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NHL, Blue Jackets unveil hockey-themed treehouse for 2015 NHL All-Star Legacy Initiative

Friday, 01.23.2015 / 11:00 AM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL Public Relations

COLUMBUS – The National Hockey League and Columbus Blue Jackets – along with NHL All-Stars Nick Foligno (Columbus Blue Jackets), Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins) and Jonathan Drouin (Tampa Bay Lightning) as well as NHL Alumni Andrew Cassels and Jamie Allison – unveiled a hockey-themed treehouse within the stairwell at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House, the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world that serves more than 3,500 families each year. Thanks to generous contributions from the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Columbus Foundation, Marketing Activations Group and U.S. League partner McDonald's, the NHL invested $190,000 into the Columbus Ronald McDonald House as part of the 2015 NHL All-Star Legacy Treehouse.

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NHL, NHLPA partner with GoPro to deliver hockey fans unique perspectives of the game

HD video content captured with GoPro cameras will be used in NHL game broadcasts and on NHLPA, NHL and GoPro online channels

Friday, 01.23.2015 / 10:00 AM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK / TORONTO – The National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) today announced a North American partnership with GoPro, the maker of the world's most versatile camera and enabler of some of today's most immersive and engaging content. The agreement is GoPro's first with a major professional sports league. As part of this unprecedented partnership, the NHL will use GoPro's innovative equipment and expertise to deliver hockey fans never-before-seen perspectives of the game and the talents of the top players in high-definition video content during national and regional game broadcasts and across the digital and social media platforms of the NHLPA, NHL and GoPro.

To mark another first, GoPro's Professional Broadcast Solution, developed in a partnership with Vislink, will deliver live HD points of view and will debut during the 2015 NHL® All-Star Weekend, which will be held Jan. 23-25 in Columbus, Ohio. GoPro cameras worn by players will deliver real-time HD content and multiple angles and views to bring viewers even closer to the action on the ice for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ on Saturday, Jan. 24 (7 p.m. ET on NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports). Additional GoPro points of view are anticipated for the live broadcast of the 2015 Honda NHL® All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 25 (5 p.m. ET on NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"GoPro is the perfect partner for us in our ongoing commitment to bring hockey fans closer to the game," said Bob Chesterman, NHL Senior Vice President of Programming and Production. "As the preeminent leader in adaptable cameras, only GoPro has the technology to help us and our media partners showcase the beauty and intensity of hockey in new and deeper ways. Our partnership with GoPro will be a big win for both new and lifelong hockey fans."

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Murray could leave Ottawa GM job after season: report

Friday, 01.23.2015 / 9:16 AM / News

NHL.com

Bryan Murray likely will step down as general manager of the Ottawa Senators at the end of the 2014-15 season, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

Murray, 72, announced Nov. 13 that he has Stage 4 colon cancer. According to the Citizen the cancer has spread to Murray's liver and lungs. He has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment but said there is no cure for his cancer.

"I think I've got to take a look at it at the end of this year," Murray said, according to the newspaper. "My wife [Geri] would like me to take off. Geri's been good, though. She says, 'I know you have to have something to do.' I don't know whether I can just put my feet up."

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Jo Dee Messina, Leo Welsh to sing national anthems at 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game

Friday, 01.23.2015 / 6:03 AM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NEW YORK - Grammy-nominated country music artist Jo Dee Messina and longtime Columbus Blue Jackets anthem singer, Leo Welsh -- who will be accompanied by two members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, will perform the U.S. and Canadian national anthems, respectively, at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game, the National Hockey League announced Friday. Fans can watch the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game live on Sunday, Jan. 25 at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN in the U.S. and on CBC and TVA Sports in Canada. Fans outside of North America will be able to watch the game via NHL GameCenter LIVE and international broadcast partners in more than 160 countries and territories around the world.

During the pre-game festivities, Messina will perform the U.S. national anthem while Welsh and two members of the Royal Canadian Mounted police will perform the Canadian national anthem. As previously announced, power-pop band Locksley will perform their hit single, "The Whip," during the player introductions; Grammy Award-nominated and multi-platinum selling recording artist Fall Out Boy will perform during the first intermission; and American rock band and Ohio State alumni O.A.R. will perform during the second intermission of the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

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Sabres' Girgensons looks forward to All-Star weekend

Friday, 01.23.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons is a pretty low-key guy.

He just likes to chill out when he is away from the rink. At the rink, he hates to talk about himself and will usually try to deflect the conversation toward teammates or another topic.

So it isn't difficult to see that the 21-year-old Latvian is not entirely comfortable with the spotlight provided by his countryman during the voting for the 2015 Dodge NHL All-Star Game. Hockey-mad Latvians outdueled Chicago Blackhawks fans in stuffing the ballot box, resulting in Girgensons receiving the most votes out of any player.

In the voting, the fans chose the first six All-Stars. The second-year center received 1,574,896 votes, more than 300,000 ahead of the runner-up, Chicago forward Patrick Kane.

Girgensons is immensely popular back home, not only for his exploits with the Sabres but for his contributions to the Latvian national team in the World Championships and the 2014 Sochi Olympics. How popular? A Latvian rap group made a song and video about him and his hockey-playing success.

This season, Girgensons has been a beacon of hope for the struggling Sabres. He leads them in goals (13), even-strength goals (11) and shorthanded goals (two). He's also tops among Buffalo's forwards in average time on ice (19:03).

NHL.com caught up to Girgensons during Buffalo's recent stop to play the New Jersey Devils and discussed the viral video campaign, Girgensons' love of his country and international hockey, and what he likes to do when he is away from the rink.

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McDavid, linemates excel in Top Prospects Game

Thursday, 01.22.2015 / 11:31 PM / News

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario -- The focus was on Erie Otters center Connor McDavid at the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Meridian Centre on Thursday.

But it was his linemates, left wing Timo Meier (Halifax Mooseheads) and right wing Travis Konecny (Ottawa 67's), who combined for three goals and three assists to lead Team Bobby Orr to a 6-0 victory against Team Don Cherry.

"It's the luck of the draw if you click at these games or not," Konecny said. "It's hard coming together but it's definitely not hard playing with [McDavid and Meier]. They make it easier for everyone around them; you just have to wait and when the puck hits your stick put it on net."

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Stamkos, Ovechkin headline ASG mock draft

Thursday, 01.22.2015 / 7:36 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Dan Rosen and Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writers

The stars of the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus will conduct a fantasy draft Friday to create teams for a real game to be played Sunday. We here at NHL.com decided to get into the spirit by conducting our own All-Star fantasy draft.

Dan Rosen played the role of Jonathan Toews; Corey Masisak played the role of Nick Foligno. We followed the same rules that All-Star captains Toews and Foligno must follow Friday during the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

Rosen won a coin flip to pick first for Team Toews. All goaltenders had to be selected by the 10th round. All defensemen had to be gone by the end of the 15th round. Each team had to have 12 forwards, six defensemen and three goaltenders.

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Injured Crosby, Malkin out of All-Star Game

Thursday, 01.22.2015 / 7:25 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL.com

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby will miss the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game, general manager Jim Rutherford said Thursday.

Crosby has been playing with an unspecified lower-body injury and will need about a week to heal, a statement on the Penguins website said.

On Friday, the Penguins announced that Crosby took an injection to treat the injury, which was sustained against the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 10.

Penguins teammate Evgeni Malkin, also dealing with a lower-body injury, was ruled out of the All-Star Game earlier Thursday. Rutherford said Malkin reaggravated a lingering injury during a 3-2 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. Malkin missed parts of the second and third periods but was available for overtime. He did not play Wednesday in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

"With [Malkin], he won't be ready to play right after the break," Rutherford told the Tribune-Review on Thursday. "It's probably an injury that will take a little time to heal."

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Flames assign Granlund, Ortio, Wotherspoon to AHL

Thursday, 01.22.2015 / 5:08 PM / News

CalgaryFlames.com

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames announced today that they have assigned centre Markus Granlund, goaltender Joni Ortio, and defenceman Tyler Wotherspoon to the Adirondack Flames of the American Hockey League before the NHL All-Star weekend.

Granlund, a Finnish-born centre, has played 29 games for Calgary this season and he has recorded five goals and eight assists. The 21-year-old was drafted in the second round (45th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

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Flyers' Rinaldo to have phone hearing Monday

Thursday, 01.22.2015 / 4:53 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo will have a phone hearing Jan. 26 with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang in a game at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday.

Rinaldo waived his right to an in-person hearing. He had been offered the opportunity for an in-person hearing as required by provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for any suspension that can exceed five games.

Rinaldo was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Letang at 15:36 of the first period.
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Quote of the Day

I was surprised. I knew I got it. It's tough. You never know how hard it is until it registers on the gun. I got pretty much all I could into and you just hope for the best.

— Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber after winning the AMP NHL Hardest Shot event at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition