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Wednesday, September 6
Updated: September 7, 1:56 PM ET
Can Kidd keep job from Luongo?

By Charles Avellino
Special to ESPN.com

 Trevor Kidd
Trevor Kidd will be tested by Roberto Luongo in camp.
  Coach: Terry Murray
'99-00 record: 43-33-6
Camp location: Robert Guertin Arena (Hull, Quebec)
Report date: Sept. 9

Preseason schedule:
Sept. 15: Ottawa (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Sept. 19: Carolina (Ft. Myers, Fla.)
Sept. 20: Carolina
Sept. 21: at Tampa Bay
Sept. 22: Boston
Sept. 26: Tampa Bay (Ft. Myers, Fla.)
Sept. 28: at Boston
Sept. 29: Columbus (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Sept. 30: Columbus (Louisville, Ky.)

Panthers' GM Bryan Murray tried to strengthen his club during the offseason by acquiring potential star netminder Roberto Luongo and center Olli Jokinen from the Islanders in exchange for forwards Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha. Murray gave up some offense in the hope that Luongo will develop into the goaltender everyone has expected since he was selected fourth overall in the '97 Entry Draft. But perhaps the key acquisition was free agent center Igor Larionov.

Here's a look at the rest of Florida's training camp.

Biggest question: soft on D?
Last season, the Panthers' weak defense allowed an average of 29.6 shots per game. Only five teams allowed more. The Panthers lack a true, physical-type player on the blueline. European players like Jaroslav Spacek and Robert Svehla shy away from the physical play, while defensemen like Bret Hedican and Lance Pitlick are not big enough or refuse to play that style.

That's why players like 6-foot-6, 212-pound Mike Wilson and 6-foot-3, 215-pound Todd Simpson will get a chance in training camp to increase their ice time. Also, don't be surprised if prospects Brad Ference -- 231 penalty minutes in the AHL last season -- and Kyle Rossiter (6-foot-2, 217 pounds) make the team.

Biggest position battle: Goalie
Trevor Kidd was one of the best netminders in the NHL last season before suffering a dislocated shoulder during a team skills competition last December. But don't think he has the No.1 job locked up. Word has it Luongo, 21, will be told in training camp to give Kidd a run for his money. Kidd expects to have the starter's job when players report, but Luongo could beat him out for the top spot. Stranger things have happened.

Future watch
Here, ESPN.com looks at one or two young players who could make an impact, either now or in the future.

Kyle Rossiter (Defense):
The Panthers made him their first selection (30th overall) in '98 after Rossiter earned the Canadian Major Junior Scholastic Player of the Year award that year. Rossiter could be in Florida's lineup this season.

Denis Shvidki (Right wing):
The native of Kharkov, Russia has made a quick adjustment to the North American game. Shvidki notched at least 30 goals in each of his first two seasons playing for Barrie of the OHL. The Panthers would like the 6-foot, 195-pound Shvidki to bulk up a bit more so he can use his speed and stickhandling skills to drive to the net. Right now, the majority of his goals come from the perimeter. He'll have to make some adjustments to make it to the next level.

Training camp roster
Goaltenders: Alexander Auld, Ryan Bach, Sean Gauthier, Trevor Kidd, Jean-Francois Laniel, Roberto Luongo, Davis Parley, Richard Shulmistra.

Defensemen: Chris Allen, Dan Boyle, Curtis Doell, Chris Eade, Brad Ference, Bret Hedican, John Jakopin, Paul Laus, Daniel Passero, Michel Periard, Lance Pitlick, Peter Ratchuk, Kyle Rossiter, Phillippe Roy, Rod Sarich, Todd Simpson, Jaroslav Spacek, Robert Svehla, Joey Tetarenko, Brent Thompson, Lance Ward, Mike Wilson, Brad Woods.

Left wings: Eric Beaudoin, Mike Cirillo, Dave Duerden, Ryan Jardine, Josh Olson, Matthew Sommerfeld, Ray Whitney, Peter Worrell.

Centers: Len Barrie, Eric Boguniecki, Aaron Goldade, Mike Green, Olli Jokinen, Viktor Kozlov, Igor Larionov, Benoit Morin, Rob Niedermayer, Serge Payer, Mike Sillinger, Nick Smith.

Right wings: Paul Brousseau, Pavel Bure, Travis Eagles, David Emma, Eric Godard, Paul Harvey, Ian Jacobs, Morgan McCormick, Scott Mellanby, Marcus Nilson, Ivan Novoseltsev, Sean O'Connor, Denis Shvidki, Rocky Thompson.

Charles Avellino is a lead NHL researcher at ESPN.

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