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(Page 79 of 118)
Features

Rangers hope top 10 prospects can fill roster holes

Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Despite not having the luxury of a first-round pick in each of the past two NHL Drafts, the 2014 Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers feel they've made all the right moves to solidify the organization's prospect pool.

The Rangers hope they can take it one step further and bring the Stanley Cup back to Madison Square Garden in 2014-15 after losing a five-game Final to the Los Angeles Kings, but it won't happen without some major retooling to the lineup. The Rangers lost forwards Benoit Pouliot and Brian Boyle and defenseman Anton Stralman to free agency and used a buyout on center Brad Richards, so there are spots for the taking.

Director of player personnel Gordie Clark believes that there may be a few good NHL players in the pipeline ready to take those spots.

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Rangers must adapt to changes after loss in Final

Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

The New York Rangers' 2013-14 season began with a number of major changes and ended with an unexpected run to the Stanley Cup Final. But the roster that takes ice on opening night against the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 9 will have some major changes from the one that lost in L.A. four months earlier, and the success of those changes figures to dictate whether they will make a return trip to the Final.

Free-agent departures, trades and a compliance buyout used on forward Brad Richards cost the Rangers five regular players from the team that won the Eastern Conference. The departures include top-four defenseman Anton Stralman, key checking center Brian Boyle and scoring wing Benoit Pouliot, all of whom left as unrestricted free agents. Replacing the skill sets of each player will be challenging, but the Rangers did their best to fill the holes on their roster.

"I think we look good. We're trying to fill in some depth positions, we lost some guys. Anytime you have success like we had, guys tend to get better opportunities somewhere else, more money, which in the cap world we couldn't handle," Rangers assistant general manager Jeff Gorton said. "So you go out and you work with your staff and try to identify guys that you think can fill those holes. One of the things we tried to do was do it fairly cheaply, considering the cap didn't go up maybe as much as we thought it might."

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Roster moves spotlight Rangers' five questions

Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

After struggling through a marathon nine-game road trip to start the 2013-14 season, the New York Rangers found their footing by the holidays before enjoying a memorable march to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance in 20 years.

With many key players leaving in the offseason and more potential roster changes coming next summer, here are five questions the Rangers face entering this season:

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Rangers' Miller must cash in on latest opportunity

Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller became very familiar with the stretch of highway connecting New York and Hartford last season. In 2013-14, the 21-year-old was sent down to the Rangers' American Hockey League affiliate in Hartford six different times.

He performed well with the Wolf Pack, scoring 15 goals and 42 points in 41 games. But with a number of key forwards no longer on the Rangers roster, the first-round pick (No. 15) in the 2011 NHL Draft must show he can consistently provide offense in the NHL.

"I think we made it pretty clear to him when he left where he stands and the opportunity in front of him. You only get so many chances," Rangers assistant general manager Jeff Gorton said of Miller. "I think J.T. is a pretty proud guy and a confident kid. I think he's encouraged there's a chance for him in the lineup. We're all looking forward to how he comes back, but it's all up to him."

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2015 top prospect Jack Eichel consumed by hockey

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 5:21 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Jack Eichel, the 17-year-old center expected to be one of the top two picks at the 2015 NHL Draft, says his life is consumed by hockey.

That statement has been true for a long time, actually.

"I started playing when I was around 3," Eichel said. "I was pushing a crate around the Janas Rink in Lowell, Mass. My dad used to get me out of school when I was in elementary school, kindergarten, and I would skate with him. He would come pick me up and we'd play pickup and stuff. Since then he's given me as much hockey as I wanted."

Eichel has taken advantage of all that ice time, developing into a prospect ready for the NHL as soon as the 2015-16 season.


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Sharks eye 'halo effect' from hosting outdoor game

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Playing in front of approximately 68,500 fans in a state-of-the-art outdoor venue is intriguing to the San Jose Sharks for reasons that go beyond ticket sales and setting attendance records for hockey games played in California.

"There is a halo effect that happens when you host these games," Sharks chief operating officer John Tortora said.

Tortora was talking about the aftershocks teams can experience because of their participation as the host club in one of the marquee events on the NHL's regular-season calendar. The Sharks are hoping to reap those rewards now that the NHL has officially announced San Jose will host the Los Angeles Kings in a 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Levi's Stadium on Feb. 21, 2015.

Levi's Stadium, located in Santa Clara, Calif., is the new home for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers. It is located approximately 8.5 miles from SAP Center, the Sharks' home arena.

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Rafalski headlines U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:12 PM / U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Four Olympic medalists, including two players and two coaches who played an integral role in establishing the sport of hockey in the United States on several fronts, will headline this year's inductees into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

The honorees, announced Wednesday by USA Hockey, include Brian Rafalski, a two-time Olympic silver medalist and three-time Stanley Cup champion. He is joined by Karyn Bye Dietz, who served as alternate captain for the gold medal-winning U.S. women's team at the 1998 Nagano Games; Jeff Sauer, college coaching legend and coach of the gold medal-winning 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey team; and Lou Vairo, who was an assistant coach for the silver medal-winning U.S. team at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

"The class of 2014 is an extraordinary collection of individuals that have had an immensely positive impact on hockey in our country," president of USA Hockey Ron DeGregorio said. "Cumulatively, they have been involved at every level of hockey and this group is a big reason why our sport has advanced to the point it has in the United States."

The 42nd U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction dinner and ceremony will be held in Minnesota on Dec. 4 at a site to be announced.


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Sharks to host Kings outdoors

Teams to meet at Levi's Stadium as part of 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Outdoor hockey is returning to California for a second straight season, the National Hockey League announced Wednesday. This season's game features two teams that have become quite familiar with each other in recent years.

The San Jose Sharks will be the home team against the Los Angeles Kings at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara on Feb. 21, 2015 at 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET) as part of the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. The game will be broadcast by NBCSN and "Hockey Night in Canada."

No two teams in the NHL have played against each other more than the Sharks and Kings have since the start of the 2010-11 season. They have played 41 games, including the Stanley Cup Playoffs, in the past three seasons, highlighted by seven-game series in each of the past two postseasons.

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Motivated Del Zotto ready for new start with Flyers

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:00 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Now that the wait is over for defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who agreed to a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night, he appears to be as motivated as ever to get back on the ice and prove the skeptics wrong.

Del Zotto's contract reportedly is worth $1.3 million, which is about half of the $2.55 million he earned in 2013-14.

The 24-year-old left-shot defenseman acknowledged that he wants to put a tumultuous 2013-14 campaign behind him and start anew with an organization that has a passionate fan base, solid coaching staff and a rivalry against the New York Rangers, the team with which he spent four-plus seasons.

"Being able to play them and being big rivals, and now being on the other side of it now, is just more motivation and another reason to be that much more excited and motivated to be prepared and ready to start the season," Del Zotto said Wednesday.

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Groulx preaches return to Canada's WJC identity

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 12:30 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

BROSSARD, Que. – When it comes to playing the "Canadian way" at the most recent World Junior Hockey Championships, other countries have done a better job of that than Canada, according to Canadian coach Benoit Groulx.

While adressing the players at Hockey Canada's summer development camp, Groulx, the national team coach for the upcoming 2015 World Junior tournament, said Finland won the gold medal last year by playing "the Canadian way."

Canada, meanwhile, failed to medal for the second straight year and the memories of Canada winning five-straight gold medals – the last in 2009 – seems very long ago.

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Quote of the Day

It's time we got a break. People that have watched us, I'm sure they said, 'Finally, some things are going our way.' We'll take the breaks when they go our way.

— Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien after a 3-2 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday to snap a three-game losing streak
2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series