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Posted On Friday, 08.17.2012 / 11:46 AM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Stoll honors grandparents during day with Cup

Few players have had as active a day with the Stanley Cup as Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll did Thursday.

Stoll visited two separate rinks, held numerous public events, and ended with a banquet with about 1,100 guests. And all this was between two southeastern Saskatchewan towns -- Neudorf and Yorkton -- separated by about 50 miles. So it's pretty telling that Stoll's first stop of the day was to his grandparents' house.

In fact, Stoll's day with the Cup began with a big hug from his grandmother, Doreen, who hosted a brief party at her home in the morning, along with Stoll's grandfather, Wilbert. The pair has been a huge part of Jarret's upbringing, hosting the entire Stoll clan during holidays and attending many of their grandson's youth games. Before those games, the pair would promise to pay Jarret a dollar for every goal he scored, a proposal that got expensive as Jarret developed into a young hockey star. Jarret even picked his number, 28, because his grandfather was born in 1928.

In a day when hundreds of people shared in Jarret's celebration with the Cup, the Kings forward, who came one win short of a Cup win with the Edmonton Oilers in 2006, made sure to reserve plenty of time with family. There was a photo session featuring the Cup and Stoll's family at an area studio and a constant Stoll family presence throughout the day.

But it all started Thursday morning with a special visit to the home of Wilbert and Doreen Stoll.

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Posted On Thursday, 08.16.2012 / 8:45 AM

By Ian McCoshen -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Ian McCoshen Draft blog

Waterloo's McCoshen ready for Jr. Club World Cup

Ian McCoshen will be entering his third season with the Waterloo Black Hawks in the United States Hockey League in 2012-13. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound McCoshen, regarded as one of the top draft eligible prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft, has produced eight goals and 26 points in 97 career games in the USHL. Waterloo is representing the USHL in the 2012 Junior Club World Cup tournament from Aug. 18-26 in Omsk, Russia. McCoshen, 17, has agreed to take the time and maintain a blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his stay in Russia both on and off the ice.

Hello everyone!

Ian McCoshen (Steph Regenold/Waterloo Black Hawks)

My name is Ian McCoshen and I play defense for the Waterloo Black Hawks in the USHL.

Thanks to NHL.com for giving me the chance to share my experiences as our team prepares for the upcoming season with our big trip to Russia for the 2012 Junior Club World Cup.

I first came to Waterloo when I was 15 years old and have enjoyed every moment of my time here. Not too many guys can say they played three seasons in the USHL and I have a unique opportunity to again be part of such an outstanding league.

I am looking forward to this season ahead of us because we have a good team with a great group of guys and I'm really excited about what we can do. Our team came up just one game short of winning the Clark Cup last season and it took me a couple months to get over that feeling of being so close to a championship. It was tough to get to sleep at night with that weighing on my mind, but it gives me even more motivation heading into this season.

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.15.2012 / 7:10 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Stanley Cup enjoys trip through Saskatchewan

With 13 different Los Angeles Kings players and staff members hailing from Ontario, Canada's most populous province will see plenty of the Stanley Cup this summer. But Saskatchewan is getting three days of its own this week with hockey's holy grail, more than any Canadian province other than Ontario.

Not bad for a province with a population of just over 1 million -- and one that went without a Cup visit last summer.

It started Tuesday in Saskatoon, where Kings scout Brent McEwen received the Cup. While McEwen enjoyed plenty of private time with the trophy in his hometown, the real celebration began when he brought it to the University of Saskatchewan's Rutherford Rink, a historic facility that opened in 1929.

As a former hockey player, manager and coach for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, it was the perfect homecoming for McEwen, who also served for seven years as general manager of the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League before joining the Kings in 2004. With McEwen's daughter getting married last Saturday, it was an eventful week for the family.

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.15.2012 / 5:12 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Sharks re-sign Mashinter to one-year deal

The San Jose Sharks on Wednesday re-signed forward restricted free-agent forward Brandon Mashinter to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Mashinter, 23, had 16 goals and 17 assists in 65 games with the Worcester Sharks, San Jose's American Hockey League affiliate, last season. He was second on the team in goals and fourth in points.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound center has 13 games of NHL experience, all with the Sharks in 2010-11, when he went scoreless with 17 penalty minutes and a minus-2 rating.

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.14.2012 / 9:06 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Flames invite Begin to camp on tryout contract

The Calgary Flames announced Tuesday that Steve Begin will attend training camp on a professional tryout contract.

Begin, an 11-year NHL veteran, missed the entire 2011-12 season after hip surgery. He played two games for the Nashville Predators in 2010-11 after appearing in 77 games for the Boston Bruins the previous season.

"Everybody thought I was done," Begin told the Flames' website. "But I love the game so much that I wanted to make a comeback.

"I'm doing everything to get back in shape -- I'm in great shape right now -- and I'll do everything I can to make this team."

Begin played 123 games for the Flames after he was chosen by them in the second round (No. 40) of the 1996 NHL Draft. He had 18 points and 192 penalty minutes.

"I'm coming back to where it all started. It makes it more exciting for me," he said. "I can't wait to go back. I still have a few friends back in Calgary and I know the city so it's going to be great. It makes the opportunity even better."

Begin, 34, also played for the Montreal Canadiens and Dallas Stars. He has 100 points and 539 PIM in 488 career games.

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.14.2012 / 1:35 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Ranford gets another chance to host Cup

Bill Ranford won the Stanley Cup twice as a player with the Edmonton Oilers, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1990. But those wins predated the modern tradition entitling members of the Stanley Cup-winning team to a day with the trophy. So when Ranford won another Cup, this time as the Los Angeles Kings' goaltending coach, the town of New Westminster, British Columbia knew it was going to have a big celebration this summer.

Monday was already scheduled to be a big day for the town located in the eastern part of the metro Vancouver area. Anne Callaghan, the United States Consul General, was scheduled to visit the office of Mayor Wayne Wright that day. But when the Cup was delivered to Ranford around noon, Callaghan's visit was likely overshadowed.

Kings' goaltending coach Bill Ranford poses for a photo on his day with the Stanley Cup. (Photo: Jeff Vinnick/NHLI)

For his efforts with Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, who himself won the Conn Smythe for his outstanding play, Ranford received the Cup in the town known as "the Royal City" and immediately enjoyed private time among friends and family. From there, Ranford delivered the Cup around 4 p.m. to the local Queen's Park Arena, where fans had been lined up for three hours to get a chance to see the Cup. A photographer took photos of locals, who got to pose with the Cup in exchange for a small donation to the local hockey program.

After two hours at the arena, Ranford hosted a private party with the Cup, which was scheduled to spend time on Tuesday with Kings scout Brent McEwen in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

To Ranford's credit, this wasn't his first Cup unveiling in New Westminster. In 2004, shortly before coming on as a goaltending coach with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League, Ranford lobbied the Hockey Hall of Fame for a day with the Cup. Taking into consideration his two wins as a player, the Hall of Fame gave Ranford and New Westminster their day with the Cup. Eight years later, the pair made a triumphant return to the Royal City.

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Posted On Monday, 08.13.2012 / 1:48 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Avs sign Giguere to extension through 2013-14

The Colorado Avalanche have signed veteran goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere to a one-year contract extension through the 2013-14 season.

Giguere appeared in 32 games during his first season with the Avalanche in 2011-12, posting a 15-11-3 record with a 2.27 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. He finished ninth in the League in GAA and posted the best number by a Colorado netminder since David Aebischer's 2.09 in 2003-04. Giguere's .919 save percentage was also the best by an Avalanche goalie since Aebischer's .924 that same season.

"J.S. provided leadership, stability and a veteran presence to our team last season," Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman said. "He helped solidify our goaltending position and we are pleased to have J.S. under contract for the next two seasons."

Giguere, 35, has fashioned a 246-206-70 career record with a 2.52 GAA, .913 save percentage and 36 shutouts in 557 NHL games. The Montreal native ranks eighth among active goaltenders in career games (557) and shutouts (36), and is 10th in wins (246).

His 246 career victories tie him with George Hainsworth and Pete Peeters for 46th place on the all-time list. Giguere's 36 shutouts rank 41st in NHL history, and his 557 appearances place him 49th in games played by a netminder.

Giguere backstopped the Anaheim Ducks to the 2007 Stanley Cup championship. Four years earlier, he became the fifth player in League history to win the Conn Smythe on a losing team when he led Anaheim to Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Final, where it lost to the New Jersey Devils.

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Posted On Monday, 08.13.2012 / 9:20 AM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Mitchell's Cup journey connects his past with present

PORT McNEILL, B.C. -- For Willie Mitchell, it wasn't enough to thank the tiny town that raised and nurtured him -- as both a hockey player and young man -- during his one day with the Stanley Cup.

For the veteran defenseman of the Los Angeles Kings, it was important to also honor the First Nation community that continues to stoke his spiritual side every summer as he searches for balance through the area's incredible natural surroundings, away from the pressures of being a professional athlete.

For Mitchell, 35, it was important to thank the entire north end of Vancouver Island -- even if the effort left him worn out for the little private time remaining.

So Mitchell split the bulk of a long day with the Stanley Cup between his hometown of Port McNeill and at the 'Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay on nearby Cormorant Island. In Port McNeill, Mitchell posed for pictures in the arena where he learned to skate with a crowd estimated at approximately 6,000 – more than double the population of the little logging town.

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Posted On Sunday, 08.12.2012 / 3:45 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Mitchell takes Stanley on the water

PORT MCNEILL, B.C. -- Willie Mitchell and the Stanley Cup have been left behind temporarily at the community arena in Port McNeill, where the last few thousand fans waited for their chance to get a group picture with the guests of honor.

The rest of the Mitchell entourage, including grandfather Les, who was once invited to training camp with the New York Rangers in the Original Six era, is already aboard three different boats bound for Alert Bay on a nearby Island.

Mitchell and the Cup will take a helicopter over a bit later for a traditional ceremony at the Namgis First Nation Longhouse. But it's not like Mitchell, an avid fisherman, hasn't had a chance to take the Cup out onto the ocean that is such a big part of his life and this small community on the northern end of Vancouver Island.

The Los Angeles Kings' defenseman woke his father, Reid, with a 3:30 a.m. call to take the Stanley Cup fishing, a trip that left other family members with blood from the day's catch still on their clothes during the morning ceremony at the arena, and left more than a few tourists out on whale watching expeditions shocked to see hockey's famous trophy out in a boat in the wee hours.

... More to come

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Posted On Sunday, 08.12.2012 / 1:30 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Mitchell brings the Cup to Port McNeill

PORT MCNEILL, B.C. -- With a population listed just over 2,600 people, it's safe to say traffic jams aren't the norm for the town of Port McNeill.

But with Willie Mitchell bringing the Stanley Cup to the north end of Vancouver Island on Sunday, the lineups were as long as that big stick the Los Angeles Kings defenseman uses to poke the puck away from top NHL forwards.

Organizers were expecting up to 7,000 people to see Mitchell and the Cup, more than doubling the population of the oceanside fishing and logging town Mitchell grew up in -- and still returns to every summer. The local arena was already overflowing, with lineups winding in every direction out the door, more than half an hour before Mitchell and the Cup were expected to arrive by helicopter in an adjacent field.

With so many people eager to see both, the plan was to bring people into the arena 50 to 75 at a time for group photos before Mitchell flies it to Alert Bay on a nearby island for another afternoon ceremony.

More to come ...

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Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh