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Posted On Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 3:04 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - The Research Project

Shero keen on faceoff variations

Just prior to Session 2 here at RDO Camp, we caught up to Penguins GM Ray Shero to discuss some of his thoughts on the rule changes that were in place during Session 1.

Shero is particularly pleased that three faceoff variations are being tested here because, "I think we have to come up with something better than what we're doing on faceoffs now," he told NHL.com. "I think it's really confusing. Guys get kicked out now and I don't know why."

In Session 1, a player that committed a violation in the faceoff circle was required to move back one foot and keep his skates behind a penalty line, thereby losing his leverage and strength on the faceoff as the linesman dropped the puck.

The faceoff variation being tested in Session 2 right now involves the linesman putting the puck on the dot and blowing his whistle to let both centerman know they have to come set. The linesman is then picking up the puck and dropping it for a normal draw, but any movement between the whistle and the puck being dropped is a violation.

Finally, the variation that will be tested Thursday morning prohibits involves encroachment. The player guilty of encroaching on the faceoff will be prohibited from being a replacement for the centerman who had to get booted out of the circle as a result of the encroachment.

"I like these faceoff ideas," Shero said. "Just looking at the faceoff is a good thing."

Shero also told NHL.com that he's a fan of having the same linesman dropping the puck for every faceoff except for the start of periods and after goals. That was a change tested in Session 1.

"I think there is the continuity of getting to know them," Shero said. "The center icemen want to learn the tendencies of the linesmen and this is just another way where there is more consistency to it. Maybe then they won't get thrown out as much. I think the centers would like some uniformity to it."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl





Posted On Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 1:59 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Research Project

Which Subban is better?

Most hockey fans are aware of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and his effervescent personality.

His younger brother, Malcolm, is a bit more reserved.

A reporter asked Malcolm about something P.K. had said, about his brothers -- especially Malcolm -- being better hockey players than him.

Malcolm -- a third brother, Jordan, will join Malcolm with the Belleville Bulls this season -- refused to take the bait.

Until age 12 Malcolm was a defenseman, so there might have been room for comparison at one point, but not now.

"I'm a goalie," Malcolm said, "so it's hard to compare now."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Posted On Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 11:31 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - The Research Project

Boudreau says ice it anyway

As soon as the penalty was called on the opposing team with 1:29 left in the second period, Dan Bylsma screamed for his goalie and told him to come to the bench.

It certainly seemed like odd timing to pull the goalie.

However, considering the shorthanded team was not allowed to legally ice the puck in the first session of RDO Camp on Wednesday, Bylsma had to figure the penalty killers wouldn't be shooting the puck the length of the ice just to get it out of the zone. Provided they weren't accurate enough to shoot it into the empty net, all icing the puck would do is create a faceoff back in their defensive zone.

So by pulling his goalie Bylsma created a 6-on-4 advantage. It was a calculated risk considering the rule change being tested, but it backfired when the shorthanded team got the puck out of the zone and created a 2-on-1 against a helpless defenseman with no goaltender behind him.

Washington coach Bruce Boudreau, who was sitting in the stands here watching it all unfold, understood Bylsma's tactic and didn't mind the risk, but if he were coaching the shorthanded team he would have told them to fire the puck down the ice regardless of the potential for icing being called and the ensuing faceoff coming back into his defensive zone.

"I'm going to try for the free goal," Boudreau told NHL.com. "Shoot it down and take your chances."

While acknowledging a rule change that would eliminate the shorthanded team from legally icing the puck "would be quite an advantage for the power-play team," Boudreau also said it would be hard to effectively kill a penalty without clearing the puck out of the zone.

Even though the shorthanded team would not be allowed to make a line change if they're called for icing, he feels the break between the whistle and the ensuing faceoff is long enough to give the players on the ice a breather.

"When you're under pressure and you're shorthanded, I don't think it will stop you from icing the puck because you've got to get it out of the zone," Boudreau said. "That's the No. 1 thing."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Posted On Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 11:20 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Research Project

Koules watching Koules

An interested observer of today's proceedings is watching the game from a slightly different vantage point than he might have a few years ago.

Former Tampa Bay Lightning owner Oren Koules is watching the action, keying in on his son, Miles Koules.

"It's a little different," he told NHL.com. "Being a father, I think I'm more nervous now than being at NHL games."

Miles, a 5-foot-10.25, 189-pound right wing, will play with the U.S. National Team Development Program's under-18 team this season. With the under-17 team last season, he had 14 goals and 12 assists in 42 games.

"I think he's got great vision," said Oren. "Great patience, good hands. He's a lot better than I was, that's for sure."

Dad played for six different teams in three seasons in the Western Hockey League (1979-82), and played one season of minor-league hockey before going on to Hollywood, where he's best known as the producer of the "Saw" movie franchise.

His best hockey season was 1980-81, when he had 28 goals in 67 games for the Spokane Flyers.

While Oren said the WHL worked for him, Miles is going to take the college route.

"He committed to North Dakota last year," Oren said. "He's pretty excited. He's supposed to enter next summer."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK


Posted On Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 9:53 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Research Project

White vs. Black at RDO Camp

The players are on the for the first session of the RDO Camp here at the MasterCard Centre for Excellence. The Black team will be led by Coyotes coach Dave Tippett and assisted by Kay Whitmore. The White team will be coached by the Penguins' Dan Bylsma and assisted by Kris King.

In attendance for their first look at some of the top prospects for the 2012 Entry Draft are numerous GMs and scouts, as well as members of the media.

Here are the rosters for what should be an interesting day of hockey:

WHITE
Goalies - Collin Olsen, Malcolm Subban
Defensemen - Cody Ceci, Nick Ebert, Alex Gudbranson, Ryan Murray, Jordan Schmaltz, Morgan Rielly
Forwards - Miles Koules, Andreas Athanasiou, Phillip di Giuseppe, Martin Frk, Alex Galchenyuk, Scott Kosmachuk, Scott Laughton, Matia Marcantuoni, Andrew ryan, Chris Tierney

BLACK
Goalies - Daniel Altshuller, Chris Driedger
Defensemen - Gianluca Curcuruto, Mathew Dumba, Jeremie Fraser, Michael Matheson, Derrick Pouliot, Jacob Trouba
Forwards - Francis Beauvillier, Raphael Bussieres, Mathew Campagna, Cameron Darcy, Brendan Gaunce, Zemgus Girgensons, Jarrod Maidens, Colton Sissons, Daulton Siwak, Nail Yakupov

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Posted On Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 8:49 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - The Research Project

Larionov has the keys now

TORONTO -- Hockey Hall of Famer Igor Larionov was all smiles as he breezed through the hotel lobby here Tuesday, waiting somewhat impatiently for his prized teenage clients to arrive.
 
Larionov found out hours before we saw him that he has officially been certified by the NHLPA to be a player agent in the NHL. He already received his certification to be a player agent in the Kontinental Hockey League six months ago.
 
"It took me a while, but I got the e-mail today," Larionov told NHL.com. "It feels good. It's a new adventure for me. I started in this last year after I resigned from the KHL's Board of Directors. I want to see young players play and guide them through to the NHL."
 
With his certification official, Larionov can relax and watch his clients, Sarnia Sting forwards Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk, participate in this week's Research, Development and Orientation Camp.
 
A year from now, he will likely find himself working out entry-level contracts for each client after they become first-round draft picks.
 
Yakupov is considered to be the top player eligible for the 2012 Entry Draft. He was the Rookie of the Year in the Ontario Hockey League with 101 points (49 goals, 52 assists) in 65 games. While playing for Team Russia, Yakupov had a hat trick in the bronze medal game at this year's World Juniors.
 
Galchenyuk had 83 points on 31 goals and 52 assists in 68 games for Sarnia last season. He's a 6-foot-2 center who skated for Team USA at the recently completed Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Slovakia. Galchenyuk's father, also named Alex, grew up playing in the Soviet Union and later represented Belarus in international competition, including the 1998 Olympics.
 
Larionov said he gets to Sarnia often to see his clients play.
 
"Detroit to Sarnia is a real easy trip," Larionov said.
 
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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