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Carcillo suspended six games for cross-checking

Monday, 01.19.2015 / 4:08 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORKChicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo has been suspended for six games, without pay, for cross-checking Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault during NHL Game No. 658 in Chicago on Friday, January 16, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 19:50 of the second period. Carcillo was assessed a minor penalty for cross-checking.

Carcillo is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $40,243.92. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Fantasy All-Access: Second-half stars to watch

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

The NHL's best will assemble in Columbus this week for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), but some past all-stars will not be there and those players could give you fantasy value down the stretch.

Jason Spezza of the Dallas Stars is a two-time all-star (2008, 2012 for the Ottawa Senators) and his career points per game go from 0.97 before the All-Star Game to 1.09 points per game after the game.

The recent hot play of the Colorado Avalanche's Jarome Iginla should continue as he has 416 points in 440 games (0.95 points per game) after the All-Star Game.

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NHL announces attractions planned 2015 NHL Fan Fair, during 2015 NHL All-Star weekend, Jan. 23-25

Tickets available at Nationwide Arena and online at Ticketmaster.com

Monday, 01.19.2015 / 9:34 AM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 2015 NHL Fan Fair™, the three-day, official fan festival of the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus, Ohio, will occupy more than 200,000 square feet of the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC), Exhibit Halls C & D, on Friday, Jan. 23 through Sunday, Jan. 25. The family-friendly festival features something for everyone including special appearances from current NHL stars, former NHL greats and NHL team mascots. Fans will experience a display of 20 of hockey's most prestigious trophies including the iconic Stanley Cup®; NHL All-Star exhibitions; live TV and radio broadcasts; music, food, merchandise, hockey trading cards, and memorabilia locations; interactive hockey-themed games and attractions; and much more.

Tickets to 2015 NHL Fan Fair can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, BlueJackets.com, and NHL.com/FanFair, and at the Big Lots Box Office at Nationwide Arena. Tickets purchased in advance are $10 for children between the ages of 3 and 12, seniors 65 and older, and college students and military personnel with valid ID; and $12 for adults (aged 12 and up). Tickets purchased on each event day will be $12 and $16, respectively. Children under the age of 3 will be admitted for free. All attractions are included with the price of admission. For more information, visit NHL.com/FanFair. Join the conversation using the official hashtag, #NHLFanFair.

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Blues all-stars Tarasenko, Shattenkirk share bond

Monday, 01.19.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- From the moment St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko set foot onto American soil, the transition from an entirely different culture was made easier with the help of defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

From restaurants, to a new dress code and general way of life, Shattenkirk instantly took Tarasenko under his wing and ultimately became, more or less, a big brother. They immediately became roommates in 2012.

And when big brother and little brother were roommates two seasons ago, candid conversations about competing in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game came to light.

Tarasenko, 23, who was selected to play in the 2014 Sochi Olympics for Russia, remembers the first serious chat he and Shattenkirk, 26, had about playing in the All-Star Game.

"Yeah, it was probably in Edmonton," Tarasenko said. "... We talk about a lot of stuff with hockey, talked about the All-Star Game, Olympics, all of it. We were both in the Olympics; now we're both in the All-Star Game. It's kind of cool."

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Laviolette brought fresh perspective to Predators

Monday, 01.19.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Robby Stanley - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette has found early success in his first season here, leading them to the best record in the NHL through the first half of the season.

Laviolette has given the Predators a new identity. They had been known as a tough defensive team since they came into the NHL in 1998-99 under coach Barry Trotz, but Laviolette has added a more aggressive offense.

"I think it's just a bit of a different style of game," Predators forward Colin Wilson said. "I think there are a lot of people here who needed a fresh start, and at the same time we signed a few people who needed fresh starts. I think the combination of all of that has been perfect. He (Laviolette) has done a great job, and I just love the mood he keeps in the dressing room. He keeps us all really focused and in-tune."

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All-Star appearance rarity for Penguins' Crosby

Monday, 01.19.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Editor's note: Sidney Crosby withdrew from the All-Star Game on Jan. 22 due to a lower-body injury.

It would be hard to tell by simply going off Sidney Crosby's NHL All-Star Game resume that the Pittsburgh Penguins captain has been considered one of the best, if not the best player in the world, since his rookie season of 2005-06.

The 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 25 (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) was to be Crosby's second in his 10-year career. He played in the 2007 All-Star Game in Dallas but missed the past four in Atlanta (2008), Montreal (2009), Carolina (2011) and Ottawa (2012).

"It's not really crazy considering I missed on three chances because of the Olympics (2006, 2010, 2014) and four because of injury," Crosby said before a game last Friday against the New York Islanders. "One was a high-ankle sprain, two were concussions, and one was my knee."

Crosby then knocked on the wooden bench he was sitting on inside the visitors dressing room at Nassau Coliseum.

Crosby spoke about the upcoming 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend -- which features the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings on Jan. 23 (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports), and the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 24 (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) -- and some of his favorite memories of past All-Star Games:

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Blackhawks' Carcillo to have phone hearing Monday

Sunday, 01.18.2015 / 7:03 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo waived his right to have an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Sunday for cross-checking Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault in a game Friday.

Carcillo, who will have a phone hearing Monday, was offered the opportunity for an in-person hearing as required by provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for any suspension that can exceed five games.

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Penguins' Bennett healthy at last, showing potential

Sunday, 01.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

After numerous stops and starts in two-and-a-half seasons as a pro, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Beau Bennett is finally starting to show signs he might have been worth that No. 20 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft.

"He's had some [bad] luck, but it's going good now," Penguins center Brandon Sutter said.

The biggest question for Bennett is, will he stay healthy long enough to fulfill his promise and prove without a shadow of a doubt that he was worth being a first-round pick?

Bennett is a long way from that considering he's played 61 NHL games, including 35 in the past two seasons. But if he can stay out of the trainer's room and off the operating table, he should be an important part of the Penguins' push for another Stanley Cup.

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Rangers rookie Hayes making impact in the middle

Sunday, 01.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The question for New York Rangers forward Rick Nash was about the club's center depth in general. Nash's answer turned into a plug for the continued improvement of rookie center Kevin Hayes.

"Hayes has impressed me," Nash said. "You think about how mature his game is; he's been playing at a high-level of college for a while and what is he, 22? It's impressive the maturity in his game, especially to go up against a guy like [Joe] Thornton and hold his own."

Hayes has impressed a lot of people around the Rangers this season. He has become as important to the Rangers' success as any other role player.

Hayes was plugged in as the third-line center in his second NHL game. He has been stable in that position since, giving the Rangers the center depth a team needs to have sustained success in an NHL season.

His next test comes Sunday at Consol Energy Center against the Pittsburgh Penguins (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN), who roll out a 1-2-3 center rotation that is the envy of the League: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Brandon Sutter.

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Sunday Long Read: Columbus first-rate hockey town

Sunday, 01.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

The scene that surrounded the Columbus Blue Jackets during Game 4 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series at Nationwide Arena was unfathomable for longtime fans in the area.

Here was a team the city could call its own, playing in a state-of-the-art building with a rollicking crowd roaring with every opportunity by the home side. The noise flowed onto the ice surface in waves, the fans screaming for the goal that would extend the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the perennial NHL powerhouse and burgeoning rival.

The eyes of the hockey world were on the Ohio capital as the pesky Blue Jackets attacked, looking to make the statement that after a 15-year journey they had arrived as a force.

Ed Gingher, who runs the city's only AAA youth hockey program, was there that night. He is heavily invested in what the Blue Jackets do because it directly impacts the talent pool available to feed his program; plus he does some work for the franchise. He is devoted to the sport, having played and coached it for much of his life.

"I've never heard a building as loud as the one in Columbus during that series," Gingher said.

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Quote of the Day

I was going nuts and I saw [Subban], he was going crazy, and the ref had no idea where to go. [Subban] was skating to me, and I was skating to him and the ref was right in between us and I don't know, I kind of hit him pretty hard, I thought, but those were some emotions and I'm pretty sure he understands that.

— Montreal forward Alex Galchenyuk on the celebration following his OT goal against Ottawa in Game 2