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Blackhawks season preview: Inside info on the new guys

Updated: October 6, 2011 11:24PM

LW Andrew Brunette
by Mike Russo, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Bruno” is one of the most beloved teammates I’ve covered in my 17 seasons as an NHL beat writer. He’s your quintessential character guy who leads by example. Since his NHL debut in 1996, Brunette’s been one of the league’s most underrated players. His incredible vision, play-making skills and smarts have allowed him to overcome a severe lack of speed.

LW Daniel Carcillo
by Sam Carchidi, Philadelphia Inquirer

A feisty, hustling player who gets under opponents’ skin with the best of them. He was one of the Flyers’ best players at drawing penalties. He’s known as “diver” for the way he exaggerates receiving a hit. He has surprisingly good hands around the net and can be a double-digit goal scorer. He showed more discipline in his game last year.

G Ray Emery
by Eric Stephens, Orange County Register

Emery played big for the Ducks, especially at the start. From all accounts, he seemed to be much better in positioning than his Ottawa days, and given his injury, he probably had to be. . As time went on, I think teams were able to adjust and get him to move across the crease. Nashville did that in the playoffs and Emery increasingly got weaker in that area, although he did hurt his groin late in the season.

D Sami Lepisto
by Jim Gintonio, Arizona Republic

He’s a hard worker. He’s good spotted as a sixth or seventh d-man since he does bring energy. And no one has ever questioned his effort. His game handling the pucks goes up and down. In his decision-making, he sometimes plays a little hyper when patience would seem the more practical course. He is a good value signing..

F Jamal Mayers
by David Pollak, San Jose Mercury News

The Sharks were shuffling players in and out of their third and fourth lines for much of last season, but Mayers was getting regular shifts — at least until the playoffs, when he was a healthy scratch in six of 18 games and a minus-3 when he was out there. He still was willing to drop the gloves in the regular season, as his 12 fights gave him a share of the team lead with Ryane Clowe.

D Steve Montador
by Mike Harrington, Buffalo News

A great guy in the locker room and a quippy, insightful type with the media. He’s gained a worldly perspective from his travels to Africa with Right To Play. Did the Hawks overpay for the guy from the second half of last season who was a Game 7 playoff scratch in Buffalo? Or did they get a good deal when signing the guy from the first half?

D Sean O’Donnell
by Sam Carchidi, Philadelphia Inquirer

A prototypical stay-at-home defenseman who was among the league’s plus-minus leaders in the first part of last season. He started showing his age and sagged in the second half. He’s a great locker-room leader with an uncanny ability for analyzing the game. He will help young D-men mature. A coach on the ice.

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