We have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the NHL’s online services, you agree to these updated documents and to the arbitration of disputes.
Welcome |Account|Sign Out 
NEW! SIGN IN WITH YOUR SOCIAL PROFILE
OR
Username or EmailPassword
 
SHARE
Posted On Wednesday, 02.08.2012 / 7:47 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Keenan talks current state of the Rangers

LAS VEGAS -- Ex-Rangers coach Mike Keenan envisions his old team as being a tough out come playoff time because they're built to withstand the rigors of a physical series.

"That's the way they're built," Keenan told NHL.com Wednesday from the Las Vegas Ice Center, where he was scouting players he will wind up coaching at Wayne Gretzky's Fantasy Hockey Camp. "You can't be running out, waving a flag and declaring that this is a dynasty. But, their work ethic, goaltending and their team defensive posture has done it for them."

Keenan, who is a part-time analyst for Rangers' broadcasts on the MSG Network, isn't ready to plan the victory parade down the Canyon of Heroes just yet, but he appreciates the team philosophy and dynamic coach John Tortorella has crafted in New York.

"Early in the season, at least by November, I picked up the fact that they were one of the hardest working teams in the League and hard to play against," Keenan said. "John has them playing a defensive style and a physical style. They are a competitive group. They work well together. They have defensive posture and are willing to sacrifice for each other. And, they play a real demanding, physical style based on the players they have."

The last part is important to note because with the trade deadline quickly approaching (3 p.m. ET on Feb. 27), Keenan is wondering what, if anything, the Rangers will do? He noted that they're not among the top teams in scoring this season (13th entering play Wednesday) and that both Brandon Dubinsky and Brian Boyle are having down years offensively based on what they did a season ago.

Dubinsky had 24 goals last season, but only six so far this season. Boyle had 21 goals last season, but only four so far this season.

Keenan said the key is for teams such as the Rangers, who are in first place in the Eastern Conference, to not be afraid to pull the trigger on a deal.

"The New York Rangers were in first place at the trading deadline in 1994 and we made very significant trades to improve the team," Keenan said. "People said, 'What are you doing?' I said, 'Well, through my experience, I have already been to the Cup Final three times and have a pretty good handle on what the ingredients are for success in the playoffs.' There is an ingredient that you know and understand that you need. John Tortorella and Glen Sather both won the Cup so they know what the ingredients are. If they can find that ingredient that they don't have, then they should do that."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Wednesday, 02.08.2012 / 4:27 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Roenick ready for first crack at Gretzky camp

LAS VEGAS -- The always gregarious Jeremy Roenick will arrive here Thursday morning to take part in his first Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp, and he told NHL.com on Wednesday that he can't wait for it.

"Just to be invited by Gretz was awesome," Roenick said. "I love that."

But, more to the point, Roenick is looking forward to getting on the ice and getting to hang out with the guys who will be known as campers this week.

"To be around other people, all these fans, that get to pay and hang out with us, get on the ice with us -- I love fan interaction," he said. "It's one of my favorite things about being a professional hockey player, so I'm looking forward to meeting some of the guys, the people that supported me for so long, getting on the ice with them and maybe getting to teach them a couple of things."

He's also interested in getting a chance to catch up with some of his old colleagues and teammates that will join him as the former players in camp.

"There will be some storytelling," Roenick said.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Wednesday, 02.08.2012 / 3:21 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Back in Vegas with No. 99

LAS VEGAS -- We're back in the glitziest town in the U.S.A. for the Great One's Fantasy Camp.

Wayne Gretzky has again allowed NHL.com to go behind the scenes at his annual camp that gives regular house league heroes the opportunity to skate and play both with and against No. 99 and some of his buddies on the ice at a rink a short distance away from the famous Las Vegas Boulevard.

Talk about a welcome break from trade rumors.

The list of former players that are scheduled to attend is a who's who, including Brett Hull, Brian Leetch, Grant Fuhr, Guy Carbonneau, Marty McSorley, Jeremy Roenick, Curtis Joseph, Rick Tocchet, Russ Courtnall and Geoff Courtnall. Bobby Hull and Mike Keenan are also on the list, though Keenan is scheduled to be a coach along with Cap Roeder.

The international group of "campers" here are from all walks of life. They're doctors, dentists, attorneys, businessmen, whatever -- but for a few brief days they pay to play against and party with some of their hockey heroes, including Gretzky himself.

Our own E.J. Hradek, who will be shooting segments for NHL Live from the Bellagio, is one of the guys that will get on the ice and test his skills against some of the best to ever lace 'em up in the NHL. I'll promise not to rip on E.J. too much in this blog before I depart Vegas on a red-eye flight late Friday night, but promises can be broken.

It's all on you to perform, E.J.

Really, though, this blog is here to serve you, the reader that is not here in Vegas.

What does Leetch think of the Rangers' chances to do what the New York Giants just did and what he did back in 1994, parade down the Canyon of Heroes in lower Manhattan?

What does Brett Hull think of the job his old coach, Ken Hitchcock, is doing with the Blues this season?

Does Fuhr have some opinions on the game's best goaltenders?

What does Keenan have to say about the job John Tortorella is doing with the Rangers?

Does McSorley have an opinion on the best fighters and antagonists in the NHL today?

Do Tocchet and Carbonneau want to coach again?

And, most important of all, what does Gretzky think of all of the above and more?

The goal from now until that red-eye takes off is to have answers to all of those questions and more right here in this blog.

Stay tuned.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Sunday, 02.05.2012 / 11:33 AM

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

Henrique returns to Devils lineup

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils rookie center Adam Henrique will return to the lineup Sunday afternoon for the first time since the All-Star break. Henrique has missed the last three games, all Devil wins, with a sore groin.

Devils coach Pete DeBoer said prior to the Devils game against Pittsburgh that he still isn't sure on what line he'll use Henrique. He's played the bulk of his even-strength shifts between Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise.

The Devils had to activate Henrique off injured reserve, and to do that they sent Peter Harrold back to Albany of the AHL.

"We're shooting around some line combinations now," DeBoer said roughly two hours before gametime. "We'll see how he feels after he gets through warmups before we commit to any combinations and how much he'll play, but it's big having him back. He's been a point a game guy practically the entire year. He plays all situations -- PK, PP, regular shift. He's defensively reliable and he can make other players better. We missed him. It's nice to have him back."

Henrique played in the final three games before the All-Star break, but he was held without a point. He missed the two previous games, Jan. 14 at Winnipeg and Jan. 17 at home against the Jets with a groin injury.

Martin Brodeur will start in net for New Jersey after watching Johan Hedberg make 37 saves in a 6-4 win over the Flyers on Saturday.

Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will play opposite Brodeur. Fleury was brilliant in a 2-1 win at Boston on Saturday. He made 28 saves, including eight in the third period.

The Penguins had to endure a physical battle against the Bruins to pick up the one-goal victory while the Devils jumped out to a 6-0 lead over the Flyers. They essentially put it on cruise control in the third period, which allowed Philadelphia to mount a comeback in the third period.

Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said it's essential that the physicality the Penguins had to use Saturday carries over into the start of Sunday's game.

"Clearly they were two different types of games (Saturday)," Bylsma said. "Did they (the Devils) take their foot off the gas? With back to back games, did they look to conserve a little? Maybe they did. That certainly wasn't the case for our game. Our game got turned up as it went along, the physicality in the game was certainly there from our team, and that's where we have to be right off the hop (Sunday).

"Can we get a team that maybe has to restart after shutting it down for the last half of the game? I don't know if there is much carryover, but I'd like to prove that. I'd like to come right out and prove that there is carryover."

DeBoer doesn't necessarily care how the Devils won Saturday; he just knows it was their third win in a row, and second in as many games against teams that are ahead of them in the standings. The Devils also beat the Rangers in a shootout on Tuesday.

They can make it three straight against the three teams ahead of them in the Atlantic Division standings on Sunday.

"You guys were talking a week ago that we hadn't beaten the best teams in the League and this week I think we've made a statement and have," DeBoer said. "They haven't been textbook wins, but we've found a way to win. Good teams make you look bad in different stretches, and that is what has happened in a couple of them, but full marks to our group for playing shorthanded and finding a way to win games. This is another tough one. It's four in six and a half days here, and we've got to find some energy."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 12:48 PM

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

Kostitsyn sees ice time dropping for Canadiens

Andrei Kostitsyn had 4 points over the last three games before the All-Star break, but his minutes have been precipitously dropping over the last four games and now he's being demoted to the fourth line. Kostitsyn is expected to start Thursday's game against the Devils at Prudential Center as the left wing on the fourth line with Louis Leblanc and Yannick Weber.

Over the last six games, Kostitsyn has averaged roughly 14 minutes per game, topping out at 17:12 in a shootout loss to Pittsburgh on Jan. 20, when he had a goal and an assist. He's been limited to fewer than 14 minutes of ice time in four of the last six games after having the same thing happen only four times in his first 34 games.

The Canadiens have had only four power-play opportunities totaling 5:09 in the last two games, but Kostitsyn saw only five seconds of ice time on the extra-man unit. He had been getting a regular shift on the power play.

Mathieu Darche has been bumped up to third-line duty to play with Lars Eller and Mike Blunden.

Carey Price will start in net opposite Martin Brodeur. Chris Campoli will be a healthy scratch.

Here are the Canadiens' lines, D-pairs and goalies for Thursday's game:

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Erik Cole
Rene Bourque - Tomas Plekanec - Scott Gomez
Mathieu Darche - Lars Eller - Mike Blunden
Andrei Kostitsyn - Louis Leblanc - Yannick Weber

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban
Hal Gill - Raphael Diaz
Tomas Kaberle - Alexei Emelin

Carey Price
Peter Budaj

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 01.31.2012 / 12:32 PM

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

Parise's focus on ice, would like to stay in New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils captain Zach Parise is close with Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter, and he got a good laugh during the All-Star break when he learned Suter's comments about not wanting to negotiate a new contract prior to the Feb. 27 trade deadline became big news.

Parise, though, is smart enough to realize he's in the same position as Suter, since both are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 and thus could be subject to trade rumors.

Parise told NHL.com on Tuesday that he'd like to remain in New Jersey and he's willing to begin negotiations on a new contract, but he doesn't expect Devils GM Lou Lamoriello to initiate talks during the season.

The only time under the current CBA that Lamoriello has signed one of the Devils' potential unrestricted free agents during the season was back in January of 2006 when he got Martin Brodeur to sign a six-year, $31.2 million extension.

"I know that Lou has always been the type to not do it (negotiate contracts) during the season because it's going to be a distraction, and I understand that," said Parise, who avoided arbitration this past summer by signing a one-year, $6 million contract on July 29. "It can be stressful, which it already is without having any talks. So, I just know that that's the way they've done it around here."

Parise said he understands his name could come up in trade rumors between now and the trade deadline, but he's hopeful that if the Devils remain in the race for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference he won't have to worry about any of the rumors coming true. He added that he's not worried about the potential for rumors because there's so much going on with the team, the season and the playoff chase to keep his focus.

"That's people's jobs, to try to make rumors and say this could happen or this could happen," Parise said. "Really only here (in the dressing room) and people in the office know what is going on, so I don't pay attention to the rumors. I know just from working with Lou, unless it comes out of his mouth I don't believe anything when it is a rumor with our team because everything is so in-house and closed doors.

"Sometimes it's out of your hands, but hopefully we'll be in the mix and we won't have to have that conversation."

Parise admitted that the possibility of getting to July 1 without a new contract is something he thinks about.

"But I think there is a lot of time from when the season ends, even if you go to the Cup Final," he said. "There is time once the season ends to worry about that, but who knows. Something could happen tomorrow. I don't really know right now.

"We just haven't gotten to that point yet."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 01.31.2012 / 12:14 PM

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

No easing in to stretch run as Devils face Rangers

NEWARK, N.J. -- Zach Parise got to go home to Minnesota over the All-Star break to work on some of the planning for his summer wedding. He hopefully got a lot of it done, because for the foreseeable future his focus is going to be squarely on the Devils' playoff chase.

It resumes Tuesday night against the New York Rangers at Prudential Center. Martin Brodeur will get the start against Rangers' backup Martin Biron.

"I don't think the intensity part is going to be missing," Parise said after the Devils brief morning skate. "When you come back from a long layoff games can be sloppy, there's no question, and sometimes you have that feeling out first period. But I think it helps that we're playing these guys. These games bring out the best in both teams."

Asked if the Rangers were the perfect first opponent for the Devils coming out of the long break, coach Pete DeBoer said "absolutely."

"For us, listen, they're all intense and we can't take anyone lightly, but obviously the rivalry with the Rangers and where they're at, it definitely makes the motivating speech the coach has to use a lot shorter than on a normal night," DeBoer said.

New Jersey got some good news Tuesday morning when defenseman Andy Greene said he was good to go for the first time since Dec. 6, when he broke his left foot.

DeBoer hinted that he maybe would have preferred to keep Greene sidelined one more game due to the fact that he had only one practice with the team (Monday). But since the Devils are also missing Henrik Tallinder (blood clot), Travis Zajac (sore Achilles) and Adam Henrique (sore groin), DeBoer said they didn't have the luxury to keep Greene out another game once he was cleared to play.

Steve Bernier, who was called up Sunday from AHL Albany, will make his Devils debut on the third line.

"(Greene's) been skating for a week, his conditioning will be good, but he hasn't been in the battles, been bumped, and done those things yet," DeBoer said. "So I'm sure there is going to be some adjustment coming back into that, but other than that I don't have any (reservations)."

The Devils need Greene and all the healthy bodies they can get. They come out of the break in eighth place in the Eastern Conference due to a games-played tiebreaker over the ninth-place Maple Leafs.

Eleven of their last 34 games will come against the three teams ahead of them in the Atlantic Division standings, including five against the Rangers.

"That's 10 points right there, and we need every point we can get right now," Parise said of the games against the Rangers. "We know how well they're playing, but if we want to find ourselves in the top eight at the end of the season these games are going to be really important against the Rangers."

Here were the Devils' lines and D pairs that were listed on the whiteboard inside the team's dressing room Tuesday morning:

Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - David Clarkson
Zach Parise - Dainius Zubrus - Ilya Kovalchuk
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Jacob Josefson - Steve Bernier
Eric Boulton - Ryan Carter - Brad Mills

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Adam Larsson
Anton Volchenkov - Kurtis Foster

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl


Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 01.31.2012 / 12:08 PM

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

Devils get Greene back from broken foot

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Devils are getting defenseman Andy Greene back in time to get him up to speed for the sprint to the finish line of the 2011-12 regular season.

Greene, who missed the last 22 games due to a broken left foot, will be in the lineup Tuesday night against the Rangers at Prudential Center. He hasn't played since Dec. 6.

"There's no better game to get right back into it," said Greene, who has 9 assists and is averaging 18:24 of ice time in 23 games this season. "It's going to be an exciting game (against the Rangers), some playoff-type action. Pretty much all the games from here on out are, but this one being the Rangers will obviously have more intensity and it means a little bit more."

Greene didn't practice with the Devils until Monday, but said he spent the All-Star break skating with a few of his teammates. He feels he's in game shape, but he knows that he'll have to focus on keeping things simple Tuesday night because he still has to get his timing back.

"I think we're going to probably have to manage his ice time," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. "We'll see how he is. A lot of times these guys come back in this situation and the first game on adrenaline they're really good and then they hit the wall a day or two down the road, so it may be something we might have to watch as the week goes on. I expect him to be fine (Tuesday night)."

DeBoer said he still isn't sure who Greene will play with to start the game, but he was listed next to Mark Fayne on the whiteboard inside the Devils' dressing room.

"After a few shifts I think I'll be back up to speed," Greene said, "but I have to keep it simple and try not to get caught in bad situations."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Friday, 01.27.2012 / 6:29 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend blog

Phaneuf: Canadian flavor adds to All-Star buzz


OTTAWA -- Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf said Friday that having the NHL All-Star Game in a Canadian city has added a new level of excitement for him.

"Look at the city, you can feel the buzz," Phaneuf said. "This is the first one in a Canadian city that I've been to, and it's an honor to be here. To take part in an All-Star Game in a Canadian city is a lot of fun. They're doing a great job of hosting this event."

Phaneuf was then asked a question pertaining to Alex Ovechkin's absence from the event.

"He's entitled to make his choice," Phaneuf said. "I know I'm enjoying being here."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
 
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 01.26.2012 / 7:28 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend blog

Chara talks All-Star Player Fantasy Draft strategy

GATINEAU, Que. -- All-Star captain Zdeno Chara has a strategy in mind for the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft, but he's also expecting his plan to blow up soon after the first pick is made.

"You have some ideas, but I'm not going to lock into them too much," Chara said roughly an hour before the draft was set to begin. "How wrong can you go when you have such a great group of guys in here. You're going to try to do some picks so you don't pick all right wingers. You have to try to select it by position, but we all know that everybody can play."

Chara said because everyone here is an All-Star, it shouldn't matter who gets picked first and who gets picked last even if those are the two most intriguing picks of the night.

"You want to have a little fun with it, but you also try to make real selections," Chara said. "But, really there is no true first pick or true last pick. Everybody is such a good player that they deserve to be here. This is more to make the whole All-Star event more exciting for fans and people around hockey. I guess you have to pick somebody first and somebody is going to be last, but to me it's just something that creates more excitement."

Joffrey Lupul, Chara's assistant here at All-Star weekend, added that it's not all that bad if you're the final pick.

The reward last year for Phil Kessel was a brand new Honda CR-V.

"I know Phil looked uncomfortable up there last year, but he still has a car," Lupul said.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
First | Prev | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46-51 | Next | Last
Quote of the Day

He seemed to thrive on his own and didn't really need any push from me. I certainly don't want to get in the way of the coaches. You see how that goes sometimes. I never really worried about it and just enjoyed the ride.

— David Ekblad on his son's [Aaron Ekblad] journey to the NHL, signing with the Florida Panthers