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Posted On Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 11:59 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Bergevin putting his trust in Timmins

TORONTO -- Marc Bergevin wasn't able to spend much time at the NHL Scouting Combine, but the new Montreal Canadiens general manager knows he has real good people in place that will help the team get the most out of the third pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.

Leading the way is Trevor Timmins, the club's highly respected director of procurement and player development.

"I didn't know Trevor other than who Trevor was," Bergevin, hired May 2, told NHL.com. "He's an outstanding person. The way he conducts his meeting, the way he runs his staff, is very impressive."

Bergevin, who left the Combine to return to Montreal late Thursday afternoon after arriving Wednesday night following the GM meetings in New York, said he'll have the final say on what the Canadiens do at the draft. However, he said Timmins and his scouting staff will play a major role in what happens June 22-23 in Pittsburgh.
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Posted On Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 7:51 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

A different kind of Subban

TORONTO -- Belleville goalie Malcolm Subban loves his older brother, Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, but you should know that the two are different people. And it goes beyond the positions they play on the ice.

"If you know P.K., you know he likes to be the center of attention," Malcolm told reporters. "I feel like I'm a bit more of a quiet guy, a more humble guy. We share some similar attributes, but I'd say for the most part we're two different people."

Malcolm said if the opportunity to play with P.K. arrived -- the two are four years apart so they never have played together -- he'd relish it. However, he doubts it's going to happen with the Canadiens.
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Posted On Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 7:35 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Is Forsberg NHL-ready?

TORONTO -- Filip Forsberg is only 17, but he already has two seasons of experience playing against men with Leksand in Sweden's Allsvenskan, the nation's top minor league.

He had a solid season in 2011-12 with eight goals and nine assists in 43 games. He excelled, however, against players his own age, totaling five goals in six games at the 2012 World Under-18 Championship. He also was the youngest player for Sweden at the 2012 World Junior Championship, contributing one assist in six games as the team won the gold medal. It all earned him the No. 1 spot among European skaters in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking.

At 6-foot-2 and 181 pounds, he also has good size. So is Forsberg ready to make the jump to the NHL?
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Posted On Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 7:19 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Why should you go No. 1?

TORONTO -- Which player will be picked first at the 2012 NHL Draft? Right now, the only team that can answer that question is the Edmonton Oilers, and they're not quite ready to make that announcement yet.

There's a pretty wide field to select from, and NHL.com took the time to ask a few of the candidates -- Sarnia's Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk, Everett's Ryan Murray, Quebec's Mikhail Grigorenko and Leksand's Filip Forsberg -- why they should be the first player to walk on the stage at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on June 22.

We also asked Belleville's Malcolm Subban why he should be the first goaltender drafted.
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Posted On Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 12:58 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Good view from the back

TORONTO -- Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon said the best part of being at the draft is sitting in the back row on the draft floor.

With the 23rd pick in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft, the Panthers will sit near the back of the room at Consol Energy Center for the first time in Tallon's tenure with the team -- Florida had the third pick of the draft the last two years.

However, he's quick to say getting to the back of the room is nice, but staying there is the key.

"It feels great," Tallon told NHL.com. "That's the goal, to stay back there. It's out of necessity you stay in the front row. To be good, you have to be bad. You've got to make the best of the opportunities when you're there. Hopefully the result is a back-row position for a long time."
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Posted On Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 12:40 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Tallon happy for DeBoer's success

TORONTO -- Even though his team lost to the New Jersey Devils in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon said he's very happy to see Peter DeBoer experiencing the level of success he's having now.

"Pete's a really good coach and a good person," Tallon told NHL.com from the NHL Scouting Combine. "I'm real happy for his success."

About a year ago, Tallon fired DeBoer as coach of the Panthers after one season of working together. It had been three seasons for DeBoer in Florida, and Tallon thought a change was needed. However, Tallon was quick to point out to NHL.com that it had nothing to do with the job DeBoer did.

"It had nothing to do with his coaching abilities," Tallon said from the NHL Scouting Combine. "Just a matter of bringing in someone that was more my style. Just wanted to make a change."

It certainly worked for both parties -- DeBoer was hired a couple of months later by the Devils and has them in the Stanley Cup Final, while DeBoer's replacement, Kevin Dineen, led the Panthers to the Southeast Division title.

As happy as Tallon is for his former coach, he said he's only rooting for a good series.

"I just want to see good hockey," he said. "I want to see a good series. I got friends on both sides.

"Just wish it was us."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 1:37 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Mahoney: Caps will take best player available

TORONTO -- For the fifth time in the last nine drafts, the Washington Capitals will have multiple first-round picks when the teams convene in Pittsburgh for the 2012 NHL Draft.

They have the Colorado Avalanche's choice at No. 11, and their own pick at No. 16, and Capitals director of amateur scouting Ross Mahoney told NHL.com that those are pretty nice places to be.

"We think we're in a good position at 11 and 16, if we maintain those picks, to pick up some good prospects," he said.

Mahoney said the GM George McPhee will listen to all options, as he does every year, and said moving up or down certainly could be an option.
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 12:12 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Pearson has good excuse to skip Combine bike tests

TORONTO -- The two bike tests -- the Wingate Cycle Ergometer and the VO2 Max test -- are the double-feature horror show at the annual NHL Scouting Combine. Every player has to go through it, and all greet it with some level of trepidation.

Well, not every player. Barrie Colts forward Tanner Pearson is excused from the bike tests while he recovers from the broken right ankle that ended his season.

Pearson told NHL.com he's been skating since the beginning of the month, and while he's close to 100-percent healed, he's still doing strengthening and balance work in his leg. Because of that, Pearson will sit out the jumping and bike portions of the fitness testing.
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Posted On Sunday, 05.20.2012 / 12:29 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

Updated order for first round of 2012 NHL Draft

With the conference finals going on, it's time to take a look at how the first half of the playoffs has affected the order of the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.

The first 14 picks were set by the results of the NHL Draft Lottery held in April. Now that the first two rounds of the playoffs are completed, all but the final four picks are set.

The 12 teams eliminated from the playoffs make up the next set of picks. Non-division winners are placed in inverse order of points. Division winners next are slotted in through the same process. That's why the Pittsburgh Penguins, who had the fourth-most points in the League, have a better draft spot than the Florida Panthers, finished with nine fewer points but won the Southeast Division.

The teams that lose in the conference finals will take picks 27 and 28; the loser in the Stanley Cup Final will pick No. 29; the Stanley Cup winner will take No. 30.

Three teams have multiple first-round picks: Tampa Bay will pick 10th and 19th; Washington has the Nos. 11 and 16 picks; and Buffalo will pick 12th and 21st.

Columbus also could have two first-round picks. They currently have the No. 2 pick and hold an option to take Los Angeles' pick, which can be no worse than No. 27. The Blue Jackets acquired the rights to the pick in the Jeff Carter trade, and either can take the Kings' first pick this year or next.

Three teams currently will sit out the first round: Colorado, which sent it's pick to Washington in the Semyon Varlamov deal; Detroit, which traded it's pick to Tampa Bay as part of the Kyle Quincey trade; and Nashville, which dealt it's pick to Buffalo in exchange for Paul Gaustad.

Also, New Jersey has the option of forfeiting its pick, which can be no worse than 28th, as penalty for circumventing the salary cap in signing Ilya Kovalchuk in 2010. The Devils have to surrender their top pick in either the 2012, 2013 or 2014 draft.

Here's the order as of now. We don't know the how the final four picks will play out, but for fans wondering, the Kings and Coyotes will pick either No. 27, 29 or 30; the Devils and Rangers can pick No. 28, 29 or 30.

1. Edmonton
2. Columbus
3. Montreal
4. N.Y. Islanders
5. Toronto
6. Anaheim
7. Minnesota
8. Carolina
9. Winnipeg
10. Tampa Bay
11. Washington (from Colorado)
12. Buffalo
13. Dallas
14. Calgary
15. Ottawa
16. Washington
17. San Jose
18. Chicago
19. Tampa Bay (from Detroit)
20. Philadelphia
21. Buffalo (from Nashville)
22. Pittsburgh
23. Florida
24. Boston
25. St. Louis
26. Vancouver
27. Conference finals loser
28. Conference finals loser
29. Stanley Cup Final loser
30. Stanley Cup champion

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Friday, 05.11.2012 / 12:00 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Flyers vs. Devils series blog

Devils get off day; status quo on injured defensemen

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils stayed off the ice Friday as they continued to wait for their opponent for the Eastern Conference Finals to be set.

That extra day of rest could be most beneficial to a pair of New Jersey defensemen who were injured in the Devils' series-clinching Game 5 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

Marek Zidlicky and Anton Volchenkov sat out practice Thursday, but coach Peter DeBoer told reporters Friday the same thing he said Thursday -- he expects both to be in the lineup for Game 1 of the conference finals.

"Everyone's getting better," he said. "Shouldn't be an issue."

Neither player was available to speak to the media.

Volchenkov had to go to the locker room after absorbing a hit from Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo 6:28 into the game. He missed about seven minutes of game time, but returned and played a total of 14:59, just off his playoff average of 15:21 per game.

Zidlicky was shaken up after a hit by the Flyers' Wayne Simmonds with 8:17 left in the second period. He returned to play four more shifts in the second, but sat out the third.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic