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Lester Patrick Award 'tremendous honor' for Holmgren

Tuesday, 12.02.2014 / 3:00 AM / Lester Patrick Trophy

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Paul Holmgren never envisioned himself becoming a professional hockey player. But after decades in the sport as a player, coach, scout and executive, he has earned acclaim as a key figure in the development of hockey in the United States.

That's why Holmgren is one of the recipients of the 2014 Lester Patrick Award for contributions to hockey in the United States. He will be honored along with NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly during the United States Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony Dec. 4 in Minneapolis.

"It's really a tremendous honor," Holmgren said. "I don't have enough words to express how it feels. I don't have the words other than to say that I'm honored."

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Wild's Scandella fined for illegal check to the head

Monday, 12.01.2014 / 5:45 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORKMinnesota Wild defenseman Marco Scandella has been fined $2,755.38, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie during NHL Game No. 351 in St. Paul on Saturday, November 29, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 8:45 of the first period. Scandella was assessed a minor penalty for illegal check to the head.

The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Brodeur could sign Tuesday with Blues, play on trip

Monday, 12.01.2014 / 4:26 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Martin Brodeur took part in his first full-scale practice with the St. Louis Blues on Monday at their training facility at St. Louis Outlet Mall's Ice Zone.

Brodeur said he felt good after skating every day since Friday. He was on the ice Sunday by himself and if all goes well Tuesday, he could sign a contract in the afternoon and be in goal for one of the upcoming three games the Blues will play on the road.

"It felt different, more hockey-like," Brodeur said. "It went really well for me anyway. … I think I'm fine now. If they ask me, I think I would be OK to go out and play. For my first game, that's when I'll really know. Hopefully, we'll make a decision by [Tuesday].

"… I'm happy to get this opportunity and maybe stay on the team. I'm working hard, I'm enjoying it. For me, it's to gauge about how I feel coming back into the NHL. So far, so good. I'm happy about what's going on the last few days."

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Fantasy All-Access: Get Lightning's Killorn if you can

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.

WAIVER WIRE WATCH

Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay Lightning (owned in 9 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- Playing on a line with Steven Stamkos, the third-year forward has points in seven straight games; he has five goals, three assists, 16 shots on goal and is a plus-4 in that span. Last season he had career-highs of 17 goals and 41 points, and he has a career average of 0.53 points per game. The Lightning have four games scheduled this week (at the New York Rangers, a home and home with the Buffalo Sabres, home for the Columbus Blue Jackets). With three games against teams that entered the week ranked near the bottom of goals-against per game, now is a perfect time to pick up Killorn.

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Jeff Sauer built coaching success on communication

Monday, 12.01.2014 / 3:00 AM / U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

David Kalan - NHL.com Staff Writer

In decades of coaching, Jeff Sauer had to learn many different ways to communicate with his players.

These days, he is using that ability with the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association.

"The big thing with the [hearing-impaired] kids is just giving them a chance," Sauer said. "By giving them a chance, they really bond together well and they really stick up for each other. ... It's rejuvenated me from a coaching standpoint."

Sauer, who will be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Thursday, has worked with the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association, of which he is now president, for more than four decades. His relationship with the organization started when, as Sauer tells it, a parent of a deaf player in the Stan Mikita Hockey School for the Hearing Impaired asked if their son and another player could participate in a camp Sauer was running when he coached at Colorado College. Four days later, Sauer was asked if he would continue working with the school, and he has been a part of the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association ever since.

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Gallagher contract suggests change in philosophy

Sunday, 11.30.2014 / 12:04 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREALBrendan Gallagher is breaking new ground with the Montreal Canadiens.

By signing a six-year contract extension Saturday, worth an average of $3.75 million a season, Gallagher became the only significant player on the team who went straight from his entry-level contract to a long-term extension.

Goaltender Carey Price, defenseman P.K. Subban, and forwards Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec, just to name a few, each signed for two years on their second contract, and there was a widely held belief this was the Canadiens policy.

That appears to no longer be the case.

"There's always a risk when you go long term with any player," Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said. "But we felt that this time the risk was worth it."

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Confidence growing as Islanders win consistently

Sunday, 11.30.2014 / 11:41 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Twelve months ago, the New York Islanders were entering December with an 8-15-4 record and no realistic chance at a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their confidence was as low as their last-place standing in the Metropolitan Division.

Fast forward a year and the Islanders are bursting with confidence as they prepare for the final month of 2014. The gloom and doom of the previous season has been replaced by the confident air of a team that expects to win every night.

That confidence was on display Saturday when the Islanders survived a third-period barrage by the New Jersey Devils and left a sold-out Nassau Coliseum with a 3-1 victory that capped off a month in which the Islanders went 11-3-0, the best November for the Islanders in 34 years. Instead of beginning December looking up at the rest of the division, they'll start the new month with a 17-7-0 record and 34 points, giving them the same amount of points as the first-place Pittsburgh Penguins, who have a game in hand. The 17 wins are half of last season's total.

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Nash, Forsberg among those putting up big numbers

Sunday, 11.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

We're past the quarter mark of the 2014-15 season, and although there's still plenty of hockey remaining on the NHL schedule, we've learned a good deal about all 30 teams. From some of the League's biggest surprises, to those who continue to produce season after season, there are plenty of numbers to dissect from the season's first quarter.

Here are some of the most interesting numbers and trends:

Rick Nash's even-strength scoring

Since being traded to the New York Rangers before the 2012-13 season, Rick Nash has been the most prolific even-strength goal-scorer in the NHL. He averaged 1.37 goals per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 he played in 2012-13 and 2014-15, most among players with 100 or more games, according to HockeyAnalysis.com.

It's been no different this season for Nash, who led the League entering Saturday with 2.76 goals for every 60 minutes at 5-on-5.
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Trailblazer Bye Dietz to enter U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

Sunday, 11.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

Early in her athletic career, Karyn Bye Dietz arrived at a crossroads.

She entered the ninth grade at River Falls High School in Wisconsin excelling in hockey and basketball. Her hockey ambitions, though, were met with resistance because for the female athlete, the sport wasn't thought to offer a career path. Her father told her so, as did River Falls' varsity basketball coach. Each tried to convince her to stick with basketball.

But there was something about hockey that touched Bye Dietz’s heart, the speed and grace of being on the ice along with a test of her will and perseverance; to survive and thrive playing with boys under exacting circumstances.

"There were teams that I played against that they did not like having a girl out there," she said. "They would actually try to take extra hits at me or go after me.

"It was a daily habit of mine, but I felt that I had to prove that not only to myself but to my teammates on a daily basis that I was good enough to be there, because I obviously took the spot of another boy that didn't make the team. As I got older the challenge became tougher. When I was 12 years old, I was the tallest one out there and, quite honestly, I think I was one of the fastest ones. But as the boys matured they caught up to me and actually went ahead of me, so that's when the challenge really took place when I felt like I had to work that much harder just to prove I deserve to be there.

"I think, looking back, that's what made me the player that I became."


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Quote of the Day

I'm here to develop a winning culture and a winning team. There is a bright future ahead of this team.  A lot of young, great hockey players here and on the way … a fan base that's passionate about the game of hockey.

— Dan Bylsma after being introduced as new coach of the Buffalo Sabres