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2015 NHL Draft
Posted On Saturday, 06.06.2015 / 1:40 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2015 Stanley Cup Final blog

Blackhawks focus on 'redemption,' better performance

TAMPA -- The Chicago Blackhawks are apparently looking for redemption.

They are also looking to take a stranglehold on the Stanley Cup Final.

Despite leading the best-of-7 series 1-0 after stealing Game 1 with two late goals in less than two minutes, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is looking forward to having an opportunity to make up for what he felt was a poor performance when the puck is dropped Saturday for Game 2 (7:15 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

"We definitely have energy, we got excitement," Toews said when asked about the Blackhawks looking loose in the morning skate. "We're eager to redeem ourselves and play better in Game 2. I think we're kind of embracing the pressure now, whereas I think in Game 1 there's always that sense of not knowing what to expect from another team and a team that you haven't seen much."

Posted On Saturday, 06.06.2015 / 1:11 PM

By Corey Long - Correspondent / - 2015 Stanley Cup Final blog

Lightning rookie Drouin could play in Game 2

TAMPA - Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin could be inserted in the lineup for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks at Amalie Arena on Saturday (7:15 p.m., ET, NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Blackhawks won Game 1 on Wednesday, 2-1, and have a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Drouin, the third pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, had four goals and 28 assists in 70 games during the regular season. He has played in three games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs and has no points with a minus-4 rating. Drouin hasn't played since Game 4 in the second round against the Montreal Canadiens on May 7.

"I'm in for warm-ups, and we'll see from there," Drouin said. "It's exciting. I watched the first game and it was high tempo, and I expect it will be an exciting game [Saturday]."

Posted On Saturday, 06.06.2015 / 10:44 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Blue Jackets could opt for defenseman in first round

BUFFALO -- Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has always believed that taking the best player available at the NHL draft is the best plan, and that won't change at the 2015 NHL Draft, where the Blue Jackets have the eighth pick of the first round.

But if there's a tie between two players of different positions, Kekalainen said the Blue Jackets could lean toward selecting a defenseman in the first round.

The Blue Jackets chose Ryan Murray with the second pick of the 2012 draft but he's played 78 games in two NHL seasons because of injuries. Mike Reilly, an offensive-minded defenseman picked in the fourth round (No. 98) in the 2011 draft, is unsigned and can become an unrestricted free agent June 15. He's spent this week in Buffalo during the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine meeting with other teams. Six of the 12 defensemen to play for the Blue Jackets last season were 25 or under. But of those six, David Savard (82) and Dalton Prout (63) were the only ones to play more than 60 games.

Posted On Saturday, 06.06.2015 / 9:41 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Combing the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine

Czech goalie Vladar happy with Combine performance

BUFFALO -- Goaltender Daniel Vladar had the unenviable task of being the first top prospect at his position to complete the nine fitness tests on the final day of the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine at HarborCenter on Saturday.

In the end, the 6-foot-5, 185-pound native of Praha, Czech Republic, was all smiles with the realization that he survived the grueling Wingate Cycle Ergometer peak power output test to measure the explosiveness of a skater.

Posted On Saturday, 06.06.2015 / 9:30 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Combing the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine

Wingate, balance test offer challenges for prospects

BUFFALO -- The 2015 NHL Scouting Combine has a new look and a new location, but the Wingate bike test remains the one challenge most draft prospects anticipate the most.

The last test of the day, it's a 30-second all-out sprint on a stationary bike that measures a player's explosiveness.

It's not just the difficulty of the test, which includes trainers inches away yelling motivation. It's performing it in front of NHL strength coaches, scouts and general managers, as well as members of the media.

"It draws a lot of attention," said defenseman Ethan Bear of the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League. "It was pretty hard, especially when they're screaming at you."

Posted On Saturday, 06.06.2015 / 9:07 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Combing the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine

Fitness testing gets started at NHL Scouting Combine

BUFFALO -- The final day of the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine officially kicked off here at HarborCenter on Saturday morning with a dozen top prospects testing on the nine events.

There were three prospects medically exempt from testing on Saturday, Oshawa Generals defenseman Mitchell Vande Sompel, Omaha Lancers center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Rouyn-Noranda Huskies defenseman Jeremy Lauzon. Niagara IceDogs defenseman Vince Dunn was medically exempt from lower-body testing; Everett Silvertips defenseman Noah Juulsen did not test since he had to return home for high school graduation.

Goaltender Ilya Samsonov of Magnitogorsk in Russia was unable to attend the Combine; no reason was provided. Samsonov is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of international goalies.

Posted On Friday, 06.05.2015 / 6:19 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Combing the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine

Top defense prospects poised to steal spotlight

BUFFALO -- There is the potential for some breakout stars to emerge from a group of defense prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft that has been overshadowed by the top-end forwards who have dominated the attention during the buildup to the draft.

The top three in that group of defensemen are Noah Hanifin of Boston College, No. 3 on NHL Central Skating's final ranking of North American skaters for the draft; Ivan Provorov of the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League (No. 7); and Zachary Werenski of the University of Michigan (No. 9).

Though six spots in the rankings separate the three players, there's little difference in talent level.

"To separate these guys a few years down the road is going to be very difficult," NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr said Friday.

Posted On Friday, 06.05.2015 / 6:00 PM

By Staff -  / - In Case You Missed It Blog

ICYMI: Friday, June 5

Have #FOMO? Simply want to catch up after a busy day? No worries, has you covered. Welcome to our new ICYMI blog, a daily digest of all news, features and blogs we publish. Consider it your one-stop shop for all written content.


Blackhawks' Keith entering elite company with play
Duncan Keith is three wins away from his third Stanley Cup, and NHL Hall of Fame defenseman Brian Leetch and Scott Niedermayer believe he will join them in the Hall of Fame one day.

Closer look: Palat, Hossa ready to shine in Final
Two-way forwards Marian Hossa of Chicago Blackhawks and Ondrej Palat of Tampa Bay Lightning bring defensive acumen to Stanley Cup Final. Take a "Closer Look."

Julien to return as Bruins coach
Claude Julien will return as coach of the Boston Bruins next season, general manager Don Sweeney said on Friday.


Rangers' Staal, Girardi each have successful surgery
New York Rangers defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi each had successful ankle surgery, and are expected to return for training camp next season.

Senators GM Murray inducted into Ottawa Sports HOF
Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray will be inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame on Friday.

DeGregorio to step down as president of USA Hockey
Ron DeGregorio will step down as president of USA Hockey after 12 years and four terms on Saturday as one of the architects of the United States National Team Development Program.


Lightning hope adjustments pay off in Game 2

The Tampa Bay Lightning are down after the first game of a series for the third time in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Desjardins: Ready to go after day off
Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Desjardins enjoyed resting, recovering and eating on a day off Thursday before returning to practice Friday. The Blackhawks are focusing on Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, and know they can improve on their performance in a win in Game 1.

Blackhawks' top-four carry the load on defense
The Chicago Blackhawks have ridden four defensemen into the Stanley Cup Final, and they have ridden them hard.

Shore, Manchester aim for franchise's first Calder Cup
The Manchester Monarchs have never won the Calder Cup and hope that changes when they play the Utica Comets in the Calder Cup Final. The Monarchs have been at the top of the AHL standings all season, and are led by forward Nick Shore.

Combine bike tests will push prospects to their limits
The two bike tests at the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine are built to push the top prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft to their limits


Blackhawks' van Riemsdyk, Bickell likely won't play in Game 2
Chicago Blackhawks players Trevor van Riemsdyk and Bryan Bickell are likely to miss Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Weekes: Pluses, minuses for Blackhawks, Lightning
Kevin Weekes gives his analysis from Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Maple Leafs impressed with depth of draft
Toronto Maple Leafs director of player personnel Mark Hunter believes the team will pick up with two high-end players in the first round of the draft

For more 2015 NHL Combine coverage, follow's blog.

Matthews likely to play in Europe before 2016 NHL Draft
Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, is leaning toward playing in Europe and not attending college in the Fall.

Posted On Friday, 06.05.2015 / 4:20 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Combing the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine

Players smaller in stature attracting attention

BUFFALO -- The smaller forwards of today's game are taking advantage of the NHL rule changes in 2005 that helped facilitate more of an offensive style of play.

They also are changing the way scouts think when it comes to the NHL draft.

A quick glance at the scoring leaders in the Stanley Cup Playoffs shows Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson (5-foot-8, 183 pounds) with a League-best 21 points, one point more than Chicago Blackhawksforward Patrick Kane (5-11, 177).

Posted On Friday, 06.05.2015 / 3:39 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2015 Stanley Cup Final blog

Blackhawks' van Riemsdyk likely won't play in Game 2

TAMPA -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk may play at some point in the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but it likely won't be in Game 2 at Amalie Arena on Saturday (7:15 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville opened the door to using van Riemsdyk in Game 2 when he spoke Thursday, but a day later he appeared to be content with his defense.

"I think he's available," Quenneville said of van Riemsdyk. "I think we'll probably keep the same group on the back end."

That would mean David Rundblad and Kyle Cumiskey stay in the lineup; they combined to play 12:23 in Chicago's 2-1 win in Game 1.

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Quote of the Day

After being through it and seeing the other [outdoor] games on TV, just the atmosphere is spectacular. To stand here -- and we are essentially almost on the blue line -- and look up [into the stands] and knowing it is going to be packed and playing our biggest rival in this setting is going to be pretty special.

— Bruins president Cam Neely on the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between Boston and Montreal at Gillette Stadium on
Jan. 1, 2016