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Hall of Fame inductees reminisce at fan forum

Saturday, 11.15.2014 / 7:05 PM / Hall of Fame

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Mike Modano is connected to each of his fellow classmates this weekend at the Hockey Hall of Fame in a unique way.

Modano nearly played for coach Pat Burns before his NHL career ever started. One of his highest highs and one of his lowest lows came against Rob Blake and Dominik Hasek. Some of his greatest playoff series came against Peter Forsberg.

Then there is referee Bill McCreary. When the members of the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2014 gathered Saturday in the Great Hall to tell stories about their careers and answer questions from a room full of eager fans, Modano recalled an important moment early in his career.

"I was a little bit of a whiny, spoiled teenager when I started," Modano said. "Bill came up to me, he pulled me aside and he told me, 'Mike, if you show a little effort to work through some of the clutching and grabbing and not try to show us up as far as embellishing some of the falls out there, we're always going to give you the benefit of the doubt.' I've always remembered that."

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Captain Giordano leading Flames on all fronts

Saturday, 11.15.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Captain Mark Giordano has found more than one way to lead the Calgary Flames.

The 31-year-old not only serves as the focal point for Calgary's leadership contingent, the defenseman is at the forefront of the Flames offense. It doesn't stop there for Giordano though. The product of Toronto not only leads the Flames in points, he's tops among all NHL defensemen with 20.

Which leaves but one adjective, albeit a surprising one, for Calgary coach Bob Hartley to describe his leader.

"Boring," Hartley said before cracking a smile.

"He's the perfect example. He's a great mirror. I always enjoy sitting with him. I know we can always count on him. I've said it many times. In Denver, they were calling Joe Sakic 'Ordinary Joe.' Maybe over here we have 'Simple Gio.'"

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'Calculated' Burns pushed Devils, Daneyko

Saturday, 11.15.2014 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Ken Daneyko went to Pat Burns with a cigar, a smile, a handshake and a mea culpa on June 10, 2003, less than 24 hours after Burns essentially reserved his place in the Hockey Hall of Fame by leading the New Jersey Devils to the Stanley Cup championship.

"That's when Pat said, 'You know, Kenny, it's all part of it and I knew it was going to make a difference,'" said Daneyko, the former Devils defenseman. "It was about winning. It always was about winning."

Burns won 501 games in a Hall of Fame career, but it was his victory with the Devils on June 9, 2003 that brought him to the pinnacle of the sport. One of the last monumental coaching decisions of his life happened the day before he became a champion. Daneyko was at the center of it.

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Courage, respect defined Burns' Hall of Fame career

Saturday, 11.15.2014 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Pat Burns started his coaching career 31 years ago as an assistant with the Hull Olympiques who could burrow through his players immaturity with a stern stare and booming voice emanating out of his bearded face, a look born from his work as an undercover police officer in Gatineau, Quebec.

"He would show up at games with a long beard because he had missed a week because he was doing some undercover stuff," said Luc Robitaille, then a 17-year-old rookie with the Olympiques. "He was pretty scary."

Twenty-one years later, Burns, always revered as the toughest and most hardened man in any rink he was in, raised the Stanley Cup after coaching the New Jersey Devils to a Game 7 win against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

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Penguins penalty kill saves win against Maple Leafs

Friday, 11.14.2014 / 11:44 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- The Pittsburgh Penguins have the top-rated power play in the NHL, but their special-teams work at the other end of the ice helped preserve a 2-1 win Friday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto had six opportunities with the man-advantage, including a 6-on-4 situation for two minutes late in the third period, but Pittsburgh's penalty killers were perfect.

"It is all about dedication and blocking shots, hard work and goaltending," Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis said. "All these pieces were on point [Friday] and that's why we came out of here with a big win."

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Hall of Fame inductees embody hockey's globalization

Friday, 11.14.2014 / 7:09 PM / Hall of Fame

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- One of the greatest developments for hockey in the latter part of the 20th century was the increased globalization of the game and the development of star players from all over the planet.

The Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2014 embodies that movement as well as maybe any group inducted to this shrine to the sport. The four players, from four countries, each played a pivotal role in an important international triumph. Someone from the Class of 2014 won every major international tournament from 1994 to 2002.

Peter Forsberg authored one of the most memorable goals in the history of hockey to help Sweden win gold at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics; Mike Modano helped the United States win the 1996 World Cup of Hockey; Dominik Hasek claimed tournament MVP honors while leading the Czech Republic to gold at the 1998 Nagano Olympics; and Rob Blake helped Canada atone for losses in the previous three tournaments with a victory at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics.

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Hasek had only one goal: to be the man in the net

Friday, 11.14.2014 / 6:15 PM / Hall of Fame

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- There was never any other choice for Dominik Hasek. If he was going to play hockey, he was going to be the goalie.

"I was a goalie from practice No. 1," Hasek said here Friday at the start of Hockey Hall of Fame weekend. "I remember I was 3 years old and I always asked my parents and grandfather to shoot at me in the kitchen at home, in the meadow around the house. I never tried to score on anyone. I always was in the net to stop the ball or stop the puck. When I was 6 and at my first practice, I came to the hockey rink as the goalie."

Turns out it was a very astute decision. Hasek received his Hockey Hall of Fame ring with this year's other inductees: Mike Modano, Rob Blake, Peter Forsberg, referee Bill McCreary and coach Pat Burns (accepted by his widow, Line Gignac Burns). The group will be inducted Monday.

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Kane, Subban slumps among hot fantasy topics

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar's fantasy struggles in the early parts of the 2014-15 season have been well-documented. He has seven points in 14 games after putting together a 70-point effort a season ago. Coming into this season, Kopitar was drafted on average with the 19th pick. Right now he ranks 449th among all players in Yahoo fantasy leagues.

It's been an ugly start for Kopitar. However, he missed three-and-a-half games because of an upper-body injury. We can sort of give him a free pass for his struggles due to the injury. An excuse, perhaps. Plus, Kopitar has two goals and two assists in the past three games. Maybe he's breaking out of the slump. If so, the buy-low window may have just disappeared.

If you can't acquire Kopitar, there are two other elite players you should be targeting: Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban. Try and pry either of these guys away from their owners at a discounted price right now. It may be the last chance you have.

Let's take a look at their situations.

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Unusual road has Kerdiles on cusp of reaching NHL

Friday, 11.14.2014 / 11:56 AM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

If you trace it back a few years, the ice hockey timeline for Nicolas Kerdiles seems pretty standard.

A stint with the United States National Team Development Program, a few international appearances, some college hockey, and now his rookie season in the American Hockey League with the Norfolk Admirals after his first National Hockey League training camp this past September.

Before all that, before the call to the USNTDP, before going No. 36 to the Anaheim Ducks in the 2012 NHL Draft, Kerdiles' road to professional hockey began 20 minutes from the Honda Center on a suburban street in Irvine, Calif., with a neighbor who needed an extra in a game of roller hockey.

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Honda to sponsor NHL All-Star Weekend as part of expanded relationship

Friday, 11.14.2014 / 9:00 AM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL.com

NEW YORK / TORONTO ─ The National Hockey League® (NHL) today announced it has expanded its relationship with Honda. As part of a multi-year agreement, American Honda Motor Co. will include Honda Canada Inc. as League sponsor in the automotive category in North America.

Honda will sustain its strong commitment to the League's national broadcast partners, NBC in the U.S. and Rogers in Canada. Honda will further support its NHL® relationship through a significant media commitment including promotions across the NHL's media platforms such as NHL.com, NHL Social™ and NHL Mobile™. The new agreement also leverages the NHL brand through use of League marks and collective use of team marks in Honda's national consumer and trade advertising and promotion.

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Quote of the Day

For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday
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