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(Page 5 of 161)
Features

Canucks' Bieksa used to taking calculated risks

Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Jon Lane - 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 September.

As a teenager Kevin Bieksa had to step back and evaluate his place in hockey.

While playing minor hockey Bieksa was offered a roster spot with the first-year Mississauga (now Niagara) Ice Dogs, the Ontario Hockey League team that selected him in the 19th round of the 1998 OHL draft. A native of Grimsby, Ontario, Bieksa was tempted by, as he put it, the "glitz and glam" of immediately playing in the OHL.

Also on the table was a chance to pursue a full scholarship to Bowling Green State University. While the dream of playing in the NHL was very much alive, so was the desire to have a fallback plan.

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Upgrades could push Islanders into playoff mix

Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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

For more than four decades, the New York Islanders have called Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum home. The 2014-15 season will be their last at the outdated facility on Hempstead Turnpike; the Islanders will be moving into Barclays Center in Brooklyn next fall.

And that's just one of several changes on the horizon.

Team owner Charles Wang is in the process of entering into a new partnership. The Islanders announced Aug. 19 that a group led by former Washington Capitals co-owner Jon Ledecky and London-based investor Scott Malkin reached an agreement, subject to NHL approval, to purchase a substantial minority interest in the team. Under the terms of the agreement, Wang will continue as majority shareholder and governor of the Islanders, with the Ledecky/Malkin group transitioning to majority ownership in two years.

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Okposo, play at home keys to Islanders success

Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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

The New York Islanders know they have to be better than they were a season ago, when they lost 13 games in which they led by two goals en route to missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons.

Entering their final season at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, it's important the Islanders have some momentum heading into Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the 2015-16 season.

"The time's upon us," captain John Tavares said. "I'm looking forward to it. It's a new year and obviously we've got a lot to prove."

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Mantha, Wennberg among Traverse City best

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 9:51 AM / Traverse City Prospects Tournament

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Columbus Blue Jackets player development coach Chris Clark had a good feeling about the team the Blue Jackets had for the 2014 Traverse City Prospect Tournament.

The Blue Jackets had six players on the roster that were selected in the first or second round of recent NHL drafts. They lost forward Sonny Milano, a 2014 first-round pick (No. 16), to a fractured cheek and orbital bone in the second period of the opening game, but the Blue Jackets won their first tournament championship in eight years with a 3-2 overtime victory against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

"Looking at the rosters before we went into the tournament, I thought we had a good team and a good chance but you never know until you get on the ice," Clark said. "I thought our guys responded well; we trailed by at least one goal in every game, but [we] still responded."

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Predators' Jones has help navigating life in Nashville

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NOTE TO READERS: Over the Boards is undergoing a format change for the 2014-15 season and transitioning into a blog that will be updated several times per week by Dan Rosen. It will feature news and information, quotes and anecdotes similar to what you have been able to find here in the weekly notebook. Rosen's Mailbag will still appear in the Over the Boards blog every Wednesday.

If Nashville Predators defenseman Seth Jones gets into an argument with his roommate about cleaning up, doing the dishes or taking out the trash, he can count on one thing being true:

He won't win.

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Oilers expect improvement in Eakins' second season

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

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

The Edmonton Oilers underwent a number of changes this offseason looking to bridge the gap toward a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

What did not change may make the biggest impact in the quest to snap an eight-year postseason drought.

For only the second time since 2008, the Oilers are going into a season with the same coach. They hope having Dallas Eakins back behind the bench is a key to their success.

"We talked about it a lot last year. It's definitely something that is tough to do, just start from scratch and have success," Oilers captain Andrew Ference said. "It can be done, but if you look at the teams that are competing year in and year out, there is definitely a consistency to their lineup, which includes the coaching staff, the attitude and style of play."

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Flames optimistic as rebuild continues

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

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

With a 5-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on the final day of the 2013-14 regular season, the first phase in the rebuilding process of the Calgary Flames came to a close.

The Flames finished 27th in the overall NHL standings, but left the season with optimism. Though they managed 77 points (their lowest total in a full 82-game schedule since 2002-03), they took several steps towards competitiveness.

But that won't be enough to satisfy coach Bob Hartley in 2014-15.

"We need to keep improving our entire game," Hartley said. "We can have some strong points on our detail and our work ethic, but at the same time, our on-ice game has to obviously improve. With all the good things that happened to this organization last year, the good things we did, we were still a 27th-place team."
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Flames need additions, young players to produce

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

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

Simply competing isn't going to be enough for the Calgary Flames in 2014-15.

Though the Flames continue their rebuilding project, coach Bob Hartley is demanding more.

"Progress is a big word right now in our vocabulary," said Hartley, who guided the Flames to a 35-40-7 record last season, good for 27th in the League standings. "We really want to make the next step, but at the same time I want this to be a giant step. I really believe that despite the fact that we're going to read everywhere that we're going to be ranked anywhere between 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th in the League by all the experts, I really believe that we can be a [Stanley Cup] Playoff team."

The Flames haven't skated beyond the regular season since 2009. Plenty will need to go Calgary's way in order to reach Hartley’s goal:

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Oilers need fast start, strong second-line center

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

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

The Edmonton Oilers have not been to the Stanley Cup Playoffs since losing to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

The organization bottomed out in 2010 as the Oilers finished 30th in the League standings for the first time in franchise history. Rebuilding began with the selection of Taylor Hall with the first pick of the 2010 NHL Draft.

Despite having the No. 1 picks of the 2011 and 2012 drafts, the Oilers have not come much closer to snapping what now is an eight-year playoff drought.

Not wanting to break up his young core, Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish tried to augment his roster by bringing in veterans who he hopes will provide size and secondary scoring while his young stars mature.

In order for the Oilers to challenge for the playoffs, they’ll need things to come together quickly to keep from falling behind early in the season.

Here are three things that need to happen in order for the Oilers to have a successful season:

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Giordano raising expectations for Flames' season

Wednesday, 09.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

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

Mark Giordano's expectations for the Calgary Flames this season are simple. In fact, they're the same as the 29 other NHL teams.

"We want to make the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs," Giordano said. "Winning is everything in this League. We want to get into the playoffs and we want to go from there. With the parity in the League, if you get in … the goal is to get in. From there you can make some noise."

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Quote of the Day

He's able to play now, we just want to see other guys. We know what he can do.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on not rushing Steven Stamkos onto the ice