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Flames GM says Smid nearing return after surgery

Thursday, 09.03.2015 / 1:38 PM / News

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

CALGARY -- Defenseman Ladislav Smid is pushing to work his way back into the rotation, according to Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving.

The 29-year-old last played on January 19, a month after taking a high hit from then-Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Simon Depress. He had surgery in February on the herniated disc in his neck.

Smid is participating in informal skates at WinSport at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary and is gearing up for a potential return after a recent meeting with doctors in California.

Capitals' Backstrom may miss season opener: report

Thursday, 09.03.2015 / 1:14 PM / News

Nicklas Backstrom is recovering from offseason hip surgery and isn't sure if he'll be ready to play for the Washington Capitals in their season opener Oct. 10 against the New Jersey Devils at Verizon Center.

Backstrom skated with several teammates during non-contact drills Thursday. He began skating last month and rehabbing while home in Sweden.

"It's obviously not fun to not know, but on the other hand, I'm not in a rush," Backstrom told the Washington Post. "I'm going to be back to 100 percent before I start playing. I'm not going to play on 90 percent. We'll see how it goes. We don't know yet."

Fucale undeterred by Canadiens' roadblock in goal

Thursday, 09.03.2015 / 1:00 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

Montreal Canadiens goaltending prospect Zachary Fucale is finally ready to embark on his professional career after five seasons and 204 games played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

"Yeah, it was a couple of games, but it was the best time," Fucale said this week at the NHL Players' Association Rookie Showcase in Toronto. "I got an opportunity in Halifax when I was 16 and I'm happy the coaches had the confidence to send me in there night after night. I learned a lot with some pretty awesome players, some great teams, and I had some pretty good opportunities. So I'm grateful for that."

The kind of opportunity given to Fucale to jump right in and play 58 games for the Halifax Mooseheads as a rookie is not likely to come from the Canadiens any time soon.

Montreal goaltender Carey Price is coming off a historic season in which he won the Vezina Trophy, Hart Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award and William Jennings Trophy. At age 28 and with three seasons remaining on his contract, Price is not likely to leave the Canadiens crease in the near future.

Wild name Chabot goalie development coach

Thursday, 09.03.2015 / 11:54 AM / News

The Minnesota Wild has named Frederic Chabot (pronounced Schuh-bott) as the team's Goaltending Development Coach. 

Chabot, 47 (2/12/68), will work with goalie prospects throughout the Minnesota Wild organization, including goaltenders playing for the Iowa Wild in the American Hockey League (AHL). The former NHL netminder joins the Wild after serving as the goaltending coach for the Edmonton Oilers (2009-14). Prior to joining the Oilers, he served as a Goaltending Consultant with Hockey Canada and their National Junior Team, helping Canada win a gold medal at the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championship. Chabot was also an instructor at Hockey Canada's Program of Excellence Goaltending Camp for three years (2007-09). The native of Hebertville-Station, Quebec, worked as a Goaltending Consultant with Berlin (DEL) in 2008-09, capturing the league championship with the Ice Bears. Chabot also worked with AIK Stockholm (SWE-2) from 2007-09, overseeing goaltending for the entire organization.

Unmasked: Goalie camps offer new means to improve

Thursday, 09.03.2015 / 11:13 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- For Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer, getting better during the offseason isn't only about working with new coaches. It's about learning from fellow NHL goalies.

Reimer was one of six professional goaltenders who took part in the second annual NET360 camp near his summer home in Kelowna, British Columbia, in August. The group also included Vezina Trophy finalist Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild and Thomas Greiss of the New York Islanders, as well as prospects Laurent Brossoit of the Edmonton Oilers, Chris Driedger of the Ottawa Senators and Nathan Lieuwen of the Buffalo Sabres.

"What I like about it is the dynamic of getting a whole bunch of really good goalies and just trying to figure out what they do and how they play," Reimer told "On the ice you can go through a drill and see how he takes on different plays and then talk to him if you want and talk to a bunch of different goalie coaches about it too and have a bit of a roundtable. You have an open mind to new ideas."

Devils captain Salvador announces retirement

Wednesday, 09.02.2015 / 10:40 PM / News

Defenseman Bryce Salvador, who played 13 seasons in the NHL, announced his retirement Wednesday.

Salvador missed the final 67 games of last season with the New Jersey Devils with a bulging disk and nerve damage in his lower back. He became an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"I just think there were a lot of factors over the last two seasons," the 39-year-old told "I could just see that the body wasn't responding as it used to and it was just getting more and more difficult to stay healthy. And the position that I was in, being the captain, this last season it was really tough to be the team leader and not be present. So I just kind of realized that even though I can play, I feel I can play and come back, I just didn't know if I'd be able to make it a full season.

"Knowing that, I just kind of really said, 'Does it make sense to put myself in that situation when the mind is still there and I feel good, but maybe the body is telling me it's time?'"

Salvador served as Devils captain since 2013.

Predators president says he has perennial contender

Wednesday, 09.02.2015 / 8:55 PM / News

The Nashville Predators had the best record in the NHL for a time last season, and their president said Wednesday they are set up to contend for many years as well as any NHL team.

"Where we're sitting right now from a hockey franchise standpoint, we're better poised as a franchise because of the talent we have and how long they're locked up, than we ever have been in the history of the team," Sean Henry said, according to the Predators website. "When you look throughout the League, there's probably not another team that's set up for the next five to eight years to be as consistent as we're going to be.

"Hopefully we catch the magic in that run and win the Stanley Cup, but at least compete for it year in and year out."

Capitals' Orlov 'ready to play' after sidelined for year

Wednesday, 09.02.2015 / 5:15 PM / News

Dmitry Orlov did not play for the Washington Capitals last season after sustaining a wrist injury in the offseason, but the 24-year old defenseman said he is healthy and excited to play in the NHL for the first time since April 2014.

"I can shoot, I can do everything," Orlov told the Washington Post in remarks published Wednesday. "I feel good. I feel fine. I'm ready to play."

Orlov broke his wrist during the IIHF World Championship in May 2014 and was expected to need six months to recover, but complications caused him to need more time. When he was ready to return in April 2015, the Capitals had no room for him.

"Yeah, it's life, it's hard, everybody gets injured," Orlov said. "My injury was longer than expected, so right now, [it] doesn't matter for me what's happened, I just need to be focused on this season."

Stars' Seguin uses football to show knee is healed

Wednesday, 09.02.2015 / 5:08 PM / News

Mike Battaglino - Staff Writer

Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin is using the football field to show his injured right knee is 100 percent healed.

Seguin posted a video to his Instagram account on Tuesday showing him catching a pass as part of agility training. The caption read, "Just in case the @dallascowboys need my services at all this year."

Seguin missed 10 games last season with a knee injury sustained on Feb. 13, returning earlier than expected. His 37 goals were fifth in the NHL; his 77 points were seventh.

Holtby eager to help Capitals realize lofty expectations

Wednesday, 09.02.2015 / 4:40 PM / News

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby is set to pick up where he left off last season when training camp begins later this month.

Holtby, who established career bests in wins (41), goals-against average (2.22), shutouts (nine), save percentage (.923) and games played (73) in 2014-15, returned to Washington from summer break on Tuesday.

"Every year is obviously tough," Holtby told Monumental Network. "It's one thing to look at yourself on paper, but when you actually do it it's completely different and we learned a lot last year and came a long ways as a team."

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Quote of the Day

It's obviously not fun to not know, but on the other hand, I'm not in a rush. I'm going to be back to 100 percent before I start playing. I'm not going to play on 90 percent.

— Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom in an interview with Washington Post about whether he will be able to play in 2015-16 opener