Posted On Friday, 06.28.2013 / 11:17 AM

By Staff -  / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks thank Boston in full-page Globe ad

In a final show of sportsmanship following one of the most exciting Stanley Cup Final series in recent memory, the Chicago Blackhawks are paying tribute to the city of Boston.

In a full-page open letter published Friday in the Boston Globe (view it here), Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz and President/CEO John McDonough said "thank you" to the Boston Bruins organization and the city of Boston.

The ad read as follows:

"Hockey is a tough game. As impressed as we were by the strength, talent and competitive spirit of the Boston Bruins on the ice, we were deeply touched by what happened off the ice. Rarely have we experience the hospitality you afforded us throughout the playoff series between two incredibly gifted teams.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.27.2013 / 6:49 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Nurse's father pushed him to hockey

NEW YORK -- It's no secret that Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defenseman Darnell Nurse comes from an athletic background.

Most sports fans have heard of his uncle, former NFL All-Pro quarterback Donovan McNabb. His father, Richard Nurse, was a wide receiver with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League.

Darnell said he's seen the result of that career crop up as his father has gotten older.

"The other day we were sitting on the back deck and that was one of my questions," Nurse said during a press event Thursday at the Empire State Building. "He can't straighten one of his elbows, he's got a couple fingers pointing the wrong way."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.27.2013 / 6:26 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

MacKinnon not focusing on Avalanche's praise

NEW YORK -- While the Colorado Avalanche appear to have decided on taking Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon with the top pick of the 2013 NHL Draft on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN), MacKinnon said he isn't paying much attention to it.

Joe Sakic, the Avalanche's executive vice-president of hockey, said of MacKinnon during a television interview Monday, "I think if we had to do it today, right now, he would probably be the guy, yes."

In an interview with on Monday, Avalanche coach Patrick Roy echoed those sentiments: "It would be tough for us not to take MacKinnon. MacKinnon is ready to play tomorrow."

MacKinnon said he didn't hear the comments directly, but learned pretty quickly what had been said.

“Actually both times I was asleep in bed, so I woke up with a bunch of texts and I didn't know what was going on at first," MacKinnon said during a press event Wednesday at the Empire State Building. "But I kind of just checked my [Twitter] mentions and then people will kind of let me know what's going on in my own life. That's the way it works these days -- you find out from Twitter and not the news or anything. Word gets around pretty quick, I guess."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.27.2013 / 5:35 PM

By Nathan MacKinnon -  Special to / - Nathan MacKinnon Draft blog

MacKinnon: Empire State Building was a rough trip

Nathan MacKinnon is in his second season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this year. The 6-foot, 182-pound forward has 32 goals, 75 points and a plus-40 rating in 44 regular-season games for the Mooseheads in 2012-13. In 17 playoff games, MacKinnon finished with 11 goals and 33 points to help lead his team to the QMJHL championship. He was then awarded with the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as Memorial Cup MVP after finishing with tournament highs of seven goals and 13 points in four games as Halifax won its first Cup crown. MacKinnon, who served as captain for Team Cherry at the 2013 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and represented Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Russia, has offered to provide with a monthly blog leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, N.J.

NEW YORK -- I arrived in New York and checked into my hotel in Times Square Wednesday afternoon. I'm rooming with Seth Jones and he got in Wednesday night. Jonathan, Seth, and Darnell Nurse and I have been hanging out together since then. We're all good buddies, and so far we've seen a good chunk of the city.

This morning we were fortune enough to go to the Yankee game and watch six innings. It was my first time going to a Major League Baseball game and we had great seats right behind first base. They recognized us and put us on the Jumbotron, which was very cool. I was pretty pumped to be a part of that.

After the game we had a long drive over to the Empire State Building. I'm pretty scared of heights and I thought we were going to be inside a room, but it turned out we were outside with only a few metal bars separating us from the edge. That took some getting used to.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.27.2013 / 4:52 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to / - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones enjoying his first trip to New York City

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. The top-ranked player in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, Jones was named the best professional prospect in the WHL, and helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

NEW YORK -- Hello from the top of the Empire State Building!

I'm finally here in New York and I can't wait for the draft to get here. I got in Wednesday, and when I got to my hotel room, Nathan MacKinnon was there. We have the same agent, so I guess they decided to make us be roommates for the next few days.

We walked around Times Square and it was cool seeing all those people around the city. Then the two of us had dinner out at an Italian restaurant -- I can't remember the name, but the food was good.

It's my first time in New York City, and it's pretty cool. It's very hectic, very crowded. It looks just like the movies -- there's taxis everywhere, people honking horns. But there's also a lot of shopping, a lot of high-end places. It's cool to come here and definitely get this experience.

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.26.2013 / 4:10 PM

By NHL Green -  / - NHL Green Slapshots™

Recycle the Game at the 2013 NHL Draft!

As part of the League’s ongoing initiative with Restore Hockey, NHL Green asks all fans attending the 2013 NHL Draft to help us recycle the game!

WHAT: Donate your used hockey equipment! Upon collection, non-profit Restore Hockey will refurbish all donated gear, which will be delivered to youth community-based hockey programs in need of support. Accepted items include helmets, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey pants, shin pads, gloves, skates and sticks.

WHERE: Championship Plaza (adjacent to Prudential Center), between Edison Place and Market Street and on Mulberry Street

WHEN: Sunday, June 30th, from 10:30AM - 2:30PM

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.26.2013 / 12:03 PM

By Staff -  / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Kane to talk playoffs with Letterman

Fresh off winning the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane will be a guest on "Late Show with David Letterman," on Wednesday (11:35 p.m. ET, CBS).

Kane tied for second among all players with nine goals and 19 points in 23 playoff games. He had three goals and an assist in the Cup Final against the Boston Bruins, including the game-winning goal in Game 5 to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 series lead.

Also scheduled for the show Wednesday are actor Jamie Foxx, musical guest Wale and a Top Ten List presented by The Backstreet Boys.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.25.2013 / 3:46 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Agents looking forward to big day for clients

Pat Brisson, the agent for two of the top players available for the 2013 NHL Draft, recently was asked which of his two high profile clients -- defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks or Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads -- would be selected first at the 2013 NHL Draft, to be held Sunday at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN).

"At this point, you could flip a coin," Brisson told "They're two great players and you don't find too many of them. The teams that will get them will be thrilled for years to come because I've seen a lot of young players come in over the years."

Brisson knows of what he speaks, as his client list includes three consecutive No. 1 NHL draft picks -- Sidney Crosby (2005), Erik Johnson (2006) and Patrick Kane (2007).

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.25.2013 / 1:33 PM

By Staff -  / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks' Stanley Cup win makes cover of SI

Tuukka Rask makes a save on the June 10, 2013 cover of Sports Illustrated. (Courtesy: SI)

Bolland's winner on cover.
(Click to enlarge)
Courtesy: SI

The Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup win Monday against the Boston Bruins will be rewarded with a regional cover of this week's edition of Sports Illustrated.

The team's remarkable come-from-behind 3-2 win against the Bruins in Game 6 of the Final showcases Dave Bolland's game-winning goal with 58.3 seconds left in regulation, 17 seconds after Bryan Bickell had tied the game.

The banner headline reads "First City," a play on Chicago's "Second City" nickname, and includes the cover line: Chicago's spectacular coda to a remarkable NHL postseason.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.25.2013 / 10:43 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Murray lets season, not one tournament, be his guide

Tampa Bay Lightning director of amateur scouting Al Murray said he would prefer an accumulation of information over the course of a full season rather than single out one particular tournament in making final evaluations of prospects leading up to the draft.

Murray was asked if he felt the Memorial Cup performance by center Nathan MacKinnon of the champion Halifax Mooseheads would influence those teams who might have had defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks at the top of the their draft board.

"I can't speak for everyone else, but I know the way we think is an accumulation of information and not just one event," Murray told "The last event you see always sticks in your mind, but if you flipped the Memorial Cup to Christmas time and put World Junior Championship in April, then you'd have Seth Jones No. 1 because Seth had a dominant tourney there.

"Nathan played well [at the WJC], but his role with the team wasn't an offensive role with Team Canada and was more of an energy role. But the last time you see a player oftentimes influences people."

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Quote of the Day

He scores 50 goals, they go in, they go in, and they go in. And I think, 'Why can't I do that?'

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on teammate Alex Ovechkin, who scored his 50th goal of the season Tuesday in a 4-2 win vs. the Hurricanes