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Posted On Monday, 07.20.2015 / 4:38 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

St. Louis talks retirement, career, Rangers

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Martin St. Louis on Monday made his first public comments since announcing his retirement in a press release July 2. He spoke about why he decided to retire and what he will be doing now.

There was, however, more to St. Louis' near 20-minute press conference. Here are some more quotes and tidbits from St. Louis:

St. Louis said the fact that he is a retired hockey player has already hit him because he has so much free time this summer.

"It's the first time in my life there is no agenda," he said. "I don't have to go training. I don't have to answer to anybody. It's actually a really nice place to be. I have enjoyed being with my kids. Every summer I am anyway, but when you're training, you're preparing for a season there is always a little stress that comes with that in the preparation, are you ready, are you not ready, are you doing everything you can. Now there is none of that. None of that crosses my mind. It's definitely a great place to be."

Posted On Wednesday, 07.15.2015 / 4:41 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Perron's role undefined after Kessel joins Penguins

David Perron's immediate reaction was of excitement when the news broke on July 1 that the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Phil Kessel in a blockbuster trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"He's a guy that can certainly score 50 goals in a season," Perron told in a phone interview Wednesday from his offseason home in Magog, Quebec. "It's going to be fun to watch how he's going to react to everything."

Perron insists that at the time the Penguins made the trade he didn't consider what acquiring Kessel means for his spot on the Penguins' depth chart, and potentially in Pittsburgh's top-six group of forwards.

It's worth considering because Kessel's presence could have an effect on Perron.

Posted On Wednesday, 07.15.2015 / 2:45 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Led by Klingberg, potential is there for Stars defense

Maybe it was unfair to ask Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill on Wednesday to pick out the top defenseman on his depth chart right now, because the player who probably should be the Stars' top defenseman is 22 years old and has played in all of 65 games in the NHL.

"I think we got about four of them right now," Nill said. "John Klingberg, if he continues … "

Nill trailed off at that point, talking about outgrowing depth charts and the need to identify No. 1 defensemen because there are so few players in the NHL that fit into the category of superstars Shea Weber, Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith and Erik Karlsson.

"There's only six or seven of those guys in the game," Nill said.

Posted On Wednesday, 07.15.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's mailbag - July 15, 2015

Here is the July 15 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run periodically throughout the summer. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

As it sits now, how do you see the Central Division shaking out in the standings? -- @stevenlowry

Tough question because there are still some things to be sorted out with free agency and potential arbitration cases, but I'll give it a whirl (just don't hold me to it three months from now).

1. Minnesota Wild

2. St. Louis Blues

3. Chicago Blackhawks

4. Dallas Stars

5. Nashville Predators

6. Winnipeg Jets

7. Colorado Avalanche

That was actually way harder than I thought it would be. I'm not 100 percent sold on this order at all, but for now I'll leave it that way.

Posted On Tuesday, 07.14.2015 / 1:12 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Lightning's Drouin determined to make bigger impact

With his rookie season behind him, the question of whether forward Jonathan Drouin will be an impact player for the Tampa Bay Lightning early in his professional career is still up for debate.

Drouin, the No. 3 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, was 10th on the Lightning with 32 points in 70 games while playing 13:14 per game as a rookie last season. He was a healthy scratch for 20 of Tampa Bay's 26 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He had no points in the six games he played in, averaging 10:02 per game.

"Definitely I have a little chip on my shoulder training this summer and going into training camp," Drouin told in a phone interview from Montreal on Tuesday.

How that chip manifests itself will go a long way in determining how big Drouin's impact will be this season on the Lightning, who expect him to use the experience he gained through the adversity he faced last season as a way to improve himself so he can prove himself.

Posted On Wednesday, 07.08.2015 / 12:30 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Blues' Tarasenko turns focus to becoming a leader

Vladimir Tarasenko doesn't equate money to leadership, but the eight-year, $60 million contract he signed Tuesday is proof of how convinced the St. Louis Blues are that Tarasenko is a huge part of their future, which means he should be a big part of their leadership core too.

That's Tarasenko's next goal, to prove to his teammates that he is a leader.

"I worked hard the last three years to make the leadership group," said Tarasenko, who had 37 goals and 73 points last season. "I can handle the pressure, and if my teammates, my coach, and my general manager trust me, I will try and make them happy. That's how I grow up. My father and my grandfather tell me you need to be a leader everywhere, it doesn't matter who you're playing for. I will try."

Tarasenko defines a leader as someone whose actions speak loud enough that people have no choice but to follow him.

Posted On Wednesday, 07.08.2015 / 10:23 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's mailbag - July 8, 2015

Here is the July 8 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run periodically throughout the summer. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

Will Connor McDavid have an immediate impact on the Oilers, and what part of his game needs to improve the most? -- @lateinthegoldie

McDavid should have an immediate impact on the Oilers. He should be their No. 1 center, putting Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in a more friendly spot at No. 2, which is not a knock on him but instead more praise of McDavid to consider him to be good enough already to be a No. 1 center in the NHL. The Oilers could have McDavid, Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl as their top three centers. That's their present and future right there. There will be growing pains for McDavid, but his speed and skill will more than make up for them.

As for the part of his game that needs to improve the most, I consulted with my good friend Craig Button on this. Button has scouted McDavid over and over and over. He knows his game probably better than McDavid knows his own game. Button says that McDavid's shot needs to improve to the point where he can threaten NHL defensemen with it. The defensemen have to respect his shot, and when they do it'll open more options for McDavid to exploit the 'D'. The same thing happened to Sidney Crosby. He worked on his shot, and it became a weapon for him to score 50 goals once he got it to the point where the defensemen had to respect it as a threat. Scoring 50 again might be a stretch for Crosby, but 40 isn't if he plays with better wingers who can do some of the heavy lifting for him.

Posted On Tuesday, 07.07.2015 / 11:09 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Bylsma excited but measured about new-look Sabres

As much as Buffalo Sabres coach Dan Bylsma wants to keep a calm approach and his comments measured in the media, he can't help but use words like dramatic and big-time to describe what his boss was able to do for him and his new team on June 26.

"To have the ability to draft a player in Jack Eichel, that's a big day for your organization, that alone," Bylsma said during a phone interview. "To get a top-flight player in Ryan O'Reilly to your team, that's a big day. To get a young goaltender [Robin Lehner] and add him to your team, that's a significant day for the Buffalo Sabres. It all came on draft day. It's a dramatic day."

Drama wasn't what Tim Murray, the Sabres straight-talking general manager, was going for; it was a byproduct of what he did.

Posted On Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 4:11 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2015 Stanley Cup Final blog

Lightning goalie Bishop uncertain for Game 5

TAMPA -- It is unknown if Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop can play in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks at Amalie Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Bishop did not play in Game 4 on Wednesday after taking part in the morning skate. Andrei Vaslevskiy made 17 saves, and the Lightning lost 2-1 at United Center.

The best-of-7 series is tied at 2-2.

"[Ben will] come in [Friday] and be looked at by our top-shelf, top-notch medical team and decisions will be made, but it's day-to-day," Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness, said Thursday while handling the media duties for coach Jon Cooper.

Cooper in his postgame remarks Wednesday said, "[Bishop] is going to play again in this series, there's no question. I just don't know which game."

Posted On Sunday, 06.07.2015 / 3:01 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2015 Stanley Cup Final blog

Blackhawks could play van Riemsdyk, Bickell

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Sunday that he is at least contemplating changes to his lineup for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Quenneville said defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk and forward Bryan Bickell could play for the first time in the best-of-7 series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, which is tied 1-1. He did not elaborate any further or speculate on who would come out of the lineup if they did play.

Bickell was a surprise scratch in Game 1 on Wednesday after practicing the day before and taking part in the morning skate. Quenneville said after the game that Bickell was dealing with an upper-body injury and he is day-to-day. He was also scratched in Game 2 on Saturday.

"I think he's healthy," Quenneville said.

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Quote of the Day

[Stamkos] is a great teammate and a great leader, that's why he's got the 'C'. He brings that tremendous work ethic to the rink and he's one of the top players in the game. I know if I put the passes where they are supposed to be, there's a very good chance he's going to put it in the back of the net.

— Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin on linemate Steven Samkos
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