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Stanley Cup Final
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Blackhawks' Carcillo to have phone hearing Monday

Sunday, 01.18.2015 / 7:03 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo waived his right to have an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Sunday for cross-checking Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault in a game Friday.

Carcillo, who will have a phone hearing Monday, was offered the opportunity for an in-person hearing as required by provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for any suspension that can exceed five games.

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Penguins' Bennett healthy at last, showing potential

Sunday, 01.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

After numerous stops and starts in two-and-a-half seasons as a pro, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Beau Bennett is finally starting to show signs he might have been worth that No. 20 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft.

"He's had some [bad] luck, but it's going good now," Penguins center Brandon Sutter said.

The biggest question for Bennett is, will he stay healthy long enough to fulfill his promise and prove without a shadow of a doubt that he was worth being a first-round pick?

Bennett is a long way from that considering he's played 61 NHL games, including 35 in the past two seasons. But if he can stay out of the trainer's room and off the operating table, he should be an important part of the Penguins' push for another Stanley Cup.

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Rangers rookie Hayes making impact in the middle

Sunday, 01.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The question for New York Rangers forward Rick Nash was about the club's center depth in general. Nash's answer turned into a plug for the continued improvement of rookie center Kevin Hayes.

"Hayes has impressed me," Nash said. "You think about how mature his game is; he's been playing at a high-level of college for a while and what is he, 22? It's impressive the maturity in his game, especially to go up against a guy like [Joe] Thornton and hold his own."

Hayes has impressed a lot of people around the Rangers this season. He has become as important to the Rangers' success as any other role player.

Hayes was plugged in as the third-line center in his second NHL game. He has been stable in that position since, giving the Rangers the center depth a team needs to have sustained success in an NHL season.

His next test comes Sunday at Consol Energy Center against the Pittsburgh Penguins (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN), who roll out a 1-2-3 center rotation that is the envy of the League: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Brandon Sutter.

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Sunday Long Read: Columbus first-rate hockey town

Sunday, 01.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

The scene that surrounded the Columbus Blue Jackets during Game 4 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series at Nationwide Arena was unfathomable for longtime fans in the area.

Here was a team the city could call its own, playing in a state-of-the-art building with a rollicking crowd roaring with every opportunity by the home side. The noise flowed onto the ice surface in waves, the fans screaming for the goal that would extend the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the perennial NHL powerhouse and burgeoning rival.

The eyes of the hockey world were on the Ohio capital as the pesky Blue Jackets attacked, looking to make the statement that after a 15-year journey they had arrived as a force.

Ed Gingher, who runs the city's only AAA youth hockey program, was there that night. He is heavily invested in what the Blue Jackets do because it directly impacts the talent pool available to feed his program; plus he does some work for the franchise. He is devoted to the sport, having played and coached it for much of his life.

"I've never heard a building as loud as the one in Columbus during that series," Gingher said.

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Rangers all-star Nash returning to Columbus

Sunday, 01.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Getting selected for the NHL All-Star Game rarely is the greatest motivator for a player. It's a good goal to have and certainly an accomplishment if achieved, but it's not what drives a player in the offseason, through training camp, or at the start of the season.

New York Rangers forward Rick Nash is usually no different, except 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend has a unique meaning for him, so the idea of getting there was more intriguing than ever before.

"I don't think I was striving for my play to be top-notch so I could go there, that definitely wasn't the issue, but it's nice," Nash said. "If there is one place where it would be fun to go to the All-Star Game it would be in Columbus."

Columbus is a special place to Nash. He was selected first in the 2002 NHL Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets and spent the next decade of his life helping build a hockey tradition in the market and a home for himself in the city, a home he still maintains.

Nash earned his spot in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game, to be played Jan. 25 at Nationwide Arena (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), by playing the brand of hockey that fans in Columbus got used to over the years. He has been a factor for the Rangers all season and has 26 goals and 41 points in 42 games. He's been dominant in all areas, including on the penalty kill.

Nash, who will serve as an alternate captain for Team Toews, talked about going back to Columbus as an all-star, his favorite memory with the Blue Jackets, and his life now as a New Yorker:

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Unheralded Canadiens still among NHL's elite teams

Sunday, 01.18.2015 / 12:22 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens can be a difficult team to understand. They have been hovering around the top of the Eastern Conference for most of the season, yet the Canadiens are rarely mentioned among the elite teams in the NHL.

But here they are with a 28-13-3 record following a 6-4 win at home Saturday against the New York Islanders, who entered the game having won four in a row, including a big 6-3 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at home a night earlier.

The Islanders were 6-1-0 this season playing the second of back-to-back games and had won their past four under those circumstances before losing to the Canadiens.

Prior to the game, Montreal talked about the opportunity to prove a point against a team that was getting the accolades around the League that the Canadiens felt they deserved but weren't getting.

"You want to earn respect across the League," forward David Desharnais said. "It's by beating those teams that you're going to do that."

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Blake's Kings legacy hits apex with jersey retirement

Saturday, 01.17.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles was another world to Rob Blake where he grew up about 2,400 miles away. He was a Toronto-area raised farm boy, and his life revolved around machinery and watching Wayne Gretzky.

That changed profoundly within three months in the summer of 1988. Blake was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings, and three months later he was a sophomore at Bowling Green when he and then teammate Nelson Emerson were sitting in their dorm room watching television. Gretzky had been traded by the Edmonton Oilers to the Kings.

To look back at it seems just as jarring to Blake.

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Blue Jackets' Foligno ready to show off Columbus

Saturday, 01.17.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno will captain Team Foligno at the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend, to be held Jan. 23-25 in Columbus.

In addition to the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game, which will be played Jan. 25 at Nationwide Arena (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), Foligno will be responsible for selecting his team via the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings on Jan. 23 (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

He'll also take part in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 24 (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Foligno, 27, is having a career season and signed six-year, $33 million contract extension through the 2020-21 season Dec. 31.

The first-time All-Star discusses welcoming the League to Columbus, his family and those hugs with Columbus goaltender and fellow All-Star Sergei Bobrovsky:

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Bruins' Marchand banned two games for slew-footing

Friday, 01.16.2015 / 5:07 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORK – Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand has been suspended for two games, without pay, for slew-footing New York Rangers forward Derick Brassard during NHL Game No. 644 in Boston on Thursday, January 15, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 14:30 of the second period.

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Jets prospect Hellebuyck carrying load for St. John's

Friday, 01.16.2015 / 12:36 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

Winnipeg Jets goaltending prospect Connor Hellebuyck has logged a lot of miles on his road to professional hockey.

A native of the Detroit suburb of Commerce, Mich., Hellebuyck played a year of junior hockey in Odessa, Texas, then set up camp on the goal line at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

"I always wanted to go to college," Hellebuyck said. "[UMass Lowell] were the first people to come down to Odessa and see me. After I talked to their goalie coach, Cam Ellsworth, he kind of sold the school really well to me. I thought it was a perfect fit. If there was anywhere I would choose, I would choose there."

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Quote of the Day

That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4