New head coach Brent Sutter announced this morning that Patrik Elias might not be the captain again this season, Sutter did not rule out picking Elias to wear the C again, but said he would go through "a process" with his assistant coaches and general manager Lou Lamoriello to select the captain and the alternates.
"That's a decision we'll be making," Sutter said. "You've got a new head coach now. That's something I need to go through." Although surprised by the news, Elias said he had "no problem" with Sutter picking his own captain.
Sutter's initial practice lasted nearly an hour and 25 minutes. Part of it focused on being more aggressive on the forecheck, with the initial attacker pressuring the opposing defense in the offensive zone.
RW Jamie Langenbrunner did not practice because of a groin said and said he would be out "for a few days, at least." Dainius Zubrus skated in Scott Gomez's old spot on the top line with Elias and Brian Gionta. D Andy Greene, D Matt Corrente and RW Barry Tallackson (filling Langenbrunner's spot with Zach Parise and Travis Zajac) were the only rookies to take part in the early session.
The line combinations and defense pairings were as follows:
Forwards: Elias-Zubrus-Gionta; Parise-Zajac-Tallackson; Pandolfo-Madden-Asham; Rupp-Brylin-Janssen.
Defense: Vishnevski-Martin; White-Corrente; Matvichuk-Greene; Oduya-Rachunek.
Goalies: Brodeur, Weekes.