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Posted On Wednesday, 11.30.2011 / 3:15 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Lightning announce 5-year extension for Hedman

The Tampa Bay Lightning have made it official, announcing they've signed defenseman Victor Hedman to a five-year contract extension today.

Terms of the deal were not released, but TSN earlier reported the value at $4 million a season.

"We are extremely pleased to announce that we have agreed to a five-year contract with Victor," said Lightning GM Steve Yzerman.  "He has shown tremendous growth as a player in just more than two seasons in the NHL while also becoming a key member of our team. We look forward to his continued development in a Lightning uniform."

The second pick of the 2009 Entry Draft, Hedman has 2 goals and a minus-5 rating in 20 games, and he's second on the team in average ice time per game at 22:55.

Hedman's numbers might be down a bit this season, but the 6-foot-6, 229-pound 20-year-old posted a career-best 26 points last season, and had 6 points in 18 playoff games while playing more than 22 minutes per game and emerging as a top-pairing defense.

"I'd like to thank our owner, Mr. (Jeff) Vinik, and of course GM Steve Yzerman for helping me move forward in my career," said Hedman. "I love it in Tampa Bay with the Lightning and I will do all I can to help this organization be successful on and off the ice."

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

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.30.2011 / 9:59 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Ducks' Ryan responds to rumors

Most NHL players claim not to pay attention to what gets said or written about in the media.

Anaheim Ducks forward Bobby Ryan, however, appears to be the exception to that rule. The center of recent trade speculation, Ryan told Eric Stephens of the Orange County (Calif.) Register that he's heard all about it, and said at this point being traded wouldn't be a shocker.

"I wouldn't be surprised," Ryan said Tuesday. "That's all I'll say about that."

The Ducks have lost five straight and 16 of their past 18 to fall to 14th in the Western Conference and 29th in the League heading into Wednesday's game against the Montreal Canadiens. Speculation has been rampant that some kind of change -- a player trade, a coaching change -- is imminent.

In regards to Ryan, however, Ducks General Manager Bob Murray told the newspaper, "At any time if we get offered a deal on any player that makes this team better, we would have to take a long, hard look at that."

However, Ryan told the newspaper he isn't looking to leave Anaheim.

"In a perfect world, you get drafted and you stay with a team for your career and you win (Stanley) Cups," he said. "At the same time, it's the business side of things that all comes back to. If they feel like it's got to be the right move for the team, then I'd certainly welcome it.

"If they feel like the Ducks are going to get better and I'm going to get a chance to play somewhere else, I guess I would. But I'm certainly not thinking about it day in and day out."

Sportsnet has reported the Ducks are shopping Ryan, while the New York Post has reported the New York Rangers are among a number of teams to show serious interest in Ryan.

It's no surprise multiple teams would be calling on Ryan if the Ducks were to make him available. A 24-year-old right wing taken with the second pick of the 2005 Entry Draft, he's scored at least 31 goals in three straight seasons, and scored a career-best 71 points last season. In 23 games this season, he's third on the team with 7 goals.

Ryan told the newspaper he's spoken with Murray in regard to the rumors, but said he never received any indication that he hasn't been or wouldn't be shopped. 

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Tuesday, 11.29.2011 / 2:12 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Potential lineups for Sabres, Islanders

The Buffalo Sabres lineup should have a more familiar look tonight when they face the New York Islanders, as three of their injured regulars -- forwards Patrick Kaleta and Drew Stafford, along with defenseman Robyn Regehr -- will be back in the lineup.

For the Islanders, rookie forward Nino Niederreiter draws back in, while Michael Haley is a healthy scratch.

Here is a look at the lineups each team likely will use tonight.

SABRES
Thomas Vanek - Jochen Hecht - Jason Pominville
Nathan Gerbe - Derek Roy - Zack Kassian
Ville Leino - Luke Adam - Drew Stafford
Matt Ellis - Paul Gaustad - Patrick Kaleta

Andrej Sekera - Jordan Leopold
Marc-Andre Gragnani - Christian Ehrhoff
Robyn Regehr - Brayden McNabb

Jhonas Enroth will start in goal, with Drew MacIntyre the backup.

ISLANDERS
Matt Moulson - John Tavares - P.A. Parenteau
Michael Grabner - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo
David Ullstrom - Josh Bailey - Brian Rolston
Matt Martin - Marty Reasoner - Nino Niederreiter

Mart Streit - Steve Staios
Andrew MacDonald - Travis Hamonic
Milan Jurcina - Mike Mottau

Al Montoya will start in goal, with Rick DiPietro the backup.

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Tuesday, 11.29.2011 / 1:47 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Sabres getting healthier, Miller to practice tomorrow

The Buffalo Sabres appear to be getting healthier heading into tonight's game against the New York Islanders.

After missing nine regulars due to injury Saturday against Washington, defenseman Robyn Regeher (upper body) and forwards Patrick Kaleta (lower body) and Drew Stafford (groin) likely will play tonight against the New York Islanders. Coach Lindy Ruff wouldn't comment on the lineup tonight, telling reporters after this morning's practice, "We don't know if we're getting three guys back, but we're close."

Regehr, who sat out Saturday's game after taking a hard hit during Friday's game against Columbus, said he was happy to get back to playing.

"I feel good," he told reporters. "I found out that I passed the exam yesterday, so I should be good to go."

If Regehr plays, it'll be alongside rookie Brayden McNabb.

"I watched him a bit in the game against Washington," said Regehr. "He's a big, strong guy. I liked to see that he laid out a few guys with some nice big hits. I know he's excited, he's got his parents in town. I know he's excited and I’m excited to play with him."

The injury list could shrink by one more name in the near future -- goalie Ryan Miller, out with a concussion and whiplash since absorbing a hard hit by Boston's Milan Lucic during a Nov. 12 game, skated today and said he'll practice with the team tomorrow.

"I had a good conversation with Ryan today," said Ruff. "He was looking forward to getting in there and taking some shots. I told him I wouldn't take any today but maybe tomorrow."

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.

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

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Posted On Friday, 11.25.2011 / 3:04 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Upper-body injury sidelines JVR 1-2 weeks

PHILADELPHIA -- James van Riemsdyk was a late scratch from today's lineup against the Canadiens with an upper-body injury Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren said would sideline him 1-2 weeks.

Van Riemsdyk has 8 goals and 8 assists in 16 games. He missed one game earlier this season.

In the short term, van Riemsdyk's absence, along with Jaromir Jagr sitting out with a lower-body injury, means Jody Shelley and Andreas Nodl will draw back into the lineup. Nodl has missed seven of the last eight games, while Shelley has sat out six of the last eight games. Neither played Wednesday against the Islanders.

In the long term, van Riemsdyk being out opens a spot for a potential return Brayden Schenn from the American Hockey League. Schenn had an assist Thursday, his first game back after missing time with a broken foot suffered during his initial stint with the Flyers

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


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Posted On Friday, 11.25.2011 / 1:18 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

'Bob' back in net for Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- After his strong relief effort Wednesday against the New York Islanders, Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start today for the Philadelphia Flyers against the Montreal Canadiens.

Bobrovsky relieved starter Ilya Bryzgalov after the first period with the Flyers trailing 3-1, and stopped all 23 shots he faced in the final two periods and overtime as the Flyers rallied for a 4-3 victory.

"He came in and did a really nice job," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "There weren't a lot of chances either way in the game, but the ones that were available for both teams, they were pretty decent chances and he came in and gave us an opportunity to fight back and win that game."

Laviolette said he's been particularly happy with how Bobrovsky has handled everything that's been thrown at him this season.  He's played in just seven of the Flyers' first 21 games this season, after playing in 16 of the first 21 last season.

"Bob's been patiently waiting," Laviolette said. "He's a guy who was the starter for us last year and did a nice job in his rookie year. He's working hard and looking for opportunities and I think you need to reward people."

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

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Posted On Friday, 11.18.2011 / 2:52 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Nabokov out with groin injury



The New York Islanders announced Friday that goaltender Evgeni Nabokov will be out indefinitely due to a groin injury.

Nabokov was injured at 7:55 of the first period Thursday's game against the Montreal Canadiens when he slid to make a pad stop on a Yannick Weber shot. Nabokov remained down after making the save, and then was helped to the dressing room by the team's medical staff.

In eight games, Nabokov is 1-5-0 with a 2.83 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

Rick DiPietro replaced Nabokov on Thursday, and he'll now share time with Al Montoya in Nabokov's absence.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 11.17.2011 / 4:45 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Bryzgalov expects emotional night

Ilya Bryzgalov tried to play it off, calling tonight's matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes "game No. 18." No one was buying that, however.

The Philadelphia Flyers goaltender will face his former team for the first time tonight and admitted it would be an emotional game.

"It's special; it's my former team," he told reporters Wednesday. "I have lots of friends and can't forget the time I played there. The good years, (there were) lots of friends, lots of good people work in this organization, and it is going to be a very special game."

Bryzgalov spent most of the last four seasons with the Coyotes, who claimed him on waivers from the Anaheim Ducks early in the 2007-08 season. He left Phoenix this June, when his rights were traded to the Flyers prior to him becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Bryzgalov left the Coyotes as the club's all-time leader in games played (257), wins (130) and shutouts (21), and he guided the Coyotes to back-to-back playoff appearances the previous two seasons. His 42 wins in 2009-10 are a franchise single-season record, as are his eight shutouts from the same season.

After a hot start and a rocky middle, Bryzgalov is trending up again, with a 3-0-1 record in four November games, with a 1.98 goals-against average and .935 save percentage. And after allowing four goals on 10 shots Oct. 27 against Winnipeg, he's allowed nine goals in his last five games.

Bryzgalov is committed to the Flyers now -- he signed a nine-year deal with Philadelphia in the offseason -- but won't forget the time he had in Phoenix.

"I really appreciate everything they did for me," he said. "I wish them the best. I'm really glad they are doing well without me because they deserve it. They work extremely hard. They have beautiful people in that organization. Management and coaches and a good group of guys. I have lots of friends out there."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
 
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Posted On Thursday, 11.17.2011 / 10:14 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Flyers lose defenseman for 6 weeks

In his short time in the NHL, Philadelphia Flyers rookie Erik Gustafsson made a solid impact, averaging 18:28 per game with a plus-6 rating in five games. His ice time went up each game, topping out at 23:00 Nov. 5 against Columbus.

Gustafsson hasn't played since, however, due to a wrist injury, and the Flyers announced this morning that he won't play at all for another six weeks following surgery to repair the injury.

"Erik underwent wrist surgery this morning at Methodist Hospital (in Philadelphia)," said Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren. "The surgery was performed by Dr. Randy Culp. We expect Erik to be out of action for six weeks."

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

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Posted On Friday, 11.11.2011 / 12:05 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Enroth to start for Sabres

The Buffalo News is reporting Jhonas Enroth was the first goaltender off the ice today in Buffalo, making it likely he'll start for the third time in the last four games when the Sabres host the Ottawa Senators.

Enroth is 4-0-0 in five games this season, with a 1.41 goals-against average and .952 save percentage. In his last three games -- two starts and a relief appearance -- he's stopped 70 of the last 73 shots he's faced.

Ryan Miller, the presumptive No. 1 goalie in Buffalo, has struggled mightily this season. He won his last start, Tuesday against Winnipeg, to snap a four-game losing streak, but allowed five goals on 31 shots in a 6-5 overtime victory.

On the season, Miller is 5-5-0 in 10 games, with a 2.74 GAA and .913 save percentage.

For more on today's game, check out the preview here.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Quote of the Day

I don't know how he does it. I don't know how he gets his body parallel with the player and pulls it through his legs like that. I know he's tried it a couple times in practice and it's never worked, so how he does it in a game, it's incredible.

— Capitals defenseman Mike Green on teammate Alex Ovechkin's highlight-reel goal against the Devils on Saturday