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A look at 10 players to watch this season:

01. Malkin, Pittsburgh. Turned heads at Penguins camp before suffering the shoulder injury. A good skater with quick hands, there seems to be no limit to the kind of rookie season he could have. Questions remain - how will his recent injury affect his initiation to the league? How will he adapt to life in North America? Will the ongoing dispute with his Russian team become a distraction?

02. Tomas Vokoun, Nashville. One of the best goalies in the NHL last year, he had 36 wins in 61 games before being sidelined late with blood clots. Is feeling healthy now, which has many thinking Nashville is on the verge of something special. Vokoun's the key to that potential success. "With Tomas (in goal), we've got a chance to win every game and every playoff game," said Preds GM David Poile.

03. Chris Pronger, Anaheim. Just might be the best acquisition of the off-season. The towering defenceman stood tall in Edmonton's playoff run last year and joins an Anaheim defence that already includes Scott Niedermayer. Pronger's presence on the West Coast could help the Ducks pile up wins.

04. Roberto Luongo, Vancouver. Question marks surround a Canucks team that has seen its share of changes, but Luongo might be the only answer Vancouver needs. Considered one of the game's best, he should see fewer shots than he did in Florida but one thing remains constant - as much as any other player in the NHL, his team's fortunes are tied directly to his performance.

05. Jonathan Cheechoo, San Jose. Led the league with 56 goals last season. What can the man from Moose Factory do for an encore? Will get the chance to play a full season with Joe Thornton and could be the NHL's first 60-goal scorer since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr did it in 1995-96.

06. Cam Ward, Carolina. He's got a Stanley Cup ring and the Conn Smythe Trophy, but doesn't have a full season as a No. 1 goaltender under his belt. The 22-year-old was a big reason why the 'Canes won the Cup so it will be interesting to see if his solid play carries over. Martin Gerber's gone so Ward will be counted on for far more than the 28 games he played during the regular season in 2005-06.

07. Alex Tanguay, Calgary. He's the other man in Calgary's new dynamic duo. Tanguay had 78 points with Colorado last year but his performance in Calgary will be largely measured on how well Jarome Iginla performs alongside him. The Flames could be Cup contenders if the two find some chemistry.

08. Brendan Shanahan, N.Y. Rangers. Will he bring his best to Broadway? After 10 years and three Stanley Cups in Detroit, Shanahan joins a promising-looking Rangers team. If the veteran can match the 40 goals he scored last season, New York will have a formidable 1-2 punch with him and Jagr.

09. Saku Koivu, Montreal. He's the heart and soul of the Habs. Koivu's the Canadiens' top centre and captain but suffered a serious eye injury during last spring's playoffs. He is still without some peripheral vision and it remains to be seen how that will affect his performance over a long season.

10. Todd Bertuzzi, Florida. Coming off what many consider to be an "off" year with the Canucks - and still had 71 points. Free of the expectations and intense scrutiny he received in Vancouver, Big Bert could be poised to break out. Don't be surprised if he approaches the 100-point barrier.
 
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