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Posted On Monday, 01.14.2013 / 12:24 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-13 Training Camp blog

Islanders claim Finley off waivers from Sabres

The New York Islanders have claimed defenseman Joe Finley off waivers from the Buffalo Sabres.

Finley, a first-round pick (No. 27) of the Washington Capitals in the 2005 NHL Draft, made his NHL debut by going scoreless in five games for the Sabres last season, amassing 12 penalty minutes. He had one goal, five points and 81 penalty minutes in 36 games for AHL Rochester this season.

At 6-foot-8 and 249 pounds, Finley provides size and has two years remaining on the three-year, $1.575 million deal he signed with Buffalo prior to the 2011-12 season.

John Vogl, who writes the Sabres Edge blog for the Buffalo News, reports that the Islanders' claiming of Finley could affect what the team does with defense prospect TJ Brennan. Vogl writes the Sabres might be interested in sending Brennan back to Rochester, but he would have to pass through waivers first. Now, with Finley having already been lost, that move seems less likely.
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Posted On Monday, 01.14.2013 / 11:58 AM

By Matt Sitkoff -  NHL.com Contributor /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Crosby, Bylsma among Monday's NHL Live guests

We celebrate #hockeyisback in the season premiere of Cisco NHL Live today 5-7 p.m. ET on the NHL Network. Bill Pidto and EJ Hradek will keep you updated on all the news as training camps open to prepare for the NHL season.

Every day this week NHL Network will be live at a different training camp starting with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday. We will talk with Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby from the team practice facility on his health and readiness for the start of the season. We will also talk to Penguins coach Dan Bylsma and get a report from Rob Rossi from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

With four new coaches in the League and training camps shortened, we will ask our own resident coach, NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose, how he thinks these teams and new leaders should prepare. We'll also get the latest stories on signings, injuries and players to watch from NHL Network insider Bob McKenzie.

What is going on with goalie Roberto Luongo? On Cisco NHL Live we will talk to Kevin Woodley on what the current status is of the All-Star and what kind of effect his presence is having on the Canucks.

Don't forget to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL and keep an eye on this Senior Reporter's dance moves in his inaugural EJ5: Hradek's Top 5 Thoughts of the Day.

Make sure to tune in on the season premiere of Cisco NHL Live on NHL Network from 5-7 p.m. ET with Bill Pidto and EJ Hradek.

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Posted On Monday, 01.14.2013 / 10:30 AM

By Matt Sitkoff -  NHL.com Contributor /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Welcome to the Cisco NHL Live blog

The Cisco NHL Live Blog is your inside source for everything Cisco NHL Live, airing on the NHL Network from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday from the NHL Powered by Reebok Store in the heart of New York City. The NHL Live Blog will detail the appearances of all our great guests, including current and former NHL players, coaches, front-office personnel, prospects, hockey insiders and celebs.

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of your favorite TV show? Well, here at the Cisco NHL Live Blog, we'll give you, the NHL super fan, a unique insider experience. You'll also have your voice seen and heard as we'll host chats and search for the best "Ask EJ's." Ask, and ask often, because your question could be answered live on the air.

Want to re-watch your favorite player, coach or celebrity get interviewed? We'll share clips of the most memorable interviews and discussions from the crew right here.

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Posted On Monday, 01.14.2013 / 7:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Top Prospects Blog

Top prospects ready to shine in Halifax

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA -- Defenseman Seth Jones and center Nathan MacKinnon will highlight the rosters for their respective teams on Wednesday when the 2013 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is held at the Metro Centre in Halifax.

The contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET (NHLN-US, Sportsnet).

MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will captain Team Cherry and Jones of the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League will wear the 'C' for Team Orr.

With the exception of the three players representing Team Cherry from Halifax -- MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Zachary Fucale -- 37 others will be arriving in the province of Nova Scotia on Monday afternoon.

Team Cherry and head coach Don Cherry will conduct a practice session at 6 p.m. ET, followed by Team Orr and coach Mike McPhee at 7 p.m. ET.

On Tuesday, the players will undergo on- and off-ice testing at the Metro Centre from 8:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET. The remainder of the day is set aside for interviews and television promos.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.13.2013 / 7:24 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-13 Training Camp blog

Iginla misses practice with groin injury

Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla did not skate with his teammates Sunday on the first day of training camp because of a groin injury.

General manager Jay Feaster told reporters it was a precautionary move. The Flames were also short center Roman Cervenka and defenseman Anton Babchuk.

Cervenka is not allowed to skate because he is still taking blood-thinning medication after dealing with blood clots while playing in the Kontinental Hockey League. Feaster said Cervenka will visit a specialist in the next week to determine when he can stop taking the medication.

A free-agent addition in the offseason, the Flames hope Cervenka can fortify what has been an ongoing problem for several seasons at center.

Feaster said Babchuk is expected to be out three weeks with a shoulder injury he incurred while playing in the KHL during the lockout.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.13.2013 / 5:04 PM

NHL.com - 2012-13 Training Camp blog

Fans give Jackets standing ovation before practice

How happy were Columbus fans to see their Blue Jackets back on the ice? So happy that they packed the team's practice facility for the opening day of training camp -- which began with a standing ovation from the crowd.

John Davidson, the Jackets' new president, had a simple message for his players before practice began: "We're going north." He also said the franchise's goal is to be the hardest-working team in the NHL and a club that brings high intensity every day.

"We want the fans to come watch a team that's going to work our tails off," he said.

With Rick Nash, the franchise's all-time leading scorer, gone to the New York Rangers in an offseason deal, Davidson said he's OK with a "score by committee" approach. Perhaps not surprisingly for a former goaltender, he's more concerned about how his team plays in its own zone.

"I'm more worried about keeping the puck out of the net," Davidson said. "If we do that, we'll be fine. It's obvious with our club that we're going to need four lines, and they're all going to have to do some scoring for us."

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Posted On Sunday, 01.13.2013 / 4:05 PM

NHL.com - 2012-13 Training Camp blog

Holmgren: No change in Pronger's status

As far as general manager Paul Holmgren is concerned, the Philadelphia Flyers aren't expecting captain Chris Pronger back anytime soon -- if at all.

"He’s coming in today," Holmgren said Sunday as the team opened training camp when asked about Pronger's status. "He’s going to see the doctor."

Pronger has not played since November 2011; he's been unable to recover from the symptoms he suffered from following a concussion. He's still under contract for the next five seasons, but Holmgren said there hasn't been any change in his status.

"Down the road? I guess you could say slight chance," he said when asked about Pronger's chances of playing, "but I’d probably classify it as highly unlikely. Nothing’s changed."

Holmgren said Pronger has been able to do a few things for the Flyers off the ice.

"Chris actually does a lot of things for us," he said. "He’s been to the odd game. He does a lot of video scouting for us of young players. He tells it like it is. He tells it as he sees it."

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Posted On Sunday, 01.13.2013 / 3:24 PM

NHL.com - 2012-13 Training Camp blog

Gillis: Canucks won't give away Luongo

Roberto Luongo's time in Vancouver may be coming to an end, but Canucks general manager Mike Gillis won't give away the winningest goaltender in franchise history.

Luongo has been the subject of trade rumors since the Canucks signed Cory Schneider to a three-year, $12 million deal this summer with the expectation that he'll take over the starting job. Luongo is set to begin the third year of a 12-year contract that carries a $5.3 million cap hit, and the Canucks would rather not carry both players.

But Gillis isn't just going to throw the best goaltender in franchise history over the side.

"We're at a point where we expect high-caliber players coming back to us should moves be made," he said during meeting with the media on Sunday. "We're sticking to that."

Luongo has said he would waive his no-trade clause if asked, and has told Gillis to take as long as needed to make a deal.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.13.2013 / 2:19 PM

NHL.com - 2012-13 Training Camp blog

Stars open camp without unsigned Jamie Benn

The Dallas Stars opened training camp on Sunday without unsigned restricted free agent forward Jamie Benn, though general manager Joe Nieuwendyk hopes to have him under contract soon.

"I'm optimistic that we'll have him back on the team, but it won't be today," Nieuwendyk told ESPN.com on Sunday morning. "We'll focus on the guys we have here because it's a short camp and we need to get ready. But in the meantime, certainly we'll keep working away at trying to get Jamie re-signed."

Benn was second on the Stars in scoring last season with 63 points, including 26 goals, in 71 games. The 23-year-old has 160 points in 222 games during his three seasons with Dallas.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.13.2013 / 2:02 PM

NHL.com - 2012-13 Training Camp blog

Canucks sign defenseman Cam Barker

The Vancouver Canucks, looking for depth on the blue line, have signed free-agent defenseman Cam Barker to a one-year contract.

ESPN's Pierre Lebrun reports that the deal is worth $700,000.

Barker was Chicago's first-round pick (No. 3) in the 2004 NHL Draft and spent 4 1/2 seasons with the Hawks before being dealt to the Minnesota Wild at the 2010 trade deadline. He played last season in Edmonton after signing with the Oilers as a free agent in the summer of 2011, but was not tendered a contract in June and became a free agent again.

Barker signed a 25-game tryout with the Texas Stars of the AHL during the lockout, scoring three goals and eight points in 23 games, but the team opted to sever ties with him after it expired. He has been skating in Vancouver since then.

Coach Alain Vigneault said Sunday that he will give Barker an opportunity, and that Barker will practice and scrimmage with the team this week.

The 26-year-old native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, has played 296 NHL games, scoring 21 goals and collecting 94 points along with 286 penalty minutes. He has three goals, nine points and two penalty minutes in 17 playoff games.

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Quote of the Day

It's a moment that I've thought about for a very long time. It definitely feels great to get it out of the way. I couldn't have dreamed a better situation. I'm so thankful for this.

— Flames forward Sam Bennett after scoring his first career NHL goal in a Game 3 win vs. the Canucks