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Stanley Cup Final
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Features

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