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Features

Lidstrom, Fedorov highlight potential 2015 Hall class

Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 11:24 AM / Hall of Fame

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- The Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2014 was a celebration of greatness at the NHL and international levels, and the Class of 2015 could have a similar sentiment.

For the first 44 years of the Hall of Fame, the list of enshrined members was almost exclusively North American-trained players. Vladisav Tretiak went into the Hall in 1989, and Borje Salming followed in 1996 to help start the flow of European-trained players into the sport's museum of excellence.

The Class of 2014, with Rob Blake, Peter Forsberg, Dominik Hasek and Mike Modano, was the first to have players from four different countries, and the first to have three players not from Canada. The Class of 2015 is almost certain to have two more European-trained players, and three is a possibility.

Four candidates, including three NHL players, have a great chance to be elected in their first time on the ballot. There is certain to be advocating for several other players who have yet to earn their place in the Hall of Fame. Here is a look at the top candidates for the Class of 2015:

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Penguins' Fleury continues to clear mental hurdles

Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Marc-Andre Fleury is not judged the same as any other goalie in the NHL.

Marc-Andre Fleury
Goalie - PIT
RECORD: 11-3-0
GAA: 1.98 | SVP: .930
The Pittsburgh Penguins' franchise goaltender's history of meltdowns in the Stanley Cup Playoffs will probably stick to him until Fleury personally removes it with an outstanding spring performance, and it will unfortunately taint everything else he does until that happens.

When Fleury was signed to a four-year, $23 million contract extension on Nov. 6, removing his lame-duck status, it was his history in the Stanley Cup Playoffs that became the source of a raging online debate on the wisdom of the move by Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford.

The knee-jerk reaction when it comes to Fleury has been, and will likely remain, "Yeah, but can he do it in the playoffs?"

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Flyers' Del Zotto focused on two points vs. Rangers

Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

When Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto walks into Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, he says his focus will be on two things: the two points at stake when his team plays the New York Rangers (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN1, TVA SPORTS).

But in the back of his mind the 24-year-old will be looking to show the Rangers what they gave up when he was traded to the Nashville Predators on Jan. 22.

"I think anytime you get too emotional, too caught up in a certain game or a moment, it seems to get the best of you," Del Zotto said. "I'm sure [Wednesday] when I get there it'll hit me a little bit, bring back some memories."

Prior to coming to Philadelphia, Del Zotto's most recent hockey memories weren't very good.

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Five things to watch when Rangers host Flyers

Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube said he doesn't try to reflect on what happened the last time the Flyers played the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

It was Game 7 of their 2014 Eastern Conference First Round series and the Flyers lost 2-1.

"I don't think about it anymore," Berube said. "I think once it was over it's really over with me. I think the way I look at it is we played good hockey at times but we didn't play very good hockey a lot of times during that series and it cost us. If we had been more consistent we could have beaten them. They're a very good team, not taking anything away from them. We gave them a good battle. In my mind we could play better."

He'll have a chance to see if he's right when the Flyers visit the Rangers in the Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

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Bryan Murray raising awareness through cancer fight

Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 6:05 PM / Hockey Fights Cancer

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

TORONTO – Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray did not want to share the fight he is waging against Stage 4 colon cancer.

Yet he knew he had to share it to help others.

In one of his first appearances since the advanced stage of his disease became public knowledge, Murray spoke in-depth Tuesday about his battle, which he revealed Friday during an interview with Michael Farber of TSN.

Murray, 71, said he initially wanted to keep his battle as private as possible, but he soon realized he had a platform that could be beneficial to getting the word out about preventative cancer screenings and decided that opportunity trumped a desire for privacy.

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Canadiens, Penguins view game as measuring stick

Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 2:20 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens enter games Tuesday as the top team in the NHL, but doubts have swirled all season about their legitimacy in holding that spot.

Just about the only statistic that would suggest the Canadiens are an upper-echelon team is their 14-4-1 record, which is the most important one, but can sometimes be the most misleading as well.

The Canadiens, and the rest of the NHL, should have a better idea of where they stand by the end of this week, starting Tuesday when they put their six-game winning streak on the line at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET) in a battle between the two Eastern Conference division leaders.

Montreal then welcomes the St. Louis Blues, the hottest team in the Western Conference, to Bell Centre on Thursday before visiting the rival Boston Bruins on Saturday and the New York Rangers on Sunday.

The Canadiens can erase or confirm the doubts surrounding their strong start to the season by the end of this brutal stretch.

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Nashville trio breaking mold

Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber has been their leading scorer in each of the past two seasons. The Predators haven't had a 60-point producer since J-P Dumont in 2008-09, the longest active drought in the NHL.

But times are changing in the Music City under coach Peter Laviolette, and fantasy owners are cashing in on the Predators' offensive resurgence. Through 17 games, each of Nashville's top-line components, James Neal, Mike Ribeiro and rookie Filip Forsberg, is on pace for more than 60 points.

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Five Questions: Lidstrom discusses life after hockey

Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom:

NEW YORK -- Barely noticed in the crowd, future Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom went to get a hot dog with his wife Annika after the first period of the Detroit Red Wings game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 5.

It's not often Lidstrom can walk around without being stopped for an autograph or picture, selfie or otherwise, but there he was with his wife, nobody getting in the way of them and their dinner.

Lidstrom, not surprisingly, was smiling as they walked around like any other couple at the Garden. Of course, they are not any other couple. He is not any other fan.

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Lindros, LeClair enter Flyers Hall as package deal

Monday, 11.17.2014 / 2:26 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Eric Lindros and John LeClair always were together on the ice during their time with the Philadelphia Flyers, so it makes sense that when they are inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame on Thursday they will be honored together.

The pair combined, along with Mikael Renberg, to create the "Legion of Doom" line that helped the Flyers reach the Eastern Conference Final in 1995 and the Stanley Cup Final in 1997.

"[Flyers president] Paul Holmgren gave me a shout, gave Johnny a shout, in September," Lindros said. "Right away we were both deeply honored to get the call and then we started talking a little bit further and we decided to do it together, which was appropriate. Here we are and we're looking forward to Thursday night."

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Rangers' St. Louis: 'It'll be weird' facing Lightning

Monday, 11.17.2014 / 1:44 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Martin St. Louis knows it's inevitable he'll find himself opposite Steven Stamkos at some point during the game when his New York Rangers play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday at Madison Square Garden.

When it happens, it will mark the first time in eight years St. Louis won't be looking to dish Stamkos the puck for a chance at that wicked one-timer from the circle.

"It's definitely going to be weird; I just hope I don't pass him the puck," St. Louis said.

When told of the comment, Stamkos laughed before offering, "I hope he does; it's been a while since I got a pass from him."

Emotions will certainly be high for St. Louis on Monday when he faces the team he spent 13 seasons with for the first time since a blockbuster trade last March sent the Lightning captain to the Rangers in exchange for their captain, Ryan Callahan, and two draft picks.

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Quote of the Day

I'm sure [my father] was going crazy up there. I hope all of my friends were celebrating in the crowd. Coming back here and all of my friends and family are here, getting a goal in front of them is special.

— Blues forward Ryan Reaves on scoring the game-winning goal Sunday against the Jets in his hometown of Winnipeg
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