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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 12:30 PM

By Jim Ibister -  Special to NHL Green /NHL.com - NHL Green Slapshots™

Into the Wild: Minnesota Shows Operational Impact of Sustainability

Jim Ibister is the Vice President of Facility Administration for the Minnesota Wild and General Manager of the Saint Paul RiverCentre.

Seemingly, one of the misconceptions of sustainability programs is that they are all about resource conservation. While conservation is an important outcome of the Minnesota Wild/Xcel Energy Center’s sustainability program, it is certainly not the only one. We take a more holistic view of this program, including a focus on improving operational efficiencies in people and processes.

Creating and maintaining a successful sustainability program requires, among other things, a strong grasp of data. First, and perhaps most importantly, the staff needed to know their starting point. The Minnesota Wild partnered with consultant Progressive Associates to not only shepherd a successful campaign but to help us better understand who we were and how we operated.

The data Progressive gathered created a snapshot of the past and allowed the team to create a vision of the future. It helped to answer staff questions about why they were being asked to change their current practices. With the resulting buy-in came teamwork and with ongoing teamwork came repeatable and long-lasting change.

Good data also allowed us to ask and answer ongoing operational questions. Our team at the Xcel Energy Center developed a program that not only tracked monthly energy consumption and invoices, but also collected data in much smaller increments. This enabled important situational analysis, to answer questions such as: “Why is there a spike of electrical usage during these hours? What happened here that we see heating usage when we should be cooling?”

Now, in cooperation with the NHL and through application software developed by OSIsoft, the Wild’s Ice Operations team is taking this effort one step further. They are developing a program that will produce real-time data on what is happening to the ice as temperatures and conditions change in the arena. This live data, through monitors at the ice level, will give the ice team a head start in reacting to changes that might adversely affect the quality of ice. And while most of this data has always existed, it will now be presented in a consolidated way, overlaid with personal feedback and qualitative analysis. Nothing is more important to the Wild’s ice operations team than continuing to stay at the top of the pack in terms of ice quality.

These exciting developments are born out of a great side effect of a successful sustainability program: understanding who you are and how you work.

As teams and facilities strive to be more responsible in their use of natural resources, it is equally important to operate efficiently and with the excellence associated with the entire NHL.

View Xcel Energy Center's Sustainability Progress Reports.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 12:19 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Capitals claim Urbom on waivers

The Washington Capitals on Thursday claimed defenseman Alexander Urbom off waivers from the New Jersey Devils.

Urbom, 22, played one game for the Devils last season, and had eight assists in 68 games with the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Albany Devils.

A 2009 third-round pick (No. 73), Urbom had two goals in 14 games with the Devils, spread across the past three seasons.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 12:04 PM

By Adam Vingan -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Grabovski giving Capitals' power play new look

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Washington Capitals' vaunted power play picked up where it left off during a 6-4 season-opening loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

The League's most proficient unit last season scored three goals on six opportunities (though they failed to convert on a nearly 90-second two-man advantage in the waning moments of regulation), immediately establishing themselves once again as a force to be reckoned with.

Two of Washington's power-play goals came in nearly identical fashion in the third period as Mikhail Grabovski deflected two Mike Green shots from the point past Corey Crawford to complete his first NHL hat trick.

Interestingly enough, while Grabovski's second and third goals gave the Capitals a 4-3 lead, according to right wing Troy Brouwer, the 29-year-old was out of position on one of his two power-play goals.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 11:53 AM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Downie adds element to Avalanche

There's no question that rookie Nathan MacKinnon and new coach Patrick Roy stole the spotlight in their sparkling debuts for the Colorado Avalanche, but Wednesday's 6-1 rout of the Anaheim Ducks also made it clear Steve Downie can be an asset to both his team and fantasy owners.

Operating on the team's top line with Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly, Downie kicked off the season with a Gordie Howe hat trick (one goal, one assist, five PIMs), with both of his points coming on the power play. He also added four shots on goal and two hits in the win.

Colorado's depth up front, showcased by NHL.com leading up to the season with a League-leading nine forwards in its top 300 fantasy player pool, was evident all night long in a virtuoso offensive display. It was merely one game, but four of Downie's teammates -- MacKinnon, O'Reilly, Jamie McGinn and Alex Tanguay -- joined him in recording multi-point games on opening night.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 7:34 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flyers tinker with opening-night lineup

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers are set to begin their 2013-14 season against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night, and there appear to be some changes from what was seen during the preseason.

Among the changes based on pre-game warmups are a new-look top line that features Brayden Schenn replacing Jakub Voracek at right wing alongside center Claude Giroux and left wing Scott Hartnell.


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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 6:24 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bernier expected to make first start for Maple Leafs

PHILADELPHIA -- Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle did not meet with reporters before Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center, but it's expected that the only significant lineup change for them will be in goal. Jonathan Bernier is expected to get the start after serving as the backup in Tuesday’s 4-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens.

"I think both those guys in the preseason played really strong," Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk said. "The one [preseason] game in Detroit we hung him out to dry a little bit. He's really solid. You notice it in practice, even trying to score on him then, he doesn't give you much to shoot at and he really competes in there."


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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 4:22 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Roy, Selanne feel opening-night butterflies

DENVER -- Patrick Roy and Teemu Selanne will mark individual milestones Wednesday night at the Pepsi Center when the Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks begin regular-season play.

It will be Roy's first NHL game as a head coach when he goes behind the Avalanche bench. For Selanne, who has told the Ducks he plans to retire after the season, it will be his 22nd and final opening night.

"Yes, I'm nervous," Roy said following the morning skate. "There's nothing wrong for me to be nervous. I'm a proud person and I want to do well. I care, and when you care you have to be a bit nervous. I'm curious also to see the difference between preseason and how the (opposing) coaches are going to deal during the games, the adjustments I'm going to have to make. I'm convinced I'm going to learn a lot this year.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 4:16 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Ducks scratch Penner against Avalanche

Dustin Penner and the Anaheim Ducks were reunited this past summer, but Penner will not be in the lineup when the team opens its 2013-13 season Wednesday night against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed following Wednesday's morning skate that Penner is a healthy scratch. Penner was skating with coaches and extra players following practice, a good indicator that he's out of the lineup. It was last week when Boudreau called Penner's camp "mediocre," but the coach cited a strong camp from Patrick Maroon, expected to play left wing alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, as part of his reasoning behind the decision.


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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 3:05 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sabres' Foligno to miss opener vs. Red Wings

Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston revealed Tuesday that promising young winger Marcus Foligno will not be suiting up for the team's season opener Wednesday night in Detroit against the Red Wings (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN). He also added that the 22-year-old was "not for sure" to play in the team's back-to-back games this weekend, Friday night at home against the Ottawa Senators and in Pittsburgh against the Penguins on Saturday.

Foligno has not played since sustaining an upper-body strain in the team's 5-3 preseason loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sept. 22. Prior to the injury, Foligno had enjoyed a strong preseason for the Sabres, collecting three goals and four points in three games. He has been skating both alone and with the team, but has been sporting a red non-contact jersey.

"He's been skating and we've been trying him every morning," Rolston said. "He's been going out in the morning and trying it, but it's just not where it needs to be to put him in that situation where if he gets bumped [it could] set him back further."

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 2:44 PM

By Steve Mears -  NHL Live host /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Stastny, Cogliano talk Avalanche-Ducks on NHL Live

Twenty-six goals were scored on a wild first night of NHL action and three more home openers are on tap for Wednesday night. NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will recap #NHLFaceOff and look forward to Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN. We'll talk to Pierre McGuire who will be "Inside the Glass" as new Atlantic Division foes face off in the Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres.

Plus, it's Patrick Roy's coaching debut tonight in Denver as the Colorado Avalanche take on the Anaheim Ducks. We'll be joined by Paul Stastny, who is ready to begin his eighth season in Colorado and is in the last year of his current contract. On the Ducks' side, Andrew Cogliano will join us as he prepares for his seventh NHL campaign. Amazingly, he's never missed a game in his 458-game career with the Oilers and Ducks.

Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.

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Quote of the Day

That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4