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(Page 20 of 162)
Features

Paul Stastny eager to be a winner in his hometown

Monday, 08.25.2014 / 9:58 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Paul Stastny is not one for taking strolls down memory lane.

The St. Louis Blues' new center isn't one to make bold predictions either. Stastny certainly wasn't going to predict that he would one day suit up in the city where he spent much of his childhood.

But like many who consider it a dream to play in their hometown, Stastny is living out his dream now, and for at least the next four seasons.

"God has a plan for myself, and whatever it is I take it in stride and I'm happy with the situation I'm in right now," said Stastny, who was formally introduced Monday evening at Fox Sports Midwest Live! inside Ballpark Village, which is just north of Busch Stadium, home of baseball's St. Louis Cardinals.

Paul Stastny
Center - STL
GOALS: 25 | ASST: 35 | PTS: 60
SOG: 150 | +/-: 9
"I was just excited about playing juniors, then from juniors to playing college," said the 28-year-old Stastny, who was eight when his father, Hockey Hall of famer Peter Stastny, played for the Blues. "I didn't care where I got drafted. I got drafted, I was excited to keep developing as a player, then I got to Colorado and I was excited. I never looked that far down the road. That's the way I've always been. You can never really hope for stuff like that."

Stastny, who signed a four-year, $28 million contract with the Blues after spending the first eight seasons of his NHL career with the Central Division rival Colorado Avalanche, grew up in St. Louis, where Peter Stastny concluded his career with the Blues in 1995.


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Nichushkin, Horton power Cubeta's fantasy sleepers

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

With few exceptions, the majority of top-tier players are established and well-known to the common fantasy owner. Though those players are integral components of a championship team, under-the-radar options with high potential -- better known as sleepers -- can pay huge dividends in fantasy leagues.

Whether drafted or added off waivers, these players typically are undervalued on draft day but ultimately can become major fantasy commodities by season's end. Sleepers are extremely unpredictable every season, but the bottom line is these players end up outperforming everyone’s expectations, regardless of their age, team or position.

This week, NHL.com fantasy insiders Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen and Matt Sitkoff take in-depth looks at underrated players who should be on your fantasy team's radar entering drafts. Each expert will provide 10 sleeper picks with corresponding stat projections (in order of preference), along with five additional candidates for fantasy owners to keep an eye on.

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Expect young players to impact Flames lineup

Monday, 08.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

If 2013-14 was the first full season of a comprehensive rebuild, the Calgary Flames found some individual positives amid a lack of group success.

Forward Sean Monahan made the team in his draft year and looks like a keeper, even if he struggled at times after a hot start. Forward Mikael Backlund and defenseman Mark Giordano had great seasons, even if their work was overshadowed by the lack of wins.

There is a new general manager in charge, Brad Treliving, and as long as Brian Burke is part of the management group it might be hard to see the Flames in rebuilding mode for long. There were a few offseason additions to the roster, but top scorer Mike Cammalleri is gone, and the Flames will be picked to finish near the bottom of the Western Conference again.

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Progress, goalie among Flames' five questions

Monday, 08.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames will look to continue the rebuild which began last season.

How the Flames are able to do so, and how Calgary defines its success in 2014-15, are among five questions they'll be looking to answer this season:

1. Can the Flames take positive steps forward? -- The Flames finished 27th in the NHL standings last season with 77 points, but there were plenty of reasons for optimism. In the first year of a rebuild, the Flames fielded a competitive team which tied an NHL record for games decided by one goal (49).

Though new general manager Brad Treliving isn't necessarily measuring success in wins and points, progress remains a necessity.

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Sophomore season next hurdle for Flames' Monahan

Monday, 08.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames forward Sean Monahan is aware the temperature is going to be turned up in his sophomore season. The 19-year-old wouldn't have it any other way.

After a 22-goal season -- the most by a Flames rookie since 1989-90 and one more than a fresh-faced Jarome Iginla scored in 1996-97 -- Monahan is ready for bigger challenges.

"I think there will be more pressure this year," Monahan said. "There's an expectation now. I have to be better than last year. That's something I want to do and something I've worked really hard on over the summer to be ready for that.

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Flames' rebuild ready for next important step

Monday, 08.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames took the first step in their rebuilding process last season.

The success of the next step, being evaluated by new general manager Brad Treliving, may not be measured in the standings for a team that finished 27th in the NHL last season.

"Ultimately, we need to continue to take that step forward," said Treliving, who was named to his position April 28. "The simplest way is looking at point totals from one year to the next. I don't think that tells the entire story when you look at a team that's growing. We want to continue to take a step forward. We want to continue to grow as an organization.

"We want to identify players that we feel can be with us as we go forward long-term. To me, that's a big part of, as we move forward, a big thing we're looking at is that we've collectively and individually have taken a positive step forward."

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Bennett heads Flames' list of top 10 prospects

Monday, 08.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Not since Craig Conroy was scoring in bunches have the Calgary Flames had a legitimate top center in the organization.

Solid drafting and a deep pool of prospects have certainly changed that.

"I am clearly biased so I don't like talking about our pool of prospects, but I do think we have a lot of young skilled offensive guys, and after years of not having a No. 1 center feel we have a lot of depth at the position now," Flames director of amateur scouting Tod Button said. "We hope that one or more emerge as bona fide top guys. We feel we also have depth at every position."

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Stronger goaltending, defense added to Oilers lineup

Sunday, 08.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Is this the year?

It was a tagline from a recent NHL marketing promotion, but it's also been the foremost question on the minds of Edmonton Oilers fans for several offseasons. Is this the year Edmonton, led by its young core, finally returns to prominence?

The rebuilding process has taken longer in Oil Country than it did in Pittsburgh or Chicago or Washington, but the talent is in place. The Oilers buttressed the roster with a couple of interesting free-agent signings, namely forward Benoit Pouliot and defenseman Mark Fayne.

If a couple of young defensemen improve and the goaltending is better, the Oilers could shoot up from the bottom of the Western Conference into Stanley Cup Playoff contention. Reaching the top eight and returning to the postseason would take significant improvements.

Here's a look at the projected 2014-15 lineup for the Oilers:

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German star Draisaitl leads Oilers' top 10 prospects

Sunday, 08.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Picking first at the NHL Draft three straight seasons (2010-12) allowed the Edmonton Oilers to select three NHL-ready prospects in Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov.

Otherwise, the Oilers have done their best to be patient with their young players.

That could change, however, as Leon Draisaitl, the third pick of the 2014 draft, will have every chance to become the team's fourth top-10 pick in the past five years to play in the NHL as an 18-year-old.

Here's a look at the Oilers' top 10 prospects, according to NHL.com:

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Improving Oilers enter season still a work in progress

Sunday, 08.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

Craig MacTavish continued to remodel the Edmonton Oilers' roster this offseason in an attempt to get the team back into contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Since taking over from Steve Tambellini in April 2013, MacTavish has been among the most active general managers in the NHL.

His mandate is to expedite the Oilers' rebuilding process without sacrificing their young core.

In an effort to improve a team that finished at the bottom of the Western Conference standings last season, MacTavish brought in wings Benoit Pouliot and Teddy Purcell, while adding to his blue line with defensemen Keith Aulie, Mark Fayne and Nikita Nikitin.

"For us, size was an issue," MacTavish said. "We knew we needed to get bigger and both of these guys are bigger. Teddy Purcell has quite a bit of talent; I think there is still some untapped upside in him that we're hoping to discover.

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Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh