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Hockey community rallies around paralyzed Sorisho

Friday, 10.18.2013 / 3:14 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

A senior forward who led his team in scoring last season, Matt Sorisho already had the attention and respect of his teammate at Detroit Catholic Central High School.

Now, in the wake of great adversity and a daunting challenge, he has the attention and respect of the entire hockey community.

Sorisho was competing for a Michigan all-star team Oct. 4 when he lost his balance going full-speed toward the opposing net and spun into the boards. He fell and sustained fractures to the T10, T11 and T12 thoracic vertebra in his spine, injuries that have left him paralyzed from the waist down. His T12 was so badly fractured that it required two rods and three screws to fix.

As a student at Catholic Central, Sorisho and his teammates had been educated under the school motto: "Teach me goodness, discipline and knowledge." So it hardly was a surprise that Sorisho's teammates all descended on the hospital while their friend was in the operating room.


Sabres use dance contest for practice-day fun

Friday, 10.18.2013 / 2:33 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com Staff

There was a new competition at Buffalo Sabres practice Friday. Call it "Dancing with the Sabres."

Looking to inject a bit of humor into what's become a 1-7-1 start, coach Ron Rolston had a few of the team's younger players take part in a center-ice dance contest at the end of practice.

"Get a little energy going and have some fun, a rookie dance-off," Rolston said.


Akeson hopes hard work carries him back to NHL

Friday, 10.18.2013 / 1:15 PM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to NHL.com

It's not easy to be known as "the hardest working man in the business," but when it comes to hockey, that won't deter Jason Akeson from his pursuit of the title.

"I've always said if you're the hardest working guy on the ice and are doing all the little things right, then that's what's going to give you a shot to make it," he said.

It's his devotion to hard work that has carried the 23-year-old this far. Undrafted, the one-time Ontario Hockey League scoring champion signed an entry-level deal with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2011 and has spent the majority of the past two seasons with the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms.


Callahan's absence leaves Rangers in tough spot

Friday, 10.18.2013 / 11:15 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Ryan Callahan isn't the kind of player who will go end-to-end to score the highlight-reel goal, and if you're looking for a Knute Rockne-style speechmaker, you're probably going to be disappointed.

But if you're looking for a player who can make plays in the offensive zone and defensive zone with equal ability and lead more with deeds than words, Callahan is your man.

That's why he's the New York Rangers' captain, and why they're in a tough spot now that he's going to miss as much as a month with a broken thumb sustained Wednesday in a win over the Washington Capitals.


Super 16: Western Conference off to dominant start

Friday, 10.18.2013 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Western Conference has had its way with its brethren from the Eastern Conference in recent seasons, but the move of a perennial power in the Detroit Red Wings (and the young and improving Columbus Blue Jackets) in realignment was expected to shift some of the balance of regular-season power.

It hasn't materialized to this point. Teams from the Western Conference were 31-11-4 in games against Eastern Conference foes through the end of games Wednesday, which equates to a pace of nearly 118 points in a full season.

In the new divisional playoff format, a fifth-place team from one division can usurp a Stanley Cup Playoff berth from the fourth-place finisher in the other. If there could be crossover between the conferences, 10 teams from the West would be in the playoffs if they had started Thursday.


Daily Primer Oct. 18: Ducks go for six

Friday, 10.18.2013 / 1:38 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Anaheim Ducks got their season off on the wrong foot when they lost 6-1 to the Colorado Avalanche in their opener. Since then, however, they've been perfect. The Ducks bring a five-game winning streak into their game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Honda Center, one of two games on the NHL schedule Friday night.

It's the first time in franchise history the Ducks have won five of their first six games, though they're coming off a 3-2 victory against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday that required goaltender Viktor Fasth to make 33 saves.


NHL Draft prospects top U.S. World Junior A roster

Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 4:39 PM / Prospects

NHL.com Staff

USA Hockey on Thursday announced the roster for the World Junior A Challenge, to be held Nov. 4-10 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

All players on the 22-man roster play in the United States Hockey League.

The six-team international tournament features the United States, Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland, and two teams from Canada -- West and East. The U.S. will open the tournament against Russia on Nov. 5.

The roster includes three players selected in the 2013 NHL Draft, including a pair taken by the Buffalo Sabres -- forward Connor Hurley, a second-round pick (No. 38) playing for the Muskegon Lumberjacks, and goaltender Calvin Petersen, a fifth-round selection (No. 129) playing for the Waterloo Black Hawks. Also picked for the team was Fargo Force forward Teemu Kivihalme, a fifth-round pick (No. 140) of the Nashville Predators.

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Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1