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(Page 15 of 15)
NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2013-14

30 in 30: Young players emerge in Flames lineup

Friday, 08.02.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2013-14

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Calgary Flames finally committed to a full-scale rebuild before the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline, and it could lead to plenty of young players receiving the opportunity to log important minutes in 2013-14.

Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester were traded, and Miikka Kiprusoff may retire with one season left on his contract. General manager Jay Feaster acquired David Jones, TJ Galiardi, Kris Russell and Shane O'Brien in trades during the offseason. Goaltender Karri Ramo, who has spent the past four seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League, was the team's biggest free-agent addition.

Calgary likely will be predicted to finish near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, and if the Flames don't surprise and make a run at a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, another high draft pick would infuse more talent into the rebuild. The Flames need 2013 first-round pick Sean Monahan and 2011 picks Sven Baertschi and Johnny Gaudreau to develop; Calgary hasn't drafted and developed an impact player since Dion Phaneuf in 2003.

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30 in 30: Replacing stars is Flames' biggest question

Friday, 08.02.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2013-14

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Calgary Flames haven't made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2009, and they dropped all the way to No. 13 in the Western Conference standings last season, 13 points shy of a spot in the postseason.

They're also making a commitment to youth. Gone is longtime captain Jarome Iginla. Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff is unlikely to return, leaning toward retirement. Those are the stars of the run to Game 7 of the 2004 Final.

Calgary is loading up on youth, with three first-round selections in the 2013 NHL Draft leading the charge.

Here are six questions facing the Flames this season:

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30 in 30: Rebuilding project underway in Calgary

Friday, 08.02.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2013-14

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Calgary Flames finally have conceded it's no longer 2004.

That year, the Flames got within one victory of a Stanley Cup championship. Those Flames were led by the combination of captain Jarome Iginla, one of the NHL's top power forwards, and newly acquired Miikka Kiprusoff, who stepped in to provide the kind of goaltending the Flames hadn't seen in years.

Iginla and Kiprusoff unquestionably were the two best players on that team. Unfortunately for the Flames and their fans, they were still the team's two best players entering the 2012-13 season, a big reason Calgary had not advanced to the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2009 and hadn't won a playoff series since its near-miss in 2004.

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30 in 30: Flames need prospects to step up

Friday, 08.02.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2013-14

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

After years of patching holes, hoping to land a bottom-tier Stanley Cup Playoff spot and not succeeding, Calgary Flames general manager Jay Feaster has opted to start over, putting more emphasis on player development. One step in that process was acquiring three first-round picks at the 2013 NHL Draft and using all of them. After years of struggling to develop talent, Calgary has drafted and traded its way into a solid pipeline of young talent.

With veterans Jarome Iginla, Miikka Kiprusoff and Jay Bouwmeester gone (Iginla, Bouwmeester) or very unlikely to return (Kiprusoff), there are going to be jobs available for the Flames' young players, now and in the near future. The question is whether they're ready to grab them.

Here's a look at Calgary's top 10 prospects, according to NHL.com:

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30 in 30: Flames seek growth from X-factor Baertschi

Friday, 08.02.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2013-14

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

From Lanny McDonald to Theo Fleury to Jarome Iginla, the Calgary Flames have had a history of high-scoring wings.

They're hoping Sven Baertschi will keep that tradition alive.

Baertschi teased the Flames and their fans by scoring three times during a five-game cameo in 2011-12. He left them wanting more after a seven-game points streak at the end of last season.

The Flames, who haven't made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2009, hope he's ready to carry that through a full season in 2013-14. With longtime captain Iginla gone via trade late last season, the Flames need Baertschi to become the kind of scorer they envisioned when they took him with the 13th pick in the 2011 NHL Draft.

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30 in 30: Anaheim facing decisions regarding top six

Thursday, 08.01.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2013-14

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Anaheim Ducks returned to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2013, but their stay was cut short when the Detroit Red Wings rallied to win Games 6 and 7 in the opening round.

After signing Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry to long-term contract extensions during the 2012-13 season, the biggest move of this summer was trading Bobby Ryan to the Ottawa Senators for Jakob Silfverberg, prospect Stefan Noesen and a first-round pick. The second-biggest move, signing former Ducks forward Dustin Penner away from the rival Los Angeles Kings, could end up being a nice bit of insurance.

Teemu Selanne has yet to decide if he will play another season in the NHL. If Selanne does not return, the Ducks will look to Silfverberg, Penner and the development of a few top young prospects to fill the voids left by one-third of the team's top-six forwards missing from a division-winning team.

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30 in 30: Maturation of Palmieri is Ducks' X-factor

Thursday, 08.01.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2013-14

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The opportunity for Anaheim Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri was as obvious as the writing on the lineup card for Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal playoff series against the Detroit Red Wings. He was listed as the left wing on the top line, alongside the team's franchise players, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

Though Palmieri had 10:30 of ice time in that game, could it have been a bit of foreshadowing?

There's a big hole on the left side of the Ducks' top line following the trade of Bobby Ryan, who was shipped to the Ottawa Senators in July. Palmieri, selected No. 26 in the 2009 NHL Draft, could be the player coach Bruce Boudreau picks to fill that spot on a full-time basis.

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30 in 30: Gibson highlights Ducks' deep prospect base

Thursday, 08.01.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2013-14

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

One of the big reasons the Anaheim Ducks went from watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs to finishing as the second seed in the Western Conference in 2012-13 was the play of a burgeoning crop of young players.

That group included forwards Kyle Palmieri, Emerson Etem, Peter Holland and Rickard Rakell, and defenseman Sami Vatanen.

Expect more young players to get prime opportunities this season.

"If you can play, we'll find a spot for you," Ducks director of player development Todd Marchant told NHL.com. "Don't care if you're 18, 19, 20, 21, however old you are. If you're going to be able to play in the National Hockey League, we're going to find a spot for you."

Here's a look at Anaheim's top 10 prospects, according to NHL.com:

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30 in 30: Anaheim's youth movement pays dividends

Thursday, 08.01.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2013-14

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray saw almost all positives in a 2012-13 season when his team flew out of the gate and never really slowed down, ultimately winning the franchise's first Pacific Division title in five years and earning the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

Even a loss in Game 7 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Detroit Red Wings, though disappointing, didn't change Murray's opinion.

"I think we got beat by a team that had been injured all year long but was getting healthy and was a very veteran, experienced playoff team," he told NHL.com. "I looked at it as some of our younger players -- while it would have been nice to have another round -- got some really quality playoff time, and our younger players played very, very well for us. That’s a giant plus for us, that they got there and they got to experience playing a great team like the Detroit Red Wings.

"I don't look at any negatives from that -- except we lost."

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30 in 30: Six questions to determine Ducks' success

Thursday, 08.01.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2013-14

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

After missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2012, the Anaheim Ducks rebounded in a big way in 2012-13, winning the Pacific Division and finishing second in the Western Conference.

Though the season didn't end the way anyone in Anaheim wanted -- a seven-game loss to the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- it had to be viewed as a successful one.

Now the Ducks have to show which team they really are: the one that missed the playoffs two seasons ago, or one able to build off last season's success. That's just one question facing the team heading into 2013-14.

Here are six others:

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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp