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Features

With new contract, Ferland excited for opportunity

Thursday, 09.10.2015 / 8:32 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY, AB -- Micheal Ferland is back.

And just in time, too.

“Everyone was asking when it was going to get done,” Ferland said from Canada Olympic Park’s WinSport facility Thursday, shortly after putting the pen to paper on a new two-year contract. “I wasn’t worried, I knew it was going to get done soon. It was just a matter of time. I’m really excited. I’m just really happy that it’s finished and I can start focusing on hockey. I’m happy that it got done and I’m really honoured.”

There’s a sense of relief from the Flames camp, too.

To read more from the Flames website, CLICK HERE.

DeBrusk, Bruins rookies look forward to tournament

Thursday, 09.10.2015 / 7:59 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Most NHL development camps are highlighted by power skating, practice drills and the occasional frantic scrimmage. However, Boston Bruins development camp this July produced a viral video when 2015 first-round pick Jake DeBrusk scored a between-the-legs goal during a shootout.

DeBrusk managed to create a moment that was talked about for weeks after camp ended.

"It took me a while, because, honestly, it was a week there and then I went to the (Canada) World Junior camp and I was still hearing about that after that," DeBrusk said Thursday. "So that was about three weeks. And there were people I hadn't seen in a while and people I went to school with. And it's such a hockey-crazed town. ... It's pretty much all hockey in Edmonton, right, so just lots of people would be showing me things. And even some of my teammates with Swift Current [of the Western Hockey League] were doing it in shootouts and things. It was just one of those plays where I thought I'd try it and see how it goes, and I'm really happy it worked."

Impact of offseason moves in fantasy by association

Thursday, 09.10.2015 / 7:16 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

David Satriano - NHL.com Fantasy Staff Writer

There are not many factors that would cause you to pass on drafting Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby or John Tavares if given the opportunity. If they had different linemates or a new coach, you could still count on them to be productive.

Phil Kessel is primed for a big season after being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he will get to play with Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, but he was likely to be chosen in the first round anyway. However, his trade does affect the value of players on the team he was traded from, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Someone will get more of an opportunity to play on the top line in Toronto and fill his role; it could be center Nazem Kadri.

Similarly, forward Patrick Sharp was traded to the Dallas Stars by the Chicago Blackhawks on July 10, and as a result, new teammate Jason Spezza should see an increase in offense.

When drafting, be sure to take into account each player's situation based on what happened this offseason with his current team.

Oilers prospects excited to play with McDavid

Thursday, 09.10.2015 / 6:07 PM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers prospect Kyle Platzer is looking at the Young Stars Classic tournament as an opportunity of a lifetime.

There is a possibility Platzer, a center, could play on a line with Connor McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

"That would be awesome; who doesn't want to play with the kid? He's awesome," Platzer said following physicals Thursday. "I've never met a more humble kid in my life, it's insane. If I met him on the street, I wouldn't even know he played hockey. It's a real treat and he's fun to hang around."

Brad Richards excited by Red Wings' potential

Thursday, 09.10.2015 / 3:32 PM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Paul Harris - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Center Brad Richards has looked at the Detroit Red Wings with respect from afar.

Richard signed a one-year free agent contract July 1 which guarantees $3 million in salary and could reach $4 million with performance bonuses.

"I've obviously admired this team for a long time and no different the last few years," Richards said Thursday at Joe Louis Arena after skating with his teammates for the first time. "Even though they hadn't made a long run (in the playoffs), they're right there, so that's always an impression. I'm very excited to be a Red Wing and play with some of these great players."

Devils sign defenseman David Schlemko

Thursday, 09.10.2015 / 2:28 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

NewJerseyDevils.com

Newark, NJ – The New Jersey Devils today signed free agent defenseman David Schlemko to a one-year, one-way contract for $625,000. The announcement was made by Devils' Executive Vice President/General Manager Ray Shero.

"David Schlemko is a veteran with five years of NHL experience who brings depth and competition to our defensive corps," said Shero.

Cody Franson signs two-year contract with Sabres

Thursday, 09.10.2015 / 2:11 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Defensemen Cody Franson signed a two-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday and said he is eager to join a team that appears to be on the rise.

"Bringing in guys like [Ryan] O'Reilly and [Evander Kane] and a number of the acquisitions they made, and drafting a guy like [Jack] Eichel, it's an organization that's going in the right direction," Franson said at First Niagara Center. "It made my decision very easy to want to be a part of that."

The 28-year-old unrestricted free agent had seven goals and 36 points in 78 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Nashville Predators last season.

Canadiens to name captain, put Galchenyuk at center

Thursday, 09.10.2015 / 1:27 PM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

LAVAL, Quebec -- There are significant changes coming to the Montreal Canadiens.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Thursday that they will name a captain by the end of training camp and that Alex Galchenyuk will move from left wing to center.

The Canadiens did not replace Brian Gionta as captain when he left to sign as a free agent with the Buffalo Sabres last summer. They instead went with four alternate captains last season: defensemen Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban, center Tomas Plekanec and left wing Max Pacioretty.

Bergevin would not say whether it will be one of those four players who will be named captain or if there might be another candidate considered. He said the decision to name a captain after the leadership-by-committee approach last season was that the Canadiens are ready to have one, and the decision may have been rushed if they chose one last season.

Jets' Maurice focused on getting back to basics

Thursday, 09.10.2015 / 12:21 PM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

NHL.com

The Winnipeg Jets made the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season for the first time since returning to the NHL in 2011-12, but coach Paul Maurice believes that has no effect on how the team does this season.

When Jets training camp opens next week, he said the first few days will be about re-installing all the basic systems he wants the players to use.

"We'll start from scratch Day 1," Maurice told the Jets website. "We'll go back and re-teach the foundations of our system and try to re-create the competitive levels that we did get to, the things we did succeed at. … they're in the memory bank but you have to recreate that emotion, that tenacity that we played with."

Fantasy draft guide for leagues with hits category

Thursday, 09.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

It's one of the hot debates in fantasy hockey: Is it better to categorize penalty minutes or hits?

Standard Yahoo formats don't take hits into account, but this alternative stat grows with each passing year and is now prevalent in more than one-third of all leagues.

Whether Yahoo will eventually institute hits as a standard category remains to be seen, but the hits inclusion instead of a more arbitrary stat like PIMs would make sense. Though PIMs can gauge the physicality of a player, the stat is centered around tactical penalties, which are detrimental in reality and can reflect undisciplined play. Players who use clean body checks on opponents can help their team regain possession of the puck and generate offense. That said, advanced statistics and the Stanley Cup Playoffs show how valuable possession anchors like Duncan Keith (16 hits in 80 games last season) can be, so hits don't always equate to real-life value.

With so much gray area, the discussion rages on -- but the only things fantasy owners need to be concerned with are their upcoming draft(s) and the categories in your league settings. If you're doing a PIMs league, immerse yourself in NHL.com's top 250 rankings. If you're going the hits route, study this cheat sheet leading up to draft day.

Below are more than 50 players who should be on your radar in hits leagues. Fantasy owners should value these assets a few picks/rounds higher than their standing in NHL.com's rankings depending on the degree of boost provided by their hits performance. For easy reference, I listed additional forwards and defensemen whom you should consider relevant in 12-team hits leagues.

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