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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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Posted On Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 1:59 PM

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

Which Subban is better?

Most hockey fans are aware of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and his effervescent personality.

His younger brother, Malcolm, is a bit more reserved.

A reporter asked Malcolm about something P.K. had said, about his brothers -- especially Malcolm -- being better hockey players than him.

Malcolm -- a third brother, Jordan, will join Malcolm with the Belleville Bulls this season -- refused to take the bait.

Until age 12 Malcolm was a defenseman, so there might have been room for comparison at one point, but not now.

"I'm a goalie," Malcolm said, "so it's hard to compare now."

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

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 11:20 AM

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

Koules watching Koules

An interested observer of today's proceedings is watching the game from a slightly different vantage point than he might have a few years ago.

Former Tampa Bay Lightning owner Oren Koules is watching the action, keying in on his son, Miles Koules.

"It's a little different," he told NHL.com. "Being a father, I think I'm more nervous now than being at NHL games."

Miles, a 5-foot-10.25, 189-pound right wing, will play with the U.S. National Team Development Program's under-18 team this season. With the under-17 team last season, he had 14 goals and 12 assists in 42 games.

"I think he's got great vision," said Oren. "Great patience, good hands. He's a lot better than I was, that's for sure."

Dad played for six different teams in three seasons in the Western Hockey League (1979-82), and played one season of minor-league hockey before going on to Hollywood, where he's best known as the producer of the "Saw" movie franchise.

His best hockey season was 1980-81, when he had 28 goals in 67 games for the Spokane Flyers.

While Oren said the WHL worked for him, Miles is going to take the college route.

"He committed to North Dakota last year," Oren said. "He's pretty excited. He's supposed to enter next summer."

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


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Posted On Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 9:53 AM

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

White vs. Black at RDO Camp

The players are on the for the first session of the RDO Camp here at the MasterCard Centre for Excellence. The Black team will be led by Coyotes coach Dave Tippett and assisted by Kay Whitmore. The White team will be coached by the Penguins' Dan Bylsma and assisted by Kris King.

In attendance for their first look at some of the top prospects for the 2012 Entry Draft are numerous GMs and scouts, as well as members of the media.

Here are the rosters for what should be an interesting day of hockey:

WHITE
Goalies - Collin Olsen, Malcolm Subban
Defensemen - Cody Ceci, Nick Ebert, Alex Gudbranson, Ryan Murray, Jordan Schmaltz, Morgan Rielly
Forwards - Miles Koules, Andreas Athanasiou, Phillip di Giuseppe, Martin Frk, Alex Galchenyuk, Scott Kosmachuk, Scott Laughton, Matia Marcantuoni, Andrew ryan, Chris Tierney

BLACK
Goalies - Daniel Altshuller, Chris Driedger
Defensemen - Gianluca Curcuruto, Mathew Dumba, Jeremie Fraser, Michael Matheson, Derrick Pouliot, Jacob Trouba
Forwards - Francis Beauvillier, Raphael Bussieres, Mathew Campagna, Cameron Darcy, Brendan Gaunce, Zemgus Girgensons, Jarrod Maidens, Colton Sissons, Daulton Siwak, Nail Yakupov

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Friday, 07.01.2011 / 12:24 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Free Agency '11 Blog

Kennedy, Pens agree to deal

While the Pittsburgh Penguins' chase for Jaromir Jagr continues, they apparently have found time to work on keeping one of their own players from reaching free agency.

Right wing Tyler Kennedy, who scored a career-high 21 goals last season, agreed to a two-year deal worth $4 million with the Penguins shortly before the start of the free agent signing period at noon. Kennedy would have become an unrestricted free agent if the deal was not reached.

Earlier in the day Friday,  Kennedy's agent, Steve Bartlett, had told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he was speaking with Penguins general manager Ray Shero, and felt a deal would get done to keep Kennedy in Pittsburgh.

"We're still working on it," Bartlett told the newspaper. "But I am optimistic that it will get done (Friday)."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 06.23.2011 / 2:22 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 Entry Draft blog

Clinic over, off to lunch

The gear is stored, but the smiles still are big for the prospects and the kids they worked with at the St. Thomas Ice Center. The 50 kids, ages 6-9, had as much fun as the prospects.

"The best part of today was just stepping on the ice with kids," said Dougie Hamilton.

"I was having lots of fun with the kids, added Gabriel Landeskog, who even did Superman dives with the kids. "I've been in their shoes."

Landeskog said that when he was 5 years old or so he was a one-night mascot for his hometown hockey team in Stockholm, skating around the ice with a flag. "I remember touching the goalie and not wanting to wash my hand."

Next stop is the Walker Art Center for lunch and one more media event.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 06.23.2011 / 1:44 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 Entry Draft blog

Quite a coup for Reebok-CCM

Reebok-CCM pulled in quite a draft haul, announcing sponsorship agreements with five top prospects.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sean Couturier and Gabriel Landeskog will use CCM gear, while Jonathon Huberdeau and Adam Larsson will be using Reebok.

"Every single one of these athletes are both promising players as well as outstanding people and will be fantastic additions to the Reebok-CCM Hockey family," said glen Thornborough, Vice President, Sports Marketing, Reebok-CCM Hockey. "We believe these five prospects will develop into stars."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 06.23.2011 / 12:18 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 Entry Draft blog

Prospects on the ice

The top prospects are on the ice with kids at the St. Thomas Ice Arena for a USA Hockey ADM clinic.

Along with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gabriel Landeskog, Jonathan Huberdeau, Adam Larsson, Dougie Hamilton, Sean Couturier and Seth Ambroz are Brad Staubitz and Cal Clutterbuck from the Minnesota Wild and Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke.

From the early looks, it's hard to tell who's having more fun -- the kids or the pros.

We'll have more, including photos, after the clinic.

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



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