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Posted On Monday, 11.14.2011 / 1:24 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Lucic maintains innocence in collision with Miller

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- In defending the actions of his player Monday after practice at Ristuccia Arena, Bruins coach Claude Julien not only spoke to Milan Lucic's intentions but also a past incident that should shed a little more light on what went on when Lucic and Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller collided Saturday night.

Lucic was scheduled to have a 1 p.m. phone hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan on Monday.

"I saw the same thing [as Lucic explained]," Julien said. "It certainly wasn't our plan to run him over and for what it's worth, Looch has done the same thing to one of our coaches [assistant Geoff Ward] last year. He buries his head when he chases the puck, by the time he lifts it up, somebody's there. Last year was a coach, this year was Miller."

The Lucic-Miller collision occurred in the first period of the Bruins' 6-2 win against the Sabres after Lucic blocked a shot at the Boston blue line. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound forward lost the puck and was trying to catch up to it when the contact, which knocked Miller's mask off, happened.

"At first, I was skating as hard as I could after the puck and I looked up and he was still in his net. And when I looked down at the puck, I was continuing on and the next thing I look up and he's coming out full speed at me," Lucic said. "Obviously it was a hard collision and I did everything I could just to brace myself. Like he said, I have 50 pounds on him. So that's probably why he might've got the worst of it. Even if you look at the video, I was cringing after the play, too, because I was winded, because it was such a hard collision. He got a good piece of me as well and that's pretty much it."

Miller not only finished that period, but also played in the second. After the game Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said Miller had a sore neck, but Sunday the team revealed the goaltender was suffering from a concussion.

"If you look at it, I've looked at the hit 100 times because he said that he got a concussion. I've looked at it and his shoulder hit my chest, so there was no hit to his head," said Lucic. "His helmet came flying off, but his head didn’t hit the ice. Later on in that period, one of their guys lifted [Tyler Seguin's] stick and threw him into the net as well. So who knows what it was? But I mean it's obviously unfortunate that he got hurt on the play."

Lucic said he was surprised that Miller was able to continue in the game if his collision was the one that caused the concussion.

"With the new protocol and the concussion stuff, I know the last three NHLPA meetings that I've been part of, they've clarified about concussions and head injuries, the main thing that they talked about is there's no such thing as getting your bell rung or seeing stars anymore," said Lucic. "That's considered a concussion. And if you're in that position, you have to do whatever you can to take yourself out of play. And obviously, Ryan plays a big part in the NHLPA and what he does, and I respect him what he does there. That's pretty much it."

 After the game, Miller directed some expletive-filled comments toward Lucic through a brief media scrum. Lucic was taking a "sticks and stones" approach to those words.

"Obviously he felt like he needed to stick around and say what he said," said Lucic. "For me, (in) one ear and out the other, I just move on and focus on what I need to do to continue helping this team be successful."

Lucic is currently second on the Bruins with 14 points and 8 goals. His past discipline history includes a fine for a punch in a scrum last December and a one-game suspension for a hit after the whistle during the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoff series with Montreal.

Julien, who stressed that he didn't want to talk about any League decision that hadn't been made yet, still pointed out that there have been similar incidents in the past that didn't result in bans.

"You've seen it before. Guys run over goaltenders," said the coach. "At one point, [Carey] Price [had that happen] in Montreal, stuff like that. You’ve seen collisions. [Montreal's] Brian Gionta on Toronto's goaltender [James Reimer], he's not that far out but he's out of his crease and he's coming across.

"I mean there shouldn't be game plans to run goaltenders over. I'm all for that. To say you put traffic in front of him is one thing. To run him over, I disagree with that. So again, it just kind of reinforces that it certainly wasn't meant to happen that way."
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Posted On Monday, 11.14.2011 / 12:58 PM

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

Ducks claim Hagman off waivers

The slumping Anaheim Ducks claimed Niklas Hagman off re-entry waivers from the Calgary Flames on Monday.

The move means the Ducks are only responsible for half of Hagman's $3 million salary with the Flames paying the other half.

The Flames sent Hagman to Abbotsford of the AHL on Thursday after the 31-year-old winger had just 1 goal and 3 assists in 8 games. But Hagman was subject to re-entry waivers when the Flames tried to recall him over the weekend, allowing the Ducks to swoop in and grab him at half price.

The Ducks have lost 10 of 12 and could use Hagman on the team's second line with Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu. The three Finns working together could give the team some scoring depth it's sorely lacking right now.

Hagman scored at least 20 goals per season from 2007-10.
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Posted On Monday, 11.14.2011 / 12:16 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Flyers, Hurricanes

Here are how the lineups are projected to look tonight when the Carolina Hurricanes face the Philadelphia Flyers at the RBC Center:

FLYERS
Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr
James van Riemsdyk - Danny Briere - Wayne Simmonds
Matt Read - Maxime Talbot - Jakub Voracek
Zac Rinaldo - Sean Couturier - Harrison Zolnierczyk

Chris Pronger - Matt Carle
Braydon Coburn - Kimmo Timonen
Andreas Lilja - Andrej Meszaros

Sergei Bobrovsky
Ilya Bryzgalov

HURRICANES
Eric Staal - Brandon Sutter - Chad LaRose
Justin Skinner - Jussi Jokinen - Tuomo Ruutu
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Tim Brent - Patrick Dwyer
Jiri Tlusty - Zac Dalpe - Zach Boychuk

Jay Harrison - Tim Gleason
Bryan Allen - Jamie McBain
Derek Joslin - Tomas Kaberle

Cam Ward
Brian Boucher
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Posted On Monday, 11.14.2011 / 12:00 PM

By Steve Webb -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Making of a Royal

Webb: The evolution to 'great'-ness


In this week's 'Making of a Royal' blog, assistant coach Steve Webb discusses the team's play in the Bauer International Invite in Chicago, Ill. After earning victories over the Toronto Eagles (Ont.), Ice Jets Academy (Tex.), Detroit Warriors (Mich.), Indiana Ice and Team Wisconsin, the Royals suffered a 2-1 shootout loss to Detroit Honey Baked (Mich.) in the tournament semifinal round. Webb also talks about the process that's required to becoming a 'great' player.

Our recent tournament in Chicago went well. We went in there and showed what we had. Our games on Sunday [Nov. 6] were our best games against Wisconsin and Honey Baked. You always want to leave on a high note, so I was very impressed with the way our team prepared for the final two games and came out and actually executed all day long.

Making of a Royal feature

When you get into shootout situations, it's pretty exciting for the kids on the bench. It was definitely a roller coaster ride, for every shooter and the kids were up and down. It was a very fun thing to be a part of … to observe these kids and see their reactions. The emotions involved really galvanized our team which was a positive spin at the end of a tournament that you lose.

To tell you the truth, we had a couple tough games at the start. I don't think we really performed that well; we didn't come prepared to play the game. We get these guys to prepare and the first four games we weren't prepared. What we've been stressing since the first tournament of the year in Vermont is that it's each player's responsibility when they get to the rink to prepare for the game. Whatever they have to do, whether a team stretch or something, you have to prepare for each other.

We had conversations about using the 'Y Athlete' website and work on our preparation since we weren't really excited about the way we were preparing for the games. They had to start evaluating themselves on their preparation and we'll do that for about a month and see where that goes; see if they start getting focused a little bit earlier in the dressing room.
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Posted On Monday, 11.14.2011 / 11:46 AM

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

Avalanche name Hejduk captain

After deciding against choosing a replacement for the retired Adam Foote to start the season, the Colorado Avalanche named Milan Hejduk the third captain in the team's history  Monday.

The 35-year-old Hejduk and Paul Stastny had been serving as alternate captains. Hejduk will wear the "C" for the first time Tuesday when the Avalanche face the Pittsburgh Penguins.
 
"Milan is a player who leads by example both on and off the ice," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said. "He is a product of this organization and won a Stanley Cup with this franchise. He is well-respected among his teammates and we feel he deserves this opportunity and responsibility."
 
Hejduk, who has served as one of the permanent alternate captains since 2008-09, joins Joe Sakic and Adam Foote as the only captains the Avalanche have ever had. Overall, Hejduk is just the 10th captain in the franchise's 32-year history. The Usti-nad Labem, Czech Republic native joins Peter Stastny as the only European-born captains in franchise history.
 
"I'm honored to be named Avalanche captain," Hejduk said. "From my rookie season here in Colorado, I have always felt a great sense of pride wearing this sweater and being a part of this organization. I am looking forward to this added responsibility."
 
Hejduk, who won a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 2001, ranks third in franchise history in games (927), is fourth in goals (364) and points (769), and fifth in assists (405). He is the franchise's all-time leader in regular-season overtime goals with 9 and his 59 career game-winning tallies rank second behind only Sakic (86). Hejduk sits third in franchise history with 136 power-play goals.

The Florida Panthers are now the only NHL team without a captain.
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Posted On Monday, 11.14.2011 / 11:04 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes' favorite Hall of Fame goalies

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Posted On Sunday, 11.13.2011 / 5:27 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 HHOF blog

Carbonneau on teammates, friends and rivals

TORONTO -- Guy Carbonneau has a special bond with three of this weekend's inductees. He won the Stanley Cup with Joe Nieuwendyk and Ed Belfour in Dallas in 1999, and he played in some legendary games in the Montreal-Toronto rivalry against Doug Gilmour.

Carbonneau talked to NHL.com about both:

What's it like to be here this weekend to help honor two of your ex-teammates that you went through so much with?

"It's unbelievable. I always say you make a lot of friends just by playing hockey but probably your best friends will always be the players you won the Cup with. I remember '86, '93 and '99 was a great season for everybody. Having a chance to play against all four guys that are inducted, and especially with Joe and Eddie in '99, it's a thrill."

What was it like to go against Gilmour in those Montreal-Toronto rivalry games?

"He was a great competitor. He was a lot more offensive than I was, but we played the same style. Neither of us wanted to give an inch and those are great memories. Any time you play against a great competitor makes you raise your game a little bit and that's what I always enjoyed."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Sunday, 11.13.2011 / 5:18 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 HHOF blog

McDonald talks Howe, Gilmour and Nieuwendyk

TORONTO -- Lanny McDonald won the Stanley Cup with Doug Gilmour and Joe Nieuwendyk in 1989, his final season in the NHL. In retirement, McDonald watched Gilmour go on to become a legend in Toronto and Nieuwendyk win the Stanley Cup twice more, first in Dallas and then in New Jersey.

But, prior to joining forces with Gilmour and Nieuwendyk, McDonald played in some tough games against Mark Howe, both when he played with his dad in Hartford and then alongside Brad McCrimmon in Philadelphia.

"Unfortunately I made a mistake to run Mark in Hartford one game and got an elbow from Gordie later on," McDonald told NHL.com on Sunday. "Mark was one of those quiet, calm guys that just played the game at the top level all the time. When you look at the plus minus of him and Brad McCrimmon that year, one was plus-85 and one was plus-83, that tells you how good he was game in and game out."

McDonald, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992, also expressed his excitement to see Gilmour and Nieuwendyk.

"They both win a Cup there (in Calgary) and Nieuwendyk goes on to win two more Cups and Gilmour has a phenomenal career not only point-wise but especially how he played in the playoffs every year," McDonald said. "It's an absolute honor to hang out with these guys and be a part of this celebration."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Sunday, 11.13.2011 / 5:07 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 HHOF blog

One-on-one with Mark Howe

TORONTO -- I caught up with Mark Howe for a one-on-one after he received his Hall of Fame jacket at the Legends Classic on Sunday. Here is what he had to say about being Gordie Howe's son, the moment he realized he will be in the Hall of Fame, nerves going into Monday's induction speech and how he goes about his normal life after such an emotional, whirlwind weekend:

Q: You're getting a lot of questions about your father and what it means to have your father here with you, but you talked at the Fan Forum about the moment in Philadelphia when you became Mark Howe, not just Gordie's son. Does it feel that way again here, that this is your induction?

"I know it's my induction but part of being the son of Gordie Howe is accepting that fact. And, it's a fact that I figure I'm the luckiest person on the face of the earth to have Gordie Howe as my father. What I hope for this weekend is that maybe I get the attention just because my dad wants me to get the attention when historically it has always gone to him. My wishes are that the people come here and pay me the respect and put him secondary. I would never consider it that way, but it would make him feel better."

Q: We always hear guys talk about how it's an unbelievable feeling, but at some moment it sets in that you're going into the Hall of Fame. What was that moment for you?

"It started yesterday. When I walked out onto that ice yesterday and I was the first individual out there, I had a moment to reflect, and I'm saying, 'Wow, this is starting to really mean so so much.' It's making me really look forward to Monday and being able to thank so many people that have been so important in my life. It's going to hit home because everybody around him, my friends and family, say you don't know what honor you've received yet. Yeah, I'm waiting and it's coming. Today was a better feeling than yesterday, so I know how special tomorrow is going to be."

Q: The speech is also a nerve-wracking experience for some that go into the Hall of Fame. Are you nervous?

"No. Historically I always get a little nervous, a little pumped up. I wrote my speech on a flight going down to Tampa to go scout a game, and it came from my heart. Historically whenever I speak I just speak from my heart and I don't read, but I'm going to be reading (Monday night) because I want to try to get the words correct and get the people in there. I'm sure I'll be a little bit nervous. The hardest part is it brings up so many emotions. How do you put 56 years of life into five minutes. They're awesome emotions, but I just want to be able to keep my emotions under control."

Q: You go back to being a scout after you leave the Hall of Fame. Is it going to be hard to go back into your regular day to day routine?

"No, it's easy because I'm in hockey rinks and I'm around hockey people all the time. It's been my life and it's something I love, something I have a great passion for. Not often do I sit back and reflect on my past a lot, my history, but I'm going to reflect on this day. I'm sure a lot of the people I run into in the scouting world, they're all going to come up to me and pay their respects. I'm going to be reminded of it quite often I'm sure."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Sunday, 11.13.2011 / 3:49 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose Minute: Best skaters in NHL history

Former NHL head coach and player Barry Melrose starts a new gig this season: He will be blogging for NHL.com throughout the 2011-2012 season.

I've got another list this week, and it is the five greatest skaters ever to play in the NHL. Here we go:

No. 5 Pavel Bure

When he was in Vancouver, he was so scary against. If he got a step on you, it was going to be a breakaway. The saying everyone used to use with Bure was, "if he's even, he's leaving" because if someone was side-by-side with him, no in the NHL had a chance of catching Pavel Bure. For about a five-year period there, I don't think anyone had as many breakaways in the NHL as Bure did.

Former Canucks forward Pavel Bure could beat everybody wide. (Getty Images)
He was just so fast, so slippery, so quick. He could beat everybody wide, so if you got aggressive and tried to cheat out wide, he'd jump to the middle and beat you. If you tried to stand up on him, he'd throw it through your legs and go around you. He was just a great, great offensive player and speed was his major weapon. He could make some great moves, but he beat everybody with his speed.

Bure had a tremendous second gear. You'd be going with him and think you had them, and then … bam. He was a lot like the roadrunner in that cartoon. It seemed like the coyote had him a bunch of times and the roadrunner would just kick it into another gear and the coyote would be left in the dust. Well, a lot of defensemen were left in the dust with Pavel.
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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp