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Posted On Thursday, 09.22.2011 / 12:45 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Hockeyville Hubbub

Let the fun begin!

It's that time of year again, as a small town in Newfoundland is set to be the home of Kraft Hockeyville this weekend.

With the festivities set to get under way in Conception Bay South on Saturday morning, work is currently being done by NHL ice guru Dan Craig and his crew at Robert French Memorial Stadium. The in-ice logos are going in as we speak, less than 48 hours before the NHL Alumni Clinics begin at 8 a.m. Newfoundland time (or 6:30 ET).

Alumni scheduled to participate in this weekend's events include Kris King, Patrick Lalime, Laurie Boschman, Shaun Van Allen and Mathieu Schneider.
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Posted On Friday, 09.09.2011 / 12:14 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 Player Media Tour

Campbell ready for new challenges with Panthers

Brian Campbell knows the task of helping turn the Florida Panthers into a contender is a challenging one. However, it's one he gracefully accepted back in June when he waived his no-trade clause to once again work with former Chicago Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon.

"It wasn't a case that I really wanted to leave Chicago," Campbell told NHL.com Friday morning during the 2011 Player Media Tour. "I enjoyed my time there and I liked everybody. I liked my lifestyle living in Chicago, and I still am. It was tough, but knowing and talking to Dale Tallon, I knew I could trust him from his days being in Chicago. He's a man of his word. Looking at all the scenarios, I felt it was the best thing for me personally, and that's what I had to look at. I was happy to make the move to South Florida."

Campbell, who helped the Blackhawks win a Stanley Cup in 2010, is joining an organization that hasn't made the playoffs for an NHL-record 10 consecutive seasons. But Tallon was awfully busy this summer signing talent that he hopes will end that dubious stretch. Campbell will be joined by newcomers such as Tomas Kopecky, Ed Jovanovski, Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann, Scottie Upshall and Sean Bergenheim when the puck drops on Oct. 8 against the New York Islanders.

"I do know some of the guys and I've played with some of them before, so it makes it a lot more comfortable walking into the dressing room," Campbell said. "All the guys that Dale brought in are character guys that have fun coming to the rink. They all want to compete every night. That's going to give us a chance to win.

"I feel like we're going to have success a lot quicker than people think. For us, as long as we think that in the locker room and know that it's playoffs or everything else is a failure and not acceptable, it's a good place to start. I think that's the mindset that we all need to have going into the season."

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Posted On Friday, 09.09.2011 / 10:37 AM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 Player Media Tour

Thomas' whirlwind summer coming to a close

A shortened whirlwind of a summer has all but come to a close for Tim Thomas.

The Boston Bruins goaltender is finished celebrating a season that saw him win a Vezina Trophy, a Conn Smythe Trophy and a Stanley Cup. With training camp just a week away, Thomas is one of dozens of players participating in the Player Media Tour. On Friday morning, the 37-year-old sat down with NHL.com and was asked to reflect on what has to be an unforgettable summer.

"There were a couple of times where I was able to appreciate it for a short period," Thomas said. "One was just watching the DVD. It reminded me of everything that happened. I think that's what made it kind of hard to appreciate to a certain extent. So many great things happened for us to win the Cup that even if I had the time, it's hard to wrap your mind around everything that had to go right -- the overtime goals, the save by Ryder, coming back in Montreal in the third period with Chris Kelly and Ryder scoring that overtime goal -- the list just goes on and on and on. It's part of what makes it great, but it's also part of what makes it hard to totally soak in and say, 'Wow.' "

Thomas appeared in 57 regular-season games in 2010-11 and went 35-11-9 with a 2.00 goals-against average and an NHL-record .938 save percentage. He followed up with one of more remarkable postseasons in recent memory as he posted a 1.98 GAA, .940 save percentage and four shutouts in 25 games. One might recall that Thomas was Boston's backup goalie during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs and shortly thereafter underwent major hip surgery.

"It was not even knowing for sure whether you'd be able to get to anywhere near the level that I was the first time I won the Vezina (in 2009)," Thomas said. "I don't think it was retirement-serious at any point, but I didn't know if I was looking at spending the rest of my career as a highly-paid backup that was taking all the heat in the media and from the fans constantly."

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Posted On Thursday, 09.08.2011 / 1:21 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 Player Media Tour

Grabner 'outworks' Tavares at NHL Store

From the moment he found out he'd be facing John Tavares in a competition at the NHL Store Powered by Reebok, Michael Grabner knew he would be victorious.

The Calder Trophy finalist squeaked past his New York Islanders teammate Thursday afternoon in a skills competition that saw the pair attempt to sell T-shirts to consumers, as well as folding shirts and pressing their names and numbers on Isles' sweaters.

One thing Tavares learned after the competition, though -- Grabner had previous experience.

"It was a little rigged, but my first job was working in a hockey store … I was 14," the speedy Austrian winger said afterwards. "I was used to talking to customers and printing shirts and stuff like that. I'm one-up on Johnny to start the year. It's 1-0 and that's all that matters right now."

Not surprisingly, Tavares first earned his paycheck on the ice. He wasn't pleased in dropping the competition to Grabner, but he was humble in defeat.

"My first job was working for a goalie school," Tavares said. "It was definitely a lot easier than this. I think it was a little bit rigged, but I'll let Mike take this one."

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Posted On Thursday, 09.08.2011 / 1:14 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 Player Media Tour

Tavares would love the 'C'

When Doug Weight retired in May, it left the New York Islanders without a captain.

That vacancy is expected to be filled, with the most likely candidates being Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo. But if John Tavares joins that mix, that's just fine the third-year pro who turns 21 this month.

"I'd love to be (captain)," Tavares told NHL.com Thursday morning. "I definitely understand maybe I am still too young and just need to worry about the game, but if it was presented to me, it definitely would be something I would talk about and make sure it's the right decision for the group and for myself as well. I'd love to be a leader of this team.

"Mark Streit and Kyle are great guys and are going to be highly recommended, for sure. But I still feel I'll be a big leader no matter what, and I'll still have a lot of responsibility in a lot of ways. Whatever way it goes, it's going to be a guy that definitely deserves it and will do a great job at it. If I get the opportunity, it would be a huge honor."

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 9:02 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - NHL Awards Blog presented by GEICO

Perry grabs Hart Trophy

After carrying the Anaheim Ducks to the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season, Corey Perry was recognized by being named the Hart Memorial Trophy winner, which is given to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team. 

Perry appeared in all 82 games for the Ducks this season and led the club in both goals (50) and points (98). Nineteen of those goals came in the final 16 games of the season as Anaheim finished fourth in the Western Conference.
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Posted On Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 8:34 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - NHL Awards Blog presented by GEICO

St. Louis wins another Lady Byng

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis was awarded the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for a second straight season on Wednesday night.

The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is awarded "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of
sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."

St. Louis was the runaway winner with 70 first-place votes and a total of 994 points. Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom -- who won his seventh Norris Trophy on Wednesday night as the League's best defenseman -- finished second in the voting for the fifth time in his career. Lidstrom tallied 464 points.

Also a finalist for the Hart Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player, St. Louis had 31 goals, 68 assists and just 12 penalty minutes (which matched last season's career-low). He had points in each of the final nine games of the regular season and 15 of the last 17 to help the Lightning finish fifth in the Eastern Conference.

Tampa Bay rallied from a 3-1 series deficit in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games. The Lightning then swept the Washington Capitals in Round 2 before losing to the Boston Bruins in a tremendous seven-game Eastern Conference Final.

"This is a great honor to be here," St. Louis told the audience after repeating as the Lady Byng winner. "Thanks to the organization and everybody that has supported me all the way through this."

While St. Louis is now a two-time winner of the Lady Byng, Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk took the award home the previous four years (2006-09).




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Posted On Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 7:51 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - NHL Awards Blog presented by GEICO

Skinner wins the Calder Memorial Trophy

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy as the League's top rookie on Wednesday night.

Skinner, who turned 19 last month, was Carolina's first-round pick (No. 7) at the 2010 Entry Draft.

He appeared in all 82 games for the Hurricanes and 31 goals, 32 assists and 46 penalty minutes. His 63 points finished second on the club, trailing only veteran center Eric Staal (76).
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Posted On Monday, 06.13.2011 / 9:45 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Historic first period at TD Garden

History was made at TD Garden during the first period of Game 6 on Monday night.

During a wild opening 20 minutes, the Boston Bruins set the Stanley Cup Final record for the fastest four goals by one team as they accomplished the feat in 4:14. The previous record was 5:29, set in Game 4 of the 1956 Stanley Cup Final by the Montreal Canadiens against Detroit.

The  Bruins also tied the Stanley Cup Final record for the most first-period goals by one team. Twelve other teams scored four times in a first period, but it hadn't been done in 15 years, as the Colorado Avalanche were the last team to do it in 1996 against Florida.

Also, Brad Marchand's first-period goal made him the fifth rookie in NHL history with as many as nine goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He also became the 11th rookie with as many as 16 points in one postseason.

Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, who is 3-0 in Vancouver in this series, was pulled 8:35 into the first period Monday night. He has allowed 15 goals on 66 shots in Boston and has an 8.05 goals-against average and .773 save percentage.

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.08.2011 / 11:17 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Home-ice advantage is key at Stanley Cup Final

Once again, it's the home team that has reigned supreme in the Stanley Cup Final.

With the Boston Bruins' 4-0 win against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 4 at TD Garden on Wednesday night, home clubs improved to 4-0 in the Stanley Cup Final for the third consecutive season.

In 2009, the home team won the first six games before the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena. In 2010, the home team was 5-0 until Patrick Kane's goal lifted the Chicago Blackhawks over the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime of Game 6 at the Wells Fargo Center.

In the 20 years prior to 2009, the home team won the first four games just once. That happened in 2003, when the New Jersey Devils beat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in seven games.

With Boston's win on Wednesday night, home teams improved to 15-2 in the Stanley Cup Final since 2009.
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Quote of the Day

I'm sure [my father] was going crazy up there. I hope all of my friends were celebrating in the crowd. Coming back here and all of my friends and family are here, getting a goal in front of them is special.

— Blues forward Ryan Reaves on scoring the game-winning goal Sunday against the Jets in his hometown of Winnipeg
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