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Posted On Wednesday, 01.16.2013 / 3:44 PM

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

Junior players heading back to OHL

The Dallas Stars on Wednesday returned a pair of prospects, forwards Radek Faksa and Brett Ritchie, to their junior teams.

Faksa, the team's first pick of the 2012 NHL Draft (No. 13), has 25 points in 30 games with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League this season. He had two assists in six games for the Czech Republic at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Last season, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound center led all first-year OHL players in goals (29), assists (37) and points (66).

Ritchie, a 2011 second-round pick (No. 44), was returned to the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL. The 6-3, 209-pound right wing is fourth in the OHL with 28 goals, and second on his team with 51 points.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.16.2013 / 2:53 PM

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

Weekes' Prediction: Atlantic winner is?

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.16.2013 / 2:52 PM

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

Weekes' Prediction: Southeast winner is?

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.16.2013 / 2:50 PM

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

Weekes' Prediction: Central winner is?

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.16.2013 / 2:45 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Barry's Prediction: Atlantic winner is?

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.16.2013 / 2:44 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Barry's Prediction: Southeast winner is?

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.16.2013 / 2:12 PM

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

Torres prepared to change style, avoid suspensions

Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres has been suspended six times in his NHL career, including a 25-game suspension during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs for a hit to the head of Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa.

Torres must sit out the first eight games of the 2012-13 season to finish that suspension, but when that's done, Torres hopes it's the final time he has to sit out due to NHL supplemental discipline.

"I can't afford to go through something like that again," Torres told the Arizona Republic. "There are some things that I'm going to have to change if I want to keep playing in this League at a competitive level, so I look forward to it. I know I can bring more to the game than just physical play."

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.16.2013 / 1:07 PM

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

Team Orr coach impressed with prospects

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- One practice and discussion with his players was all it took for Team Orr coach Mike McPhee to realize times have changed from his playing days.

McPhee, who will oppose Don Cherry at the 2013 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, Sportsnet) here at Metro Centre, took some time out to discuss those differences with NHL.com.

"The pace of the practice, movement and size of these kids … it's different than it was 20 years ago in the NHL, but it sure is fun to be involved," McPhee said. "Everyone talks about the kids being bigger, faster and stronger. I think maybe they're training harder and the technology is a lot better so you know how to attack things.

"The other thing is how well they handle themselves as 17- and 18-year-old kids. Maybe they're more used to the media with how widespread the Internet is today. Still, I think all the players will be nervous [Wednesday] and they realize it's big, but they're good kids and respectful and will look you in the eye. So whether they make it in the NHL or not, they all have that good quality moving forward."

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.16.2013 / 12:38 PM

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

Cherry ready for exciting game

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- The ever-loquacious Don Cherry met the media Wednesday morning to set the stage for what he believes will be an unforgettable matchup in the 2013 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, Sportsnet) here at Metro Centre.

"I think, as coaches, we won't have a problem getting the kids up for the game, but we'll probably have to take them down a few notches," Cherry said after Team Cherry practice and a team photo. "After the first couple of shifts, you'll start to feel the hate but it takes a couple of shifts. I guarantee this will be a great game."

While Cherry will be offering some words of wisdom to his players prior to the game, he said assistant coaches Brian Kilrea, Bert O'Brien and Nick Kypreos will do much of the coaching.

"I'm there and I'll do a little bit, but you can't have 50 guys telling them what to do," he said. "Brian and Bert are the guys who will take charge out there. Brian Kilrea is the winningest coach in junior hockey. And you better not stay on your shift too long. I remember Daniel Briere [in the 1996 Top Prospects Game] staying out longer than he should have … holy smokes. And they're going to have Kypreos miked for this -- they better have a seven-second delay going on, I can tell you that."

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.16.2013 / 12:17 PM

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

Weekes breaks down the Eastern Conference

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Quote of the Day

We have no doubt how he can play. You don't, with four teams that are left, you're not getting here without good goaltending. All great goalies left, and [Bishop] is a top-tier goaltender in this league and he's shown it.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper on goalie Ben Bishop, who shut out the Rangers in Game 5