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Posted On Saturday, 12.21.2013 / 4:28 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Top prospect Kapanen out of WJC with injury

Kasperi Kapanen, one of the top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft and expected to be one of the top players for Finland at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, has a shoulder injury that will keep him out of the tournament.

Goran Stubb, NHL Director of European Scouting, tweeted Saturday that Kapanen will miss three weeks because of the injury. Finland's WJC team is in Sweden for final preparations before the tournament begins Dec. 26 in Malmo, but Stubb said Kapanen is expected to return to Finland.

Posted On Friday, 12.20.2013 / 8:52 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Sweden tops U,S. Juniors in WJC tune-up

Alexander Wennberg, a 2013 first-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, had a goal and three assists to lead the Swedish Junior National Team to a 4-2 victory against the United States in an exhibition game Friday in Angelholm, Sweden.

The U.S. National Junior Team will play a final exhibition match against Finland on Sunday before beginning preliminary-round action in Group A of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Dec. 26.

The U.S., which outshot Sweden 38-23, received third-period goals by Ryan Hartman (Plymouth Whalers; Chicago Blackhawks) and Daniel O'Regan (Boston University; San Jose Sharks). Goalie Anthony Stolarz (London Knights; Philadelphia Flyers) made 19 saves.

Posted On Friday, 12.20.2013 / 11:05 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live debates hot topics, talks hockey gifts

As we count down the final days before the NHL takes a Christmas break, NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, gets you ready for the five games on the Friday schedule and also finishes #HockeyHolidays week by looking at some great gifts for the fan in your life courtesy of the NHL Powered by Reebok Store.

NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose joins us to hand out his Mullet of the Week, and our Tire Rack Face-Off features E.J. and Jamie McLennan debating hot topics around the League.

Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.

Posted On Thursday, 12.19.2013 / 1:07 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Coyotes defenseman Michalek out indefinitely

The Phoenix Coyotes have lost defenseman Zbynek Michalek indefinitely with a lower-body injury he sustained in the game Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens.

According to the Coyotes, Michalek has left the team to see team medical staff for further evaluation.

In 24 games Michalek has four assists and a plus-10 rating that is tops among Phoenix defensemen. He missed nine games earlier this season with a lower-body injury.

The Coyotes have recalled defenseman Rostislav Klesla from Portland of the American Hockey League. Klesla has played in 15 games with Phoenix this season, scoring one goal with two assists.

Posted On Thursday, 12.19.2013 / 11:10 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live features Pietrangelo, World Juniors chat

It's an 11-game Thursday and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will set up the night's action. We'll go out to Scottrade Center on our Arena Cam prior to the St. Louis Blues' game against the Montreal Canadiens to talk with Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo about the matchup and his season so far.

The 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden, is right around the corner and analyst Craig Button will join us from the Toronto studio to talk about some of the game's top prospects who will take part in the tournament.

Caitlin Cahow, a former U.S. Olympian and part of the official U.S. President's delegation for the 2014 Sochi Olympics closing ceremonies, will be in studio. Also, author and former goaltender Randi Druzin dishes about her new book "Between the Pipes" and shares her favorite NHL goaltenders.

Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.

Posted On Thursday, 12.19.2013 / 10:32 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Green Slapshots™

Sustainability upgrades come to Detroit's Clark Park

The NHL and the Detroit Red Wings Foundation on Monday unveiled extensive renovations and upgrades to Detroit's Clark Park Coalition recreation center as part of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Legacy Initiative.

With additional support from DTE Energy, Johnson Controls and York, the donation of resources and materials to Clark Park's outdoor rink was funded and spearheaded by the League and the Red Wings Foundation. The enhancements made to the Clark Park rink, the only regulation-size outdoor rink in the metropolitan Detroit area, included the donation of a Zamboni ice resurfacing machine to replace the facility's current 35-year-old machine. Other improvements include lighting upgrades at the rink and parking lot, an upgraded rink refrigeration system, snow removal equipment for its ice hockey and skating programs, a new ice surface and rink boards, new bicycle racks provided by Disenos Ornamental Iron and facelifts to its recycling program provided by CleanRiver and NHL Green.

"These donations build upon a decade of meaningful partnership and investment by the NHL and Detroit Red Wings into the lives of youth in Southwest Detroit," Clark Park Coalition president Steve Tobocman said. "This current investment really paves the way to ensure that hockey can continue to be a critical component of our efforts to reach and develop kids living in poverty in this diverse Detroit community for years to come."

The Clark Park Coalition provides year-round sports programming for more than 1,200 boys and girls. It has been a member of the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone initiative for more than 10 years, providing support and programming opportunities for children of diverse backgrounds to play hockey.

"We've seen how successful Hockey is for Everyone has been in this community and how important Clark Park is to this area," NHL Chief Marketing Officer Brian Jennings said. "We are proud to announce the beneficiary of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic legacy initiative is Clark Park Coalition."

The Detroit Red Wings Foundation is an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, which provides funding for community initiatives that promote the growth of hockey.

"The Red Wings Foundation is thrilled to be a part of a meaningful initiative like this that gives youth in our community a great place to play hockey, stay healthy and active, and build values like teamwork, respect and integrity," Ilitch Charities chairman and Ilitch Holdings president and CEO Christopher Ilitch said. "It's particularly special to us because Clark Park is just a couple of miles from the Wings' home ice and our players and coaching staff enjoy visiting and engaging with youth hockey players here."

Posted On Wednesday, 12.18.2013 / 11:30 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live talks father/son matchup, Stadium Series

It's time for another Wednesday Night Rivalry, as the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the New York Rangers, and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, has the action previewed as analyst Pierre McGuire will join us from the Arena Cam at Madison Square Garden.

We'll also hear from Rangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Penguins whose son, defenseman Philip Samuelsson, just made his NHL debut for Pittsburgh. Ulf's son and Philip's younger brother Henrik Samuelsson is also expected to go to Sweden for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship as a member of the U.S. squad.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler and forward Kyle Palmieri will join the show to discuss the strong play of the team this season and its upcoming 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game against California rival the Los Angeles Kings.

Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 2:23 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Gudbranson back, Huberdeau a question for Panthers

Defenseman Erik Gudbranson will return to the lineup for the Florida Panthers after missing a game because of a cut from a skate blade, while forward Jonathan Huberdeau remains questionable for the team's game Tuesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.

George Richards of the Miami Herald reported Gudbranson is in the lineup. Huberdeau, who blocked a shot off his foot two games ago and also missed Florida's win Sunday in Montreal, remains a game-time decision.

Richards also reported that although Tim Thomas joined the morning skate partway through, Scott Clemmensen will make his third straight start in net. Clemmensen has stopped 40 of 43 shots to win his past two starts after starting the season with losses in his first five appearances.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 2:14 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Islanders searching for offensive spark

The New York Islanders enter their game Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning in search of offense they hope will end a 3-14-3 slide that's landed them at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division.

Out of the 16 goals the Islanders have scored in their past 11 games (1-7-3), 11 are from the top line of Thomas Vanek, John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. The second unit of Michael Grabner, Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey is struggling. Grabner has no goals in 30 straight games. Nielsen has none in his past 12 after scoring 10 in his first 22. Bailey hasn't scored in 23 games.

Coach Jack Capuano kept his lines intact during the morning skate. Ryan Strome, who will play in his second NHL game, will center the Islanders' third line. Strome was recalled from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League last week after leading the AHL in points (33) and assists (24) with the idea that he'll add scoring punch. Although he went scoreless Saturday in his debut, Strome believes that it's a matter of time before the goals begin to arrive.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 1:08 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Hutton, Predators chase fourth consecutive win

Carter Hutton will make a fourth consecutive start in goal for the Nashville Predators as they try to extend their winning streak to four games Tuesday in a game against the Central Division-leading Chicago Blackhawks.

Hutton has stopped 97 of 101 shots (.960 save percentage) in leading the Predators to wins over the New York RangersDallas Stars and San Jose Sharks.

Marek Mazanec, the NHL's Rookie of the Month for November, wasn't feeling well Tuesday morning but was expected to dress as Hutton's backup against the Blackhawks, who lead the overall League standings with 53 points and also have the No. 1-ranked offense at 3.64 goals per game.

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Quote of the Day

There's standards that this team is going to play to and there are expectations. We're going to hold these guys accountable to high standards.

— Coach Dave Lowry on Canada's junior team, the defending IIHF World Junior champions