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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 10:35 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Rangers Camp: Torts expects to take 30-32 to Europe

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Rangers will only be conducting half of their preseason here in North America before they head to Europe for a two-week stretch that includes four exhibition games in five nights in four different countries. They open the regular season in Stockholm with games against Los Angeles and Anaheim on Oct. 7 and 8.

So, with so much travel and a plethora of games coming up in foreign countries, they have to take more than the final roster plus an extra goalie to Europe. Coach John Tortorella said Friday that he expects to have between 30 and 32 players on the plane to Prague after the Rangers play their final North America preseason game Sept. 26 in Philadelphia.

That, of course, gives more players a chance to get an up-close look at earning roster spots that may or may not be available.
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 10:18 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Rangers Camp: Dubinsky feels no leg pain

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Brandon Dubinsky reports no problems with his left leg, which bothered him last season after he had to miss five games in January because of a stress fracture. Dubinsky also said he changed his skate boots and adjusted his offseason training program in order to make sure the problem doesn't arise again.

In order to keep the amount of pounding on his legs down, Dubinsky moved into a softer boot and stopped jogging. He did not run in the Rangers two-mile timed run Friday and won't do it Saturday either. He's doing conditioning bike rides instead.

The bike, in fact, is something Dubinsky has become quite familiar with. He rode a stationary bike this summer and worked on a machine that simulates running but keeps the stress on his legs and knees to a minimum.

"We're not exactly sure what happened or what caused it, but there is no pain now where last year there was certainly some pain and a lot of complaining before we did the testing and found out what it was," Dubinsky said.

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Posted On Thursday, 09.08.2011 / 3:17 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 Player Media Tour

Halak strikes pose at Media Tour

Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak found his first day at the Player Media Tour to be more interesting than he could have ever anticipated.

"It has been fun and different to see how they are actually shooting the videos, to see all the behind-the-scenes stuff and people," Halak told NHL.com at the Prudential Center in Newark. "It's kind of cool. It's different when you're a part of it. You realize it doesn't take only one shot to make the scene, it takes more. It's not as easy as it looks."

Halak learned that quickly Thursday as he went to the EA Sports station early in the morning.

"I was just standing on a circle and it was slowly spinning," Halak said. "I was doing my goalie pose and they were telling me not to look at the camera, look behind. I did that like five times. I was just standing there in my goalie pose, and that was kind of hard."
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Posted On Thursday, 09.08.2011 / 12:03 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 Player Media Tour

Always keep a watch at PMT

NEWARK, N.J. -- One thing about being at the Player Media Tour is you better expect the unexpected.

For instance, while Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos were chatting about Gary Roberts' famous training techniques outside the NBC studio at Prudential Center, a small vehicle drove by with Jason Spezza in full uniform, skates included sitting on the flat bed.

Moments earlier, that same utility vehicle whizzed by with Andrew Ladd on the back, in full uniform.

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews waltzed by that same area, both munching on apples -- their healthy lunch.

As I made my way over to the NHL Studios area, Tim Thomas was going there from the other direction. Dion Phaneuf walked by with Leafs PR guy Pat Park, and both were looking for directions to the NBC studio.

Just down the hall, boys.

Meanwhile, as I sit here and write this blog on my Blackberry, Avs d-man Erik Johnson just came by to go in with NHL Studios to stand in front of a green screen and do promos for NHL Network.

To sum it up, these guys are everywhere today, so I better keep my eyes and ears open.
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Posted On Wednesday, 09.07.2011 / 10:21 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 Player Media Tour

Toews enjoys his PMT veteran status

NEW YORK -- Jonathan Toews remembers the first Player Media Tour he attended back in 2009.

"I was star struck," he told NHL.com. "I've come a long way."

Indeed he has. Instead of being star struck, the Blackhawks captain is now comfortable in his starry skin as he prepares to go through his third Player Media Tour.

"It means a lot to be considered a top guy that gets invited back," Toews said. "You want to be one of those guys that keeps getting invited back."

Toews, Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby and Henrik Lundqvist have attended all four Player Media Tour events in Manhattan.

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.07.2011 / 8:39 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 Player Media Tour

Kesler honored to be first Canuck at PMT

NEW YORK -- Ryan Kesler is still recovering from his offseason hip surgery and he remains devastated at losing two former teammates, Rick Rypien and Pavol Demitra, but here he is in the Big Apple with his wife, Andrea, experiencing the NHL Player Media Tour for the first time.

Kesler also wanted to point out in during our conversation tonight at the Versace Boutique that he is the first Canuck to attend the Player Media Tour.

He's happy to say so.

Since he plays in Vancouver, Kesler rarely gets a chance to visit New York. In fact, he said this is Andrea's first time in the city.

They unfortunately can't stay for too long because Ryan has to go to Vail to get his hip examined and Andrea has to get home to their two kids to begin what she called her super mom duties again.
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Posted On Wednesday, 09.07.2011 / 6:15 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 Player Media Tour

NHL stars take Manhattan

NEW YORK -- Stars of the National Hockey League are taking Manhattan this week for the 2011 Player Media Tour.

More than 30 players, including Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Corey Perry, Steven Stamkos and Tim Thomas, will take part in the League's third annual event that will take them to the NHL headquarters on Sixth Avenue as well as Prudential Center in Newark.

The event begins Wednesday night with an invite-only player cocktail party at the Versace Boutique on 5th Avenue.

The NHL in conjunction with the clubs has coordinated the Player Media Tour since 2008. This year's is going to be the biggest yet with more players than ever.
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Posted On Thursday, 08.18.2011 / 4:23 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - The Research Project

Will we be back here again next year?

Brendan Shanahan stopped short of calling the Research, Development and Orientation Camp an annual event, but the value of it for the League, the clubs, players and attending media has grown in leaps and bounds from last year to this year that it'd be strange to think of not having this event next year as well.

"We're still talking about it," Shanahan said. "We've done it two years in a row and we'll take a step back to see if we do it annually. I know there would be some disappointed 17 year olds if we didn't do it next year, so we'll see."

That's just the thing about this camp, the orientation aspect for the top draft-eligible prospects has become such an important element. Testing potential rule changes and technological innovations is certainly important for the NHL, but getting to know the top prospects that could be coming into the League soon should not be undervalued.

"We are doing research and development at a time when our game has never been better, and what we've stumbled upon is a great event for the best 17 year olds in North America," Shanahan said. "It's good for us to get to know them a bit, for them to get to know the NHL a little bit and to learn a few things about what to expect in their draft year. It was a fun event."

Shanahan even came away with a favorite rule change that was tested, one he wouldn't mind seeing one day soon in the NHL.

"I think in overtime to change ends and do the second period line change, the far line change really made a difference," he said. "I think 4-on-4 and 3-on-3 were both really exciting."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Thursday, 08.18.2011 / 2:01 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - The Research Project

Coach speak: Their favorites

After coaching three games that involved various different rule changes, Dan Bylsma and Dave Tippett were able to pick out what potential changes they liked best. Here are their favorites:

TIPPETT

No line change after going offside and the faceoff goes back into the offending team's zone

"It's a little bit the same as the icing rule, where you can't change and it goes back to the end zone. If they did that with offside also, that's an area where you can really exploit matchups. It's giving a team an advantage. Now, there are going to be some people who say just because you go offside, is it too much of an advantage? The one thing offside does is it stops the game, so you'd basically be penalized for stopping the game. Don't stop the game. Play fast, but there is going to be a consequence if you stop it with icing or offside. I know how hard it is when you ice the puck and you've got tired players on, a mismatch, it can change the outcome of games."

BYLSMA

Switch ends for overtime and start with four minutes of 4-on-4 and then go to three minutes of 3-on-3

"You'd get more games decided in the overtime. That's something I would like to see implemented in our game. All the good players are going to be on the ice more and the long change accentuates being tired. If it goes end-to-end and you get tired, I think more games will be decided in that overtime period than go to a shootout."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl


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Posted On Thursday, 08.18.2011 / 11:01 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - The Research Project

A real thinker

It happened late in the first period of Thursday morning's game here at RDO Camp. The Black team coached by Dave Tippett scored a goal on a 5-on-3 advantage, yet because of the rule change being tested, both of the offending players from Dan Bylsma's White team had to remain in the penalty box.

The 5-on-3 continued for another minute. Tippett's team didn't score another goal, but the message was sent.

A rule change that would force all penalties to be served in their entirety could have a great influence on the outcome of a game.

"Oh what a price to pay," Nashville GM David Poile told NHL.com. "I think we really would have to talk about that one long and hard."

Poile is on the fence on this potential rule change. He said he sees its merits, but he also questions if it would affect how the official calls the game.

"If it's a situation late in the game and you're shorthanded already, how will that influence a referee in calling a second penalty when he knows what the increased punishment is?" Poile said. "That's a tough one for me. I mean, I get it. It's not that i dislike it, but what would I vote for it right now? No."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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