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'Who are these guys?': Quick primer on fresh faces

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 4:34 PM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

The rosters are set and the 2014-15 NHL season is ready to commence.

With four games Wednesday night and 12 more Thursday, numerous players will be making their NHL debuts. Some, like the Tampa Bay Lightning's Jonathan Drouin or the Calgary Flames' Johnny Gaudreau, entered training camp as favorites to end up on the opening night roster.

Others are more of a surprise, and earned a place on the roster when it wasn't expected. Here's a look at some of the players who might cause fans to say, "Who are these guys?"

William Karlsson, Anaheim Ducks

Karlsson, 21, was expected to battle fellow Swede Rickard Rakell for a role at center behind Ryan Getlzaf and Ryan Kesler, but both players ended up making it. A second-round pick (No. 53) in 2011, Karlsson led HV71 in scoring (37 points in 55 games) in the Swedish Hockey League in 2013-14 before putting up 12 points in 17 American Hockey League games at the end of the season.

Canadiens' Sekac takes long road to NHL debut

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 2:54 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

TORONTO -- Tomas Plekanec was asked a question about his new teammate and Czech countryman Jiri Sekac during Montreal Canadiens training camp. He quickly corrected his questioner.

"Oh, you mean Forrest Gump?" Plekanec asked, a wry smile on his face.

That was the nickname given to Sekac by a Czech newspaper after he set a new Canadiens record in the beep test, a grueling exercise that measures an athlete's maximum oxygen intake, or VO2, during rookie camp last month. The test essentially entails the player running through a number of stages for as long as he can.

Sekac kept running, just like Forrest Gump did in the movie of the same name, a nickname Plekanec was only too happy to share with anyone who would listen in the hopes it would stick.

NHL Network-US unveils new programming

Sportsnet's HOCKEY CENTRAL Programming Added to Fan-Friendly Lineup

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 12:18 PM / NHL Network

NEW YORK - With today's start of the 2014-15 NHL season, NHL Network™-U.S., Where the NHL Gets Hockey™, announced today the launch of its programming lineup for the new season.

New to the Network for U.S. fans this season is the addition of a suite of NHL programs from Rogers Communications. NHL Network-U.S. will simulcast the popular midday hockey panel HOCKEY CENTRAL at Noon featuring Daren Millard, Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean. Each weekday from Noon-1 p.m. ET, the group discusses and dissects the latest news and information from around the League.

Along with the midday show, Sportsnet's popular nightly re-cap show HOCKEY CENTRAL Tonight will be televised on NHL Network-U.S. nightly, Monday through Friday. Sportsnet's team of hosts and analysts, including Millard, Kypreos, MacLean, John Shannon, Glenn Healy, Kelly Hrudey, P.J. Stock and others, take fans around the League to provide the latest highlights, scores, updates, interviews and analysis from everything going on in the NHL®.

NHL announces 2014-15 opening-day rosters

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 10:48 AM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

NEW YORK -- Following are NHL club rosters, as of 10 a.m., Eastern time today. Some players who recently have agreed to terms with their respective clubs but whose contracts had not yet been approved by the League are not included. The 2014-15 regular season begins tonight with four games.

Sharks aim to ruin Kings' special night

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Even if they wanted to try, the San Jose Sharks can't avoid it now.

High above their heads when the puck drops on the Sharks' 2014-15 season Wednesday at Staples Center against the Los Angeles Kings (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN1) will be a new Stanley Cup championship banner that for all intents and purposes could have been theirs.

The Sharks would have at least had as good a shot as any team had they avoided a historical collapse.

"Any time I think of the Kings or our team thinks of the Kings we remember what happened last year," Sharks center Logan Couture said. "The memory of last year will still be pretty fresh for a lot of guys."

Five things to watch in Sharks-Kings opener

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

The bad taste has been in the mouths of the San Jose Sharks ever since they were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After building a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, the Sharks lost four straight, become the fourth team in NHL history to lose four in a row after winning the first three games of a playoff series.

Los Angeles won the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons.

San Jose will try to take its first step toward redemption when it opens the season at Los Angeles on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1), but first the Sharks will have to watch the Kings raise their championship banner to the rafters of Staples Center.

Fourteen questions entering 2014-15 season

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which begins Wednesday, Oct. 8.

The one question 30 NHL teams have been asking themselves since before training camps opened is the same: Can we win the Stanley Cup?

Some teams can answer that question affirmatively; others are more hopeful than sure; and a few are focused on building toward winning the Cup in a future season.

There are some other pressing questions facing teams. Here are a few of them as we look toward the start of the season:

Super 16: Player moves make West still best

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

After a dominant season by the Western Conference in 2013-14, the reaction was swift and not subtle.

The West added more great players.

Though every team in the NHL that doesn't play home games at Staples Center or United Center spent the offseason searching for ways to inch closer to the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks at the top of the League, teams in the West in particular have created a pretty amazing arms race.

The four best players to change conferences, and seven of the best 10 or 11, traveled west. Here's a look at the disparity in players who switched conferences during the offseason, either via trades or free agency:

Bruins host Flyers in Wednesday Night Rivalry opener

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

The Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers are set to renew their intense rivalry on the opening day of the NHL regular season in the first game of the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry (7:30 p.m. ET).

The Flyers might be looking for a little payback against the Bruins after losing all three games against them last season, including a 5-2 decision April 5 in Boston that enabled the Bruins to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers have not beaten the Bruins since April 24, 2013, a 5-2 win at Wells Fargo Center.

The rivalry between the two teams has intensified in recent years. In the past 10 years the teams have met twice in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and in the 2010 NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park in Boston.

"With Philly there's some history there, obviously, having played them twice in the playoffs and in the Winter Classic," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "The teams are pretty good reflections of the cities, and when they get together it's always a battle."

Bruins' Bergeron the pick to win Selke again

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

The NHL used to be defined by dynasties, at the team level and in some award categories.

The League's recent history has shifted toward parity. No team has repeated as Stanley Cup champion since 1998, and no player has successfully defended a major individual trophy (Hart, Vezina, Norris, Adams and Selke) since Pavel Datsyuk won the Frank J. Selke Trophy for a third straight year in 2010.

Patrice Bergeron has won the Selke twice in the past three years, and he is's preseason favorite to earn the honor in 2014-15. Should he do so, Bergeron would become the fifth player in League history to win the Selke three times, joining Bob Gainey (four times), Guy Carbonneau, Jere Lehtinen and Datsyuk.

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