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Posted On Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 6:45 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks' Keith grateful to be back in Final

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith has heard the stories and has even spoken to legendary Hall of Fame member Bobby Hull about the unfortunate set of circumstances.

Bottom line is, the world-class blueliner knows opportunities like this don't happen very often.

Hull recently told Keith that after winning the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 1961, he expected many more to follow, but that wouldn't happen over his next 11 seasons in Chicago. It's a conversation Keith remembers well. In fact, the Blackhawks wouldn't hoist the Cup again until 2010.

"I've heard that story and talked to Bobby Hull quite a bit about how they thought they would win several but never ended up getting back again and winning another," Keith said. "I take a lot of pride in being here and I'm excited about the opportunity. I'm going to try to make the most of it."

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 5:33 PM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst / - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Bruins' power vs. Hawks' skill

First of all, I just love that the 2013 Stanley Cup Final is going to be an "Original Six" series. It is the first time since 1979, so these things are very rare.

If you look at these two franchises and all that they've been able to accomplish, the fact that this is the first time they've met in the Final is crazy. You think of the history of both franchises, and the iconic players who have played in both places -- Bobby Orr is the first one that comes to mind.

It is an unbelievable experience, not only for the players, the coaches and everybody associated with the teams, but the fans and all of us who are fortunate enough to work in and around the game. I think it is going to make for a special Stanley Cup Final.

Looking at Boston, I love the way the Bruins are playing. After they were able to get out of the noose against the Maple Leafs, they've been outstanding. Tuukka Rask has been outstanding the whole time, by the way.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.11.2013 / 4:00 PM

By NHL Green -  / - NHL Green Slapshots™

Help Recycle the Game in NYC!

As part of the League’s ongoing initiative with Restore Hockey, NHL Green will soon unveil a one-of-a-kind equipment donation net.  Swing by the NHL Powered by Reebok Store this weekend and 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.

The NHL Powered by Reebok Store, in New York City (1185 Avenue of the Americas at 47th street)

When? Friday, June 14 – Sunday, June 16

Donors will receive a 15% discount at the NHL Powered by Reebok store.

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Posted On Monday, 06.10.2013 / 5:38 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Shaw on Chara, Marchand and kissing Kane

CHICAGO -- Practice Monday was optional for the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center, which meant only a handful of options for TV crews and writers looking for players to interview.

Blackhawks rookie Andrew Shaw was one of those available afterward and he chatted about a number of different subjects, ranging from his own improbable path to the NHL to playing against 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final to a photo of he and Patrick Kane celebrating Chicago's double-overtime victory Saturday in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings.

The picture, which shows Kane sliding on his knees with arms extended and Shaw hugging him from behind, is making its way around the Internet via social media.

Here are a few of the more notable snippets from Shaw's media session Monday:

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Posted On Monday, 06.10.2013 / 3:45 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Gonchar adds dimension to Stars

Sergei Gonchar may be in the latter stages of his NHL career, but he proved this past season he can still be a valuable fantasy contributor when given a prominent offensive role.

Sergei Gonchar
GOALS: 217 | AST: 558 | PTS: 775
PPG: 101 | +/-: 39

His new two-year contract with the Dallas Stars, which was made official Monday after the Ottawa Senators traded his rights last Friday, indicates he could be quarterbacking the team's first power-play unit once next season rolls around.

If Gonchar transitions well, he's likely to remain valuable and under the radar from a fantasy standpoint entering 2013-14. With Norris Trophy-winner Erik Karlsson sidelined in February, the 39-year-old stepped into his teammate's role and proved he can still make a difference. Gonchar kept the team afloat in the playoff race and even set a franchise record with at least one assist in 10 consecutive games (Mar. 3 to Mar. 23). He also led all Ottawa skaters with 12 power-play points in the regular season.

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Posted On Monday, 06.10.2013 / 3:23 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Getting waived best thing for Daugavins

BOSTON -- In late March, Kaspars Daugavins barely could crack the Ottawa Senators' lineup and eventually was waived.

Now, the left wing not only is heading to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final as a member of the Boston Bruins, he seemingly is part of their top 12 forwards in the aftermath of Gregory Campbell's broken fibula sustained in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The 24-year-old said he feels blessed he was plucked off the waiver wire by Boston on March 27.

"Well, obviously I was lucky to get out of there [Ottawa] and come to a great organization, and I wasn't thinking this far," Daugavins said after the Bruins practiced at TD Garden on Monday. "Like at the time, I was just hoping to get some ice time and play and prove that I can be in this League. And we picked up in the playoffs, so it's awesome. It's like a big bonus right now."

With Campbell out for the remainder of the postseason, it's likely Daugavins will continue to fill Campbell's spot when the Cup Final begins Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

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Posted On Monday, 06.10.2013 / 2:52 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst / - Melrose Minute

Melrose: Hard to find edge in fantastic Final matchup

Usually the two teams that get to the Stanley Cup Final have had to overcome something. The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins have both been tested. They've overcome the challenges and they're playing their best hockey right now. You don't get this far unless you're playing great hockey, and I think both these teams are playing the best hockey they've played all year long. They both have six excellent defensemen, they both play four lines and both teams are playing great, as you could see in their respective conference finals. To dominate two teams like the Los Angeles Kings and the Pittsburgh Penguins the way Chicago and Boston did is just phenomenal.

The 2013 Stanley Cup Final is pitting two teams that are deep, talented, experienced and playing with a ton of momentum. You probably have to go back to the 1980s when the Edmonton Oilers were playing against the Philadelphia Flyers, or maybe when the Flyers faced the New York Islanders a few years earlier, to find two teams that are this experienced in the Stanley Cup Final. It's very unusual to have a Final with two teams that have each won the Stanley Cup so recently.

So, with all that said, who has got the edge?

The answer is probably that neither team has any edge, at least not one that's obvious. I think what you've got is a powerful offensive team like the Blackhawks against a team that loves to try and play matchups and match lines. I think that's exactly what Bruins coach Claude Julien is going to have to do. He's going to want Zdeno Chara out against Jonathan Toews' line and Patrice Bergeron out against Marian Hossa's line, and it'll go from there just like it did against Toronto, the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh. And don't forget, this team returns a lot of the players that shut down a big offense in Vancouver in the Stanley Cup Final two years ago.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.08.2013 / 8:11 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Richards returns to Kings lineup in Game 5

CHICAGO -- Center Mike Richards is back in the Los Angeles Kings' lineup for Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night after missing three games with a concussion.

Chicago leads the best-of-7 series 3-1 and can clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Final with a win.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.08.2013 / 2:24 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Sutter calls Richards '50/50' to play in Game 5

CHICAGO -- Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter said "it's possible" center Mike Richards will play in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). Richards has missed the past three games with a concussion.

The Blackhawks lead the best-of-7 series, 3-1.

"I'd say it's 50/50," Sutter said of Richards' chances of playing.

Richards took rushes on the fourth line between Jordan Nolan and Kyle Clifford during the morning skate Saturday. He declined a request to be interviewed in the dressing room afterward.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.08.2013 / 1:38 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Keith happy to be back in Blackhawks lineup

CHICAGO -- After watching teammates scramble to fill in during a one-game suspension, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith is excited to get back in the lineup.

The Blackhawks will try to close out the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). With his team leading the best-of-7 series, 3-1, Keith said he's eager to rejoin the fray.

"I'm looking forward to the game and know it's going to be the biggest game of the series. I want to play a good hockey game," said Keith, who was suspended for one game after hitting Kings forward Jeff Carter in the face with his stick in Game 3. "It's tough to watch. When you're playing every game and then all of a sudden you're watching on TV, it's just a different feeling altogether. I couldn't really tell you, to be honest, if we were playing good or bad in the first period [of Game 4] or not … or what was going on."

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Quote of the Day

It's very special, obviously; there is draft day and then there's the day that you sign your first deal. It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I'm very honored to be able to do that."

— Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid on signing his first professional contract