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Features

Puempel rounding out his game in Binghamton

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 12:30 PM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to NHL.com

As left wing Matt Puempel of the American Hockey League's Binghamton Senators continues to evolve as a hockey player, one thing has remained constant: his natural ability to create offense.

"He's been a goal scorer wherever he's gone, and that has definitely followed him here," said Senators coach Luke Richardson. "His ability to look for openings offensively and his shot -- it's a heavy, major-league shot -- those are just God-given talents that aren't teachable to some people."

The 21-year-old Puempel, selected by Ottawa at No. 24 in the 2011 NHL Draft, spent four years in the Ontario Hockey League with Peterborough and Kitchener from 2009-13. In his first season with Peterborough, he was named the Canadian Major Junior Rookie of the Year after recording 64 points in 69 games.

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UMass-Lowell's Hellebuyck wins Mike Richter Award

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 12:23 PM / On Campus

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- UMass-Lowell sophomore Connor Hellebuyck won the inaugural Mike Richter Award on Friday as the best goaltender in NCAA hockey.

Hellebuyck, a 2012 fifth-round pick (No. 130) of the Winnipeg Jets, led all college goalies with a 1.79 goals-against average and .941 save percentage, and his six shutouts were tied for second. He went 18-9-2 in 29 games.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound native of Commerence, Mich., signed a three-year, two-way entry-level contract with the Jets on April 5. The contract has an average annual value of $925,000.

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NHL announces Player Safety procedures for remainder of season and Stanley Cup Playoffs

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 11:12 AM / NHL Department of Player Safety

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- At the direction of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Brendan Shanahan immediately relinquished responsibility for overseeing the League's Department of Player Safety upon accepting the position of President of the Toronto Maple Leafs yesterday afternoon.

Effective with Thursday night's games and for the balance of the regular season and throughout the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stephane Quintal assumes the role of conducting hearings and administering supplementary discipline.

The National Hockey League has a first-rate and fully functional team of professionals staffed in the Player Safety Department that will continue to monitor all plays in all games and to flag plays that warrant review and potential discipline. There will be no change in the approach that has been established by the Department of Player Safety and the League will take all steps necessary to ensure a consistent standard of enforcement and application of discipline for the balance of this season.

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Wild's Rupp to have hearing for hit on Blues' Oshie

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 6:35 AM / NHL Department of Player Safety

NHL.com

Minnesota Wild left wing Mike Rupp will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety Friday for a hit on St. Louis Blues left wing T.J. Oshie on Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center.

At 10:30 of the second period, Rupp was assessed a match penalty for hitting Oshie near the blue line in the Minnesota defensive zone. Oshie left the game and did not return.

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: illegal check to the head/interference. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.

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Hart choice Crosby produced regardless of linemates

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

That Sidney Crosby has broken the 100-point barrier for the fifth time in his career is impressive, and his double-figure lead on the rest of the field in the scoring race makes his pending second Art Ross Trophy pretty remarkable as well.

What is the most impressive thing about Crosby's season? He's accomplished all that by playing more time at even strength with Lee Stempniak and Brian Gibbons as linemates than Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.

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Super 16: Analytics' rise gives game new dimension

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2013-14 NHL season may well be remembered as an important one years from now, in part because the use of analytics, or advanced statistics, has taken a significant step forward in media coverage of the sport.

There have been plenty of people using #fancystats for several years, but this season the volume of writers has increased and the "mainstream" nature of the publications for which they work has also increased. This website in particular has begun to employ analytics on a more regular basis, and these weekly power rankings have intentionally been part of that.

The goal was to help show how these new ideas and statistics can be helpful in analyzing the sport. Just as there was in the baseball journalism community when analytics started cropping up, there has been resistance and debate about the validity of these new metrics.

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Playoff Countdown: Stars can end drought

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 1:31 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

The conclusion to 2013-14 NHL regular season is fast approaching. After game play Thursday, the League is down to 26 games remaining on the schedule, with seven to be played Friday. Yet, much remains to be decided in the frantic run to the finish line, including playoff qualification, playoff positioning and numerous individual accomplishments and milestones. To celebrate the three-day countdown to the end of the season April 13 and the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 16, NHL.com will provide a piece of playoff-related content each day.

The Dallas Stars can end a five-year absence from the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday night.

The Stars can wrap up the final playoff berth in the Western Conference with a victory of any sort against the St. Louis Blues at American Airlines Center. The Phoenix Coyotes gave Dallas the chance to clinch their first trip to the postseason since 2008 when they lost 2-0 on the road to the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

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Minnesota tops North Dakota on last-second goal

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 11:21 PM / On Campus

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Justin Holl scored a shorthanded goal with 0.6 seconds left in regulation, giving Minnesota a 2-1 win against North Dakota in the second semifinal at the NCAA Frozen Four.

Minnesota was killing a penalty in the final seconds of regulation, but Kyle Rau broke the puck out of the zone. His attempted shot was blocked, but the puck went to Holl, a Chicago Blackhawks prospect who was trailing the play, and his shot from the slot beat North Dakota goalie Zane Gothberg. It was Holl's first goal of the season.

Minnesota advances to play Union College in the NCAA championship game Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET). Union beat Boston College 5-4 in the earlier semifinal.

Sam Warning also scored for Minnesota and goaltender Adam Wilcox made 36 saves, including four on North Dakota's late power play.

North Dakota got a goal from Connor Gaarder and 27 saves from Gothberg.

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Union College tops Boston College to make title game

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 7:47 PM / On Campus

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Shayne Gostisbehere hopes to eventually play his games here at Wells Fargo Center. He did a nice job impressing his future home fans Thursday at the Frozen Four opener.

Gostisbehere, a 2012 third-round pick (No. 78) of the Philadelphia Flyers, had two assists to help Union College advance to the NCAA championship game with a 5-4 victory against Boston College.

Daniel Ciampini had a hat trick for Union, which will play for its first NCAA title Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) against the winner of the second semifinal Thursday, between North Dakota and Minnesota (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2).


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AHL announces First and Second All-Star teams

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 3:31 PM / AHL Update

NHL.com

The American Hockey League on Thursday announced the 2013-14 AHL First and Second All-Star Teams as voted by AHL coaches, players and media in each of the league's 30 member cities. Each player will receive a custom-designed crystal award in recognition of his selection.

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Quote of the Day

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness