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Features

Blackhawks bring Stanley Cup to Soldier Field

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 6:09 PM / 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

NHL.com

Days before the Chicago Blackhawks begin their defense of the Stanley Cup, they brought it to Solider Field before the Chicago Bears played the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw, Corey Crawford, Marcus Kruger, Scott Darling, Andrew Desjardins and Trevor van Riemsdyk took part in a pregame ceremony when they were honored at midfield. Shaw also kicked a field goal with Kane as his holder.

The Bears defeated the Raiders 22-20 for their first victory of the NFL season.

Canadiens agree to terms with Fleischmann

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 10:31 AM / NHL Free Agency 2015

MontrealCanadiens.com

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, announced Sunday that the team has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent forward Tomas Fleischmann.

Fleischmann, 31, played 66 games with the Florida Panthers and Anaheim Ducks in 2014-15, recording 29 points (eight goals, 19 assists). The 6-foot-1 left wing served 12 penalty minutes and maintained a plus-12, while averaging 14:42 of ice time per game.

Stars' Jamie Benn poised to pick up first Hart Trophy

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Jamie Benn did everything he could last season to will the Dallas Stars to stay in the Stanley Cup Playoff race. Eventually, their defensive deficiencies and average goaltending got the best of them and they fell short. It didn't stop Benn from leading and from scoring.

Benn closed last season with 10 points in his last three games, including a hat trick in his final game. It was enough to nudge him past New York Islanders captain John Tavares for the Art Ross Trophy with 87 points. Tavares had 86.

It was just a prelude to what's in store for Dallas' captain this season.

Price, offense keys as Canadiens ready to chase Cup

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

The window is wide open.

It's up to the Montreal Canadiens to walk through it.

The Canadiens are not a clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup this season, but their roster is primed to contend for one.

Led by goalie Carey Price, the Canadiens have a star player at each position, with left wing Max Pacioretty's place as one of the NHL's top goal scorers now cemented and P.K. Subban proving he is among the five best defensemen in the League.

All three are in the primes of their careers, seemingly ready to make a run to the Cup. The question is whether the supporting cast surrounding them can do enough to lift the Canadiens into true contender status.

Power play, Galchenyuk among Canadiens' X-factors

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

The Montreal Canadiens have a glaring need for offense, but it's not yet clear where it will come from.

In order to improve on their 20th-ranked 2.61 goals per game from last season, the Canadiens made a number of offseason tweaks without a big splash.

General manager Marc Bergevin signed free agent forward Alexander Semin and acquired Zack Kassian from the Vancouver Canucks in a trade for Brandon Prust.

Each player comes with a checkered history, but they also have clear offensive talent.

The ability of one or both of those players to bounce back and take full advantage of his skills would help the Canadiens offensively, but that might not be enough to solve the problem.

Here are three other X-factors that will impact Montreal's offensive issues:

Who's on the hot seat in the Western Conference

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which begins Wednesday, Oct. 7.

With the start of another NHL season just a couple of days away, the pressure is already starting to build for some players who know they'll have to be big-time producers for their teams to push for a Stanley Cup Playoff berth or contend for the Cup.

Here's a look at a player from each of the 14 teams in the Western Conference who will be under pressure to perform as soon as the puck drops:

Rangers feel parts are in place for Stanley Cup run

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams.

NEW YORK -- Keith Yandle barely had time to adjust his body clock, let alone his playing style to adhere to a new team, before he was in meaningful games with the New York Rangers last season. He was acquired March 1, one day before the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline.

Now, with time to reflect on a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and a Game 7 loss in the Eastern Conference Final, as well as take stock in who is back and what type of team he's playing for, Yandle offered the following assessment of the Rangers:

"I definitely wouldn't want to play against us," he said. "We're a team that can play in all three zones really well, and we're fast. It's only exciting things for this group."

No team in the NHL has played more combined regular-season and playoff games than the Rangers the past two seasons (208), but the only banners they have to show for it inside Madison Square Garden is one for winning the Eastern Conference in 2014 and another for winning the Presidents' Trophy last season.

The Rangers again have high expectations this season and an abundance of hope that on a warm June day they will parade the Stanley Cup down the Canyon of Heroes in New York City.

Miller, Kreider, Raanta are X-factors for Rangers

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The New York Rangers have raised banners in Madison Square Garden for accomplishments in their first two seasons under coach Alain Vigneault. But neither of them are for a Stanley Cup championship.

The Rangers won the Prince of Wales Trophy as Eastern Conference champions in 2014 and the Presidents' Trophy as the best team in the regular season for 2014-15. They have won 98 regular-season games and 24 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past two seasons.

Vigneault set the tone for this season on the first day of training camp when in referencing the Rangers being a team capable of winning the Stanley Cup said, "Failure is not an option."

Before the Rangers can get there, they'll have to make it back to the playoffs. Here are three X-factors that could have an impact on their fate:

Capitals expect Oshie to flourish on Ovechkin line

Saturday, 10.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Katie Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Washington Capitals are confident forward T.J. Oshie will bring more than his shootout skills to the table this season.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said playing Oshie on a line with captain Alex Ovechkin will open up more scoring opportunities for Oshie than ever before. And coming from the Western Conference, Oshie has the advantage of being unfamiliar to Eastern Conference opponents.

"Playing with a megastar like [Ovechkin], he's not going to get as much attention as he did in St. Louis because everyone's worried about [Ovechkin], so he may have a little more room on that side," Trotz said. "Teams will go stand by [Ovechkin] and that's OK, it just means Oshie's open."

Bruins' Bergeron preseason pick for Selke Trophy

Saturday, 10.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

David Satriano - NHL.com Staff Writer

Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron has won the Selke Trophy each of the past two seasons and three of the past four. A win this season would tie him with Hockey Hall of Fame member Bob Gainey for the most all-time. And with the way Bergeron has excelled in the defensive aspects of the game the past five seasons, it's no surprise he is the preseason favorite for the Selke Trophy for the 2015-16 season.

Enhanced statistics have become the norm in the NHL, and Bergeron has been at the top of most of the important categories. His shot-attempts percentage (SAT%) last season at 5-on-5 was 58.09, which was sixth among forwards to play at least 50 games. Bergeron's SAT Relative, a ratio of his on-ice SAT% vs. his off-ice SAT%, was second at 8.9 percent.

Bergeron led the League in faceoff winning percentage at .602 while taking (1,951) and winning (1,175) the most faceoffs in the League.

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