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September 13, 2003 - Red Wings have happy campers
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Red Wings have happy campers

Yzerman, Hasek pleased by on-ice performances

September 13, 2003


TRAVERSE CITY -- How does this rate as a good omen for the season: Steve Yzerman scored the first goal of training camp, and Kris Draper missed on a breakaway.

The Red Wings took the ice Friday at Centre I.C.E. Arena, splitting into four groups with new lines and defensive pairings. Yzerman, who played only 16 games last season after undergoing realignment surgery on his right knee, skated on the right wing with Henrik Zetterberg at center and Boyd Devereaux on the left. He one-timed a pass from Devereaux 3:35 into the game, setting up his team for an eventual 4-1 victory.

"Yeah, I got that out of the way early," Yzerman said, smiling. "I felt all right. I was generally pleased with how it went."

Dominik Hasek, back after his one-season retirement, made 16 saves in his first game in 15 months.

"One goal in the first practice, not so bad," Hasek said. "It's always the same. You can work hard through the summer, but first day on the ice, it's completely different. I feel very tired after practice, but it's nothing unusual."

Yzerman doesn't expect to take time off during camp.

"I have some discomfort, and that's always going to be here," he said. "But I think I will be fine."

Yzerman looked good pushing off and skating, and didn't hesitate getting up from a tumble. Still, he said, the knee is never far from his mind.

"It's always there," he said. "I remember when I had neck surgery a long time ago, for about a year I was constantly thinking about it, but eventually it just goes away and you play. I'm hoping that happens."

As for his new line mates, Yzerman said, "I could get used to that -- let them do the work and just cruise around. Brett's got it pretty good."

Brett Hull spent most of last season with Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk and previously played with Datsyuk and Devereaux. For Friday's games, Datsyuk centered Darren McCarty and Ray Whitney on Team B. Hull was with Draper and Kirk Maltby on Team C, which lost, 3-0, to Team D, headlined by prospect Jiri Hudler between Brendan Shanahan and Tomas Holmstrom. Shanahan and Holmstrom each had a goal and an assist; Hudler made one assist.

And Draper . . . well, all's right with the world, isn't it?

"Training camp started: Kris Draper's missing breakaways," Draper said with a grin. "It's good to be back."