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Features

Stint with Rangers gave Lightning's Stralman a career

Tuesday, 12.02.2014 / 9:22 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper thinks of Anton Stralman in the same way he thinks of elite defenseman in the NHL.

"This guy is a stud," Cooper said Monday. "He's a quiet stud. I had no idea how good he was."

Stralman almost wasn't any of that. He almost wasn't anything in the NHL but a castoff whose body betrayed him at too young of an age.

The asthma Stralman discovered he had as a kid in Sweden began to deteriorate his lungs through infections he once thought would be impossible to diagnose and cure.

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Five Questions: Stevens on TV gig, Brodeur and more

Tuesday, 12.02.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Scott Stevens isn't sure if he's starting down a new career path or biding time before his next opportunity with a team, but the Hall of Fame defenseman is looking forward to finding out how it works on the other side of the hockey business.

Stevens, who spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils following 22 seasons as a player, is getting his first taste of being a television analyst with NHL Network this week.

He appeared on NHL Live on Monday and will be back Tuesday. He will rejoin NHL Network to be part of its coverage of the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals at Nationals Park on New Year's Day.

"I love hockey and I watch hockey," Stevens said. "It's fun to talk about hockey. That's what I've been doing my whole life."

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Vairo's innovations to U.S. game led to Hall induction

Tuesday, 12.02.2014 / 3:00 AM / U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Four years before "The Miracle" in Lake Placid, Lou Vairo was leading his midget junior team in the United States Hockey League to a national championship while introducing European concepts of training and playing rarely seen in this country.

His teachings stressed puck control and pursuit, passing and speed through the neutral zone. It was a style of play Vairo embraced after a visit with Soviet Union coach Anatoli Tarasov at a clinic in Moscow in 1972. From that moment, Vairo was hooked and determined to pass along this knowledge to anyone willing to listen.

"Tarasov's hockey was different than anyone else's and it just fascinated me," Vairo said. "I brought the best features of North American hockey, which was basically Canadian, and European, basically Soviet, and tried to mend them together to fit the culture of our people."

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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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Quote of the Day

I don't think it's really truly going to sink in until we drop the puck, to be honest. I know there's going to be a lot of smoke and mirrors with the media attention and all that. We came [Monday] and it was sort of a light day to get things organized. We just want to focus in on the business aspect, the game itself. That's what we're preparing to do. Get these next couple of days out of the way and it's game on.

— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on playing in his first Stanley Cup Final