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(Page 168 of 168)
Features

Blackhawks' Keith leads race for Norris Trophy

Friday, 02.28.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

With three-quarters of the 2013-14 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders. Today we predict the winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy, an annual award presented by the Professional Hockey Writers Association to the NHL's best defenseman.

Duncan Keith's skating, awareness and puck movement have been as good this season as they were throughout the 2009-10 season. The Chicago Blackhawks defenseman was good enough to win the Norris Trophy then, just as he is now.

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Modano, Stars get behind Try Hockey for Free Day

Friday, 02.28.2014 / 3:00 AM / Hockey Weekend Across America

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

Twenty-one years ago, the Minnesota North Stars franchise took a leap of faith by leaving the State of Hockey for uncharted territory in Dallas. That's when Mike Modano took the lead on a grassroots campaign to educate Big D about the game, knowing full well the learning curve would be steep.

Fans grew to enjoy the speed and contact of the game over time, but they had a lot of help along the way. Stars public address announcers noted each time a whistle was blown for offsides or icing. According to Modano, it seemingly took 10 years to explain a plus-minus rating to the new hockey fans.

"Trying to explain the rules and offsides and icing, and people cheering when guys got penalties on our own team … just because they announced our team and our player, they cheered," Modano said. "There was a lot of crash-course teaching we had to do."

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Special bond unites USA Warriors, Blackhawks

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

It was six years ago when U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient Paul Schaus was lying in a hospital bed wondering what the future would hold.

"I had a moment there in the hospital where I didn't want to leave the room; just wanted to be a homebody or something. I didn't want to get out," Schaus told NHL.com.

At the time, Schaus was coming off a bilateral above-knee amputation after losing both legs to an improvised explosive device during a routine patrol while serving his country in Afghanistan in 2009.

"We were supporting another patrol and I stepped on the IED, but my whole team remembered their training and took care of me, got me out of there and saved my life," he said. "The men you serve with in the military aren't guys you normally grow up with, but we all have the same mindset, thoughts and go through the same stuff. That's what bonds the group together and becomes a lifetime brotherhood. You don't forget."

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Mike Craig says Heritage Classic ice is on schedule

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

VANCOUVER -- NHL senior manager of facilities operations Mike Craig hasn't actually been working on making ice outdoors for two straight months. It just feels that way sometimes.

After prepping ice for three outdoor games since Jan. 1, Craig and his crew took over BC Place this week and have been building the playing surface for the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic between the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators on Sunday. Despite the long hours, Craig is enjoying certain comforts at the stadium, which features a retractable roof.

Craig has been busy for the past two months. Before coming to Vancouver, he worked on the ice for the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., on New Year's Day, as well as the two Coors Light NHL Stadium Series games at Yankee Stadium in late January.

His crew has been especially busy in Vancouver, where two groups have been alternating 12-hours shifts. Since Monday, the ice crew has been working 24 hours each day in preparation for the Heritage Classic.


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Stadium Series Chicago by the numbers

NHL.com

CHICAGO – A look at the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series Chicago outdoor game at Soldier Field "By the Numbers":

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2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic to feature salute to Canada's gold medal-winning women's team

Team captain Caroline Ouellette, eight teammates will take part in pre-game festivities

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ game between the Vancouver Canucks™ and Ottawa Senators™ at BC Place on Sunday, March 2 (1:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. ET on CBC and RDS in Canada; NBCSN in the U.S.) will feature a salute to Canada's 2014 Olympic gold medal-winning National Women's Team. Team captain Caroline Ouellette and teammates Hayley Wickenheiser, Meghan Agosta-Marciano, Laura Fortino, Rebecca Johnston, Meaghan Mikkelson, Lauriane Rougeau, Natalie Spooner and Shannon Szabados will be honoured before the game.

Prior to puck drop at BC Place, Canada's National Women's Team players will take part in a Q&A on the main stage and an autograph session at the Molson Beer Garden inside the Canadian Tire NHL Spectator Plaza, the free outdoor hockey and entertainment festival from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the parking lot outside the Plaza of Nations.

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Canucks' Diaz recalls playing outdoors in Switzerland

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Raphael Diaz didn't just get traded to the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 3.

Diaz got dealt back to his youth.

The trade that sent the 28-year-old defenseman from the Montreal Canadiens also put Diaz into the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic on Sunday (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). It brought back memories of playing outside in his native Switzerland, as a child and a professional.

"When I was younger we played a lot outside, tournaments and stuff," Diaz said. "When the sun was shining you put on zinc -- what do you call it here? Eye black? The team manager was waiting at the door before you went out and everybody got a swipe under the eyes. If it was snowing or even raining, as a kid you just played and had fun."

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NHL Green, TeamSnap partner to 'recycle the game'

Fans encouraged to donate used equipment at Canadian Tire NHL Spectator Plaza

NHL.com

VANCOUVER – NHL Green has partnered with TeamSnap (www.teamsnap.com) to collect used hockey equipment from fans prior to the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic.

Before the puck drops between the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, March 2, the parking lot outside the Plaza of Nations will transform into the 2014 Canadian Tire NHL Spectator Plaza. All fans are encouraged to visit the NHL Green presented by TeamSnap activation at Spectator Plaza and drop-off their used hockey gear in the one-of-a-kind equipment donation net.

Donated items will be delivered by the NHL to HEROS Hockey in Vancouver, a charitable organization dedicated to empowering children through ice hockey. HEROS is a member of the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone program, which uses hockey as a way to support education, build self-esteem, and develop life skills.

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In the Cage: Six key goalie trade deadline topics

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy goaltenders in NHL.com's weekly segment: "In the Cage." From updated goalie rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

With less than one week until the NHL Trade Deadline (Wednesday, March 5 at 3 p.m.), the window of opportunity to upgrade your goaltending before the fantasy playoff push is quickly closing.

The 2014 Sochi Olympics was a nice break from the grueling NHL schedule, but it also gave us a rare glimpse of some key fantasy goalies playing behind different defensive systems.

But now, with a few other goalies rumored to be on the move next week, we're focused in on six key goaltending storylines leading up to next Wednesday and the trade deadline.

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Spezza, Smith could be trade deadline steals

Fantasy Hockey Trade Deadline Decisions - Part 2

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

The NHL Trade Deadline is at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 5. The standard fantasy hockey league trade deadline is the very next day.

In order to have you fully prepared, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with a three-part "Fantasy Hockey Trade Deadline Decisions" series. Each part will feature a different list of players. Part 1: A list of players who could be traded before the NHL Trade Deadline and how it would affect their fantasy value (Wednesday). Part 2: A list of players Cubeta believes you should be trying to acquire before your deadline -- also known as buy-low candidates (Thursday). Part 3: A list of players you should be trying to trade away before your deadline -- also known as sell-high candidates (Friday).

Remember, when you're trying to make a trade, don't be afraid to start your negotiation off a little higher than what you're hoping to eventually land. You can always lower your asking price, but you won't be able to raise it if the other person you're trading with already accepts the deal.

Buy-low: Players to acquire before your trade deadline

Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators -- 54 games: 15 G, 30 A, minus-23, 34 PIMs, 16 PPP, 160 SOG

Take away Spezza's minus-23 and you're looking at an elite fantasy player, like many of us expected back when we drafted him. That rating is killing his value -- so much so that he is actually ranked all the way at 99 in Yahoo leagues. But it's only one category and the Senators are still a talented team. A little more luck and some better goaltending could go a long way in boosting Spezza's value. Right now Spezza's shooting percentage sits at 9.4 percent. His career mark is 14.0 percent. That's quite a difference. Throughout this story, I'm going to give you a bunch of players whose shooting percentages are well below their career averages and it's a good gauge for expecting a player to revert back to the norm for the final 20-25 games of the season. Of course, sometimes a player ends up getting a bit lucky for an entire season, but shooting percentage is one of the few statistics where we can spot whether someone has been lucky or unlucky. Either way, you should expect a few more of Spezza's shots to start finding the back of the net and both his goal production and plus/minus will improve.

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Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players