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Cam Atkinson hockey jersey 2017 to the team when camp

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J. T. Miller is coming off a 22-goal, 56-point season, and was drafted originally as a center; but his best work in the NHL has come on the wing and head coach Alain Vigneault does not trust him down the middle. Veterans David Desharnais and Andrew Desjardins on a PTO are more suited to fourth-line duty as this stage of their careers. Second-year pros Boo Nieves and Steven Fogarty seem to be AHL players at this point not NHLers. An intriguing option is Lias Andersson, the 18-year-old Swede selected seventh overall this past June.

The battle to fill this hole down the middle is a vital one for a Rangers team that considers itself a serious contender in the East.

The Atlantic Division is going to be a bear this season, and the Senators know it. So, playing without their best player -- heart and soul captain Erik Karlsson who is recovering from off-season foot/ankle surgery -- for the first month or so of the regular season is a significant obstacle.

That means the team must come together quickly during training camp and not only fill Karlsson's huge on-ice role and minutes played at the defense position, but the players must take on more responsibility at all positions to pick up the overall void and lost leadership. Head coach Guy Boucher is a solid motivator and he'll have to be at his best, right from his first message Columbus Blue Jackets Cam Atkinson hockey jersey 2017 to the team when camp commences, in order to lay the ground work for success without Karlsson.

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