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Features

Crosby, Stamkos top deep fantasy center rankings

NHL.com's Matt Cubeta ranks top 50 players at C position

Wednesday, 09.03.2014 / 11:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

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.


Depth, depth and more depth. That's the story year after year when breaking down the center position for fantasy hockey. And as always, this year remains the same.

From the first round of your draft to the final round, there's always a good time to draft a center. But that first round is sure to see plenty fly off the board. Among my top-10 overall fantasy players, eight qualify as centers in Yahoo leagues. From Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby at the No. 1 spot to Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews at 10th, there seem to be more elite players at the center position than ever, and this doesn't even include superstars Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars) or Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings).

But the quality doesn't stop there. Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets star Ryan Johansen could end up moving into the top tier at the center position. Another No. 1 draft pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, could finally start to pay dividends for the Edmonton Oilers and fantasy owners. Jason Spezza (Stars) and Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes) should both bounce back to have big seasons.

As you move through your draft, some potential breakout candidates can also be found. Players like Brayden Schenn (Philadelphia Flyers), Derick Brassard (New York Rangers) and Mark Scheifele (Arizona Coyotes) could all end up exceeding expectations in 2014-15. Then there are the sleepers; guys like Sam Gagner (Arizona Coyotes), Nick Bjugstad (Florida Panthers) and Elias Lindholm (Hurricanes) are all worth selections with one of your final picks come draft day.

Regardless of what you need, whether it's goals, assists, penalty minutes, plus/minus help, power-play production or shots on goal, the center position has you covered, and you'll be able to find what you need at almost any point during your draft.

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NHL Fan Fair part of 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Greater Columbus Convention Center to host games, attractions from Jan. 23-25

Wednesday, 09.03.2014 / 9:00 AM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL.com

NEW YORK / COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 2015 NHL Fan Fair™, the official fan festival of the 2015 NHL All-Star festivities in Columbus, Ohio, will come to the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC), Jan. 23-25. Hockey fans can purchase tickets to the hockey festival online at Ticketmaster.com and BlueJackets.com and at the Big Lots Box Office at Nationwide Arena.

The 2015 NHL Fan Fair™ will feature family-friendly interactive games and attractions for fans of all ages; NHL memorabilia and trophy displays, including the iconic Stanley Cup; live TV and radio broadcasts; special appearances by current and former players as well as NHL Mascots; and music, food and dozens of other dynamic activities. All attractions will be included with the price of admission.

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Over the Boards: Red Wings add 'coach concierge'

Wednesday, 09.03.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

One of the Detroit Red Wings' new assistant coaches found his niche in hockey by chance seven years ago when as a business student at the University of New Brunswick, he made a motivational video to celebrate the school's 2007 CIS University Cup championship.

Andrew Brewer was hired by Mike Babcock in late July. He's 28 years old.

"So, I've kind of given up on guessing what I'm going to be doing in five or 10 years," Brewer said during a recent phone interview.

Brewer never played at a high level. He was, as he said, usually the last guy cut from the team. His father, Perley, was a goalie coach in the American Hockey League, but Brewer said he would have had to become a fighter if he wanted to continue playing beyond the age of 16.

"I had no desire to do that, so I kind of gave it up," Brewer said.

But Brewer, who said he has always admired coaches more than players because of his father, made a video for a school project that has led him down a career path that was once just a pipe dream and into a relationship with Babcock that has to be one of the most unique in the NHL.

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Stars captain Benn leads Top 14 left wings

Wednesday, 09.03.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's Top 14 in '14-15

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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?

Left wing has become the hot spot for elite goal scorers in the National Hockey League.

There have been more left wings to score 30 goals in the past four seasons (34) than any other position, including nine of the 21 players who scored at least 30 goals last season. That group doesn't include Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who is technically a right wing but still scores the majority of his goals from the left side.

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Breaking down the top 50 fantasy hockey players

Tuesday, 09.02.2014 / 11:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Yahoo's fantasy hockey registration is officially open. You're building your league and inviting your friends to join. You're figuring out when and where to have the draft. Then the research begins. You're debating who to take in what round and who you can grab late in the draft. Who can help you in the penalty minutes category and who will help with power-play points?

From now until the puck drops on Oct. 8, all of these decisions come into play as the NHL and fantasy hockey seasons officially begin.

The most important thing for your fantasy draft is to remember that the more you read and take in, the better prepared you'll be.

With that, hopefully you've seen NHL.com's top 275 overall fantasy hockey rankings. That's a good start in getting ready for your draft. We've also released our sets of sleeper stories (Cubeta, Jensen, Sitkoff) as well as plenty of other helpful fantasy features. Take it all in.

Now it's time to find out the reasons behind our top 50 fantasy player rankings.

Why is Evgeni Malkin ranked higher than last season's MVP nominees Ryan Getzlaf and Claude Giroux? Why is Jamie Benn the highest-ranked left wing? Why did we choose P.K. Subban ahead of Erik Karlsson among defensemen? These are just a few of the many questions you might have asked when you first viewed our consensus rankings. Now you get to understand why these select few are considered the 50 best fantasy players in the game, according to NHL.com.

The overall ranking order is based on NHL.com's composite rankings determined by fantasy insiders Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen and Matt Sitkoff (average of each expert's selections).

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Top 14 centers can lead to Cup championship

Tuesday, 09.02.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's Top 14 in '14-15

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

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?

The old adage in hockey is "teams can't win without great goaltending."

The new adage in hockey should be "teams can't win without great centers."

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Quote of the Day

I watched many times this year the series between the Russians and Canada in 1972, and he was a dominating player there. After I watched the tapes, I respect him a lot more because he turned the series around. He was the guy. In that time, he was the best in the world. It’s a big honor for me to tie him.

— Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr on scoring the 717th goal of his career to tie Phil Esposito for fifth on the NHL's all-time goals list after a 4-3 win vs. the Lightning on Sunday