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Posted On Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 12:48 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Stars' Dillon envisions Benn on line with Perry, Getzlaf

NEW YORK -- Dallas Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon predicts Canada will use a line of Jamie Benn, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He feels for any defensemen who would have to match up against a trio like that.

"I think that line would be pretty deadly," said Dillon, who visited the NHL offices Tuesday shortly after Canada announced its Olympic roster that included Benn, the Stars captain. "Just from playing against those two [Perry and Getzlaf] on their own and adding a third guy in there who can skate just as well, make plays just as well and is just as hard to handle down low … they should be OK."

As a defenseman, how would Dillon try to handle a line as big and skilled as one that features Benn on the left, Getzlaf in the middle and Perry on the right?

"Try to keep the puck away from them as much as you can, stay on offense," he said. "Even then those guys are up there in takeaways. Those guys, they're so good and they're two right-handers and a left-handed shot tossing it in there. Perry and Getzlaf, their chemistry says something already, and then Benn, playing with him for two years now, I mean he deserves all the accolades he's starting to get. One thing in Dallas is he's flying under the radar, but I think this is so good for him."


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Posted On Monday, 01.06.2014 / 6:46 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

New dad Okposo misses Isles' game vs. Stars

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo is not in the lineup Monday night against the Dallas Stars because his wife, Danielle, gave birth to the couple's first child earlier in the day.

Okposo announced the birth of his baby girl, Elliana Okposo, on his Twitter account while the Islanders were on the ice for warmups.


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Posted On Monday, 01.06.2014 / 12:56 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars to have Gonchar back, possibly Daley as well

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Dallas Stars will get one veteran defenseman back in the lineup Monday night at Nassau Coliseum and coach Lindy Ruff left open the possibility of another one returning as well.

Sergei Gonchar will play against the New York Islanders after missing the past six games with a concussion. Ruff said Trevor Daley, who has missed 14 straight games with an ankle injury, will be a game-time decision.

"I'll try to start with short shifts to pick up the tempo, get in a rhythm and then you slowly get back into it," Gonchar said. "That's the only way to do it. It doesn't matter if you're older or younger, you have to be smart about it. Obviously being out for so long and playing against a fast team like the Islanders, you have to make sure that you're ready and you're doing things right from the beginning."


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Posted On Monday, 01.06.2014 / 12:42 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Islanders' Okposo game-time decision; Bailey returns

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo will be a game-time decision Monday because his wife, Danielle, was at the hospital and due to give birth to the couple's first child.

Peter Regin is expected to play on the Islanders' top line with John Tavares and Thomas Vanek if Okposo is unable to go against the Dallas Stars at Nassau Coliseum.

Okposo went to the hospital Sunday night and was still there Monday morning.

"We'll know a little bit more here in a couple of hours," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said after the morning skate. "We knew going in what time she was going to go in. We knew he'd be there all night. Now it just depends on this morning, if things work out well, knock on wood, he gets his proper rest and he can play tonight."


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Posted On Wednesday, 01.01.2014 / 1:34 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Alfredsson in Winter Classic lineup for Red Wings

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Detroit Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson is playing in the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Wednesday, but center Darren Helm is not. Gustav Nyquist is playing in Helm's spot.

Alfredsson's status for the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs was in question because of back spasms that prevented him from playing Monday against the Nashville Predators.

Helm was a late scratch after skating in warm-ups. He reportedly has a sore groin and is day to day.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 5:36 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Bernier to start in goal for Maple Leafs

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Randy Carlyle didn't want to reveal his starting goalie for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, but there was a dead giveaway standing only a few feet away from the Toronto Maple Leafs coach during his post-practice press conference Tuesday.

Jonathan Bernier was waiting to talk to the media, but he also felt the need to wait until Carlyle left the press conference area before he confirmed that he'll be the Maple Leafs starter against the Detroit Red Wings at Michigan Stadium on Wednesday.

"Let's wait until Randy leaves," Bernier said laughing. "Yeah, I found out before practice so obviously it's great. It's great that he gave me the nod and being part of this whole history, it's pretty amazing."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 12:32 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Record number of tickets sold to 2014 Winter Classic

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins said Tuesday that the League has sold a record 105,500 tickets to the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. The League expects to set a record for attendance at a hockey game Wednesday when the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs square off at Michigan Stadium.

The current attendance record for a hockey game is 104,173, which was set at Michigan Stadium on Dec. 11, 2010 for The Big Chill at the Big House. A representative from Guinness World Records will be on hand Wednesday to verify the attendance at the Winter Classic to determine if the NHL beats The Big Chill record for attendance.

The tickets sold would suggest the NHL will break the record, but Collins is not ready to say that for sure.


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Posted On Monday, 12.30.2013 / 5:46 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Paul Maurice eager to get back behind the bench

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Paul Maurice is excited to cover his first Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic game as an NHL Network analyst, but the former coach of the Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs could think of a better way to experience the League's marquee regular-season event.

"What would be even better is if I got paid to coach in one of these games," Maurice told NHL.com.

The 46-year-old Maurice is interested in potentially getting that chance next season. He is working as a part-time television analyst mostly for TSN this season, but his desire is to get back into coaching after taking a year away following his one season with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.

Maurice has coached 1,084 NHL games and has 460 wins. In his first stint in Carolina, he led the Hurricanes to the 2002 Stanley Cup Final. He brought them to the 2009 Eastern Conference Final during his second stint.


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Posted On Monday, 12.30.2013 / 12:35 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Early reports positive on Winter Classic rink

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The cold weather and overcast skies here Monday are working in Dan Craig's favor as the NHL's Senior Director of Facilities Operations prepares the ice surface at Michigan Stadium for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Wednesday (1 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC).

Craig said a group of workers were the first to skate on the ice late Sunday night and the reports were good. Craig was not at The Big House to watch the skate or participate because he was helping out at Comerica Park for the Ontario Hockey League doubleheader that was played there Sunday.

"It was solid," Craig said of the reports he received. "Nothing that we haven't dealt with before. It doesn't matter what sheet of ice you have, you want to skate it in. We want two or three days of skating, that's why we would have loved to have the day before as well as [Sunday] night, but we'll work with what we've got."

The sun that covered the rink for most of the afternoon hours Friday and Saturday didn't allow for the ice to be ready for a skate Saturday night, but that's why the NHL built extra days into the schedule to allow for some leeway.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 6:28 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Winterizing Michigan Stadium a challenge for Classic

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Winterizing Michigan Stadium to host what could be more than 110,000 people for a major event in frigid conditions is one major obstacle the NHL and University of Michigan officials had to clear to pave the way for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

Michigan Stadium is typically shut down for the winter after the Wolverines' final home football game. The water is drained from all the stadium facilities and the plumbing and electricity are turned off for fear that the cold weather would force a pipe to burst.

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Quote of the Day

The biggest part for us is that it's a home game. We know how special the fans here are and how much the fan base has grown in the last decade, and how passionate they are. I don't think a lot of people around the hockey world know that or appreciate that yet, and I think that it's great that this city is getting recognition for how passionate they are about hockey.

— Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic