Fresh off signing a one-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, forward Mason Raymond is favored to play a top-six role to start the season. The speedy and versatile skater is pegged to fill in on the right side of center Nazem Kadri on the Leafs' second line in place of David Clarkson (suspended 10 regular-season games for leaving the bench during Sunday's brawl between the Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres). Clarkson is still eligible to compete through the remainder of September. Meanwhile, the league has suspended Leafs forward Phil Kessel three preseason games for taking a few hacks at John Scott with his stick during Sunday's brouhaha.
After cracking Sam Gagner's jaw, Zack Kassian won't have much opportunity to take it easy during his eight-game suspension. The Vancouver Canucks plan to whip the young winger into shape in the gym during his recess from competitive play ("... gives us the chance to really nail him as far as conditioning ..." -- coach John Tortorella). Alex Burrows fills in for Kassian on the top line with the Sedins in the meantime.
Providing a solid cause for concern among the Philadelphia Flyers faithful, forward Jakub Voracek suffered an upper-body injury against the Devils Tuesday. But Flyers GM Paul Holmgren insists the ailment isn't serious. In net for the Flyers, Steve Mason and Ray Emery remain square in the No. 1/No. 2 hierarchy department.
Young goalie Petr Mrazek is poised to see limited action for the Detroit Red Wings in October as regular No. 2 Jonas Gustavsson takes a seat on the injured shelf with a pulled groin (three to four weeks). Obviously Jimmy Howard will carry the lion's share of the load.
With Darnell Nurse sent back to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Taylor Fedun demoted to the AHL, five defensemen -- Philip Larsen, Denis Grebeshkov, Anton Belov, Nick Schultz, and Corey Potter -- are left to fight for three roster spots with the Edmonton Oilers. Minor injuries to Grebeshkov and Potter make the club's decision a little easier to start the campaign.