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Posted On Sunday, 10.02.2011 / 10:46 AM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks fly to Scandinavia

Lydman's status up in the air

HELSINKI -- Tony Lydman wants to play in front of his countrymen Friday when the Anaheim Ducks face the Buffalo Sabres here at Hartwall Areena, but a decision on his status for that season-opening contest has yet to be determined.

Lydman, a Lahti, Finland, native, had surgery to repair the torn labrum in his left shoulder in May, and it is unclear if he will be allowed to play against Buffalo.

"Right now we're carrying seven defensemen and 14 forwards and three goaltenders, but Lydman isn't in that group," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "He'll have to go on injured reserve by Thursday. There will be a decision that has to be made here as we go through practice. We're not ruling him out, but his timeframe to play -- he'd be ahead of schedule if we were to use him this weekend. He's had major shoulder surgery and the timeframe they've given us was sometime in mid-October.

Lydman was on the ice with the rest of the Ducks at practice Sunday morning. The team will practice again Monday, Wednesday and Thursday with an exhibition game Tuesday against Jokerit.

The 34-year-old defenseman spent his first two years as a professional with Tappara in SM-liiga, but he also played two seasons with Jokerit's rival in Helsinki, HIFK. He also played for HIFK during the lockout in 2004-05.

"I'm close to playing, and I hope to be able to play, but nothing is sure yet," Lydman said. 

Added Carlyle: "If you watch him skate and practice it doesn't look like anything is wrong with him, but those things do take time to heal."

Carlyle has two other players who are questionable for the game Friday. Defenseman Kurtis Foster had surgery to repair the metal plate in his leg two weeks ago. Foster had the plate inserted after his leg was broken two seasons ago, and a loose wire from the plate was cutting into the muscle in his leg.

Left wing Matt Beleskey also had surgery to repair a torn labrum in May, and is on a similar timetable to Lydman. The Ducks brought extra defensemen to Finland specifically as insurance in case Lydman and/or Foster aren't ready.
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Posted On Sunday, 10.02.2011 / 10:38 AM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks fly to Scandinavia

Finns making up Ducks' new Big Three

HELSINKI -- The Anaheim Ducks will have a new "Big Three" this week, because Finnish natives Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu and Tony Lydman are clearly the players everyone wants to see and meet this week.

A few members of one of the team’s in Jokerit’s youth hockey system were about to get on a bus this morning, but many of them wandered over to the entrance of "The Cave," which is what Hartwall Areena’s practice rink is affectionately called, and waited to see if the Ducks would come out that way after their practice was complete.

The team flew from California to Newark, N.J., for refueling yesterday and onto Helsinki where they arrived this morning. They were scheduled to practice at Hartwall at noon, but decided to go straight to the rink and were practicing by 11 a.m. or so.

Everyone was on the ice inside "The Cave" -- and trust me, it really feels like you’re in a bunker or a cave down there -- for the Ducks in a spirited practice despite the travel. All eight defensemen and three goalies who made the trip went through practice. There were no surprises with the forward lines:

Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry (white)

Blake-Koivu-Selanne (red)

(Smith-Pelley)-Cogliano-Gordon (orange)

Parros-McMillan-McGrattan-Beleskey-Macenauer (grey)

The three Finns shared the media spotlight today, while coach Randy Carlyle also spent about 15 minutes answering questions from about a dozen members of the local media. Anaheim will be back at Hartwall Areena for practice Monday, which is scheduled for an early afternoon start.
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Posted On Sunday, 10.02.2011 / 10:31 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Christensen in, Avery sits against HC Slovan

BRATISLAVA -- Rangers coach John Tortorella said Saturday that Sean Avery and Erik Christensen are vying for the final roster spot before the team gets to Stockholm to open the regular season.

Well, Christensen is in the lineup tonight against HC Slovan, and Avery is scratched. Read into that what you will, but I'll find out more of Tortorella's reasoning after the game.

I thought he would play them both tonight and Monday in Zug, and judge off of those performances, but clearly Tortorella has a different plan.

Wojtek Wolski is the other forward scratched, but he played in both Prague and Gothenburg.

Henrik Lundqvist will start in net for the Rangers and be backed up by Martin Biron.

Dan Girardi, who hasn't played yet here in Europe, will be on the top defensive pair with Ryan McDonagh. The Rangers have only six healthy defensemen here with Michael Sauer still out with a shoulder injury and Marc Staal back in the U.S.

Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger, Brendan Bell and Stu Bickel round out the Rangers D corps tonight.

Brian Boyle will get a look as the left wing on the top line with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov will play together again. That seems to be the Rangers second line for the moment, and will be to start the season provided Tortorella feels comfortable with either Wolski or perhaps even Boyle on the top line with Richards and Gaborik.

Christensen, Brandon Prust and Ruslan Fedotenko make up the third line. The fourth line is Derek Stepan with Mats Zuccarello and Mike Rupp.

One noticeable name on the Slovan roster is Miroslav Satan.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Sunday, 10.02.2011 / 10:31 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Sabres take Germany

Juggling the lines

The Buffalo Sabres brought 24 players to Europe and could open ther season with this lineup -- minus emergency goalie Drew MacIntyre, who is here on a roster exemption.

Of those 23 players, Luje Adam might be the biggest surprise. The young forward, taken in the second round in 2008, has taken advantage of some injuries (Jochen hecht) and suspensions (Brad Boyes) to really open the eyes of the coaching staff.

During Sunday's practice, Luke centered a line with Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville and could play in that role in Tuesday's exhibition game against Adler Manheim. With Adam in that spot, Drew Stafford moved up to play on a line with Nathan Gerbe and Derek Roy, while Boyes played with Ville Leino and Tyler Ennis. The fourth line was a rotating trio of fashioned from four forwards --  Patrick Kaleta, Paul Gaustad, Matt Ellis and Cody McCormick -- while Hecht took part while wearing a non-contact jersey.

So, can the 21-year old Luke make the Sabres after his first pro season, which saw him score 62 points in 57 AHL games, as well as 4 points in a 19-game cameo with the Sabres?

"Right now, we are still in the evaluation process, you know," Ruff said. Derek (Roy) is coming off injury. We'll  take another look at Luke (Tuesday) night. I think he has played well. Brad Boyes is coming off injury and I thought his last game was his best one. There are players pushing for ice time and position right now."
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Posted On Sunday, 10.02.2011 / 10:22 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Sabres take Germany

Sabres arrive in Germany

The Buffalo Sabres arrived in Mannheim, Germany Sunday morning and imnmediately made their way to the rink for a one-hour practice at SAP Arena that was heavy on skating drills.

Coach Lindy Ruff planned both the time and content of practice to give his team the best chance to get accilimated to European time. The club travelled overnight from Buffalo and landed at approximately 9 a.m. local time. By noon, 6 a.m. on their bo0dy clocks, they were on the ice for a pretty spirited practice.

“I think to just get the legs underneath you, and break up what’s going to be a long day. We want to try and stay on schedule, and make sure that everybody stays up and gets back on what would be our North American schedule,” he explained. “We have stressed the importance of staying on schedule, and not laying down and ending up with a three-hour nap and then you can’t sleep during the night.

“I actually thought they looked pretty good. We kept it a little on the lighter side. But overall I thought the boys skated pretty well.”

The players, who did not seem to sleep much on the trans-Atlantic flight, were happy for the chance to do something
upon arrival, if only to kill some time until they can shut it down tonight.

"I think the idea is to fight it for six or seven more hours and try to get to bed at 7:30 or 8 p.m.," goalie Ryan Miller told NHL.com. "I'm not going to make it much longer than that. Maybe a little bit of food and hopefully there is something to do for awhile." 


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Posted On Sunday, 10.02.2011 / 8:49 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Three in one

BRATISLAVA -- Three countries in a span of about 12 hours. Holy smokes.

That's what today is all about, three in one, with a game in the middle.

We have arrived in Bratislava and the Rangers are in the process of getting ready for their game against HC Slovan at Slovnaft Arena in a little over three hours.

We woke up this morning in Gothenburg, had breakfast and headed to the airport for our roughly two hour flight to Bratislava. We touched down here around 1:10 p.m. local time.

We bussed to a hotel, which is attached to Slovnaft Arena, so the Rangers could have a pregame meal. More on that in a bit.

There were plenty of autograph and photograph hounds waiting at the hotel for the Rangers to arrive. There were also several photographers and TV cameras waiting for Gaborik, who happily did interviews with them all and signed as many autographs as he could.

In fact, as Gaborik was walking up a flight of stairs to a scheduled pregame meal, a kid in a wheelchair came into the lobby and screamed out his name. Gaborik turned around and quickly made a beeline down the steps to sign the kids cards and take a picture with him.

Speaking of the pregame meal, after eating breakfast and then getting the chance to eat again on the plane, I'm not sure how many Rangers at again at the hotel. I'm not exactly sure who ate and how much they did, because it would have been their third meal in about four hours, which seems a bit crazy to me.

Anyway, even with the arena only a two-minute walk from the hotel, it was still a chore to find the right way to go. For some reason myself, Rangers website writer Jim Cerny and MSG photographer Scott Levy decided to follow a crew that included Mike Rupp, Martin Biron and Scott Stajcer.

We should have just waited for Gaborik considering he has played here before and probably would have been a better guide.

But, we digress. We found our way into the press center and I must say, it is really nice and the wireless internet access is first class.

The game begins at 5 p.m. local time and when it's over, we'll be back on the bus, heading back to the airport to fly to Zurich tonight. The Rangers play in nearby Zug on Monday night, their final tuneup before the regular season begins Friday in Stockholm.

Three countries in one day with a game in the middle. Just your average day.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Saturday, 10.01.2011 / 7:00 PM

NHL.com - Roster Call

Roster Call for October 1, 2011

The following NHL teams have announced the following roster moves today.

  Anaheim Ducks

Re-assigned to AHL: Patrick Maroon.

  Calgary Flames

Re-assigned to AHL: Guillaume Desbiens.

  Columbus Blue Jackets

Re-assigned to AHL: Tomas Kubalik, John Moore.
Placed on waivers with intention of being re-assigned: Martin St. Pierre, Nick Holden.
Placed on waivers: Alexandre Giroux.

  Los Angeles Kings

Re-assigned to AHL: Andrew Campbell, Thomas Hickey, Dwight King.

  New York Rangers

Re-assigned to AHL: Tim Erixon, Blake Parlett, Ryan Bourque, Carl Hagelin, John Mitchell, Kris Newbury, Dale Weise.

  Ottawa Senators

Re-assigned to AHL: Robin Lehner, Mark Borowiecki, Patrick Wiercioch, Kaspars Daugavins, Mike Hoffman.

  Phoenix Coyotes

Re-assigned to AHL: Maxim Goncharov, Andy Miele, Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Chris Summers, Viktor Tikhonov.

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Posted On Saturday, 10.01.2011 / 11:27 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Fog, Gothenburg's vibe and some people watching

GOTHENBURG, Swe. -- With a full day off built into the schedule, Henrik Lundqvist had planned to take all of his teammates on a boat cruise around Gothenburg this afternoon, but fog ruined his plans.

The guys were supposed to leave around 11 a.m. local time, but Lundqvist had to break the bad news to them that it was a no-go. A team dinner is still planned for tonight at Lundqvist's favorite restaurant in town.

Most of the Rangers spent the morning and afternoon walking around Gothenburg. I did the same thing with Rangers website writer Jim Cerny.

Today is a beautiful day and Jim and I took a walk up to the main street in the city, which is filled with restaurants, bars and shopping. Since it was a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, there were thousands of people milling all around.

Every restaurant, even Subway and 7-Eleven, had outside seating. We found a place right on the street, and for 150 Kronas each, the equivalent of about $20, we ate a full buffet lunch and did some awesome people watching.

We had to get back to the hotel by 4 because Rangers coach John Tortorella was conducting a conference call to talk about the eight cuts and give some injury updates on Marc Staal and Michael Sauer.

With the work now complete (I know, tough day), it's time to hit the street again. My own personal rule is when I have time in foreign cities, I have to walk around to get a feel for the place.

Gothenburg has a great vibe. Now I finally know what Lundqvist has been talking about all this time.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Friday, 09.30.2011 / 5:56 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

An amazing night in Gothenburg

GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- Considering the Rangers are expected to be making cuts in the next 24 hours, there were other storylines to watch from their perspective tonight. It just wouldn't be right to lump them in with what was an incredible homecoming for Henrik Lundqvist.

So instead, I'm going to push off the other news until Saturday, when the Rangers have a scheduled off day because Lundqvist has planned activities around Gothenburg for all of them. Tonight I'm going empty my recorder right into this blog.

Here are quotes about Lundqvist's night that I didn't use in my main story:

Lundqvist on the experience: "So many memories came up. I had my parents here and my closest friends, but also the Rangers. To have them here feels amazing. It's just a great experience. I will never forget it."

Lundqvist on getting an "A": "They were hiding my jersey until I had to go on. Then I saw it. There were so many things that meant a lot to me today and that was one of them, getting an 'A' here. To have the crowd welcome me like that and the players play a great game. I was very nervous. I wanted to win this game so I don't have to come back next summer and hear about it. Right now I'm just trying to reflect about everything that happened. It's going to take a couple of days."

Lundqvist on facing his twin brother, Joel: "I don't know if it's tough, but it's weird. Somehow I can always tell when he's on the ice and I always get a little more nervous when he gets closer to the net. I definitely don't want him to score. I really don't want him to score so it feels good that he did not score today."

Brian Boyle on Lundqvist: "You just feel happy for the guy. I can't imagine it's easy to go to across the ocean and play, and he's really made a name for himself. He's obviously a great athlete, a great goaltender and he means so much as a player on our team, but he's just a great guy. He's a great teammate, friend and he treats everybody with a lot of respect, it doesn't matter where you are in the organization. He's a good person so you want him to do well and you want good things to happen to him. It's obvious that they have and he's earned it."

Brian Boyle again on Lundqvist's plans for his team-only activity in Gothenburg on Saturday: "He wants us to see it so he has a lot of things set up for us. I know he's done a lot of work in that regard just to get us all together. That's a big thing for a team, and for him to go through a lot of work and make plans to get us involved, he just went out of his way to make sure we enjoy this trip as much as he does."

Tim Erixon on being a part of the experience: "It was exciting to see the ceremony before. You realize just how much they like him here and how big he is here. That was special."

Mike Rupp on seeing Lundqvist in this environment: "It's really neat to see. This is a part of the world that I'm not too familiar with, and you get to see what these guys mean. Sometimes I think we forget how fortunate we are when we play this game that you can look back on your career and see how many different players you've played with and what they mean to their country. It's pretty impressive."

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Posted On Friday, 09.30.2011 / 3:02 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Rangers lead Frolunda, 3-1

GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- The Rangers had to kill four straight penalties going back to the end of the first period, but Henrik Lundqvist made eight saves and came away unscathed. They faced three separate 5-on-3 disadvantages, of 73 seconds, 19 seconds and 48 seconds.

Soon after the final penalty came off the board, the Rangers got on the board, as Michael Del Zotto rifled home a shot from between the circles at the 5:24 mark of the second to give New York a 2-1 lead. Mats Zuccarello and Kris Newbury picked up the assists. Zuccarello made a great pass to get the puck to Del Zotto in space.

Erik Christensen made it 3-1 with 8:16 to play in the second with a shot from a similar spot as Del Zotto. Zuccarello again had the primary assist, with Stu Bickel also picking up the second assist.

The Rangers nearly cashed in with a power-play goal at the buzzer, but Predators prospect Magnus Hellberg made the save for Frolunda, keeping the score 3-1 heading into the third period.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff