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Features

Avalanche sign defenseman Barrie to two-year deal

Thursday, 09.04.2014 / 5:05 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

The Colorado Avalanche signed defenseman Tyson Barrie to a two-year contract through the 2015-16 season, the team announced Thursday. The contract is worth $5.2 million, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

Barrie, 23, scored 13 goals last season, the most by an Avalanche defenseman since John-Michael Liles had 14 in 2006-07. Barrie finished second among Colorado defensemen in points (38) and assists (25) in 64 games. He finished third on the team with a plus-17 rating and had two assists in three Stanley Cup Playoff games before sustaining a knee injury in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild.

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Pacioretty eager to help lead Canadiens

Thursday, 09.04.2014 / 4:35 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- It may have been a sign of things to come when it was pointed out to Max Pacioretty that his likeness in EA Sports' new NHL 15 is wearing the captain's "C," and the Montreal Canadiens left wing smiled when he was asked if he knows something that has not yet been shared with the rest of the hockey world.

"No, I don't know anything," Pacioretty said Thursday after participating in EA Sports' Motion Capture Display. "But I believe somebody at EA Sports should be in line for a promotion."

The fact is the Canadiens are in the market for a captain since Brian Gionta, their captain the past four seasons, signed a three-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres on July 1.

The Canadiens whipped their typically emotional fans into frenzy last season when they bounced the Tampa Bay Lightning from the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in four games and then eliminated the Boston Bruins in seven. Things turned sour in the Eastern Conference Final, however, when Montreal was beaten in six games by the New York Rangers.

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Oilers' Hall back atop fantasy left wing rankings

NHL.com's Matt Sitkoff ranks top 40 players at LW position

Thursday, 09.04.2014 / 11:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

With the 2014-15 NHL season inching closer by the day, NHL.com has you covered with positional fantasy rankings. Based on Yahoo position eligibility, projected lineups, past performance, injury history and each insider's opinions, Matt Cubeta (centers), Matt Sitkoff (left wings), Pete Jensen (right wings), Brian Metzer (defensemen) and Justin Goldman (goalies) bring you up to speed by identifying all the players worth targeting at each position in your upcoming drafts.


Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers tops the preseason left wing rankings for the second consecutive season. The No. 1 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft had a career high 80 points last season and finished in the top 10 in scoring for the second straight season. Hall's 1.08 points per game has paced all left wings the past two seasons and his 0.91 career points per game ranks him fourth among players at the position.

The top 10 is a mix of consistent performers and players coming off career years. Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars was named to the NHL's First All-Star team. Expect his chemistry with center Tyler Seguin to continue. Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens has the most goals from the left side in the past three seasons (87) and hitting the 40-goal mark is not out of the question.

Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Jonathan Drouin, 19, is the only player among the top five picks in the 2013 NHL Draft to not to see action last season in the League, but the extra development time will pay huge dividends for the talented left wing and leading candidate for the Calder Trophy. Youth is represented throughout the top 40 with Calder Trophy winners Gabriel Landeskog (21) and Jonathan Huberdeau (21), as well as precocious talents like Tomas Hertl (20) and Alex Galchenyuk (20).

Some good bounce-back candidates within the rankings include Joffrey Lupul, Alex Tanguay, Huberdeau and Jiri Tlusty. Each had injury issues last season, but owners can expect them to be back producing at their normal paces in a full, 82-game season.

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Ovechkin leads deep pool in Top 14 right wings

Thursday, 09.04.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's Top 14 in '14-15

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Who are the best 14 players in the NHL at each position as teams prepare for the start of the 2014-15 season? Arpon Basu, Brian Compton, Corey Masisak and Dan Rosen have cast their votes and the result is NHL.com's "Top 14 for '14-15" project. Each first-place vote is worth 14 points, each second-place vote is worth 13, continuing in descending order to each 14th-place vote being worth one. There are two tiebreakers. First, which player appeared on more ballots? Second, which player had the highest individual ranking? If the voting was exactly the same for each player, it was declared a tie. Does NHL.com's list match your rankings for the best players in the League entering the 2014-15 campaign?

There certainly is no shortage of talent at right wing in the NHL.

Seven right wings scored at least 30 goals last season, and Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin reached the 50-goal plateau for the fifth time in his career. The position also boasts an impressive mix of young and veteran players, from Jordan Eberle of the Edmonton Oilers to Jaromir Jagr of the New Jersey Devils.

The abundance of talent at right wing made it extremely difficult to determine the top 14 players at the position. Three players received first-place votes, including Chicago Blackhawks sensation Patrick Kane, who was selected No. 1 by two of the voters.

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Quote of the Day

I don't have a crystal ball. Predicting is a real complicated thing. If we stay healthy, have enough depth and get the good goaltending we think we're going to have, you can go all the way. But a lot of things have to happen. There's going to be a lot of teams that think the same thing. Everyone made deals. We're all are optimistic about where we'll end up.

— Rangers general manager Glen Sather after being asked if he's constructed a team that can win the Stanley Cup before their 4-1 win against the Predators on Monday
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