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Posted On Saturday, 09.24.2011 / 11:54 AM

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

Memories that will last a lifetime

Never in a million years did the citizens of Conception Bay South think the Stanley Cup would be on display in their town.

But on Saturday, hundreds lined up for the opportunity to have their picture taken with the most prestigious trophy in all of sports.

The excitement on the faces of adults and children alike is absolutely priceless. There are jerseys of several different teams -- Montreal, Boston, Calgary, Toronto and Pittsburgh, just to name a few -- being represented here.

But one young lad is standing out amongst the crowd.

Colin Hull, a 10-year-old from here in Conception Bay South, was wearing a Winnipeg Jets sweater -- the last one the club wore before it left for Phoenix in 1996. Colin wasn't alive then, but he was smiling ear to ear Saturday in his old-school jersey as his father took a picture of him with Lord Stanley.

"My dad bought it for me when he went to the MTS Centre in February," said Colin, who said he's still hoping his old man will score tickets for Monday's game between the Jets and Ottawa Senators that will take place at the Mile One Centre in nearby St. John's. "I'm a fan. I hope we get to go."
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Posted On Saturday, 09.24.2011 / 10:17 AM

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

Conception Bay South is buzzing

The 2011 Kraft Hockeyville festivities are now in full swing.

Parents have packed the stands here at Robert French Memorial Stadium and are taking pictures of their children on the ice, where former NHLers Kris King and Patrick Lalime are running drills.

We're also about 45 minutes away from the arrival of the most prestigious trophy in all of sports, the Stanley Cup. It will be present during a four-hour party, where Newfoundlanders can have their picture taken with the Cup and get autographs from NHL alumni.

Be sure to check in with NHL.com throughout the day.
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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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Quote of the Day

It's time we got a break. People that have watched us, I'm sure they said, 'Finally, some things are going our way.' We'll take the breaks when they go our way.

— Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien after a 3-2 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday to snap a three-game losing streak
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