I stopped in at Prudential Center this morning to check in on some of the players who are taking part in the informal, pre-training camp workouts there. There were 18 players on the ice this morning playing 4-on-4, including goaltender Martin Brodeur, who said he took part in his first skate on Thursday.
"The fact that there's two weeks still to the start of training camp and there's 18 guys here right now -- not all of them are returning guys, but just the numbers -- that's good," captain Jamie Langenbrunner said.
The breakdown of those skating today:
Goalies: Brodeur, Jeff Frazee
Defense: Bryce Salvador, Andy Greene, Colin White, Matt Corrente, Sheldon Brookbank, Tyler Eckford.
Forwards: Langenbrunner, Zach Parise, John Madden, Jay Pandolfo, Rod Pelley, Travis Zajac, Dainius Zubrus, David Clarkson, Vladimir Zharkov, Fedor Fedorov.
Zubrus' number has been changed from 16 to 8. That's strong evidence that Bobby Holik will be getting back his old No. 16, though there is no official word on that, yet. Brookbank, who wore No. 8 last season, will wear No. 28, which was previously worn by Brian Rafalski, but remained vacant last season.
Fedorov has been assigned No. 25, which was previously worn by Cam Janssen. It's probably just a coincidence that Fedorov was involved in the only fight during the team's development camp in July.
Corrente was assigned No. 32, Eckford No. 37 and Zharkov No. 48 for training camp. Those numbers would almost certainly be changed if any of them were to make the big club.
There's still no word on whether Brian Rolston will definitely be wearing No. 12. Although Rolston has been listed as No. 12 on the team roster on the Devils' Web site, that was only because the NHL assigned him that number because he wore it last season with Minnesota.
The Devils have spruced up their practice rink a little by hanging duplicates of all of their championship banners on the walls.