHL seasons.

“We’ve seen so much growth as a defensive player that we believe he can bring a lot to the penalty kill,” Keefe said. “And obviously the offensive threat that he is on the ice brings an addition to some of our other penalty killers. … So we’re going to start to get him some minutes in that regard.”

Matthews has scored 285 points (158 goals, 127 assists) in 282 NHL games but has yet to score a shorthanded point. The Maple Leafs won 43.1 percent of face-offs while shorthanded last season, but Matthews could help in that regard. He won 55.0 percent of his face-offs last season.

The Maple Leafs ranked 21st in the NHL last season on the penalty kill (77.7 percent). — Mike Zeisberger

 

Ottawa Senators

Tim Stuetzle, Derek Stepan and Erik Brannstrom are expected to join the Senators on the ice Sunday after finishing their quarantines, coach D.J. Smith said.

Stuetzle, the 18-year-old forward who was the No. 3 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, arrived in Ottawa late Saturday after he was captain for Germany at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship. He scored 10 points (five goals, five assists) and averaged 25:40 of ice time in five games, and was named the tournament’s best forward.

Stepan, a center who was acquired in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Dec. 26, did not arrive in Ottawa until Sunday because of the birth of his third child.

Brannstrom, a defenseman, has been in protocol after being exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 last week. — Mike Zeisberger

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