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Hanifin tops all defensive prospects for 2015 Draft

Thursday, 02.12.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Boston College freshman defenseman Noah Hanifin didn't hesitate when asked if freshman forward Jack Eichel of rival Boston University would be able to beat him wide in a one-on-one situation.

The question certainly has merit since Hanifin and Eichel have seen a lot of each other over the years. They were teammates for the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., teammates for the United States National Junior Team at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, and are now opponents in Hockey East.

The fact the question was even posed to Hanifin is telling enough to how talented a player he is, considering Eichel is regarded as a generational star, a virtual lock as a projected top-two pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

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Kane excited by 'fresh start' with Sabres: report

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 7:45 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

NHL.com

Left wing Evander Kane said he is looking forward to a "fresh start" with the Buffalo Sabres after being traded to them by the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.

"I'm definitely glad to be moving on and I'm going to have a fresh start with a new team," Kane told Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com. "I'm looking forward to the future for sure."

That future won't start until next season because Kane is sidelined after surgery to repair his left shoulder. He told LeBrun the timing of the surgery was not based on him being scratched from a game last week and a reported problem with some teammates.

"I had it (the shoulder injury) last year and it got worse over the last two months," Kane said. "And actually, when they went in there to do the surgery, they found a hole in my shoulder as well and some other things they had to fix. It was a little more complicated than everyone thought at first, so it's really good we got it fixed now.

"That some people thought I was having surgery just to end my season, that's so not true. That's the biggest thing I want to make clear."

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Sabres acquire Kane from Jets in blockbuster trade

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 7:16 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

NHL.com

The Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets started the run-up to the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline with a bang Wednesday, completing a blockbuster trade that sends forward Evander Kane and defenseman Zach Bogosian to the Buffalo Sabres for a package that includes defenseman Tyler Myers, forward Drew Stafford, two prospects and a first-round pick.

"It’s nice to go somewhere where you feel wanted and you feel that they want to put you in a situation to have success," Kane told Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com.

Buffalo holds three first-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft. The Sabres have previously acquired first-round picks in this draft from the New York Islanders and the St. Louis Blues. Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said the Sabres will decide which pick is transferred to complete the trade.

"This was not a knee-jerk reaction," Cheveldayoff said, noting there was strong interest in Kane from several teams. "I'm excited what this trade brings to our organization. … I feel good with the 'now,' but I’m really excited about the prospects of the future in this whole deal."

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Sabres shake up roster again as rebuild continues

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 5:26 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- For the second straight season, the Buffalo Sabres have shaken up their roster in a big way near the NHL Trade Deadline.

The Sabres traded defenseman Tyler Myers, forward Drew Stafford, forward prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux and a 2015 first-round pick to the Winnipeg Jets for forward Evander Kane, defenseman Zach Bogosian and goaltender Jason Kasdorf.

"It was shocking," Sabres forward Marcus Foligno said. "Obviously Myers and [Stafford] have been here for a long time. They're great guys, good guys in the room. It's tough to see some good friends leave, but that's the business of this game and each day you just have to wake up and go with it."

Buffalo later traded goaltender Jhonas Enroth to the Dallas Stars for goaltender Anders Lindback and a conditional 2016 third-round pick.

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Stars acquire goaltender Enroth from Sabres

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 4:36 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

NHL.com

The Dallas Stars have acquired goaltender Jhonas Enroth from the Buffalo Sabres in a trade for goaltender Anders Lindback and a conditional third-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

The trade comes at a time when the Stars might be seeking some relief for incumbent starting goalie Kari Lehtonen, who is tied for the NHL lead with 46 starts this season.

Enroth, 26, is in his sixth NHL season, all with the Sabres. He is 13-21-2 with a 3.27 goals-against average and .903 save percentage in 37 games this season. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

"Jhonas is an extremely instinctive, experienced goaltender and head coach Lindy Ruff has a familiarity with his game," Dallas general manager Jim Nill said in a statement. "Going down the stretch, where we have five more back-to-back situations, it was important for us to have a game-tested goaltender to help balance the workload."

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Contending Jets address current, future needs

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 4:20 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has built a reputation as a patient, exacting NHL executive with a very long-term view of his organization's growth.

Cheveldayoff spoke with the Winnipeg media Wednesday after the Jets' blockbuster trade that sent left wing Evander Kane, defenseman Zach Bogosian and prospect Jason Kasdorf to the Buffalo Sabres for defenseman Tyler Myers, forward Drew Stafford, forward prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux, and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

"It was a situation where I wanted to look at the best interests of the organization, and there was an opportunity here to address something right now and to address something for the future," Cheveldayoff said.

"This was not a knee-jerk reaction. This was something that, any time you can put together something like this, it takes a lot of work. There was an abundance of caution that went through a lot of the decisions. There was an abundance of time that went through a lot of these things as well.

"I feel good with the now, but I'm really excited about the prospects of the future in this whole deal."

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Analysis: Game-changing trade for Jets' Cheveldayoff

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 4:02 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The Winnipeg Jets are a better team and deeper organizationally today than they were yesterday. This is the double-down people in the hockey world have been waiting for from Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff. He delivered it in game-changing fashion Wednesday.

"It just fit," Jets coach Paul Maurice told NHL.com in a phone interview. "It fits what we're trying to do."

The Jets acquired defenseman Tyler Myers, right wing Drew Stafford, forward prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from the Buffalo Sabres for forward Evander Kane, defenseman Zach Bogosian, and college goalie Jason Kasdorf, a junior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

This trade works for the Jets on multiple fronts, which is why it's a home run for Cheveldayoff, his first in four seasons as Winnipeg's GM.

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For Nabokov, career almost abandoned ends at start

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 3:28 PM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov retired from a 14-year NHL career Wednesday, one that almost ended before it started.

Twice, in fact, Nabokov almost bailed on the San Jose Sharks franchise he leads in most goaltending categories.

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Defensive duos showing the love

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

People around the globe will be celebrating Valentine's Day this Saturday. It is a chance for dynamic duos to show how much they care about one another and to celebrate their love and affection.

With that in mind, it seemed fitting to take a look at some of the highest scoring defensive duos that are earning lots of love from fantasy owners this season.

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Flyers facing uphill climb in quest to make playoffs

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 9:46 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Philadelphia Flyers are making a habit of testing the limits of how difficult it is to gain ground in the NHL standings.

The Flyers are one of the hottest teams in the League, picking up points in seven straight games after a 2-1 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday gave them a 5-0-2 record since Jan. 20, when they beat the rival Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 at home.

The morning of that game, the Flyers were 11 points out of a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

On Wednesday morning, not having lost in regulation time since then, the Flyers are eight points behind the Boston Bruins for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

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Quote of the Day

That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do ... It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it.

— Flames forward Mikael Backlund on scoring the overtime winner against the Ducks in Gm. 3