DETROIT LIONS (9-7)
OPEN CAMP: July 27 Emmanuel Lamur Jersey , Allen Park, Michigan
LAST YEAR: Early and late-season slides knocked team out of playoff contention and cost coach Jim Caldwell job. QB Matthew Stafford led pass-dependent offense with 1,000-yard WRs Marvin Jones and Golden Tate. CB Darius Slay emerged as one of league’s best in coverage.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: Coach Matt Patricia, RB LeGarrette Blount, RB Kerryon Johnson, TE Luke Willson, C Frank Ragnow, DT Sylvester Williams, LB Christian Jones, LB Devon Kennard.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: Coach Jim Caldwell, TE Eric Ebron, DT Haloti Ngata Justin Hardy Jersey , LB Tahir Whitehead.
CAMP NEEDS: Developing running game with two new backs and rookie center. Learning new defense with first-year head coach and new coordinator Paul Pasqualoni.
EXPECTATIONS: Making playoffs must be goal after firing coach coming off third winning season in four years. Third-year GM Bob Quinn wants team to become tougher, especially in short yardage and near goal line.
To help you with planning for the NHL Draft in Dallas on June 22-23 and NHL free agency on July 1, here are some of our coverage plans. Please direct questions to Dave Zelio (dzelio(at)ap.org). Plans subject to change. This digest will be updated. All times Eastern.
TUESDAY, JUNE 19
A jump in the salary cap from Vegas’ success sets the bar for what could be an eventful offseason with John Tavares, Erik Karlsson and others potentially on the move and another goaltending carousel getting ready to turn. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 650 words, photos.
– HKN–HOFFMAN TRADED. Winger Mike Hoffman ends up in Florida as Senators try to resolve an ugly off-ice issue involving star defenseman Erik Karlsson. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 640 words, photos.
HKN–NHL DRAFT-STAGNANT SABRES
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Holding the No. 1 pick in the NHL draft, the Buffalo Sabres are once again in position to put a stop to a decade-long freefall. The troubles began with losing co-captains Chris Drury and Daniel Briere in free agency in 2007, the woes were compounded by poor drafts, numerous questionable high-priced signings and multiple management shuffles. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
WEDNESDAY Jarius Wright Jersey , JUNE 20
Sweden’s Rasmus Dahlin is expected to become just the third defenseman to be picked No. 1 overall in the NHL draft, a smooth-skating, play-making blue liner with all sorts of promise to live up with the unusual hype. By Hockey Writer Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 660 words, photos by 6 p.m.
THURSDAY, JUNE 21
HKN–SUMMER OF OVI
The past 10 years, Alex Ovechkin went into the offseason facing questions about not being able to win and criticism of not being able to get it done. He is now a playoff MVP and Stanley Cup winner and his epic Stanley Cup celebration will stretch well into the summer. There’s work ahead, too: With three years left on his contract, it’s another important offseason in which he can’t slack off. He will have a new head coach, too. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 4 p.m.
DALLAS – The action at the NHL draft is expected to start at the third pick if Buffalo takes Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin first and Carolina goes with Russian forward Andrei Svechnikov as many expect. Brady Tkachuk and Quinn Hughes are among the Americans expected to go in the top 10. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
– Other spot coverage for pre-draft activities in Dallas on merit.
FRIDAY, JUNE 22
DALLAS – Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin is expected by many to be the No. 1 pick in a deep NHL draft that includes Andrei Svechnikov Brett Favre Jersey , Filip Zadina, Adam Boqvist, Brady Tkachuk and Vitali Kravtsov among the top prospects. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Draft begins at 7:30 p.m.
– Other separates on merit.
SATURDAY, JUNE 23
DALLAS – The NHL draft wraps up in Dallas with rounds two through seven. By Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Draft resumes at 11 a.m.
– Other separates on merit.
SUNDAY, JUNE 24
HKN–DRAFT-WINNERS & LOSERS
DALLAS – Analyzing the teams that made out the best and worst from trades and picks at the NHL draft. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 600 words photos by 5 a.m.
MONDAY, JUNE 25
DALLAS – Movement at the NHL draft sets the stage for one of the most active free agency periods in recent history with John Tavares, John Carlson and others available. They can start speaking with other teams Monday ahead of the market opening July 1. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 a.m.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27
HKN–FREE AGENCY-THINGS TO KNOW
The New York Rangers are expected to be among the most active teams in free agency with a boatload of salary-cap space and aging goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. But they won’t be the only team looking to find top-end talent in a rare free agent pool full of it. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 600 words, file photos by 5 a.m.
FRIDAY Kelvin Benjamin Jersey , JUNE 29
HKN–FREE AGENCY-NAMES TO WATCH
NHL free agency is top heavy, and the price will be high for forward John Tavares and defenseman John Carlson if the New York Islanders and Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals can’t keep them off the market. By Hockey Writer Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.
SATURDAY, JUNE 30
HKN–FREE AGENCY-GOLDEN KNIGHTS
The Vegas Golden Knights are among the NHL teams with the most salary cap space, giving the Western Conference champions some chips to put on the table in a bid to get back to the Stanley Cup Final. By Hockey Writer Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by noon.
SUNDAY, JULY 1
HKN–FREE AGENCY RDP
John Tavares, John Carlson and a host of other players could be in play as free agency opens in the NHL. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m. Developing from free agency opening at noon.
– HKN–FREE AGENCY-THE LATEST, real time updates throughout the day.
– Team separates on merit.
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