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Features

U.S. junior coach: defense spurs memories of '10

Friday, 08.08.2014 / 7:36 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- When Mark Osiecki arrived here in August 2009 as an assistant coach for the United States national junior team that would be playing in the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Saskatoon, he looked at the defense that was assembled and wasn't sure how things would fit together.

Five months later, one of those defensemen, John Carlson, scored the overtime goal in the gold-medal game against Canada. The primary assist was credited to another defenseman, John Ramage.

Osiecki is back in Lake Placid, this time as the coach of the team that will go to Montreal and Toronto for the 2015 WJC, and as he looks at the eight defensemen remaining in camp, there's a familiar feeling: He's not sure how things will work themselves out.

Ryan Bourque agrees to contract with Rangers

Friday, 08.08.2014 / 4:46 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Restricted free-agent forward Ryan Bourque and the New York Rangers have agreed to terms on a contract, the team said Friday. Length and financial terms were not disclosed.

Bourque, 23, comes off his best American Hockey League season, scoring 21 goals and 37 points in 74 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack. He has 35 goals and 66 points in 196 AHL games with the Wolf Pack and Connecticut Whale.

Jets agree to terms with defenseman Brouillette

Friday, 08.08.2014 / 2:20 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Defenseman Julien Brouillette and the Winnipeg Jets agreed to terms Friday on a one-year, two-way contract worth $600,000, the team announced.

Brouillette, 27, made his NHL debut last season with the Washington Capitals and had one goal and two points in 10 games. He had 10 goals and 20 points in 51 American Hockey League games for the Hershey Bears.

NHL.com's fantasy starting lineup of past decade

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

From season to season, players who display statistical prowess across the board define the fantasy hockey landscape. Though 100-plus point producers are always welcomed with open arms, championships in multi-category leagues go beyond that.

Fans who have played fantasy hockey for much of the past decade probably recall the category-coverage assets who either lifted your team to great heights or spoiled your pursuit of a title.

NHL.com has constructed a starting lineup of the best single fantasy seasons from 2005-06 to present. These players got the job done with elite-level production in multiple categories while avoiding the liability tag in any standard-league category.

NHL Network to commemorate Gretzky trade to Kings

Friday, 08.08.2014 / 12:21 PM / NHL Network

NHL.com

Saturday marks the 26th anniversary of the day Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings.

NHL Network will dedicate a large portion of the day commemorating the trade that changed the landscape of the sport and put hockey on the map in Southern California.

Penguins lineup needs more from bottom-six forwards

Friday, 08.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Pittsburgh Penguins have won four Stanley Cup Playoff series in the past five seasons, a stretch preceded by back-to-back trips to the Stanley Cup Final with what was the NHL's best collection of young star power.

When Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are healthy and on the roster, the expectation is to win four playoff rounds every season. There has been plenty of regular-season success in Pittsburgh, but the roster has eroded around them and losing three straight games after taking a 3-1 series lead against the New York Rangers in the second round meant the end for general manager Ray Shero and, eventually, coach Dan Bylsma.

New GM Jim Rutherford has tried to bolster the Penguins' depth, and he's earned deserved praise for some low-cost, low-risk additions. His big roster move, trading talented sniper James Neal for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling, played to mixed reviews.

The other big acquisition is coach Mike Johnston, who had plenty of experience as an NHL assistant and plenty of success with Portland in the Western Hockey League, but is now the lead guy at this level for the first time.

Penguins need Ehrhoff to replace departed Niskanen

Friday, 08.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff had a whirlwind offseason.

After being bought out from his contract with the Buffalo Sabres, the 32-year-old was signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins to a one-year, $4-million contract shortly after free agency opened July 1. Now he enters the 2014-15 season as an instrumental piece to the Penguins' defensive corps.

Pittsburgh was unable to retain defensemen Matt Niskanen, who had a career year in 2013-14 with 10 goals and 46 points, and Brooks Orpik, its most tenured player entering the offseason. Each signed with the Metropolitan-Division rival Washington Capitals, making their losses sting that much more.

But the Penguins shifted their focus away from landing a possible top-six forward in free agency and instead decided to solidify their defense by adding Ehrhoff, who could more than make up for the losses of Niskanen and Orpik.

Rutherford, Johnston eager to help Penguins rebound

Friday, 08.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

After another disappointing Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been taken in a different direction featuring new leadership and a retooled roster.

The Penguins will set out to prove the changes were worth the risk.

Pittsburgh was eliminated in the Eastern Conference Second Round despite a 3-1 series lead against the New York Rangers heading back to Consol Energy Center for Game 5. The Penguins scored one goal in each of the following three games and were outscored by seven.

In five years since winning the 2009 Stanley Cup, the Penguins have yet to return to the Stanley Cup Final. The dissatisfaction with postseason futility led Pittsburgh to make notable changes throughout the organization.

New coach, players among Penguins five questions

Friday, 08.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

The Pittsburgh Penguins will enter the 2014-15 season as a different team, for better or worse.

After another disappointing result in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Pittsburgh overhauled its managerial and coaching staffs, then retooled its roster. The Penguins have been one of the NHL's more consistent franchises in recent years, but their lack of satisfaction with regular-season success has led to a new direction.

Here are five questions the Penguins must answer if they plan to remain the steady franchise they were under their previous regime:

Penguins adding forwards to top 10 prospects

Friday, 08.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Under former general manager Ray Shero, the Pittsburgh Penguins' philosophy was to prioritize defensemen in the draft. That led to the Penguins producing a number of high-end defense prospects but comparatively little up front. Now the forwards are starting to catch up.

"We're starting to get these forwards coming through the turnstiles," Penguins assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald said. "We feel like we've got them coming through now when in the past we haven't. We feel like we've got some forwards now finally coming through instead of being deep in just [defensive] depth."

Here's a look at the Penguins' top 10 prospects, according to NHL.com:

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Quote of the Day

(The tribute) was great, brought back a lot of memories. I felt I wanted to give them the thank you they deserved. I understand the booing and it was expected. They are great fans.

— Martin St. Louis after playing his first game in Tampa Bay since being traded to the Rangers last season
2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series