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Senators GM Murray battling cancer through work

Wednesday, 10.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / Hockey Fights Cancer

Chris Stevenson - Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators general manager and president of hockey operations Bryan Murray can be seen on an almost daily basis working the hallways, offices and stands at the Canadian Tire Centre, consulting with his staff, talking to his players and dealing with the media.

Sixteen months after the 72-year-old was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer which had spread to his liver and lungs, Murray is holding his own in his battle and he said showing up for work has been a big weapon for him.

"I've just had scans and I've been told everything is fairly stable," Murray said. "It's not growing, it's not shrinking, it's pretty much where it was. The chemo plus the other stuff I'm doing seems to have, at least for now, some control over the growth."

The Senators host the Calgary Flames on Wednesday in their Hockey Fights Cancer Night game (7:30 p.m., ET; TVA Sports, SN1).

Analytics weigh in on Ovechkin-Fedorov debate

Wednesday, 10.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / Behind the Numbers

Rob Vollman - Correspondent

Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin is closing in fast on Sergei Fedorov for the most goals scored by a Russian-born player in the NHL.

Ovechkin, who has scored in five of his six games this season, needs three goals to tie Fedorov's total of 483, which he scored during an 18-year career spent mostly with the Detroit Red Wings but also featured stops with the Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets and the Capitals. Fedorov, who left the NHL at 39, played 1,248 NHL games.

But how do these two legendary Russians compare when measured head-to-head with the various tools available through the use of analytics?

Decision day closes in for 10 on entry-level contracts

Tuesday, 10.27.2015 / 2:45 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Decision day is coming for some of the top rookies in the NHL.

Ten players remain on NHL rosters who are approaching the 10-game threshold that could determine if their entry-level contracts start or slide to next season.

Players can be sent to junior hockey, or in some situations the American Hockey League, prior to playing a 10th game and delay the start of their contract. Players still can be sent down after playing their 10th game but it would waste the first season of their three-year contract. And in the case of players sent to junior hockey, they can't be recalled until their team's season ends.

It was an easy decision for the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres when it came to centers Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, the first two picks of the 2015 NHL Draft, respectively.

Fantasy top 100 forwards: Injury replacement options

Tuesday, 10.27.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen provides in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top-100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen is your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

It's an unfortunate reality, but injuries can happen at any time and abruptly end promising fantasy developments. That certainly is the case with three top-75 fantasy forwards -- Evander Kane of the Buffalo Sabres, Jaden Schwartz of the St. Louis Blues, and Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers – each going down with an injury in the past week.

Kane, who was mostly playing on Jack Eichel’s left wing, is expected to miss 4-6 weeks because of a knee injury. Schwartz, who covered five of the six standard fantasy categories and played with Vladimir Tarasenko last season, had surgery to repair a fractured ankle he sustained at practice and will miss at least 12 weeks. Barkov, who formed a top-notch scoring tandem with veteran Jaromir Jagr, could miss 2-4 weeks with a broken bone in his hand.

Price vs. Dryden among Weekes' dream matchups

Tuesday, 10.27.2015 / 10:00 AM / Game Savers

Kevin Weekes - NHL Network Analyst

NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes , in conjunction with the new Canada Post goaltender stamp series, provides his insight into the position he played for 11 seasons in the League.

This week, Weekes discusses goaltenders who played in different generations he wishes he could have seen play against one another.

It's always fun to think about how athletes in different eras would have fared against each other. Think about how cool it would have been to see Babe Ruth face Clayton Kershaw, or Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan going 1-on-1.

Well, there are plenty of those matchups I would like to have seen on the ice involving goalies. In each of the three fantasy meetings that intrigue me, the goalies have a connection to one another.

Canadiens unimpressed by win streak to open season

Tuesday, 10.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Rogers Arena fell eerily silent Monday when a trainer rushed to the side of Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price while he lie facedown on the ice after a rising slap shot hit him in the throat.

A few moments later, after a brief, expletive-laced warning from coach Michel Therrien to keep the shots down, Price was back on his skates and in the net.

All was right again for the streaking Canadiens. Perfect, even.

Montreal is the first team in NHL history to start a season with nine straight wins in regulation, and with a victory against the slumping Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, the Canadiens would become one of three teams to start a season with 10 consecutive victories.

If the Canadiens are feeling the pressure of chasing history, you couldn't tell inside the locker room, where all dismissed their franchise-record start with the same disdain that Price swatted aside questions about the high shot that felled him in practice.

"It was a shot up high, I'm all right," Price said curtly.

'Russian Five' changed hockey's fabric forever

Tuesday, 10.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Vassili Ossipov - Staff Writer

Twenty years ago, hockey took a major step in its evolution when the Detroit Red Wings put five Russian players together as one unit of three forwards and two defensemen for the first time.

The "Russian Five," as the deployment of forwards Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov and Vyacheslav Kozlov, and defensemen Vladimir Konstantinov and Viacheslav Fetisov became known, debuted Oct. 27, 1995, against the Calgary Flames and helped the Red Wings score two of its three goals.

Kozlov and Larionov scored in Detroit's 3-0 victory against Calgary, but hockey ended up being the biggest winner. The game changed for the better in response to the transcendental nature of the Russian Five, the brainchild of Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman.

Together, the Russians helped Detroit to a historic 1995-96 season, when it set the NHL record with 62 wins and finished one point short of tying the record for most points in a season (132), set by the Montreal Canadiens in 1976-77. More importantly, the Russian Five was a big part of the Red Wings' first Stanley Cup championship in 42 years.

Five Questions: Trotz talks hot Capitals, Kuznetsov

Tuesday, 10.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer'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 Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz:

The season was two games old and Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz felt his team was spinning its wheels, developing some rust.

The Capitals opened with a 5-3 win against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 10. It was followed with a 5-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks.

"We were the last team to start playing in the regular season," Trotz said. "And we were exactly that."

The Capitals did start later than every other team in the League this season, but they're churning now, moving forward into a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN) with a five-game winning streak.

Briere makes transition to business side with Flyers

Tuesday, 10.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

After 17 seasons as an NHL player, Daniel Briere is starting to learn the other side of hockey.

Briere, 38, announced his retirement Aug. 17, and since then he's been working with Philadelphia Flyers president Paul Holmgren, learning the business side of the sport.

"It's for now mostly on the business side," Briere said. "Learning how an organization works as far as season tickets, food, parking and all of that. Basically the way it all comes together behind the scenes. For so many years my meetings were about power play, the system and the teams we were facing. Now I have the chance to see behind the door what it's like to selling tickets and season tickets and services and all that. So it's pretty cool. It gets me out of my comfort zone and it's something that I didn't know anything about."

AHL Notebook: Lake Erie has options for Blue Jackets

Tuesday, 10.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / AHL Update

Patrick Williams - Correspondent

The Lake Erie Monsters have plenty to deal with at the start of the American Hockey League season without worrying about the fortunes of their new NHL parent club two hours south.

Lake Erie is in the first season of an affiliation with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and each of the teams trumpeted the new all-Ohio affiliation this past summer.

"They get to play in front of management more often," Lake Erie coach Jared Bednar said of the Monsters, who have started 3-1-0-1. "I think they're excited about that."

But amid the Blue Jackets' 1-8-0 start that has led to the arrival of new coach John Tortorella, Bednar knows he must keep his players' attention firmly in Cleveland, not Columbus. But it would be natural with a roster full of young prospects to have attention and gazes drift to the NHL. The Blue Jackets' struggles and the start of the Tortorella era could bring change to the roster in Columbus.

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