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From The Point: 30 teams, 30 questions

Niklas Backstrom will have to have a career season for the rebuilding Wild to make a playoff run. (Getty Images)

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Niklas Backstrom will have to have a career season for the rebuilding Wild to make a playoff run. (Getty Images)

NHL training camps are almost upon us.

Here are 30 questions to ponder as the players return to the ice:
 
Anaheim
Can veterans Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne provide enough scoring Finnish to give the Ducks’ top line of Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry room to move?
 
Atlanta
Ilya Kovalchuk…should he stay or should he go?
 
Boston
Can the Bruins come close to winning 53 games again?
 
Buffalo
Can Tim Connolly stay healthy enough to play 70-plus games?
 
Calgary
Will the Flames’ third defense pairing of Mark Giordano and Adam Pardy ever see the ice?
 
Carolina
Is Cam Ward a top-five NHL goaltender?
 
Chicago
How will Cristobal Huet fare as the Hawks’ one-and-only No. 1 goalie?
 
Colorado
Whatever has happened to the once-mighty Avs?
 
Columbus
Will Ken Hitchcock’s Blue Jackets be one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL this season?
 
Dallas
Why isn’t anyone talking about Fabian Brunnstrom anymore?
 
Detroit
Is this the last season for Norris knight Nicklas Lidstrom?
 
Edmonton
Can coach Pat Quinn revive the Oil?
 
Florida
Will the perennial non-playoff Panthers finally sneak back into the post-season?
 
Los Angeles
How good are all the Kings kids?
 
Minnesota
Is this the year Niklas Backstrom finally wins the Vezina – and the Hart?
 
Montreal
Who are all these new guys, anyway?
 
Nashville
How come there aren’t any new guys, anyway?
 
New Jersey
What is the secret to the Devils’ perpetual success?
 
Islanders
Are the off-season signings of Dwayne Roloson and Martin Biron an admission that Rick DiPietro is forever hip-hobbled?
 
Rangers
What does Sean Avery have in store this time around?
 
Ottawa
The obvious question: Where will potential 50-goal man Dany Heatley end up?
 
Philadelphia
Can the Flyers end their 35-year Stanley Cup drought?
 
Phoenix
Surely, it wasn’t this bad in Winnipeg, was it?
 
Pittsburgh
Can Crosby and Malkin do it all over again?
 
St. Louis
Will the Blues’ youth boom or bust?
 
San Jose
Is there a Stanley Cup surprise in store – or just more playoff disappointment?
 
Tampa Bay
Is Victor Hedman already the Bolts’ best defenseman?
 
Toronto
Why haven’t the Leafs flipped one – or two – of their nine NHL defensemen for a forward who can score?
 
Vancouver
Can Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows build on breakout years?
 
Washington
Is it Alex Ovechkin’s turn to smile in June?

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Sam McCaig is The Hockey News' senior copy editor and a contributor to THN.com. His blog and his column, From The Point, appear regularly.

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