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Fantasy top 60 'D': Giordano powers blue line feast

Wednesday, 11.26.2014 / 12:30 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving back on Oct. 13 and those of us in the United States will do the same on Thursday. The holiday brings friends, families and loved ones together as they reflect on all that they are thankful for.

Those friends, families and loved ones come together for celebrations featuring traditional fare such as turkey and stuffing, as well as covered dishes and desserts provided by each of the arriving guests.

In keeping with that spirit, it is time for the defensemen of the NHL to gather for the second annual defensive fantasy feast!

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Predators' Forsberg emerges as early Calder favorite

Wednesday, 11.26.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Two seasons ago Filip Forsberg was impressing NHL scouts with regularity in his native Sweden.

At the time, he was regarded as the top European skater eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft because he had a nose for the net, better-than-average speed and played an effective two-way game. Goran Stubb, the NHL Director of European Scouting, compared him to Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry because in addition to sacrificing himself to make the big play, he had a knack for scoring the big goal.

"He started playing with men at an early age and when you do that it forces you to mature earlier and forces you to start playing the professional game right away," Colorado Avalanche captain and fellow Swede Gabriel Landeskog said. "I think it's probably helped him in the transition coming over here and having played so many years of professional hockey back home. I played with him on a few teams back home and he's a skilled player, very talented."

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Chicago Blackhawks dominate week one of 2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by SiriusXM

Canadiens defenseman Subban sits atop leaderboard

Tuesday, 11.25.2014 / 2:00 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- The Chicago Blackhawks occupy four of the top 10 spots in the first week of voting in the 2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by SiriusXM. Forwards Patrick Kane (73,551) and Jonathan Toews (71,734), defenseman Duncan Keith (66,723), and goaltender Corey Crawford (51,212) ranked fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth, respectively. More than 3.2 million votes were cast in the first week of voting.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban was the top vote-getter in week one with 100,133 votes. Teammate Carey Price collected 83,612 votes for the third spot in the top 10 and top spot among goaltenders. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby holds the second spot in votes with 87,858, while teammate Kris Letang's 51,502 votes were enough for the ninth spot.

The leaderboard of the top vote-getters is available at NHL.com/vote. Fans can join the conversation by using the official hashtag #NHLAllStar.

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Puck possession has Wild's Suter leading Norris race

Tuesday, 11.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Ryan Suter has led the NHL in time on ice per game for each of the past two seasons.

Logging a lot of ice time, and his reputation from having a successful tenure with the Nashville Predators, helped make Suter a candidate for the Norris Trophy and a consistent subject in "who are the best defensemen in the NHL?" discussions in his first two years with the Minnesota Wild.

Suter's statistics, both "advanced" and "traditional," beyond the time on ice, left questions about whether or not he was really having the impact of an elite defenseman. His puck possession stats were mediocre, especially last season when Wild coach Mike Yeo didn't give him a high percentage of defensive zone starts.

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Fantasy All-Access: Hutchinson emerging for Jets

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

Thanksgiving is a time for family, food, faceoffs and a chance to reflect on what we are most thankful for. In the fantasy world we are thankful for all the great top line combinations; from the "STL Line" to "That 70's Line" to the top-line threats of the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators.

These trios have been supplying fantasy owners with plenty of points. We are also thankful for the Calgary Flames defense. The top four of Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Dennis Wideman and Kris Russell have combined for 60 points, were all drafted in low rounds or plucked of waiver wires, and have been gravy for fantasy teams. Lastly, we are thankful for Darcy Kuemper, who was drafted on average in the 13th round but is making saves as easy as pie.

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2015 NHL Winter Classic Prohibited Items

NHL.com

The following items are expressly prohibited inside ticketed areas:

- Metal, plastic or glass containers of any kind (except for clear, factory-sealed plastic water bottles no larger than 1 liter, juice boxes, insulin containers and baby food). Only one bottle of water per person will be permitted
- Food items not in adherence to the following policy: All food items must be contained in single serving bags within a soft-sided container or cooler that does not exceed 16”x16”x8”
- Hard coolers or ice chests
- Backpacks and bags that exceed 16”x16”x8”
- Umbrellas
- Brooms, poles and staffs of any kind
- Weapons, fireworks and other illegal substances
- Camera lenses in excess of eight inches, tripods and monopods
- Animals (except service animals)
- Beach balls and other inflatable items
- Laser pens and laser pointers
- Alcohol not purchased at Nationals Park
- Noisemakers not provided by the NHL
- Skateboards
- Strollers
- Any other item deemed dangerous or inappropriate or otherwise violating the Guest Conduct Policy

Violators of any District of Columbia laws will be refused admission, asked to leave or ejected from the ticketed areas.

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Penguins' Crosby early leader in Hart Trophy race

Monday, 11.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been a picture of stability since winning the Stanley Cup in 2009.

But their lack of success in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since that time led to an offseason of drastic change.

General manager Ray Shero, coach Dan Bylsma and assistant coach Tony Granato were let go, while Bylsma's other assistant, Jacques Martin, was reassigned as senior advisor of hockey operations. Jim Rutherford was brought in as general manager and Mike Johnston as coach, defensemen Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik were allowed to leave as free agents, and James Neal was traded to the Nashville Predators for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. In all, eight players who took part in at least 41 games last season were not on the opening night roster this season.

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Sunday Long Read: Flyers' Simmonds gives back

Sunday, 11.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Wanda Simmonds remembers the conversation she had one day a few years ago with her son Wayne.

It was before Wayne Simmonds grew into a 6-foot-2, 183-pound forward for the Philadelphia Flyers; before he was a second-round pick (No. 61) by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2007 NHL Draft; even before he was a budding star in the Ontario Hockey League.

It was when Simmonds was an unknown minor player, one of many skating in regional leagues across Canada.

"I said to him, 'There's two things I want to you to do if you ever make it to the NHL,'" she told NHL.com. "'I want you to give back [to your community] and I want you to give to your church.'"

Obedient son that he is, Wayne Simmonds followed his mother's wishes. And the next generation of hockey hopefuls from the Scarborough, Ontario region has benefited from Simmonds keeping his word.

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Blues' Shattenkirk 'in tip-top shape' and seeing results

Sunday, 11.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- When the horn went off signaling the end of another disappointing finish in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the St. Louis Blues last season, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk took it as hard as any of his teammates.

For a third straight postseason, the Blues were denied their ultimate goal of competing for a Stanley Cup. In the aftermath, it became evidently clear that change was in order.

General manager Doug Armstrong voiced his disappointment, coach Ken Hitchcock voiced his disappointment and players made the consensus unanimous.

And when push came to shove, Shattenkirk made sure he could do what was necessary to make personal changes for the 2014-15 season.

So far, the results are very much what the Blues felt was possible all along.

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Quote of the Day

I look forward to the process, the battle, the pain, the fun, the journey.  It's going to be a long one but it's going to be a lot of fun. If you think there is no pain coming, there is pain coming.

— Mike Babcock, introduced as coach of the Toronto on Thursday, had a warning for fans