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Features

Penguins' Dupuis has memorable return to lineup

Saturday, 10.11.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis said Thursday that he believed he had a lot to prove heading into the Penguins' season opener against the Anaheim Ducks. After one goal and three assists in the Penguins' 6-4 victory, he proved as much as he could in a single game.

"It didn't feel too bad," Dupuis said Thursday.

He'll have a chance to create more good feelings Saturday when the Penguins play the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC).

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Oilers celebrate 30th anniversary of first Stanley Cup

Saturday, 10.11.2014 / 1:12 AM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers turned back the clock Friday night, commemorating their first Stanley Cup championship.

The 1983-84 Oilers gathered at Rexall Place to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first of the franchise's five Stanley Cup titles in a span of seven seasons.

More than 17,000 fans attended the reunion; proceeds from the event went to the University of Alberta Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton. Earlier in the day the 1984 team visited the hospital.

"We cared about one thing," NHL all-time leading scorer Wayne Gretzky said to open the night. "We cared about winning the Stanley Cup. We were just kids and we thought we knew everything. We didn't. But we knew how to play hockey."

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Pronger joins NHL Department of Player Safety

Friday, 10.10.2014 / 6:45 PM / NHL Department of Player Safety

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Five-time NHL All-Star, two-time Olympic gold medalist and Stanley Cup champion Chris Pronger has joined the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety, NHL Senior Vice President Player Safety Stephane Quintal announced today.

The second overall selection in the 1993 NHL Draft, Pronger ranked among the League's most decorated stars over his 18-season playing career with the Hartford Whalers, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers. He was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team with the Whalers in 1994, won the Hart Trophy (League MVP) and Norris Trophy (best defenseman) with the Blues in 2000, captured the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007 and led the Oilers and Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2006 and 2010, respectively.

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Defending AHL champ Texas Stars a model of stability

Friday, 10.10.2014 / 12:58 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

Perhaps the only guarantee in the world of sports is there are no guarantees. Players get injured, coaches get fired, and general managers trade away the past in order to make the future better.

In the American Hockey League, the stability of it all is often so precarious that many teams are unable to get out from under it. For the Texas Stars, a season removed from winning the franchise's first Calder Cup, stability is something they have in spades.

Of the 28 names recently engraved on the Cup, 18 are returning to Cedar Park for the start of the 2014-15 season, which begins Friday. This core knows not only how to win, but how to win together, a luxury not many other teams can tap into.

"It was a great experience for everyone last year, and it gives everyone that much more confidence and that much more experience getting to go on a big run like that," said second-year pro Curtis McKenzie. "Now everyone knows we can be champions."

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Storylines abound as all 30 teams play Saturday

Friday, 10.10.2014 / 12:30 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

For only the sixth time in NHL history, all 30 teams will be in action on a single day during a 15-game Saturday.

It starts at 7 p.m. ET with nine games and will end on the West Coast with 10 p.m. ET starts in San Jose and Vancouver. During the first half of the 9 p.m. ET hour, 26 NHL teams will likely be playing at the same time.

The last time there was a 15-game day was April 7, 2012, which was the final day of the 2011-12 regular season. That day featured 88 goals, players representing 15 countries and 274,230 fans in attendance.

The first 15-game night in League history was Oct. 5, 2005, with every team playing on opening night after the 2004-05 lockout. It also happened once early in the 2007-08 season and twice in three weeks in October 2009.

This is the first of two 15-game days for the 2014-15 season. The last day of the regular season, April 11, 2015, will also feature all 30 teams playing.

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Capitals celebrate franchise's 40th anniversary

Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 7:56 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals began celebrating their 40th anniversary season Thursday when they faced off against the Montreal Canadiens in their season opener at Verizon Center. It was an occasion to savor, considering the franchise's struggles during its first decade.

The Capitals finished last in their division in six of their first eight seasons. Their first-season won-lost mark of 8-67-5 represents the NHL single-season records for fewest wins and points (21) in a season.

The on-ice struggles led to low fan turnout and interest. Owner Abe Pollin threatened relocation.

But the Capitals ultimately stayed in Washington, with a big assist from a September 1982 trade with the Canadiens that brought defenseman and future Hall of Famer Rod Langway to Washington.

"[Craig Laughlin and I] get on the phone to our agents," Langway recalled, "and we said, 'Are we sure we want to be here?'"

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Kessel leads fantasy fast-starting performers

Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 11:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Getting off to a good start in fantasy hockey always is important, especially in rotisserie leagues where it's harder to make up ground as the season progresses. It doesn't hurt to have a strong beginning in head-to-head leagues either, but in this format there is a lot more luck involved and you typically see larger swings in the standings on a week-to-week basis.

Having a strong start won't just help you in the standings; it also could lead to you making trades that improve your roster. Last October St. Louis Blues forward Alexander Steen was one of the best fantasy players in the game, posting an NHL-best 11 goals, as well as five assists, a plus-7 rating and five power-play points in 10 games. He then had 22 goals and 46 points in his next 58 games; still very productive but not nearly as dominant as his October was. Steen could've fallen into the well-known "sell high" group after his fast start and you probably could've gotten a lot in return via trade if you sold him at the right moment.

Heading into this season let's see if we can find the next Steen for you. Here's a look at some interesting October stats and some players that have been known to be dominant forces during the early parts of an NHL season.

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Kings blame loss on poor preparation, not ceremony

Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 2:36 AM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES – Darryl Sutter walked to the podium, looked at the assembled media and broke the ice with a one-liner.

“Welcome back,” the Los Angeles Kings coach said.

It was the one light moment in a disappointing night for Sutter and the Kings, who, for the second time in three seasons, came out flat in their Stanley Cup banner-raising opener. This time, Los Angeles suffered a 4-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks in front of 18,514 at Staples Center.


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Kings celebrate second Cup in three seasons

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 11:43 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES – The Stanley Cup descended from the scoreboard Wednesday and the Los Angeles Kings raised their second Cup banner in three seasons.

In an impressive surprise prelude to the Kings’ season-opener at Staples Center, the Cup was lowered from inside the massive scoreboard, in a glass case, to center ice before captain Dustin Brown raised it to the cheers of a packed house.

It was a twist to the ceremony from two years ago. Kings players were concerned about the long wait between the ceremony and the start of the game; this time, it was shortened because the Kings did not have the rings presented to them as they did in 2012, nor did they take turns holding the Cup.

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Bad bounce ruins opener for Percy, Maple Leafs

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 11:23 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- It was all going smoothly for Toronto Maple Leafs rookie defenseman Stuart Percy in his NHL debut, and then kaboom!

Just like that, a pass by Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec intended for Alex Galchenyuk hit Percy's skate and deflected past Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier, giving the Canadiens a 4-3 win in the 2014-15 season opener. The goal came with 43 seconds left.

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