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Features

Canadiens' Emelin fined for illegal check to head

Saturday, 11.29.2014 / 1:45 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORK – Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin has been fined $11,021.51, the maximum permitted under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for an illegal check to the head of Buffalo Sabres forward Brian Gionta during NHL Game No. 337 in Buffalo on Friday, November 28, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

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Predators' Rinne stating case for Vezina Trophy

Saturday, 11.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Nashville Predators didn't qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season. A main reason why was because their No. 1 goaltender, Pekka Rinne, was limited to 24 games because of a hip injury.

These days, Rinne is healthy. And it's no coincidence the Predators are rolling.

Rinne's performance to date (14-3-1, 1.97 goals-against average, .927 save percentage) has the Predators vying for first place in the Central Division. The problems he experienced when he first tried to come back from hip surgery are behind him.

"Like I said, I had a good summer," Rinne told reporters last week. "I fixed a few things that I usually do in the summer. I increased my training a lot. I wanted to be in the best shape that I could possibly be. That has helped a lot.

"Obviously being back on the ice and working on the ice, you can translate that on to the ice what you did off the ice. I was never scared [coming back], but obviously it's something that it's a little bit different struggling with something like that for the first time in your life or career. It was a little bit different, but I never once thought that, 'this is it.' Obviously this year I wanted to get off to a good start, but other than that I wasn't really scared about it."

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Giving thanks to backups

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every week during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Goldman will be your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.

Americans celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday, so we felt Friday was a perfect time to give our own thanks to a legion of talented backup goaltenders that have provided strong fantasy value so far this season.

For quick reference, we've included a handy table of all the backups that have accumulated between 200 and 550 minutes of playing time.

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Blackhawks pick Hartman honing game in Rockford

Friday, 11.28.2014 / 12:32 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

Ryan Hartman's name floated in the world of hockey long before he laced up for his first professional game eight months ago.

He was ranked 16th among North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings in his draft year, going on to fulfill expectations when the Chicago Blackhawks chose him No. 30 in the 2013 NHL Draft. Though the wing was born in South Carolina, he grew up in Chicago, making an already memorable day that much more surreal.

"It probably took until a couple weeks after [to sink in]," Hartman said. "After the draft, I went down to South Carolina for two weeks with my family to relax and get away from hockey and celebrate a little bit. When I got back to Chicago, it definitely sank in that I was drafted."

It's something every athlete dreams of: Spending their formative years idolizing the local team and molding their game after the greats, only to one day be able to have the chance to wear that same jersey. Hartman, 20, is hoping to join players like Chris Chelios and Ed Olczyk as Illinois natives given the chance to eventually skate for the Blackhawks rather than just cheering from the stands.

But before Hartman can officially introduce himself to the Madhouse on Madison, he is practicing the right steps that will lead him to the next level with Chicago's American Hockey League affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.

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Devils wish Brodeur well as he attempts NHL return

Friday, 11.28.2014 / 12:02 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- As the New Jersey Devils made preparations for their game against the Detroit Red Wings at Prudential Center on Friday, former teammate Martin Brodeur was taking the initial steps in a possible return to the NHL in his tryout with the St. Louis Blues.

Receiving an opportunity to join a Stanley Cup-contending team and having a shot at obtaining 700 career regular-season wins is something the 42-year-old goalie has been waiting for since becoming an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer said he was glad Brodeur may be given a chance to return to the game, particularly in the Western Conference.

"I'm real excited for him," DeBoer said. "What a great opportunity. I think if you're hand picking a spot that would be right at the top of the list, it would have to be St. Louis. I'm glad it's in the other conference, but I'm happy for him."

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Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Fan Code of Conduct

NHL.com

The National Hockey League and its Member Clubs are committed to creating a safe and comfortable environment and enjoyable entertainment experience. NHL fans have a right to expect an environment in which they will be treated in a consistent, professional and courteous manner by all Venue, Team and League personnel. The Players and Officials have the same rights. Accordingly, fans are responsible for their own conduct.

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Super 16: Holiday provides time to reflect, look ahead

Friday, 11.28.2014 / 11:30 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

It is fair to say the opening quarter of the 2014-15 NHL season has been relatively sanguine, compared to many campaigns.

All 30 coaches who began the season in charge remained so on American Thanksgiving. There have been a few trades, but beyond two the New York Islanders made just before opening night to shore up their defense there hasn't been a landscape-altering move.

There have been injuries and the Pittsburgh Penguins will miss Pascal Dupuis and the Vancouver Canucks will miss for Dan Hamhuis, but no star players are lost for the season and a few (Victor Hedman, Zdeno Chara and Ryan McDonagh come to mind) are about to return.

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Predators' Laviolette frontrunner for Jack Adams

Friday, 11.28.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

After failing to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in consecutive seasons, the Nashville Predators decided it was time for a new voice behind the bench.

Enter Peter Laviolette, whose track record includes winning the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and three 40-win seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers. Known as an offensive-minded coach, Laviolette's teams have finished in the top 10 in goals in six of his eight full seasons as a coach and never lower than 13th.

In his first season in Carolina, Laviolette was runner-up in voting for the Jack Adams Award and it was the closest vote in award history. With the Predators at 15-5-2 and in first place in the Central Division, he is the early frontrunner to take home the award this season as the NHL's top coach.

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Jets' Lowry suspended one game for boarding

Thursday, 11.27.2014 / 2:30 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Winnipeg Jets forward Adam Lowry has been suspended for one game, without pay, for boarding Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta during NHL Game No. 323 in Buffalo on Wednesday, November 26, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 14:06 of the second period. Lowry was assessed a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Lowry will forfeit $4,453.41. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Stars' Garbutt suspended two games for kneeing

Thursday, 11.27.2014 / 2:20 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORK – Dallas Stars forward Ryan Garbutt has been suspended for two games, without pay, for kneeing Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall during NHL Game No. 319 in Dallas on Tuesday, Nov. 25, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 12:17 of the third period. Garbutt was assessed a minor penalty for tripping.

Garbutt is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $43,902.44. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Quote of the Day

It's not always going to be pretty, especially against a great goalie [Lundqvist] like that. My goals are never how you draw them up. It's just a matter of grinding it out and trying to create havoc in front and good things happen.

— Capitals forward Jay Beagle on scoring in their Game 3 victory against the Rangers on Monday