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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Sunday, 10.12.2014 / 7:10 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Maple Leafs at Rangers

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward Rick Nash is in the lineup Sunday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden despite his wife going into labor earlier in the day.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said approximately two hours prior to the game that Nash would be a game-time decision, but the coach also said the latest word was that Nash's wife, Jessica, might not give birth until Monday, in which case he would make it to the arena in time to play.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 5:45 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Sharks' McLellan upbeat, excited to be in L.A.

LOS ANGELES -- San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan is embracing the chance to be a part of the Los Angeles Kings big night.

"We're entertainers," McLellan said Wednesday morning. "We come to the rink and we perform for the fans, whether they're the road fans or the home fans. And this should be a very entertaining game. It's a great rivalry and it should be the opening game, at least out west."

When the puck finally drops at Staples Center, McLellan wants his players to use to their advantage the raw emotion they'll inevitable feel knowing the Kings are raising their Stanley Cup championship banner, raising it almost right in the face of the Sharks. He wants his players to use to their advantage the bitter and still fresh memories of what could have been for the Sharks last season.

They blew a 3-0 series lead to the Kings in the Western Conference First Round. They have been reminded about that a lot in the lead-up to this game.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 11:00 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's mailbag - Oct. 8, 2014

Here is the Oct. 8 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday during the season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

The New Jersey Devils appear to have four young defensemen and three veterans in their top seven. How do you see the playing time being split up? Is Eric Gelinas most likely to sit? Peter DeBoer seems to favor Jon Merrill and Damon Severson might be the best. -- @MattSuszko

First off, this should be an exciting time for Devils fans because their defense is loaded with potential. I would not be surprised if the three veterans -- Andy Greene, Bryce Salvador and Marek Zidlicky -- paired with three young players. I'm not 100-percent certain of DeBoer's affinity for having three lefty-righty pairs, but it could work as the Devils will have four lefties and three righties. In this equation, it's possible that Gelinas sits as the fourth lefty. It won't be Greene, Salvador or Merrill. That would put Severson in the opening-night lineup. But that's just my theory.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 1:00 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Maple Leafs' Dubas on analytics, publicity and more

Kyle Dubas' stock in the hockey world soared during the summer as he went from a bright, young executive in the Ontario Hockey League to a bright, young executive in the National Hockey League in what seemed like a blink of an eye.

Dubas, the assistant general manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs, sat down with NHL.com for a 20-minute interview inside Air Canada Centre at the start of training camp. He talked about everything his new job has to offer, including the challenges.

Some of what he spoke about was included in a feature on the developing three-way relationship between Dubas, Toronto president Brendan Shanahan and general manager Dave Nonis.

Here are five questions and answers that were left on the proverbial editing-room floor. It's Dubas talking about the publicity he has received since being hired in July and labeled as the Maple Leafs' new analytics guru, analytics in general, how he is integrating change into the organization and more:

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 10:31 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Sharks' Couture on leadership, Thornton and Marleau

LOS ANGELES -- San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture has heard about how he's supposed to take on a bigger role in the dressing room this season, and about how it's time for him to start filling the shoes of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau as the Sharks transition their leadership responsibilities to their younger core players.

Couture understands all that and appreciates it, but he also sees one problem with it.

"Those guys are still around and they're still leaders on our team," Couture said of Thornton and Marleau during a phone interview Monday. "Both of those guys are looked up to by a lot of players in the dressing room and they mean a lot to the organization and to the guys in the dressing room."

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.01.2014 / 6:00 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Lightning's Cooper won't rush Drouin

Tampa Bay Lightning rookie forward Jonathan Drouin saying, as he did Tuesday according to the Tampa Bay Times, that he hopes to be ready to play in the season-opener next week isn't enough to convince coach Jon Cooper that he should rush him into action.

Drouin hasn't played in the preseason because of a fractured right thumb. The Lightning open the season Oct. 9 against the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena.

"He hasn't even started practicing with us yet," Cooper said in a phone interview Wednesday. "He skates around, but he can't touch pucks. We're about a week away from opening night. Do the math in that respect. He may be ready but I just don't know if he'll be game-ready to play."

Cooper said he hasn't seen enough of Drouin competing against NHL players yet. He has to see that before he puts Drouin in the lineup.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.01.2014 / 1:00 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's mailbag - Oct. 1, 2014

Here is the Oct. 1, 2014 edition of Dan Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday during the season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

Will Jiri Sekac make the Montreal Canadiens roster, and if so is he worth picking up? -- @swandad

All indications are that he will make the roster and be in the opening night lineup Oct. 8 at Air Canada Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sekac appears targeted to play with Rene Bourque and Lars Eller to start the season. If he can make it work with those two, that should be a good line for the Canadiens. And I'm very high on the Canadiens this season.

As for the fantasy part of your question, it's a risky pick. I'm not an expert in this, though I am playing fantasy hockey this season for the first time in a long time. Sekac never has played a real game against NHL competition and it's unlikely that he'll receive time on the power play. If he's available in the later rounds and you like your team and are willing to take a risk then go for it.
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Posted On Wednesday, 10.01.2014 / 10:05 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Parise likes Wild's top-six forward group

Zach Parise feels the Minnesota Wild will enter the season with a defined top-six forward group for the first time since he's been on the team. Parise is entering his third season in Minnesota.

The group features Parise, Mikko Koivu, Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek, Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund.

"It's great for us, and there's a few guys even that if something does happen that can slide right in there and do well," Parise said. "We do have a pretty definitive top six right now, which is going to be really good for us."

The Wild appear ready to enter the season with Koivu and Parise playing apart from each other. They were regular linemates last season. Koivu (6-foot-3, 222 pounds) has been centering a big line with Vanek (6-0, 217) and Coyle (6-3, 221) throughout preseason.

"We needed some size up front and that'll be a good line for us," Parise said.

Parise has been on the left side of a line with Granlund (at center) and Pominville, but his history with Koivu will give coach Mike Yeo the confidence to move Vanek and Parise back and forth between the top-two lines whenever he wants to.

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Posted On Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 6:41 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Bettman: World Cup talks with players ongoing

NEW YORK -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday that discussions between the League and the NHL Players' Association about bringing back the World Cup of Hockey are ongoing, but he didn't have an update as to where they stand.

The World Cup hasn't been contested since 2004.

"At this point to announce we were doing a World Cup would be silly," Commissioner Bettman said. "We want to be in a position to have an agreement on essential terms so if and when we're ready to announce it we can give you details because you're going to have lots of questions. We want to make sure we have as many answers as possible."


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Posted On Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 11:58 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Maple Leafs' Kadri looking to take next step in career

For all the publicity he's received and the controversy he's been in over the five years he's been with the Toronto Maple Leafs, center Nazem Kadri has technically played one full, lockout-free NHL season, and even then it was 78 games last season, not 82.

Maybe that's why on the first day of training camp general manager Dave Nonis said for Kadri to be successful this season he "has to be prepared to compete for 82 games. If he is then he's going to have a very good year."

Nonis' words suggested he doesn't think Kadri has shown a level of consistency commensurate with his ability and the hype he has gotten since he was selected with the seventh pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. It's a fair assessment, one even Kadri would agree with.

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Quote of the Day

I was going nuts and I saw [Subban], he was going crazy, and the ref had no idea where to go. [Subban] was skating to me, and I was skating to him and the ref was right in between us and I don't know, I kind of hit him pretty hard, I thought, but those were some emotions and I'm pretty sure he understands that.

— Montreal forward Alex Galchenyuk on the celebration following his OT goal against Ottawa in Game 2