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Features

Predators' Jones has help navigating life in Nashville

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NOTE TO READERS: Over the Boards is undergoing a format change for the 2014-15 season and transitioning into a blog that will be updated several times per week by Dan Rosen. It will feature news and information, quotes and anecdotes similar to what you have been able to find here in the weekly notebook. Rosen's Mailbag will still appear in the Over the Boards blog every Wednesday.

If Nashville Predators defenseman Seth Jones gets into an argument with his roommate about cleaning up, doing the dishes or taking out the trash, he can count on one thing being true:

He won't win.

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Oilers expect improvement in Eakins' second season

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

The Edmonton Oilers underwent a number of changes this offseason looking to bridge the gap toward a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

What did not change may make the biggest impact in the quest to snap an eight-year postseason drought.

For only the second time since 2008, the Oilers are going into a season with the same coach. They hope having Dallas Eakins back behind the bench is a key to their success.

"We talked about it a lot last year. It's definitely something that is tough to do, just start from scratch and have success," Oilers captain Andrew Ference said. "It can be done, but if you look at the teams that are competing year in and year out, there is definitely a consistency to their lineup, which includes the coaching staff, the attitude and style of play."

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Flames optimistic as rebuild continues

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

With a 5-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on the final day of the 2013-14 regular season, the first phase in the rebuilding process of the Calgary Flames came to a close.

The Flames finished 27th in the overall NHL standings, but left the season with optimism. Though they managed 77 points (their lowest total in a full 82-game schedule since 2002-03), they took several steps towards competitiveness.

But that won't be enough to satisfy coach Bob Hartley in 2014-15.

"We need to keep improving our entire game," Hartley said. "We can have some strong points on our detail and our work ethic, but at the same time, our on-ice game has to obviously improve. With all the good things that happened to this organization last year, the good things we did, we were still a 27th-place team."
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Flames need additions, young players to produce

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Simply competing isn't going to be enough for the Calgary Flames in 2014-15.

Though the Flames continue their rebuilding project, coach Bob Hartley is demanding more.

"Progress is a big word right now in our vocabulary," said Hartley, who guided the Flames to a 35-40-7 record last season, good for 27th in the League standings. "We really want to make the next step, but at the same time I want this to be a giant step. I really believe that despite the fact that we're going to read everywhere that we're going to be ranked anywhere between 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th in the League by all the experts, I really believe that we can be a [Stanley Cup] Playoff team."

The Flames haven't skated beyond the regular season since 2009. Plenty will need to go Calgary's way in order to reach Hartley’s goal:

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Oilers need fast start, strong second-line center

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

The Edmonton Oilers have not been to the Stanley Cup Playoffs since losing to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

The organization bottomed out in 2010 as the Oilers finished 30th in the League standings for the first time in franchise history. Rebuilding began with the selection of Taylor Hall with the first pick of the 2010 NHL Draft.

Despite having the No. 1 picks of the 2011 and 2012 drafts, the Oilers have not come much closer to snapping what now is an eight-year playoff drought.

Not wanting to break up his young core, Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish tried to augment his roster by bringing in veterans who he hopes will provide size and secondary scoring while his young stars mature.

In order for the Oilers to challenge for the playoffs, they’ll need things to come together quickly to keep from falling behind early in the season.

Here are three things that need to happen in order for the Oilers to have a successful season:

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Giordano raising expectations for Flames' season

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Mark Giordano's expectations for the Calgary Flames this season are simple. In fact, they're the same as the 29 other NHL teams.

"We want to make the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs," Giordano said. "Winning is everything in this League. We want to get into the playoffs and we want to go from there. With the parity in the League, if you get in … the goal is to get in. From there you can make some noise."

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Lester Patrick recipient Holmgren a career Flyer

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 4:50 PM / Lester Patrick Trophy

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Paul Holmgren is proud of his Minnesota roots, but even he admits Philadelphia is his home now.

The Philadelphia Flyers president on Tuesday was named a recipient of the 2014 Lester Patrick Award for his contributions to hockey in the United States. He will be honored, along with fellow recipient NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, during a ceremony Dec. 4 in Minneapolis, just across the river from his hometown of St. Paul, Minn.

"Everybody knew who Paul Holmgren was, whether you were playing or you were a fan," Daly said. "He generated a lot of respect. Then you get to appreciate his background in the sport, where he came from, his roots in Minnesota, his different roles in the sport, working his way up to now being president of the Flyers. His career and his journey to where he is today is quite a remarkable accomplishment, and that's why he's so deserving of this award."

Holmgren, 58, has spent almost his entire professional life as part of the Flyers organization.

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Daly: Lester Patrick honor reflects NHL as whole

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 4:38 PM / Lester Patrick Trophy

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly admittedly is uncomfortable with being singled out for an individual award as prestigious in hockey as the Lester Patrick Trophy. It's not his style to be front and center accepting praise and applause for a job well done.

That's why when Daly steps on stage to accept the Lester Patrick Trophy at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Dinner on Dec. 4, he will do so with the NHL and the people he represents in mind.

After all, Daly said, he wouldn't even be considered for such an honor without the backing of Commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners he works for.

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Flyers hope to see Timonen return to good health

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 3:45 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PINE HILL, N.J. -- The Philadelphia Flyers acknowledge there will be a sizable deficit to cover if defenseman Kimmo Timonen is out for a significant amount of time this season.

However, Timonen's teammates will trade his on-ice absence for knowing the 39-year-old will at least be healthy.

The Flyers announced Aug. 5 that Timonen had been diagnosed with blood clots in his lower right leg and both lungs. He spent time in a hospital in his native Finland receiving treatment, but has been in the Philadelphia area for about two weeks.

"Just good to see him around and in good spirits," defenseman Nicklas Grossmann said. "When things happen to people like that, you're always worried about the person. You don't really think much about the hockey player Kimmo, but about the person and his family and all that. You want him to get healthy quick."

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Morrissey eyes making Jets after marathon season

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 2:41 PM / Prospects

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

PENTICTON, British Columbia -- Conventional wisdom suggests after a 112-game season, one would fancy a bit of a break.

But Joshua Morrissey is ready for more, and the 19-year-old hopes it's with the Winnipeg Jets.

"I grew a lot as a player [last year] … just feeling comfortable with the pros," said Morrissey, who had triple digits in games on behalf of the Jets (NHL preseason), Prince Albert Raiders (Western Hockey League preseason, regular season and playoffs), Canada's national junior team (World Junior Championship) and the St. John's IceCaps (American Hockey League regular season and playoffs) in 2013-14.

"I'm coming in here now wanting to make the Jets," Morrissey said. "I'm going to do everything I can to do that. A big key for me was to gain strength and size to be able to play the man's game at the next level. I'll never be the biggest guy in the League, but I'm a lot stronger now. That's huge for me.

"I think I'm ready to make that jump."

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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres