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Posted On Tuesday, 10.08.2013 / 12:38 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Islanders to be cautious, sit Clutterbuck another game

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Right wing Cal Clutterbuck is very close to making his debut with the New York Islanders, but it won't happen Tuesday night against the Phoenix Coyotes at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Clutterbuck suffered a lacerated leg during a preseason game against the Calgary Flames on Sept. 17. Originally slated to miss 4-6 weeks, Clutterbuck could be in the lineup as early as Friday night, when the Islanders visit the Chicago Blackhawks.

"I could probably play today," Clutterbuck said after skating Tuesday morning. "But I think just in talking it over with the medical staff and the coaches, it's just probably better that I be more prudent at this point. I've lost two games, three tonight. In the grand of scheme of things, 82 games plus playoffs, I think it's maybe a little bit smarter to miss an extra one versus missing some more down the road."


Posted On Monday, 09.23.2013 / 11:09 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Rangers GM Sather hoping for Stepan deal

New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather appears to be growing impatient with center Derek Stepan.

The restricted free agent has yet to sign a contract with the club and has held out of training camp. Stepan, 23, led the Rangers with 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) in 48 games last season.

"I don't think Derek is going to let this thing linger that long," Sather said in an interview on MSG Network during the Rangers' preseason game against the Calgary Flames on Monday night. "I don't think he is a big enough fool to think that he will sit out the year and it will do any good. He is in a gap contract and every one of our players has signed a gap contract."

Posted On Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 6:09 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Kraft Hockeyville 2013 blog

Scheifele excited for second Hockeyville game

BELLEVILLE, Ontario -- Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele is having his second experience at Kraft Hockeyville.

The Jets earned a 3-1 victory against the Ottawa Senators in 2011 at Mile One Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland. He expected a similar atmosphere against the Washington Capitals on Saturday night (7 p.m. ET, CBC, NHL Network-U.S.).

"It's pretty fun," Scheifele said. "Two years ago playing in St. John's was a pumped-up building. It was a fun building to play in and we're looking forward to a good hockey game, for sure."

Posted On Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 6:01 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Scheifele seeks full-time job, starting in Hockeyville

BELLEVILLE, OntarioWinnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele has experienced brief tastes of life in the NHL over the past two seasons. But the first-round pick (No. 7, 2011) said he believes he's ready to make the jump full-time.

Scheifele, 20, made it extremely difficult for Jets brass to send him back to the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League in the fall of 2011, when he scored his first NHL goal during a seven-game audition at the start of the 2011-12 season. But he was ultimately sent back to Barrie, where he scored 23 goals and 40 assists in 47 games.

He was held without a point in four NHL games last season and was sent back to Barrie after the Jets opted not to use a year on Scheifele's entry-level contract on the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. Schiefele finished with 39 goals and 40 assists in 45 games for the Colts.

Posted On Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 4:29 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Kraft Hockeyville 2013 blog

Capitals aim to put on a show for Stirling-Rawdon

BELLEVILLE, Ontario – When Alex Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals teammates arrived at Yardmen Arena for the morning skate Saturday in preparation for the evening's Kraft Hockeyville game against the Winnipeg Jets (7 p.m. ET, CBC, NHL Network-U.S.), they had a large crowd waiting to greet them.

Plenty of autographs were signed and handshakes exchanged as one of the biggest stars in the world was center stage in a town that normally doesn't host NHL games. The Capitals' captain said he's ready to put on a show for the people of Stirling-Rawdon and its surrounding communities as the puck drops on the NHL preseason.

"It's good for people, it's good for fans," Ovechkin said. "People are excited right now, so we're just going to give them a good time to spend tonight."

Posted On Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 4:01 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Kraft Hockeyville 2013 blog

Belleville alumni happy to be back in town

BELLEVILLE, Ontario – When the Winnipeg Jets and Washington Capitals were announced as the teams that would compete in the 2013 Kraft Hockeyville game at Yardmen Arena, a few players were overjoyed.

Eric Tangradi and the Jets arrived in town Friday night, and the 24-year-old forward quickly met up for dinner with Rob and Ilene Cook, his billets during his time with the Belleville Bulls from 2006-09. The memories immediately began to flow back.

Posted On Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 10:09 AM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Kraft Hockeyville 2013 blog

Cheveldayoff, Jets return to Kraft Hockeyville

BELLEVILLE, Ontario – For the second time in three years, the Winnipeg Jets will be participating in the Kraft Hockeyville preseason game as they face the Washington Capitals on Saturday night at Yardmen Arena.

They're thrilled to be back.

"I think the whole concept around Hockeyville is just an exciting time," Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff told NHL.com in an exclusive interview Saturday morning. "It really brings everything back to the grass-roots level from all perspectives, especially from the guys' perspective. It's a little bit different than just a normal exhibition game. I think from that standpoint, it's exciting for them."

Posted On Friday, 09.13.2013 / 2:22 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Kraft Hockeyville 2013 blog

Ovechkin to join Capitals at Kraft Hockeyville

BELLEVILLE, Ontario – Good news for those who will be in town for the 2013 Kraft Hockeyville festivities: Alex Ovechkin will be in town.

NHL.com has learned that the Washington Capitals superstar will be among those in Stirling-Rawdon and Belleville when the team arrives here Saturday morning. The Capitals will face the Winnipeg Jets at Yardmen Arena on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (CBC, NHLN-U.S.).

It is not known yet if Ovechkin will play in the game, but he will definitely be in town. The 27-year-old right wing won the Hart Trophy last season as the NHL's Most Valuable Player. He had 32 goals and 24 assists in 48 games, leading the Capitals to the Southeast Division title.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 12:42 AM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Lack of power plays doesn't deter Bruins

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers power play certainly needs more work. Their penalty kill, however, hasn't had any of late at Madison Square Garden.

The Boston Bruins did not receive a power play in their 2-1 victory against the Rangers in Game 3 of this Eastern Conference Semifinal series Tuesday night. New York went 0-for-2 and has received the past 11 man-advantages awarded in its building.

That might be a frustrating statistic for most teams, but the Bruins managed to keep their focus in Game 3 and came away with a victory that has the Rangers on the brink of elimination heading into Thursday's Game 4.

Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 2:42 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Essensa gets to turn back the clock at morning skate

NEW YORK -- More than a decade has passed since Bob Essensa played in an NHL game. But on Tuesday morning, the 48-year-old was facing shots again.

The Boston Bruins goaltending coach took Tuukka Rask's spot on the ice at Madison Square Garden for the team's optional skate prior to Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the New York Rangers (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

One of the lighter moments came when Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk ripped a slap shot Essensa didn't even try to stop. He wasn't about to make any quick movements that weren't going to agree with his body.

"Anything I had to reach for … yeah," he said to reporters. "Just like the good old days."

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Quote of the Day

He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL. I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this.

— U.S. National Junior Team coach Ron Wilson on Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft