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Posted On Wednesday, 02.08.2012 / 11:42 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Brodeur doesn't practice, Hedberg says he's starting

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, who notched his first shutout of the season in a victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday, was a noticeable absentee from practice on Wednesday morning at Prudential Center.

According to The Bergen Record (N.J.), Brodeur is still recovering from a twisted right ankle he suffered midway through the third period of the Devils 1-0 victory over the Rangers. Brodeur's injury occurred when Rangers captain Ryan Callahan landed on the ankle during an offensive rush up ice. It was incidental contact.

Devils backup goalie Johan Hedberg and goalie coach Chris Terreri were each manning the pipes for the team during Wednesday's practice session. Brodeur made 15 saves over the final 20 minutes of Tuesday's game, including three huge stops on Marian Gaborik, Carl Hagelin and Brandon Dubinsky.

Hedberg later told reporters he would start against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, though coach Pete DeBoer said he hadn't made the decision yet and Brodeur could still play.

"I'm playing tomorrow. Marty looked like he had some discomfort during the game. I don't know if he's good to go or not," Hedberg said in an online post by the Newark Star-Ledger.
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Posted On Tuesday, 02.07.2012 / 2:22 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Shoulder sidelines Nugent-Hopkins for at least a week

Edmonton Oilers rookie center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins told the media on Tuesday afternoon that the shoulder injury he suffered on Monday in a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, which will keep him sidelined at least a week, is unrelated to his previous shoulder ailment.

Nugent-Hopkins, who returned to action on Saturday after being out of the lineup with a non-related shoulder injury since Jan. 2, was hit by Toronto's Mike Brown and ultimately sent to the dressing room in the third period for precautionary reasons.

According to the Oilers, Nugent-Hopkins will be sidelined 7-10 days with a sprained shoulder.

"He's obviously a solid guy, but we were both going for the puck and just collided … landed shoulder on shoulder," Nugent-Hopkins said. "I could feel it as soon as I got hit. My shoulder kind of dropped and I could feel it.

"It's the same area, it's the same shoulder, but it's a new thing on top."

Nugent-Hopkins, who has 13 goals and 35 points in 40 games, is still considered a leading candidate for the Calder Trophy this season. He still leads all first-year players in assists (22) and points.

"It could be frustrating and disappointing, but [Monday] I wasn't too happy," Nugent-Hopkins said. "I just try and stay positive through it all and keep same attitude."

The decision to sit Nugent-Hopkins came Tuesday after doctors re-examined the team's No. 1 pick from the 2011 Draft.

With Nugent-Hopkins back on the shelf, Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini recalled left-winger Magnus Paajarvi from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League. Paajarvi, 20, was assigned to Oklahoma City on Jan. 24 and had 10 points in 14 games with the Barons. In 33 games with the Oilers this season, he has 4 assists.
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Posted On Monday, 02.06.2012 / 1:02 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Ruff suffers broken ribs; Renney hit by puck

Players sustaining injuries during practices and morning skates is nothing new in the NHL, but on Monday it was a pair of coaches in the line of fire.

Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff broke three ribs when he collided with defenseman Jordan Leopold during practice.

According to the Sabres website, Leopold lost an edge while coming up on Ruff's blindside and ended up taking him out. Ruff remained down on the ice for several minutes before skating off the ice for treatment.

Ruff didn't address the media Monday, but the Sabres released the following statement:

"Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff suffered three broken ribs following a collision with Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold during the team's practice this morning at First Niagara Center. He is expected to be back tomorrow to resume his coaching responsibilities."
 
The Sabres are off until Wednesday, when they host the Boston Bruins.

Leopold did speak to reporters about the accident.

"I lost my breath. I was looking back and right when it happened and I kind of yelled, 'Are you all right? Are you all right?' And right away, 'No,' so that wasn't a good thing," he said. "I know Lindy's a tough guy, he's played a lot of games in the NHL and played through a lot of injuries. Your body ends up hurting more and more, I think, every day the older you get. That was one of those unexpected ones. Those ones are dangerous."

Meanwhile, according to the Edmonton Oilers' official Twitter feed, "Tom Renney is doing fine & receiving stitches after taking a puck to the head earlier in practice, according to Ralph Krueger."

Krueger is the Oilers' associate coach, but from the sound of things Renney will be perfectly fine to resume his head coaching duties Wednesday night when Edmonton is in Detroit.
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Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 10:52 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Salvador in lineup for Devils

Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador will play Thursday against Montreal despite being the only active player who did not participate in Thursday's morning skate. The Devils said Salvador was "resting," but he also sat out practice Wednesday, when coach Pete DeBoer admitted he had a "minor injury."

DeBoer confirmed to reporters in Newark, N.J., that Salvador is sore, and did not rule out going with seven defensemen just in case. If DeBoer uses seven defensemen, Matt Taormina will get the nod. He's the only other healthy defenseman the Devils have in Newark right now.

Brad Mills would be the forward who comes out if Taormina is going to play.

Martin Brodeur will make his seventh straight start and Patrik Elias, who joined Salvador on the sidelines during Wednesday's practice, was the second player on the ice for the morning skate Thursday and he will play.

Rookie center Adam Henrique will miss his second straight game and fourth in the last seven games with a groin injury. Henrique skated Thursday morning (not with the team), and could potentially practice with the Devils on Friday.

Travis Zajac (sore Achilles) and Henrik Tallinder (blood clot) are on injured reserve.

Here are New Jersey's expected lines for Thursday's game. The defense pairs we're using are the same as what the Devils had for Tuesday's game. If Taormina dresses, Mills will come out of the lineup.

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

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

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg


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Posted On Monday, 01.30.2012 / 12:55 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Flames acquire Aliu from Jets for Negrin

The Winnipeg Jets announced Monday they have traded forward Akim Aliu to the Calgary Flames for defenseman John Negrin.

Akiu, born in Okene, Nigeria, has 4 goals, 1 assist and 12 penalty minutes in 13 games this season with the Abbotsford Heat while on loan from the Jets. The 22-year-old was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round of the 2007 Entry Draft.
 
Negrin, 22, has played in 26 games with the Heat this season, earning 1 assist and 12 penalty minutes. He started the season in nine games with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL, recording 1 goal, 6 points and 10 penalty minutes. The Vancouver, BC, native has played in three career NHL games with the Flames with 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes. He was originally drafted by Calgary in the third round of the 2007 Entry Draft.
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Posted On Monday, 01.30.2012 / 12:44 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Hurricanes sign Gleason to four-year extension

The Carolina Hurricanes announced Monday they have signed defenseman Tim Gleason to a four-year, $16 million contract extension.

The deal will pay Gleason $3.5 million in 2012-13, $4.5 million in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and $3.5 million in 2015-16.
 
"We thank Tim for choosing to stay with the Hurricanes long term," GM Jim Rutherford said in a statement released by the team. "He is one of our core players, someone who brings character and leadership to our locker room, along with being a key piece on the ice. This is a very important signing for our team going forward."
 
Gleason, 29, is in his eighth NHL season and sixth with the Hurricanes, and currently leads all Hurricanes defensemen in hits (87), plus/minus (plus-2) and total minutes played (1,063). He ranks second among Carolina blueliners in assists (13) and penalty minutes (44), and third in points (14), skating in all 51 games for the team this season.
 
Originally acquired from the Los Angeles Kings along with Eric Belanger in exchange for Oleg Tverdovsky and Jack Johnson, Gleason has totaled 13 goals, 86 points and 416 penalty minutes in 401 games with the Hurricanes. The Clawson, MI, native has led Carolina defensemen in hits each of the past four seasons (2007-08 to 2010-11), ranking fifth among NHL defensemen in hits last season.

A first-round selection of the Ottawa Senators in the 2001 Entry Draft, the 6-foot, 217-pound Gleason played his 500th NHL game on Nov. 27 at Ottawa, and has totaled 15 goals, 114 points and 514 penalty minutes in 526 career NHL games with Los Angeles and Carolina. 
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Posted On Saturday, 01.28.2012 / 5:49 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend blog

Sticks used in Hardest Shot Competition

Defensemen generally use stiffer sticks, which produce harder shots. Forwards typically want light sticks, which allow for greater stick-handling ability ... The 'stiffness' of a stick means how hard it is and typically varies from a flex of 80-120. 'Flex' is a measure that tests how much a shaft will bend; the higher the flex, the more force needed to bend the shaft of the stick.

TEAM ALFREDSSON TEAM CHARA
Player Stick Player Stick
Justin Faulk Easton SE Luke Adam Bauer TotalOne
Daniel Alfredsson Easton RS Dennis Wideman Bauer Vapor APX
Jason Spezza Easton S19 Dion Phaneuf Easton SE16
(EQ Pro Model)
Shea Weber Easton S19 Zdeno Chara Warrior
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Posted On Saturday, 01.28.2012 / 5:45 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend blog

Skates used in Fastest Skater Competition

Skates have a lot of variables – hollow, rocker, boot. Every NHL player has a custom skate to fit their particular liking ... Stiff skates allow for more torque so they don't break down ... Skates are sharpened by preference, but most are done before or after the morning skate ... A 1/2” hollow is pretty standard for most players in the League – not too deep, not too shallow and gives a little bit of ability ... The amount of hollow is based on personal preference and style of play, among other things. A heavier player typically doesn't need as deep of a hollow compared to a lighter player. A deeper hollow allows for more grip of the ice ... The rocker (curvature to the blade) affects how much blade is on the ice – more blade on the ice = more power ... Marian Hossa wears '38' on both skates on the outside heel of the blade in honor of Pavol Demitra.

TEAM ALFREDSSON TEAM CHARA
Player Skates Player Skates
Kris Letang Bauer TotalOne Brian Campbell Bauer TotalOne
Carl Hagelin Reebok 11K Colin Greening Bauer Vapor
Keith Yandle Reebok 11K Phil Kessel Bauer Vapor X60
Erik Karlsson Bauer Vapor X7.0 Marian Hossa CCM U+

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.25.2012 / 12:26 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Maple Leafs give Liles four-year extension

John-Michael Liles hasn't played for the Toronto Maple Leafs since Dec. 22 due to a concussion, but when the defenseman does return to the lineup it will come with the security of a four-year contract extension.

TSN reports the extension, announced by the team on Wednesday, is worth $15.5 million total.

Liles, an eight-year NHL veteran in his first season with the Maple Leafs, had 4 goals, 21 points and a plus-2 rating through 34 games before suffering the concussion.

A fifth-round pick by Colorado in the 2000 Entry Draft, Liles has career totals of 72 goals and 296 points in 557 games with the Avalanche and Maple Leafs. Nearly half of those goals (35) have come on the power play. He also has 4 goals and 11 assists in 36 playoff games.
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Posted On Wednesday, 01.25.2012 / 11:10 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

USA Hockey names Bowman to advisory committee

USA Hockey announced Wednesday that Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has been added to the U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group, which is charged with leading the selection of players for the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship.

"We're excited to have Stan join our advisory group," said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations at USA Hockey. "His experience evaluating players and his passion for international hockey will be a great asset."

Bowman, in his third season as Blackhawks GM, was at the helm in 2010 when Chicago won the Stanley Cup to end a 49-year championship drought.

"I'm honored for the opportunity to contribute to this group, and to the continued success of the U.S. Men’s National Team on the international stage," Bowman said. "Thanks to the efforts of NHL teams in their local markets, and USA Hockey on a national level, the game has never been stronger in this country."

Bowman will join Brian Burke (Toronto Maple Leafs), Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia Flyers), Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles Kings), David Poile (Nashville Predators), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh Penguins), Dale Tallon (Florida Panthers) and Don Waddell on the advisory committee.

The 2012 World Championship will take place from May 4-20, in Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden.
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Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players