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Posted On Friday, 10.25.2013 / 3:20 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live looks at returns of Letang, Clarkson

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and Toronto Maple Leafs right wing David Clarkson are returning Friday night and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have live updates from Pittsburgh and Columbus from our Arena Cam. We'll also have a look at a #FlashbackFriday as the Ottawa Senators' Bobby Ryan is back facing his old team on NHL Network.

Plus, we'll have our first edition of the "Face-Off" as EJ and Barry Melrose debate three interesting topics: Best Team, Best Defenseman to Build Around, and Who's to Blame for the struggles in Buffalo.

Also, it's a fairly busy Friday night with six games in the NHL and it's even busier for eight of the 12 teams as they play the first or second of back-to-back games. Vancouver concludes a seven-game trip in St. Louis against a Blues team that hasn't played in a week. Meanwhile, the Carolina Hurricanes play the last of a four-game road swing in Colorado after being in Minnesota last night. The Avalanche have been off since Monday.

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.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 4:14 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Pominville, Faulk appear on Thursday's NHL Live

A big night in the NHL on Thursday as 10 games are on the schedule and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will also be celebrating Hockey Fights Cancer. We'll get live reports from Kenny Albert in Philadelphia, Billy Jaffe in Boston and Eddie Olcyzk in Tampa Bay.

Also, we'll get a full preview of the Minnesota Wild vs. Carolina Hurricanes game as Wild forward Jason Pominville will join us. Minnesota has won four straight against Carolina. On the Canes' side, defenseman Justin Faulk will join us as he returns to his home state, where he also starred for the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He's also expected to go head-to-head against his former Bulldog teammate Justin Fontaine, who is skating on Minnesota's top line.

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.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.23.2013 / 1:56 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live previews Rivalry Night, Alfredsson's return

It is Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN as the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres square off and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will preview this Atlantic Division matchup. We'll go to the Arena and talk to NBCSN analyst Pierre McGuire, who will be "Inside The Glass" for the game.

The big story tonight is Daniel Alfredsson of the Detroit Red Wings facing his former team for the first time as Detroit takes on the Ottawa Senators at Joe Louis Arena. Alfredsson spent 17 seasons with the Senators and is off to a good start with his new team (nine points in 10 games). While it may not have the fanfare that's expected for his Dec. 1 return to Canada's capital, it should be a great game between two teams that advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last year. It also features two of the best American-born goaltenders as Craig Anderson faces Jimmy Howard, who is 3-0-0 in his career against Ottawa.

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.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.22.2013 / 2:12 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Bobby Orr special appearance on Tuesday's NHL Live

Eight games on the Tuesday schedule and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will get you ready for the action. The Anaheim Ducks go for an eight straight win tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs and we'll get a live report from our Arena Cam at Air Canada Centre as well as show the warm-ups of the early games in our Ice Pass.

But the highlight of Tuesday's show will be a very special live appearance from Hall of Famer Bobby Orr, who will be stopping by the NHL Store in New York to sign copies of his new book, "Orr: My Story."

Some of our younger viewers may only be familiar with him from black-and-white photos or grainy video, so here are a couple of facts just to put his amazing career in perspective: He won two scoring titles as a defenseman, and during an era of some outstanding forwards (Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Phil Esposito, Stan Mikita, etc.). He also had a career plus-minus of plus-597, including plus-124 in one season. But the book is so much more than just a typical historical autobiography. We'll discuss its topics and his remarkable career on the show today.

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.

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Posted On Monday, 10.21.2013 / 1:58 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Go inside Crosby/MacKinnon match on NHL Live

NHL Live at 5 p.m. ET on Monday on NHL Network will get you ready for your hockey week. NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose will be on the show to break down each NHL division and NHL Network Insider Bob McKenzie will stop by to discuss the latest buzz around the NHL.

Also Monday, the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Colorado Avalanche in a game which features two of the NHL's best teams and brightest stars. In addition to the much-anticipated Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia showdown of Nathan MacKinnon and Sidney Crosby, five other top-three draft picks will be on the ice (Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury, Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene, and Erik Johnson). MacKinnon will join us on the show to talk about his first impressions of NHL life, early recollections of Crosby and life as a tenant in the home of goaltender Jean-Sebastian Giguere. Giguere will start tonight for the Avs, who are a perfect 4-0-0 on the road, while the Penguins are 5-0-0 at home.

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Posted On Friday, 10.18.2013 / 3:46 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

College hockey report, Friday previews on NHL Live

It's a hockey Friday and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will get you ready for the two games on tap as well as your hockey weekend. NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose will be on the show to talk the Metropolitan Division and give his Mullet of the Week.

We'll also be joined by the coach of the Boston University Terriers, David Quinn, for this week's college hockey report. BU is off to a strong 2-0 start and will face RPI and Wisconsin this weekend.

Plus, we'll preview the two NHL games Friday. The St. Louis Blues are in Winnipeg to take on the Jets. Alexander Steen, a Winnipeg native, returns to the town where his dad Thomas spent 14 seasons as a Jet and played 950 games. In another divisional matchup, the Anaheim Ducks look for their sixth straight win as they meet the Phoenix Coyotes. Phoenix has won four of its last five games against Anaheim.

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.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 3:10 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live previews Flyers-Penguins, Thursday action

Twelve games on the Thursday schedule and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will get you ready for the Metropolitan Division battle between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins on the NHL Network. We'll also get a live update from the Florida Arena Cam from Boston Bruins analyst Andy Brickley, as Florida Panthers goalie Tim Thomas faces his old team. Lastly, Eddie Olcyzk will join us from Chicago as the Central Division rival St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks square off.

Also joining us from the Dallas Arena Cam are Dallas Stars rookie Alex Chiasson and San Jose Sharks defenseman Justin Braun to talk about the big Western Conference matchup.

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.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.16.2013 / 2:10 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live: McGuire breaks down Rangers-Capitals

It's Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN as the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals square off, and NHL Live will preview this Metropolitan Division matchup at 5 p.m. Eastern on NHL Network. We'll go to Verizon Center and talk to NBCSN's Pierre McGuire, who will be "Inside the Glass" for the game.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 2:09 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Good hockey and good food on NHL Live

There are 12 games on the schedule Tuesday in the NHL and starting at 5 p.m. ET on the NHL Network, NHL Live will have the latest on all of them.

Two undefeated teams square off in St. Louis when the St. Louis Blues host the San Jose Sharks (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN) and we'll get a live preview in St. Louis. We'll also show the warmups of the early games in our Ice Pass via our Arena Cam.

In addition to all of the game coverage Tuesday, we've also got a food-themed show with Jessie Lysiak stopping by from the Fox television show "MasterChef." Jessie is the daughter of former Atlanta Flame and Chicago Blackhawk, Tom Lysiak who played in the NHL for 13 seasons. She's also the girlfriend of Sharks defenseman Justin Braun and finished third in this summer's Masterchef competition. On Tuesday she'll be preparing a hockey-inspired meal from each division, sharing some recipes, and talking to us about her background and take us behind the scenes of the intense reality cooking show.

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Posted On Monday, 10.14.2013 / 2:28 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Monday highlights, previews and Emrick on NHL Live

An afternoon treat on Columbus Day, as the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings face off in an Atlantic Division game. NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have full highlights and get you ready for the other two games tonight between the Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals and the Minnesota Wild and Buffalo Sabres.

Also, the great Doc Emrick will be joining us for a preview of the Sabres and Wild on NBCSN. Back in my days as a student at Bowling Green State University, I once stumbled upon his lengthy doctoral dissertation at Jerome Library profiling all of the broadcasters in Major League Baseball in 1973. The nearly two-inch thick hard-bound book was covered in dust, but had the feel of finding a buried treasure. With that fine work as a doctoral student of BGSU, the "Doc" nickname was officially born. On Monday, the Wild begin a four-game road trip against the winless Sabres.

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.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.10.2013 / 3:22 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live talks to Boreanaz, previews Penn State

Ten games on the ice Thursday night in the NHL and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will get you ready for the action and bring you live into the arena for the 7 p.m. starts in our Ice Pass.

In our College Hockey Report, we'll be joined by Penn State men's ice hockey captain Tommy Olczyk as the team gets set to open their new arena and the Big 10 Ice Hockey season.

Also, a great friend of the show and huge hockey fan, David Boreanaz will stop by our studio at the NHL Store in New York City. David is currently in his ninth season starring on the Fox drama "Bones" and has played numerous other roles in TV and film. He's also a huge Philadelphia Flyers fan and enjoys playing hockey as well. Plus, we've got game previews from all around the League on a very busy Thursday.

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.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.09.2013 / 1:54 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

McGuire, Olczyk join NHL Live to discuss Rivalry Night

It's Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN as the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues square off for the 287th time. We'll have that game and much more covered on NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network. Pierre McGuire, who will be "Inside the Glass" for the Central Division rivalry game, will stop by the show.

Also, we'll be joined by Eddie Olczyk for a preview from St. Louis as the Blues look for their first 3-0 start since 1993. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks have won five of their last seven against the Blues and will try to improve to 2-0-1 overall on the young season. It's a classic rivalry and should be an incredibly physical game as usual. These competitors will play four more times this season, including next Thursday in Chicago.

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.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.08.2013 / 1:52 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live previews Berube's debut, Devils-Canucks

There are eight games Tuesday night in the NHL and we'll have them all covered on NHL Live at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network. Craig Berube will coach his first game in Philadelphia as the Flyers face the Florida Panthers, and we'll get a live report via our NHL Arena Cam and show warm-ups of the four early games in our Ice Pass.

Plus we'll have a full preview of the highly anticipated game in Vancouver between the Canucks and Devils. Cory Schneider makes his return to Rogers Arena after a stunning loss Monday night in Edmonton, which saw Martin Brodeur and the Devils allow four third-period goals in a 5-4 shootout loss. Now, Schneider faces his former team, winners of eight of the last 10 meetings with the Devils since 2001-2002. Roberto Luongo has won four in a row against New Jersey. It's the first of two meetings this month between the Devils and Canucks and you can watch it tonight on NHL Network at 10 p.m. ET.

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.

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Posted On Monday, 10.07.2013 / 1:56 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Flyers' coaching change, Monday action on NHL Live

The Philadelphia Flyers have fired coach Peter Laviolette and we'll have this covered Monday on NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network. NHL Network insider Bob McKenzie will break down the firing and our very own head coach Barry Melrose will give insights on how the Flyers will move on with Craig Berube behind the bench.

Also, we have two games to preview Monday night with a pair of star players returning to their respective teams. In Edmonton, center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, will make his season debut for the Oilers following offseason shoulder surgery. He'll face Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils at 9:30 p.m. ET at Rexall Place. Nugent-Hopkins was originally expected to be out until November, but is ready to go and will likely skate on a line with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. The new combination also allows Hall to move back to his natural left wing position after struggling at center in the Oilers' first two games.

Meanwhile, New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan will also play in his first game of the season as the Blueshirts face the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Callahan is expected to start in a third-line role with Brian Boyle and Taylor Pyatt as the Rangers begin a stretch of four games in six nights.

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.

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Posted On Friday, 10.04.2013 / 1:50 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live previews MacKinnon-Jones showdown

Nathan MacKinnon vs, Seth Jones, Part I, is Friday night as the top pick in the 2013 NHL Draft faces off with the No. 4 pick, and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have that game between the Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators covered. We'll also have NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose on to give his Mullet of the Week.

Also on Friday, we'll have our first edition of the weekly "College Hockey Report." Boston College star Johnny Gaudreau will be joining us to preview the Eagles' season, which begins next week.

Plus, Daniel Briere of the Montreal Canadiens will be on the show as he prepares to face the Philadelphia Flyers for the first time this season tomorrow night at the Bell Centre. Hard to believe, but Briere was once placed on waivers while making less than $1 million dollars. All 30 teams passed on him before he went on to Buffalo and became a star with the Sabres. Now, he has begun his 15th season in the NHL and first with the Canadiens.

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.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 2:46 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Wingels talks Canucks-Sharks on NHL Live

Eight games are on the NHL slate Thursday night and NHL Live will have a complete rundown of each at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network. We'll go out to Boston to check on the defending Eastern Conference champions and talk to NHL Network's Darren Pang about the intriguing goalie matchups around the NHL.

We'll also be joined by Tommy Wingels of the San Jose Sharks for a preview of their home opener against the Vancouver Canucks. Wingels, who had an excellent training camp, is expected to skate on a line with Joe Pavelski and Long Beach, Calif., native Matt Nieto. At age 20, Nieto will make his NHL debut along with former first-round pick Tomas Hertl. The Sharks defeated the Canucks seven times last year, including their four-game sweep in the first round of the NHL Playoffs.

Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions all season long to @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask your opinion on some hot topics around the NHL.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 2:44 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Stastny, Cogliano talk Avalanche-Ducks on NHL Live

Twenty-six goals were scored on a wild first night of NHL action and three more home openers are on tap for Wednesday night. NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will recap #NHLFaceOff and look forward to Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN. We'll talk to Pierre McGuire who will be "Inside the Glass" as new Atlantic Division foes face off in the Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres.

Plus, it's Patrick Roy's coaching debut tonight in Denver as the Colorado Avalanche take on the Anaheim Ducks. We'll be joined by Paul Stastny, who is ready to begin his eighth season in Colorado and is in the last year of his current contract. On the Ducks' side, Andrew Cogliano will join us as he prepares for his seventh NHL campaign. Amazingly, he's never missed a game in his 458-game career with the Oilers and Ducks.

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.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.01.2013 / 3:20 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live kicks off the 2013-14 season

The day has arrived. #NHLFaceOff is here and NHL Live will have all three games covered beginning at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network. The Montreal Canadiens host the Toronto Maple Leafs, the banner gets raised in Chicago as the Blackhawks face the Washington Capitals and the Winnipeg Jets make their Western Conference debut against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place. We'll get reports and player interviews from Chicago and our ice pass will provide live warm-ups in Montreal.

We'll also have our first visit with analyst Eddie Olczyk to preview the Blackhawks' season. As a Chicago native, Olczyk has to be proud of Capitals defenseman Connor Carrick, a 2012 fifth-round draft pick from nearby Orland Park, Ill., who is expected to make his NHL debut Tuesday against his hometown team. It's always great having Eddie O on the show and Tuesday is the perfect night as the Hawks celebrate their championship.

Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions all season long to @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask your opinion on some hot topics around the NHL.

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Posted On Monday, 09.30.2013 / 1:37 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live welcomes Daly and DeBoer

It is the day before #NHLFaceOff and NHL Live, 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will recap the preseason with the Top 10 plays and show now old faces in new uniforms via EA Sports NHL 14. NHL Network Insider Bob McKenzie will also join the show to give the latest on roster moves.

Also today, two special guests in studio: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and New Jersey Devils Coach Pete DeBoer. 

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Posted On Thursday, 09.26.2013 / 2:39 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live talks to Wild, reviews Central Division

The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks are playing outdoors and NHL Live will be on an hour earlier, 4 ET on NHL Network, to bring you the press conference to show off Dodger Stadium. It is also Central Division Day as we give offseason grades to the Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets

Also today, we'll check in with the Minnesota Wild at their training camp in St. Paul. Head Coach Mike Yeo, forwards Matt Cooke and Charlie Coyle, as well as defenseman Jonas Brodin will be joining us. Yeo has said that in the past, the Wild have been more of a "grinder style" team, but now it's more about playing an exciting offensive style on the rush. We'll ask him about that and his team's young core of talented players who are poised for breakout seasons.

Ken Daneyko will also be filling in for E.J. Hradek. So remember to submit your #AskDano questions about your favorite team in the Central Division through Twitter via @NHLNetwork.

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Quote of the Day

What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp