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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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Posted On Monday, 01.23.2012 / 4:55 PM

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

Stars place Morrow on IR, activate Ribeiro

Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow suffered an upper-body injury in Saturday's game and has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 21, while Mike Ribeiro was activated off the IR on Monday.

The Stars released the following statements earlier in the day from coach Glen Gulutzan through their official Twitter account:

"Morrow out, not a long term issue there, and (Stephane) Robidas will be a game player for us tomorrow."

"Ribeiro is close and we will reevaluate him after morning skate tomorrow. (Matt) Fraser will be a go for us tomorrow."

Morrow, in his 12th NHL season, is fifth on the team in scoring with 8 goals and 22 points in 41 games.

Ribeiro is fourth on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 31 points. He hasn't played since Jan. 7, when he was involved in a knee-on-knee collision in a game against the Oilers. Ribeiro was on a hot streak before he went down, scoring twice in each of his last two games.

Fraser, an undrafted, 6-foot-1, 204-pound right wing, is set to make his NHL debut after being called up from the AHL Texas Stars, where he had 21 goals and 35 points in 40 games.
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Posted On Thursday, 01.19.2012 / 12:34 PM

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

Predators claim Yip off waivers

The Nashville Predators made a pair of roster moves Thursday, claiming forward Brandon Yip off waivers from the Colorado Avalanche and activating forward Jerred Smithson off injured reserve.

Yip was scoreless in 10 games for the Avalanche this season while missing time due to arm and groin injuries. An eighth-round pick by Colorado in the 2004 Entry Draft, he has 23 goals and 41 points in 113 games over parts of three seasons with the Avs.

A 6-foot-1, 195-pound right wing, Yip recorded 45 goals and 108 points in 139 games with Boston University from 2005-09, helping the Terriers win the 2009 NCAA national championship on a team that also included current Predators forward Colin Wilson.

Smithson, who was out with a lower-body injury, has 1 goal and 4 points in 41 games this season.
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Posted On Monday, 01.16.2012 / 2:14 PM

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

Report: Wild's Koivu out a month with shoulder injury

The slumping Minnesota Wild will have to move forward for the time being without captain Mikko Koivu, who suffered what the team is calling an upper-body injury in Saturday's loss to the Blues.

The Wild are terming Koivu "week-to-week," but a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune indicates Koivu has a shoulder injury that will keep him out for at least a month.

Koivu appeared to suffer the injury on a hit by the Blues' Vladimir Sobotka.

"It's pretty frustrating right now," Koivu told the team's website on Monday. "Especially the time of the year. We play a lot of games and we're right in the middle of it, and so yeah. But there's nothing you can do about it, and you just got to move on and try and get better."

Koivu has a team-leading 24 assists and 33 points for the Wild, who led the Northwest Division for much of the first half, but are currently clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot after winning just two of their last 15 games.

"It'd be foolish of us to try and get anybody to be him," first-year coach Mike Yeo told the team's website. "It's a big challenge for us and we have to view it as such, and get excited about the opportunity to rise to it. A lot of people are probably writing us off right now … but the one thing I know is this team has a lot of character, and we need a lot of that right now."
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Quote of the Day

He's able to play now, we just want to see other guys. We know what he can do.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on not rushing Steven Stamkos onto the ice