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Posted On Wednesday, 03.06.2013 / 11:41 AM

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

Barry's best of the first half

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.06.2013 / 10:37 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Blues sign Edmundson, Veilleux to contracts

The St. Louis Blues on Wednesday announced the signings of defenseman Joel Edmundson and forward Yannick Veilleux to three-year, entry-level contracts.

Edmundson, a 2011 second-round draft choice (No. 46), has combined for nine goals and 25 points in 60 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors and Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League this season. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound defenseman has spent the past three seasons in the WHL, where he's totaled 15 goals, 68 points and 319 penalty minutes in 187 games.

Veilleux has 30 goals and 65 points in 58 games with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season. The 6-2, 208-pound forward, who was chosen in the fourth round (No. 102) of the 2011 NHL Draft, has 79 goals and 180 points in 240 games spanning four seasons in the QMJHL.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.06.2013 / 10:33 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Blues recall Allen from AHL

The St. Louis Blues on Wednesday recalled goaltender Jake Allen from Peoria of the American Hockey League.

In five NHL games this season, Allen is 3-1-0 with a 2.62 goals-against average and .895 save percentage. In 34 AHL games with Peoria, the 22-year-old goalie is 13-18-2 with a 2.92 GAA, .904 save percentage and two shutouts.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.06.2013 / 10:21 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Devils recall Frazee, send Kinkaid, Janssen to AHL

The New Jersey Devils on Wednesday assigned goalie Keith Kinkaid and right wing Cam Janssen to the Albany Devils of the American Hockey League and recalled goalie Jeff Frazee.

Both Janssen and Kinkaid saw action in Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at Prudential Center.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 6:50 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Byfuglien will play for Jets vs. Florida

SUNRISE, Fla. Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien made it to the BB&T Center in time for Tuesday night’s game against the Florida Panthers.

Byfuglien flew home Monday to attend to a personal matter, and Jets coach Claude Noel said after Tuesday’s morning skate that the defenseman was scheduled to land in Fort Lauderdale shortly after 5 p.m. ET.

Byfuglien leads the Jets in average ice time at 24:43. He has three goals and 10 points in 16 games.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 6:02 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Richards out for Rangers vs. Flyers

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers confirmed shortly before 6 p.m. ET that center Brad Richards will not be in the lineup Tuesday night when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

Physical forward Micheal Haley, who was called up from Connecticut of the American Hockey League earlier in the day, will take Richards' spot in the lineup. It's not known if Haley will play center or if another forward will move to the middle.

Richards is still dealing with the after-effects (soreness, stiffness) of the check from behind Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta delivered during Sunday's shootout victory. Richards, who didn't miss a shift in the game Sunday, was driven headfirst into the left-wing boards; Kaleta was suspended five games by the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

Richards skipped practice Monday and briefly skated Tuesday morning at the team's suburban training facility, but he left the ice quickly and did not address the media.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 5:50 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Kearns ready for Sharks' debut in his hometown

VANCOUVER -- This week just keeps getting better and better for Bracken Kearns.

First he got the call from the San Jose Sharks on Sunday, saying he'd been called up from the American Hockey League after veteran forward Martin Havlat was hurt on Saturday. Then he checked the schedule and saw the Sharks' next game was in his hometown of Vancouver against a Canucks team that his father, Dennis, played more than a decade for. Then he got put on San Jose's top line with Joe Thornton and Logan Couture.

For a late bloomer with just five NHL games in eight professional seasons, it may even top playing his first NHL game with the Florida Panthers on Oct. 20, 2011.

"That was a big deal for me," Kearns said of his NHL debut, "But coming here and getting to play with Thornton and Couture, it's just incredible. I checked the schedule and I couldn't believe it, so I am pretty pumped."

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 5:22 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Ballard back in Canucks lineup after being scratch

VANCOUVER -- Defenseman Keith Ballard wasn’t happy watching the Vancouver Canucks' past two games from the press box as a healthy scratch, something that has happened more often than he’d like over his three seasons with the team.

Ballard does not, however, want to be traded out of Vancouver, speculation that began when his agent was quoted as planning to talk to the team. The beleaguered blueliner still prefers fighting for ice time on a good team to playing a lot more on a bad one, something he knows all too well from spending his first five NHL seasons out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Florida Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes.

“First five years, I played 25 minutes, up by one, down by one, PP, PK, over the boards every other shift,” Ballard said. “We finished 26th, 27th, 29th, and whatever in the League, and it’s not fun. It’s fun playing a lot. It’s fun getting those opportunities. It’s fun taking the one-timer on the 5-on-3, but it [stinks] losing. Regardless of what happens here, or how long I’m here, I like it here because of that fact (it’s a winning team). It’s a good group.”

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 4:54 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Devils sticking with Hedberg against Lightning

New Jersey Devils goalie Johan Hedberg will get his sixth consecutive start when they play the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

There had been some speculation rookie Keith Kinkaid could make his NHL debut after Hedberg gave up four goals on 23 shots in a 4-2 loss Monday at the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 4:45 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Maple Leafs sign Holzer to two-year extension

The Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday announced a two-year contract extension for defenseman Korbinian Holzer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Holzer, 25, has played 16 games for the Leafs this season scoring two goals and registering 19 minutes in penalties. He recorded his first NHL goal, which was also the game-winner, in the Leafs' 3-2 win at Washington on Feb. 5

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound defenseman is tied for third on the team in blocked shots with 37. He has also skated in 34 games for the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies in 2012-13 collecting a goal, eight points and 28 penalty minutes.

Holzer, a native of Munich, Germany, has represented his country at several international tournaments including the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the 2010 and 2011 IIHF World Championship, and the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship.

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When things aren't going well for us in this city [Toronto], I think there is a lot of overanalyzing going on. You've got the most passionate fans in the world here and a lot of (media) coverage, so you know there's going to be a lot of people giving their two cents worth on us.

— Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk after a win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday
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