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Posted On Monday, 09.26.2011 / 5:44 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Classic chatter

Big day for Hartnell tomorrow

Scott Hartnell was all smiles Monday at the announcement of the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic coming to Citizens Bank Park, but he knows how important Tuesday is for him.
 
The Flyers forward is scheduled to be examined by a cardiologist in hopes of learning what caused his elevated heart rate between the second and third period of Friday's preseason game in Detroit.
 
Hartnell told the training staff of odd twitching in his right arm between periods, and when he was examined, an abnormal heart rate was discovered. As a precaution, Hartnell was held out of the third period of that game, skipped Sunday's practice and will not play in Monday's preseason game against the Rangers.
 


"I feel fine," he told NHL.com. "Last game in Detroit, my heart rate wouldn't settle down as it usually does. Arms were shaking a little bit. Just more precautionary, stay off the ice for a couple days.
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Posted On Monday, 09.26.2011 / 5:42 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Classic chatter

Who will be the star of the show?

The Flyers don't lack for over-sized personalities, so it'll be interesting to see which player or players steal the show when HBO's cameras start trailing the Philadelphia players and coaches for this year's installment of the "24/7" show.

"I guess I've got to show them something new," said one of those big personalities, team captain Chris Pronger. "Bring out my 'A' game."

Defenseman Matt Carle isn't someone who electrifies a room when he enters it, but he has a few good ideas who might draw the bright lights of the cameras.

"You got Scott Hartnell, he really stands out," Carle told NHL.com. "I think a guy that's really going to take everybody off guard, getting to know him early on here, is Ilya Bryzgalov. I'm sure people in Phoenix are used to his personality, but for us, I just met him a few weeks ago, he's that funny character."

James van Riemsdyk could be a star if he plays up to his vast potential, but he agrees with Carle in that Hartnell could steal the spotlight.

"We got Max Talbot in there, he's got some personality, he's an interesting guy," van Riemsdyk told NHL.com. "Scott Hartnell is a fan favorite here, too, so I think he's going to be somebody they'll get a kick to see doing his thing behind the scenes."
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Posted On Monday, 09.26.2011 / 2:17 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Classic chatter

'Worst-kept secret in sports'

Commissioner Gary Bettman, at a podium erected on top of a dugout at Citizens Bank Park, just made official what the commissioner himself called, "the worst-kept secret in sports," that the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be played at 1 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2012, between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers.
 
Dignitaries from both clubs were in attendance, including Rangers Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards, and Flyers Chris Pronger, James van Riemsdyk, Matt Carle and Scott Hartnell. There also were a few hundred Flyers season ticket holders in attendance.
 
They just showed a great promotional video highlighting the great Rangers-Flyers rivalry, and the Commissioner also confirmed HBO is back on board for another edition of the critically-acclaimed, award-winning "24/7" series.
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Posted On Monday, 09.26.2011 / 1:30 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Classic chatter

Welcome to Philadelphia

The NHL has invaded Citizens Bank Park for today's announcement of the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

The home of the Philadelphia Phillies has been turned into a temporary hockey heaven, as Flyers, Rangers and the beautiful Classic logo are all over the ballpark.

Dignitaries expected today include Flyers Chairman Ed Snider, Rangers GM Glen Sather, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, coaches and players from both teams, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and Phillies President David Montgomery.

You can follow along here at this blog, and NHL.com and the NHL Network will have live coverage.

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Posted On Thursday, 09.08.2011 / 4:00 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 Player Media Tour

Flyers' Giroux not out to make friends

In the days of the Original Six, players from opposing teams almost never fraternized with each other. Nowadays, with free agency and players from multiple teams sharing the same agents or offseason trainers, it's common to see guys from multiple teams socializing.

That carries over to events like this week's Player Media Tour, where guys from multiple teams are spending two days in New York and Newark. It's a pretty lighthearted event, and the guys are pretty relaxed.

Most are like Philadelphia Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk, who told NHL.com that he's enjoying getting to meet some guys he's known only from watching on TV or playing against them.

However, his Flyers teammate Claude Giroux isn't up for making friends in New York. He's more of a subscriber to the olden days.

"It's kind of cool," Giroux told NHL.com of spending time with the opposing players, "but at the same time I play against them and don't really like all of them. I guess it's part of the game, you have to go with it. I think when you're on the ice you're not there to make friends."
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Posted On Thursday, 08.18.2011 / 3:46 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Research Project

Skills Contest brings camp to end

The final event of the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation was the All-Star Skills Competition, and it featured some pretty special moments.

The fastest skater contest was a near dead heat between Owen Sound's Jarrod Maidens and Sarnia's Alex Galchenyuk. Galchenyuk edged him by one-tenth of a second  in the preliminary round, and when they raced again in the final, it was Galchenyuk by a whisker again, getting around in 15.040 seconds, compared to 15.045 for Maidens.

The Breakaway Challenge allowed the players to show their creativity, and they didn't disappoint.

The first to star was Sudbury's Mathew Campagna, who on his third try got the puck to stick to his blade and raised the stick over his head with one hand. As he skated in, he slashed his stick down, but it hit the goalie right in the chest.





Sarnia's Nail Yakupov tried a Superman dive with the puck in his hand and tried sliding it over to his stick, but couldn't get the shot off. Another attempt featured Galchenyuk lobbing the puck chest-high as Yakupov skated in, but his shot attempt went wide.

The winner, though, was London's Andreas Athanasiou, who put the puck between his skates, flipped it into the air and flicked it out of the air with his backhand and into the net.




USNTDP right wing Miles Koules won the accuracy shooting contest, twice needing just five shots to break the four targets.

Athanasiou won the final event, the Elimination Shootout. Through two rounds, he and Portland defenseman Derrick Pouliot were the only skaters remaining. Pouliot's third attempt landed in Collin Olson's glove when the USNTDP netminder made a fine save. At the other end, Athanasiou beat Daniel Atlshuller for the victory.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 08.18.2011 / 1:33 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Research Project

The perfect test subjects

What made it so easy for the NHL general managers in attendance to judge how potential rule changes and innovations could affect the game was the high quality of play from the top 2012 Entry Draft prospects used to try out the changes.

"I'm so impressed with the level of the play and the intensity these guys bring," said NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan.

Dave Tippett and Dan Bylsma, who coached the teams, both were struck not only by the talent of the players, but by their competiveness.

"We're standing back behind our bench and saying that when we were 17 years old, they're a long way  ahead of where we were at that age, for sure," said Bylsma. "Tip said it, these guys competed really hard. There was a lot of passion out there. At the same time they gave us a good look at a high-quality game and trying some different things."

Among the players that impressed Bylsma was goaltender Malcolm Subban.

"I think there's a skill level in a few players that's real evident," he said. "We saw three or four kids, and really I thought Subban in net played really well for his two games that he played."

Tippett was impressed by a few players, as well.

"The young Russian, (Nail) Yakupov, you can tell he's a dynamic player," he said. "You get to know the personalities … (Mathew) Dumba, the captain of the Hlinka tournament, he's got great enthusiasm, great passion for the game. It's great to see these kids. They get put in situations like this with a lot of eyes on them, and they still enjoy the moment. Those are fun times for young players."

The final session for the players featured a catered lunch and question-and-answer session with Montreal Canadiens forward Michael Cammalleri and Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog, the second pick of the 2011 Entry Draft.

"It's part research and development and it's part orientation for us to introduce them to what to expect in the NHL," said Shanahan. "After lunch they're going to have a Q&A with Mike Cammalleri and Gabriel Landeskog, talk about what it's like to be a pro player, what it's like to be a junior player in his draft year. They (the prospects) are giving us a lot and we also want to give them something back as well, an experience to prepare themselves for this big year for them."

Following lunch, there will be an all-star skills contest where the players will further be able to showcase themselves.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 7:32 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Research Project

Referee's view

While a number of the rules being tested Tuesday at the NHL Research and Development Camp were obvious, there were other things being looked at, including some technological changes. One of them was allowing the referees to communicate with each other via wireless headsets.
 
Scott Ferguson, a referee from the Ontario Hockey League, said he found pros and cons with the system.
 
"The pros are, the puck's loose around the net, I can yell at my partner 'It's loose' when it's down low," he said. "We can communicate on calls, support each other on calls, which is good. Some of the cons are it blocks your hearing on one side. There was one time where a player came out of the penalty box and I couldn't hear him coming, and he almost ran me over. When you're in the corner you want to be able to hear that. You want to be able to move and get out of the way. Sometimes it affects your focus. You're saying something, you're trying to watch a close play and (your partner) is yapping in your ear. Sometimes you can lose your focus."
 
Ferguson did say the earpiece he wore was comfortable and he had no problem hearing his partner.
 
"There are some pros, some cons," he said. "They'd have to do more work with it. You have to get used to it, that's the biggest thing."
 
Of the other changes, Ferguson liked the faceoff option used in the second session, where the linesman placed the puck in the faceoff dot, both skaters got set, and then the puck was picked up and dropped.
 
"I found today they weren't shooting (off the faceoff) as much as they usually do," Ferguson said. "They have a harder time timing the linesman, I thought. … Both set, puck was down, there was no advantage, there was no cheating, I thought that was good."
 
Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 6:36 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Research Project

Working the rules

There's a reason Dave Tippett and Dan Bylsma were asked to participate in this year's NHL Research and Development Camp, and part of it is their adaptability. Faced with a rule change that prevented a shorthanded team from icing the puck, Bylsma opted to pull his goalie to create 6-on-4 advantage.

It backfired, however, when Tippett's team was able to score a shorthanded goal into an empty net.

"You can't ice it, but if you get any kind of possession, you're going to get a chance," said Tippett. "What happens when you're 6-on-4 is you get four guys around the net banging away, like a frantic last minute. Then it's 2-on-2 up top and you're an even-man battle up there, and then just like what happened, they had a guy fall down and we scored on an empty net."

Tippett said had he never thought to pull his goalie -- it became a moot point because his team didn't have any power plays in the second session -- but he had other plans in mind for when his team got the advantage.

"We talked about some different scenarios that we'd do, but we were on the other side, where we're trying to push them in," said Tippett. "If they did ice it, we were going to have some faceoff plays, line up quick, see if we can push them when they're tired rather than pull the goalies."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 4:00 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Research Project

New vantage point

Kevin Cheveldayoff is one of the many interested observers enjoying this week's NHL Research and Development camp. This isn't the only happy time for the new general manager of the Winnipeg Jets.

Seeing first-hand the excitement being generated with the NHL's return to Manitoba has been a blast.

"It is a surreal experience," he told NHL.com. "The players are going to feel that form the moment they land or drive in, however they get to town for the season. It's an infectious enthusiasm."

Even though he's a first-time NHL GM, Cheveldayoff said he's like every other manager here, just watching and seeing some of the rules changes in action.

"I think there's a lot of little, subtle things you kind of, as you're watching, you go what's going on here, and then you realize, oh, we're testing some things. There are some interesting things that by end of the camp, everyone will get a different flavor on some different things. I think the way that they're trying to tweak some of penalties with respect to having the puck for a period of time (on a delayed penalty), or not being able to ice it and stuff like that. It's good to take a look and see if these are different things that can enhance our game at some point."

What he also liked was seeing so many of his brethren watching and taking notes.

"The thing that's pretty encouraging for me is I'm looking around and seeing a lot of different GMs here that are seeing a lot of different things," Cheveldayoff said. "The League is constantly asking us what would you like to see changed, so this is a good form to implement them. At some point we'll be able to discuss them as a group. I think it's great because you'll see something with your eyes and the person sitting next to you will see something different. When we get into the group setting, we'll be able to fully discuss them."

Just as important for Cheveldayoff is getting to see some of the top prospects for the 2012 Entry Draft in action.

"The other aspect that's great here is to see all the great young kids," he said. "I went over to Europe to the (Ivan) Hlinka Tournament and it's interesting to see some of the kids after they've played on the big ice coming back to the small ice. Some kids stand out more, some kids stand out less. It's tough to fully evaluate them all during the summer. This is more of an opportunity to really hone in on the players, get a chance to see them, then let them develop over the course of the year."

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

He's able to play now, we just want to see other guys. We know what he can do.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on not rushing Steven Stamkos onto the ice