Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 
SHARE
Posted On Thursday, 01.26.2012 / 5:19 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

Yakupov could return Friday for Sarnia

It appears as though Nail Yakupov, the top-ranked skater on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of North Americans, could rejoin the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League as early as this weekend.

According to The Observer, Yakupov, who has been sidelined since suffering a knee injury in the gold medal game of the 2012 World Junior Championship on Jan. 5, might play Friday against the Ottawa 67's.

Yakupov has certainly made the most of the time he's spent on the ice in Sarnia this season, connecting for 21 goals and 53 points in 26 OHL games. The 5-foot-10 1/2, 189-pound right wing won a silver medal for Russia at the WJC after producing 9 assists and a plus-4 rating in seven games. His teammate in Sarnia, Alex Galchenyuk, was believed to be out the entire regular season after undergoing ACL surgery. But, according to The London Free Press, he could return March 1.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 01.26.2012 / 5:00 PM

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

Cisco NHL Live: Melrose talks All-Star Game

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 01.26.2012 / 3:51 PM

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

Melrose: Who I'd take in the Player Fantasy Draft

Of all the events of All-Star Weekend, one of the best is happening tonight when Daniel Alfredsson and Zdeno Chara take their turns picking teams for this weekend at the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft. Anything can happen and I know it'll be great to watch when the show comes on tonight at 8 ET (NBC Sports Network, TSN), but before we see what Alfie and Big Z do, I've got my own take on what will happen.

Here is what I would do with my first five picks if I were Alfredsson or Chara tonight.

Round 1
I'm going to assume that Alfredsson wins the coin toss because he's the local boy with the game being at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. Now, I'm a big picture guy and I would want to do what's best for the NHL. If I'm Alfredsson and I'm the NHL, I want to work it so Alfredsson gets all the Senators on one team. I want the Sens fans to get to root for their guys together, so if I'm Alfredsson, I'm taking Erik Karlsson. I want that defenseman that can skate.

If I'm Chara, I could do what Eric Staal did last year and take my goalie with the first pick since Tim Thomas is out there; me, I don't care about goalies. They mean nothing in an All-Star Game. They all play only one period and they're just trying to get through it without being embarrassed. To me they're a second thought. A team has to pick its three goalies by the 10th round, so for me, I'm picking my starting five first. Let the other team waste high picks on goalies. I'm going after skaters. If I'm Chara, I'm taking Steven Stamkos, because few can score and skate like him.

Round 2
If I'm Alfredsson, in the second round I've got to stick with my guys and I'm taking my teammate Jason Spezza. Now I've got two forwards and a defenseman as well as a goalie in my assistant captain Henrik Lundqvist. I'm on my way.

If I'm Chara, to go with Stamkos and my assistant captain Joffrey Lupul up front, I'm taking Phil Kessel. I want another flying forward and don't forget, Phil is still motivated about the All-Star Game after being embarrassed by being the last pick last year. I think he'll be fired up, and it's in Ottawa, which I think matters to a Toronto player.

Round 3
My next pick as Alfredsson is Milan Michalek. Now I've got three forwards, a great skating defenseman and all of my Ottawa players on one team. Everyone in the stands can cheer for one team this way.

Now if I'm Chara and I can put another forward up top, I'm going with Henrik Sedin, a guy I can't imagine dropping any further than this. He's simply too good a playmaker to stay unpicked for long.

Round 4
If I were Alfredsson, the next guy I would take is Dustin Byfuglien because I love a guy who plays with his size and does what he does, but with Big Buff injured I'll have to get a different physical defenseman. To fill that role I'm going to go with a big tough guy who can hit, and I'm taking Dion Phaneuf. Now I've got Alfredsson, Spezza and Michalek up front and Karlsson and Phaneuf at the back -- an all-Ontario team for a game in Ottawa.

If I'm Chara, I come back with Brian Campbell, so now I've got that skating defenseman alongside Chara. Chara's an offensive threat when he wants to be, but he doesn't lead the rush all the time. I want to give him that offensive defenseman that can do that, and that's Brian Campbell.

Round 5
Fortunately, if I'm Alfredsson I've already got my buddy in the back with fellow Swede Lundqvist in net, a player who just happens to have been the best goalie in the League this year. With that, it's time to get the second line going, and I'm going to anchor it with one of the best centers you can find, and take Claude Giroux, a boy who grew up in Ontario, with my last pick.

As for Chara, with my last choice I'm going to fill out my team at the back and take my goalie, Tim Thomas.

That's the way the teams should work out. An event like this is all about the fans, it's about making everybody happy and I think this is what would make the most people happy. Tonight we'll get the chance to see how it all works out.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Wednesday, 01.25.2012 / 4:17 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

Craig Button's top 2012 draft prospects



Not soon after NHL Central Scouting released its midseason list of the top North American and European skaters for the 2012 NHL Draft, did NHL Network analyst Craig Button offer the top 10 prospects in his cross-hairs.

Not surprisingly, Button's list is chock full of talented defensemen and centers -- two areas of strength in this year's talented crops. The top player on his list is Nail Yakupov, the Russian flash from the Sarnia Sting in the Ontario Hockey League.

Here is Button's personal top 10 with some commentary on each prospect. The number in parenthesis represents the ranking issued by NHL Central Scouting earlier this month.

10 (9) - Jacob Trouba, USA U18 NTDP (USHL), D -- "A real terrific two-way defenseman. As he grows into his body, I think he has a chance to be a real force in that area of the game."

9 (3) - Ryan Murray, Everett (WHL), D -- "Is one of those guys that winning teams have. He doesn't make mistakes, he's steady and coaches will put guys like this on the ice because they know that nothing bad will happen. He's smart, a good skater. He's maybe not that dynamic offensively, but a very consistent, reliable defenseman."

8 (15) - Matthew Finn, Guelph (OHL), D -- "I just love Matt Finn because I think he's developed so much from the beginning of the season until now. To me, he reminds me of my dear late friend, Brad McCrimmon. Brad was a guy who could control the game in so many different ways, and that's what I see when I watch Matt Finn."

7 (2) - Mikhail Grigorenko, Quebec (QMJHL), C -- "Everybody needs centers, and the bigger the center, the better. Grigorenko qualifies under both traditions and he's a guy who might not have the greatest finishing ability, but he's a real strong playmaker who uses his size effectively. He's a strong skater and he has a lot of potential. He's one of the very few guys who could challenge the very top part of the draft, maybe even No. 1."

6 (8) - Griffin Reinhart, Edmonton (WHL), D -- "His brother was drafted by Calgary, and he has a younger brother up and coming. Griffin is different and the defensemen in the draft all have different qualities. They're big, strong and raw. But when he gets his confidence, size and physically matures, watch out, because he'll be a force."

5 (LV) - Alex Galchenyuk, Sarnia (OHL), C -- "He's been out with the ACL, rehabbing and trying to get back to the ice before the end of the season. But he's another center, a dynamic playmaker. He makes others around him better and he's a really strong competitor."

4 (5) - Morgan Rielly, Moose Jaw (WHL), D -- "Another top player who had ACL surgery … he had it in November. When I think of Morgan Rielly, I think of a guy who completes plays. He's always puts the puck on your stick, creates scoring chances. He gets out of trouble and the way the game is played now at the NHL level, guys that are so dynamic and can transition from defense to offense, are very desirable."

3 (1 Euros) - Filip Forsberg, Leksand (SWE), C -- "He was a member of Team Sweden's gold medal team at the World Junior Championship, where he played a regular shift. He's big and strong, and loves to shoot the puck. He's got great hands and a great release and he's hungry to score. He gets the puck and gets directly to the net. I see some shades of Brendan Shanahan in terms of that release he possesses."

2 (7) - Mathew Dumba, Red Deer (WHL), D -- "Every time I watch him play, all I see is continued progress in his game. I watch and I don't see any area of his game that he cannot only play in, but can dominant and excel in. He reminds me of Chris Chelios, with a little bit of Scott Stevens."

1 (1) - Nail Yakupov, Sarnia (OHL), RW -- "Suffered a knee injury but that won't hold him out. He's dynamic, electric. Not only is he a competitor, but he has the great skills to finish and make plays. He pulls people out of their seats. Hey NHL fans, he'll be a treat to watch once he reaches the NHL."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Wednesday, 01.25.2012 / 2:54 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Wings won't overlook struggling Canadiens

MONTREAL -- Two Original Six teams with gloried histories will meet tonight, but that is just about the only similarity you could find between the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens.

The Red Wings have been the NHL’s model franchise for years, a team with stable management that has followed a well-thought-out plan to produce consistent contenders. The Canadiens once were in that position but haven't been there for quite some time, and currently are enduring a franchise-record Stanley Cup drought of 18 years that in all likelihood will be extended this season.

On paper the game between the League's first-place team and one that sits 24th in the standings should be no contest. And that is exactly what Red Wings coach Mike Babcock does not want his players to be thinking.

"I sure hope not," Babcock said after the Red Wings' morning skate. "I think this team has good players, I know their goaltender's outstanding. They seem to play a tight, organized system. I know they did under Jacques (Martin, former coach), and I know Randy (Cunneyworth) from coaching against him in the minors, so I don't think they'll be any different. It's going to be a tough test for us. I think we understand that each and every night."

Babcock said people should not let the Red Wings' current seven-game win streak fool them into thinking his club simply is steamrolling over the League.

"You know, when you win games, game after game after game, some people on the outside think you're winning them all by a touchdown," he said. "They’re 3-2 and 2-1 every night, it's tight every night. It's a shootout, it's overtime -- it's a grind."

Babcock isn't joking, as four of the Red Wings' wins in their current streak came via the shootout while another came in overtime.

Detroit's last loss was Jan. 10 on Long Island, a situation that is somewhat similar to the one the Red Wings will face tonight in Montreal -- facing an Eastern Conference team sitting near the bottom of the standings.

"The Islanders beat us like a rented mule. It wasn't even fair," said Babcock. "We thought they were the '68 Habs. I'm not trying to take anything away from them, but we weren't ready to go. Sometimes those things happen, it's an 82-game schedule. Yet we've been a pretty consistent team that's found ways to play well without the puck and score enough goals to win most nights."

Star center Henrik Zetterberg said the players want to correct what has been their only fault this season, and that's a 13-13-0 record on the road.

He said playing in the charged atmosphere of the Bell Centre should help the Red Wings.

"We haven't been as good as we wanted on the road, even though we've won a few games lately," said Zetterberg. "I don't think we're playing to the standard that we want. Especially coming into this building, you kind of circle this date early in the year. We're looking forward to this. It's great fans, it's real loud -- we're going to be fired up to play here."
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Wednesday, 01.25.2012 / 12:50 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Lidstrom's status in question as Wings visit Habs

MONTREAL -- There is some intrigue regarding tonight's lone game on the NHL schedule, the Detroit Red Wings versus the Montreal Canadiens.

Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom left the morning skate early and was announced as a game-time decision due to illness.

Should Lidstrom be unable to go, it would snap his team-best streak of 213 straight games played.

On the Canadiens side, Travis Moen and Petteri Nokelainen are both out with upper-body injuries, meaning Randy Cunneyworth will dress seven defensemen and AHL call-up Andreas Engqvist will be in the lineup.

The goaltending matchup will be no surprise as fellow All-Stars Carey Price and Jimmy Howard will be in the nets.

Here are the expected lineups, and we're going on the assumption Lidstrom will dress:

RED WINGS
Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyuk - Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Jiri Hudler 
Danny Cleary - Darren Helm - Drew Miller
Tomas Holmstrom - Cory Emmerton - Justin Abdelkader

Nicklas Lidstrom - Ian White
Brad Stuart - Niklas Kronwall
Jonathan Ericsson - Jakub Kindl

Jimmy Howard
Ty Conklin

CANADIENS
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Erik Cole
Rene Bourque - Tomas Plekanec - Scott Gomez
Andrei Kostitsyn - Lars Eller - Michael Blunden
Mathieu Darche - Andreas Engqvist

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin - Raphael Diaz
Hal Gill - Tomas Kaberle
Chris Campoli

Carey Price
Peter Budaj
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Wednesday, 01.25.2012 / 12:26 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Maple Leafs give Liles four-year extension

John-Michael Liles hasn't played for the Toronto Maple Leafs since Dec. 22 due to a concussion, but when the defenseman does return to the lineup it will come with the security of a four-year contract extension.

TSN reports the extension, announced by the team on Wednesday, is worth $15.5 million total.

Liles, an eight-year NHL veteran in his first season with the Maple Leafs, had 4 goals, 21 points and a plus-2 rating through 34 games before suffering the concussion.

A fifth-round pick by Colorado in the 2000 Entry Draft, Liles has career totals of 72 goals and 296 points in 557 games with the Avalanche and Maple Leafs. Nearly half of those goals (35) have come on the power play. He also has 4 goals and 11 assists in 36 playoff games.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Wednesday, 01.25.2012 / 11:17 AM

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

Melrose Place - Second Half Guarantee

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Wednesday, 01.25.2012 / 11:14 AM

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

Melrose: Best Save, Goal, Coach before All-Star break

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Wednesday, 01.25.2012 / 11:10 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

USA Hockey names Bowman to advisory committee

USA Hockey announced Wednesday that Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has been added to the U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group, which is charged with leading the selection of players for the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship.

"We're excited to have Stan join our advisory group," said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations at USA Hockey. "His experience evaluating players and his passion for international hockey will be a great asset."

Bowman, in his third season as Blackhawks GM, was at the helm in 2010 when Chicago won the Stanley Cup to end a 49-year championship drought.

"I'm honored for the opportunity to contribute to this group, and to the continued success of the U.S. Men’s National Team on the international stage," Bowman said. "Thanks to the efforts of NHL teams in their local markets, and USA Hockey on a national level, the game has never been stronger in this country."

Bowman will join Brian Burke (Toronto Maple Leafs), Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia Flyers), Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles Kings), David Poile (Nashville Predators), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh Penguins), Dale Tallon (Florida Panthers) and Don Waddell on the advisory committee.

The 2012 World Championship will take place from May 4-20, in Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
First | Prev | 987 | 988 | 989 | 990 | 991 | 992 | 993-998 | Next | Last
Quote of the Day

It was pretty unbelievable...I think (my family in France) is pretty much in front of the TV right now. I don't think I have to wake them up.

— 29-year-old Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare after scoring his first NHL goal
Winter Classic sweepstakes