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Features

Bouma signs one-year contract with Flames

Wednesday, 08.27.2014 / 11:57 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Center Lance Bouma, a restricted free agent, signed a one-year contract with the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, the team announced. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bouma, 24, spent the full season in the NHL for the first time in 2013-14 after seeing some NHL action the previous two seasons. He had five goals and 15 points in 78 games last season, his 181 hits led the Flames, and his 87 blocked shots were the most among Calgary forwards.

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Drouin, Lehtera top Sitkoff's fantasy sleepers list

Wednesday, 08.27.2014 / 11:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

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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Kraft Hockeyville 2014 announces ticketing information for NHL pre-season game

Coyotes and Flames face off in Sylvan Lake, on September 24, 2014

Wednesday, 08.27.2014 / 10:42 AM / Kraft Hockeyville 2014

NHL.com

TORONTO, ON / Canada – After months of anticipation, the Sylvan Lake Local Organizing Committee today announce the ticketing information for the Kraft Hockeyville 2014 NHL® pre-season game between the Arizona Coyotes and the Calgary Flames that will be played at the Sylvan Lake Multiplex on September 24, 2014.

"We are thrilled to host the celebration of our Kraft Hockeyville win with four days of fun-filled events, including the NHL pre-season game," said Graham Parsons, co-chair of the Sylvan Lake Local Organizing Committee. "We have a packed schedule of free, non-ticketed events so the whole community can be involved in this historic moment for our town."

To ensure fairness, tickets to the game will be allocated in the following way:

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Sarich getting better after cycling accident

Wednesday, 08.27.2014 / 8:55 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Free agent defenseman Cory Sarich is improving in his recovery from injuries sustained in a cycling accident one month ago.

In an interview with the Calgary Herald published Tuesday, Sarich said he did not know if or when he would resume his NHL career.

"This has thrown a big wrinkle into it and I don't know what's going to happen. But right now my priority is to get healthy," Sarich told writer Kristen Odland. "I want to get myself back in shape regardless if hockey is an option moving forward. I'm just going to play it by ear from here."

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Defense, goaltending strength of Coyotes lineup

Wednesday, 08.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

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

In 2011-12, the Arizona Coyotes enjoyed the most successful postseason run in franchise history, reaching the Western Conference Final before losing to the Los Angeles Kings.

Each of the past two seasons since then has followed a similar script. Coach Dave Tippett has kept the Coyotes competitive, but they've ultimately finished just shy of another playoff berth. In 2013-14, they were three points shy of the final wildcard spot after finishing two points behind the Dallas Stars, who would have owned the tiebreaker. Finishing the season with one victory in their final eight games marked the Coyotes' undoing. The year before that, the Coyotes lost eight of nine near the end of the season to fall out of contention.

The name is new, switching from Phoenix to Arizona, but the team will again rely on defense and goaltending to try and carve out a spot in the top eight of the West.

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Coyotes hoping fresh start ignites forward Gagner

Wednesday, 08.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

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

When the Arizona Coyotes acquired forward Sam Gagner on June 30 in a three-team transaction, they knew they were getting a player with a unique history.

Once considered a point-producing prodigy, Gagner has never quite lived up to expectations. The Edmonton Oilers drafted him with the sixth pick at the 2007 NHL Draft, and the London, Ontario native made the team out of training camp. Gagner had an immediate impact despite being the youngest player in the NHL in 2007-08, scoring 49 points in 79 games.

Six seasons later, however, Gagner has yet to match that output.

In 2013-14, the 25-year-old endured his worst statistical season, scoring 37 points in 67 games with a minus-29 rating. Trade rumors trailed Gagner and a move this offseason appeared imminent.

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Defense, power play among Coyotes' five questions

Wednesday, 08.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

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

At this time a year ago, many pundits were speculating that the Arizona Coyotes were poised for bigger things offensively. The Coyotes added free agent Mike Ribeiro to existing weapons Radim Vrbata, Shane Doan, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle, and the team appeared committed to a more attacking mindset.

The philosophy worked, until it didn't, and the Coyotes' impressive 14-4-3 start deteriorated into a season of inconsistency on each side of the puck and, ultimately, a narrow miss of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second consecutive season.

"Maybe the change in philosophy, trying to expand our horizons into a more offensive team probably didn't do us as much good, overall, as we thought it would," coach Dave Tippett said.

With Arizona approaching 2014-15 determined to avoid an early summer, an all-around game will be central to its chances, and also to the major questions facing Tippett and his staff. Here are five questions facing the Coyotes heading into training camp:

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Coyotes hope different look will equal success

Wednesday, 08.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

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

When the Arizona Coyotes (formerly Phoenix) take the Gila River Arena (formerly Jobing.com Arena) ice for their season opener against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 9, they will be hoping the name changes won't be the only difference.

That's because Arizona endured a second straight early summer last season after making the Stanley Cup Playoffs three consecutive seasons from 2009-12. The Coyotes finished four points out of eighth place in 2012-13 and came even closer last season, when only two points separated them from the Dallas Stars and the final wild-card spot.

However, coach Dave Tippett said his team is not content with merely making the playoffs and argued that heading into 2014-15, the Coyotes are poised to compete among the Western Conference elite.

"If a couple things go differently, we make the playoffs. But we want to be a better team than just get to the playoffs," Tippett said. "Last year we just had too much inconsistency to push us into that last playoff spot. In this League, you know it's going to be a dogfight right down to the end and you can't afford to have any lulls."

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Familiar names among Coyotes' top 10 prospects

Wednesday, 08.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

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

Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt said it's just a coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players.

The list of 'Who's Who' of players in the pipeline with familiar last names include forwards Max Domi (son of Tie Domi), Henrik Samuelsson (Ulf Samuelsson), Ryan MacInnis (Al MacInnis), Brendan Perlini (Fred Perlini); defenseman Connor Murphy (Gord Murphy); and goalie Brendan Burke (Sean Burke). As if that weren't enough, the organization also invited unsigned right wing Jackson Playfair (Jim Playfair) to development camp in July.

"It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads," Bernhardt said. "It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization."

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Boyle awed by role of friend in Ice Bucket Challenge

Tuesday, 08.26.2014 / 4:28 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

It's been an eventful, sometimes difficult summer for Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brian Boyle.

He got married one week after he and the New York Rangers were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final. Three weeks after that, he signed a three-year contract with Tampa Bay.

But a summer that started with such promise ended tragically with Boyle burying his best friend. It was at the recent wake of former Boston College hockey player Corey Griffin that Boyle caught up with another friend, former BC baseball captain Pete Frates, the man who unwittingly touched millions of people as one of the driving forces behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

"Isn't it amazing? This thing was pretty organic by Pete and his family," Boyle told NHL.com. "Who hasn't done it yet? You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn't. That's got to be the coolest feeling for Pete."

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Quote of the Day

I'm hoping Bob [Murray] didn't go out and get Dany Heatley just to get someone. I'm sure he's excited and motivated.

— Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on general manager Bob Murray's decision to sign Dany Heatley