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Features

Numbers show Alfredsson's status among peers

Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 10:15 AM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Longtime Ottawa Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson, who retired Thursday, compiled numbers that rank him at or near the top of players of his generation.

Here are a few that particularly stand out:

1 -- Alfredsson is the only player selected in the 1994 NHL Draft to reach 1,000 points; Patrik Elias (993 for the New Jersey Devils) could become the second.

2 -- Alfredsson finished with the second-most points from a Swedish born skater in NHL history, trailing Mats Sundin (1,349-1,157).

4 -- From when Alfredsson made his NHL debut to today, he ranks fourth in assists with 713. The players ahead of him are Joe Thornton, Jaromir Jagr and fellow countryman Nicklas Lidstrom.

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Alfredsson's timeline traveled from Sweden to Ottawa

Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 10:15 AM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Daniel Alfredsson was the face of the Ottawa Senators for almost two decades. The Gothenburg, Sweden native holds countless Senators records set during his 17 seasons playing for Ottawa and has a decorated international career.

Alfredsson on Thursday announced his retirement from professional hockey.

Here are some key dates as we look back at No. 11:

June 29, 1994 -- Selected in the sixth round (No. 133) of the NHL Draft by the Ottawa Senators.

Oct. 7, 1995 -- Made his NHL debut, getting his first point (an assist) in a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

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Alfredsson embodied Senators' rise, beloved by city

Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 10:15 AM / NHL Insider

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- In his time with the Ottawa Senators, Daniel Alfredsson was as much a part of the landscape here as snow in winter, the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill, and a chant about the archrival Toronto Maple Leafs that rhymes with make believe luck.

That Alfredsson, a central figure when the Battle of Ontario was at its peak, was so reviled by Maple Leafs fans only served to endear him even more to Senators supporters.

Through the ebbs and flows of Ottawa's return to the NHL, Alfredsson was the Senators' constant, rising to become their leader in just about every offensive category and its longest-serving captain.

He became active in the community, opening up about his family and mental health issues faced by his sister, Cecilia, and becoming the spokesman for the Royal Ottawa Hospital's campaign to remove the stigma from mental illness.

He was always there with a consistent effort on the ice and to answer for his and the Senators performances off it.

Alfredsson returned to Ottawa one more time Thursday, to announce his retirement after 18 NHL seasons, 17 of which were spent with the Senators.

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Unmasked: Brodeur's methods must mesh with Blues

Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Much has been made about how odd it is to see Martin Brodeur in St. Louis Blues colors after more than two decades as the goalie and franchise icon for the New Jersey Devils.

It may be even more odd to watch Brodeur's at-times-unconventional, old-school goaltending mesh with the style of play the Blues employ.

Brodeur dismissed the popular butterfly save-selection style early in a pro career which has gone pretty well without it. He has the most wins (688) and shutouts (124) in NHL history without defaulting to both knees to make every save, which is the preference for the vast majority of professional goalies, including St. Louis starter Brian Elliott and backup Jake Allen.



Elliott is out with a lower-body injury for the next couple of weeks at least, so the Blues signed Brodeur to an incentive-laden contract Tuesday. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said Brodeur will start in goal Thursday against the Nashville Predators.

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Shift to goalie paying off for USNTDP's Opilka

Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Luke Opilka came very close to quitting hockey before realizing his true calling as a goaltender during an open skate at a friend's birthday party.

"I was never too good a player; the only goal I ever scored was on my own net," Opilka said. "I really thought I actually scored a goal so I began celebrating. I was probably a mite [8 years old] then and I probably should have known better, but I didn't."

What he did learn was that playing defense was not a good idea for him.

"I tried goaltender at my friend's birthday party and just loved it, so I stuck with it from there," he said.

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Canadiens owner saddened by Beliveau's passing

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 7:12 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Geoff Molson walked up to address the gathered media Wednesday, having had hours to emotionally absorb the horrible news that was delivered late the previous night.

The Montreal Canadiens president and principal owner began with a general comment on the passing of Jean Beliveau.

And the emotions came flowing back.

Following a comment in French, Molson said, "Before I get started I just wanted to say that our thoughts and prayers are with the Beliveau family today …"

Molson paused. He needed to compose himself.

He was speaking about the death of a man he said he considered to be a giant as a child, a man who had a relationship with his family that runs three generations deep.

As emotionally prepared as Molson might have been to face the public to speak of this sad event, it would have been impossible for him to be totally prepared.

This was hard.

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Flyers' Lecavalier discusses Jean Beliveau's impact

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 6:32 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- The picture has a timeless quality to it, even if Jean Beliveau's brown suit and green-and-red tie harken back to another era. There is Beliveau sitting on the boards, holding a young Vincent Lecavalier against a dark background of a hockey rink. Both are smiling.

The photo was taken at a hockey tournament Lecavalier's older brother was playing in, and it was the first time Lecavalier met Beliveau.

"I was very young, so I don't remember the moment exactly, but that picture's in my house back in Montreal signed by him," Lecavalier said. "It was a great honor to meet him. Obviously when I made it to the NHL, I met him a few times after that. [He's] just a nice person. He has a lot of respect for everybody, the way he treats people."

Lecavalier had a unique bond with Beliveau, the beloved Montreal Canadiens legend who died Tuesday at 83. He wore Beliveau's No. 4 since he was about 3 years old until he joined the Philadelphia Flyers -- the Flyers retired the number in honor of Barry Ashbee -- because Beliveau was his grandfather's favorite player. Lecavalier also played Beliveau in 2005 film "The Rocket: The Maurice Richard Story," which is about Beliveau's former Canadiens teammate.


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Penguins' Bortuzzo suspended two games

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 5:15 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORK - Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo has been suspended for two games, without pay, for interference against New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr during NHL Game No. 364 in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, December 2, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 17:57 of the second period.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Bortuzzo will forfeit $6,451.62. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Beliveau has lasting impact with current Canadiens

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 1:55 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- None of the players on the Montreal Canadiens roster are old enough to have seen Jean Beliveau play, but the death Tuesday of the hockey legend hit them hard.

Even goaltender Carey Price and defenseman P.K. Subban, who normally don't talk after the morning skate on a game day, were eager to share their thoughts on Beliveau, who won the Stanley Cup 10 times as a player and seven times as a Canadiens executive.

"We lost a family member," Price said Wednesday ahead of their game against the Minnesota Wild. "He's an outstanding citizen and a great ambassador for our hockey team and we're sad to see him go. He's the bar for being a Montreal Canadien. He set the standard for everyone else to follow and he'll always be remembered."

Subban tweeted Tuesday night that he met Beliveau when he was 10. It was then, he said, he knew he wanted to play for the Canadiens.

"What he means to hockey and the Montreal Canadiens, I don't know if words can describe it," Subban said. "We understand, especially the guys from Canada, fans of the Montreal Canadiens especially, and growing up a fan, we understand what he means to the Canadiens."

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'Pope of Hockey' Beliveau was in class of his own

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 12:35 PM / NHL Insider

Serge Touchette  - Special to NHL.com

It was in 2002 at a hotel in Los Angeles, the day before the NHL All-Star Game, and some of the game's legends were taking their turn entering a reception hall.

I was speaking to Ted Lindsay, the Detroit Red Wings great, when Jean Beliveau, dressed to the nines, made his appearance.

All of a sudden the room went silent and everyone, without exception, turned their attention toward him.

It was as if time had stopped.

"For me," Lindsay said that day, "Jean Beliveau is, and always will be, the Pope of Hockey."

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Quote of the Day

You know what? We've played in some pretty special buildings along this playoff run so far. You start in Detroit, you go to Montreal, you come here … I think it's the first team to beat three Original Six teams to get to the Final if I'm not mistaken. That says how tough the road has been. Those are tough places to win.

— Lightning forward Steven Stamkos after Game 7 win vs. Rangers on Friday in New York