Playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins alongside two former Hart Trophy winners in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, left wing James Neal was not looked upon to be a leader or to carry the load offensively.
He said he is embracing the challenge.
BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres' busy weekend at the 2014 NHL Draft signaled the unofficial start of the organization's rebuild.
The Sabres made nine picks at the draft highlighted by the selection of Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart with the No. 2 pick in the first round and Barrie Colts left wing Brendan Lemieux, the first pick of the second round. Those picks, as well as trades last season that subtracted Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, Ryan Miller, and Steve Ott from the roster and the compliance buyouts used on forward Ville Leino and defenseman Christian Ehrhoff means the team is being built virtually from the ground up.
"Last year was a tough year," Sabres general manager Tim Murray said. "Quite frankly, if you want me to sit here and go through player by player what I thought, it can't be pretty, right? The team was not very good. That's gone for me. This is a new beginning. This is my first full year. This is Teddy's [Nolan, coach] first full year.
"There was so much change last year. This is where we start off and try to lay down the right lessons. Are we going to be way better? I'm not saying that at all, but things will be way better. Expectations, how you play the game, how you carry yourself as a pro; those things have to get better."
NEW YORK – NHL Network-U.S. will deliver seven hours of analysis of the opening of free agency on Tuesday, July 1 (12:00 p.m. ET), with streaming live coverage of Sportsnet's HOCKEY CENTRAL Signing Season, starting at 11:00 a.m. ET. This marks the first time Sportsnet's coverage will be available to viewers in the U.S., following the landmark Canadian rights deal between the National Hockey League and Rogers.
NHL Network-U.S. and Sportsnet 360 will chronicle the free-agency frenzy with HOCKEY CENTRAL Signing Season hosted by Daren Millard, Jeff Marek and Christine Simpson and featuring panelists and hockey insiders Nick Kypreos, Damien Cox, Elliotte Friedman, Doug MacLean, John Shannon, Scott Morrison, Chris Johnston, Greg Millen, Darren Pang and Billy Jaffe. The show will bring viewers the most up-to-date information on signings and trades as well as analysis of all 30 NHL® teams.
NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League today announced the following adjustments to the 2014-15 regular-season schedule:
The wooing period is almost over. A lot of money is about to change hands.
Unrestricted free agents can start fielding official contract offers from NHL teams at noon ET July 1. If history is a guide, many of them will do quite well.
In preparation for the frenzy that is the NHL free-agent market, here are nine questions that likely will be answered in the coming days. The answers will shape the future of many players and teams.
1. Is there a market for Martin Brodeur?
The answer is probably yes, but it's thin and the 42-year-old goaltender won't get what he wants, which is a promise for playing time on a Cup-contending team. If Brodeur signs anywhere it will be as a backup. He had a .901 save percentage last season and hasn't been better than .908 since 2009-10.
It would be a shock if he re-signs with the New Jersey Devils. They realize it's time to move on without him and make Cory Schneider the unquestioned No. 1 goalie. Brodeur has said he doesn't want to stand in the way of that.
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