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Sunday Long Read: Flyers' Simmonds gives back

Sunday, 11.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Wanda Simmonds remembers the conversation she had one day a few years ago with her son Wayne.

It was before Wayne Simmonds grew into a 6-foot-2, 183-pound forward for the Philadelphia Flyers; before he was a second-round pick (No. 61) by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2007 NHL Draft; even before he was a budding star in the Ontario Hockey League.

It was when Simmonds was an unknown minor player, one of many skating in regional leagues across Canada.

"I said to him, 'There's two things I want to you to do if you ever make it to the NHL,'" she told NHL.com. "'I want you to give back [to your community] and I want you to give to your church.'"

Obedient son that he is, Wayne Simmonds followed his mother's wishes. And the next generation of hockey hopefuls from the Scarborough, Ontario region has benefitted from Simmonds keeping his word.

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Blues' Shattenkirk 'in tip-top shape' and seeing results

Sunday, 11.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- When the horn went off signaling the end of another disappointing finish in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the St. Louis Blues last season, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk took it as hard as any of his teammates.

For a third straight postseason, the Blues were denied their ultimate goal of competing for a Stanley Cup. In the aftermath, it became evidently clear that change was in order.

General manager Doug Armstrong voiced his disappointment, coach Ken Hitchcock voiced his disappointment and players made the consensus unanimous.

And when push came to shove, Shattenkirk made sure he could do what was necessary to make personal changes for the 2014-15 season.

So far, the results are very much what the Blues felt was possible all along.

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Syracuse, Utica break U.S. indoor attendance record

Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 10:06 PM / News

NHL.com

The Syracuse Crunch and Utica Comets played in front of 30,715 to set an attendance record for the largest indoor crowd in the United States to attend a professional hockey game Saturday in Syracuse, N.Y.

In the Toyota Frozen Dome Classic, the Crunch, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, defeated the Comets, a Vancouver Canucks affiliate, 2-1 at the Carrier Dome.

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Billy Smith speaks to Islanders before being honored

Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 1:13 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Billy Smith still remembers his introduction to Long Island.

"My wife and I were in Connecticut; we were going to play in New Haven. When I got to the rink, my equipment wasn't there. They told me I had to be up here for practice the next morning. I left early, but I had no idea about Long Island," he said Saturday, prior to being honored as part of the Islanders' celebration of their final season at Nassau Coliseum. "I ended up driving all the way to the end of the Island, turned around and drove all the way back and got to the rink. And I still made practice."

That was in 1972, when Smith played 37 games for an expansion team that set NHL records for most losses and fewest points. Eight years later, Smith was in goal at the Coliseum on May 24, 1980, when Bobby Nystrom's overtime goal gave the Islanders their first of four consecutive Stanley Cup championships.

"We had a good group of guys," he said. "We had 16 guys that probably played seven years together, eight years together. You do get to know each other really well."

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Szabados becomes first female goalie to win in SPHL

Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 11:28 AM / News

NHL.com

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Shannon Szabados became the first female goaltender to win a Southern Professional Hockey League game Friday when the Columbus Cottonmouths defeated the Fayetteville FireAntz 5-4 in overtime.

Szabados stopped 34 shots to earn her first professional win. The game also featured Erin Blair and Katie Guay becoming the first female officials to referee an SPHL game. It was Girl Scout Night in Columbus.

Matt Gingera scored a power-play goal with 34 seconds left in overtime for the Cottonmouths.

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Rogers Hometown Hockey celebrates Fort McMurray

Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 10:36 AM / News

NHL.com

Prior to the telecast Sunday of the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers, NHL Network will televise the "Rogers Hometown Hockey" broadcast at 6:30 p.m. ET on CITY and the NHL Network in the United States. This week's location is Fort McMurray, Alberta, to celebrate the city's iconic hockey story.

Among the features airing on the pregame show:

* Defenseman Chris Phillips grew up in Fort McMurray, played for the Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League and has played his entire NHL career with the Ottawa Senators, who selected him with the first pick in the 1996 NHL Draft. He has achieved many things throughout his life, but he will always remember where he came from and how Fort McMurray helped shape the player he is today.

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Bruins' Hamilton emerging as star in Chara's absence

Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- There was a time, if you can believe it, that 6-foot-5, 212-pound Boston Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton wasn't a towering presence.

Hamilton was in his mid-teens and a blossoming defenseman in the Mississauga Reps minor hockey system. Reps coach George Stavro estimated Hamilton was about 5-foot-10 and "maybe 160 pounds soaking wet."

Like any teenager, Hamilton was a little unsure about his future and a little bored. The Reps were loaded and dominating with Hamilton, future Carolina Hurricanes draft pick Phillip Di Giuseppe, future Minnesota Wild draft pick Tyler Graovac and Harvard recruit Mark Luzar leading the way.

Hamilton also had an itching to try something new, so Stavro allowed Hamilton to spend a season as a forward.

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Around the League notebook for Friday, Nov. 21

Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 12:53 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

ISLANDERS TAKE FIRST OF HOME-AND-HOME AGAINST PENGUINS

Kyle Okposo scored the deciding goal in the shootout New York Islanders after the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied from a two-goal deficit to force extra time in the first of a home-and-home series between the top two teams in the Metropolitan Division. The Islanders (13-6-0, 26 points) trail the first-place Penguins (13-3-2, 28 points) by two points for the division lead. The teams meet again at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday night.

* The Islanders improved to 8-1-0 this season in games decided by one goal. They are 4-0-0 in shootouts.

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NHL announces terms of Voynov suspension will be maintained; Kings to receive salary cap relief

Friday, 11.21.2014 / 4:30 PM / News

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League announced today that the existing terms of its suspension of Los Angeles Kings' Player Slava Voynov will be continued indefinitely.

However, in light of the uncertain and potentially extended period of time that the legal process may entail, the Kings will be permitted to replace Mr. Voynov's Salary and Bonuses pursuant to the Bona Fide Long-Term Injury Exception under the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.

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Postponed Rangers-Sabres game rescheduled for Feb. 20; Feb. 20 Senators-Sabres game moved to Dec. 15

Friday, 11.21.2014 / 4:00 PM / News

NHL.com

NEW YORK/TORONTO -- The postponed game between the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres, originally scheduled to be played tonight, has been rescheduled for Friday, February 20, 2015, at 7 p.m. ET at First Niagara Center, the National Hockey League announced today.

The game between the Sabres and Ottawa Senators, scheduled to be played that night in Buffalo, has been moved to Monday, December 15, at 7 p.m., ET.

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Quote of the Day

We're understanding what's bringing us success. We have a talented hockey club when everyone's committed to doing the right things and doing their job.

— Islanders captain John Tavares after a 4-1 win against the Penguins tied the teams atop the Metropolitan Division standings
2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series