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Features

Team Europe roster projection for World Cup

Thursday, 09.17.2015 / 5:25 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

David Satriano - NHL.com Fantasy Staff Writer

Team Europe, coached by Ralph Krueger, will have plenty of NHL and international experience but figures to be at a disadvantage in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey because its players haven't played together before as a group.

The roster will be comprised of players from European nations, excluding Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Russia. It's likely to prominently feature players from Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany and Denmark, although players from other countries are eligible.

Former NHL forward Miroslav Satan, who played for Slovakia's national team, is general manager. It's his task to assemble a group of players from multiple countries who can quickly come together as a cohesive unit for the tournament, which will be held Sept. 17-Oct. 1, 2016, in Toronto.

Here's what Team Europe's roster could look like (alphabetically by position):

Babcock focused on restoring Maple Leafs' luster

Thursday, 09.17.2015 / 3:46 PM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Don't bother Mike Babcock with questions about the past.

That was the message from the new Toronto Maple Leafs coach when he met with the media at MasterCard Centre on Thursday as his players took their physicals prior to the start of training camp, which begins Friday in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"We can spend all the time you want talking about the last this many years and that many years; none of that is on my radar at all," Babcock said. "It starts here today for me. My job starts today as far as the on-ice product and we're going to work hard to make that better. We're going to work hard to restore the Maple Leafs to the rightful place in the League."

Penguins expect young defensemen to take next step

Thursday, 09.17.2015 / 1:56 PM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are confident their offensive prowess will return this season, but their defensive expectations remain tepid.

Pittsburgh responded to a disconcerting offensive effort throughout the final month of last season and the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by adding forwards Phil Kessel, Eric Fehr, Nick Bonino and Sergei Plotnikov. The offense is expected to return to form with arguably the most depth the Penguins have had since winning the Stanley Cup in 2009.

There was a tradeoff, however.

"We had a good offseason, especially with our forwards," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said. "We clearly have more depth than we did a year ago. We'll have more balance. We'll be able to play the game different ways and we'll have a better chance to score. We all know it's hard to score in this League.

"Our defense, it's time now. … We'll watch our defense, because it is a little bit younger. We'll see how that goes in the first half of the season."

Huberdeau signs two-year contract with Panthers

Thursday, 09.17.2015 / 1:48 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Restricted free agent left wing Jonathan Huberdeau signed a two-year contract with the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

Financial terms of the contract were not released, but TSN reported it's worth $6.5 million.

"Fantastic," Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said. "I'm real happy for [Huberdeau] and I’m real happy for our team. It's good to have everything settled and be a whole unit. Sometimes it takes longer than others, but I was confident we'd get it done. It was just a matter of time. You get no extra points for doing it sooner than later."

Ten training camp tryouts who could stick with teams

Thursday, 09.17.2015 / 12:48 PM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

David Satriano - NHL.com Staff Writer

As training camps across the NHL open, many free agents still are looking for contracts. Several players, including former all-stars and Stanley Cup winners, have agreed to professional tryout offers in hopes of performing well during the preseason and signing a contract for the season.

Whether it's because of an injury or poor play, numerous players accepted PTOs in lieu of contracts hoping to make an impression. Last season, Scott Gomez signed a PTO with the New Jersey Devils and ended up being signed by the team in December. His 34 points in 58 games exceeded expectations and tied for third on the team while playing far fewer games than most of his teammates.

Here are the 10 players who signed PTOs who have the best chances of making their teams, according to NHL.com:

Sabres' Evander Kane sees '40 or 50' goals as doable

Thursday, 09.17.2015 / 11:56 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- The past year for Evander Kane has been one he'd like to put behind him. The new start he'll get with the Buffalo Sabres is just the opportunity he's been seeking.

Kane spoke with the media Thursday at the first day of training camp at First Niagara Center and showed that his trademark confidence and swagger is still intact when he talked about what could happen if he stays healthy for a full season.

"If I can ever play 82 games … obviously I can score 30 goals. Will I is more the question," said Kane, who had 30 in 2011-12 as a 20-year-old with the Winnipeg Jets. "I hope to score as many goals as possible. Thirty is just kind of a set number. I've already scored 30. So maybe I want to score 40 or 50."

Unmasked: Goalie symposium 'think tank' for coaches

Thursday, 09.17.2015 / 11:17 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Longtime NHL goalie and new San Jose Sharks assistant coach/goaltending coach Johan Hedberg called it a gathering of goalie nerds, and he meant it as a compliment.

Hedberg was happy to be one of more than 100 goalie coaches from around the world that got together in Madison, Wis., in late August for the inaugural Network Goaltending Symposium, two-and-a-half days of sharing ideas about a constantly-evolving position.

Hedberg, who left the New Jersey Devils' goalie development role in the summer for the top job in San Jose, was joined by new Sharks goaltending development coach Evgeni Nabokov at the symposium. Eight NHL teams were represented, which followed a week-long Network Goaltending pro camp that also attracted goalies from eight NHL teams.

"It's good for us who work at the pro level because the guys at this event are so interested in goaltending," Hedberg told NHL.com. "They are the goalie nerds of the world and they have a lot of ideas, a lot of thoughts and put a lot of time and thought process into why things are different ways and what to try and what not to try and so forth. We have a lot to learn from these people, so I really appreciated it and got my mind into the hockey mode again."

Sixteen storylines to watch as training camps begin

Thursday, 09.17.2015 / 10:31 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

The ice is down, the skates are sharpened and NHL players are starting to report to training camp. They'll have to hit the ice on the fly; preseason games start Sunday, and the regular season begins Oct. 7.

Here are 16 storylines to watch as the 30 teams head to training camp:

Bruins view offseason upheaval as necessary move

Thursday, 09.17.2015 / 10:30 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

TORONTO -- The Boston Bruins had a summer of massive change, and it widely was believed to be a direct reaction to the organization missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007.

But the Bruins captain doesn't think so.

Defenseman Zdeno Chara's first season with the Bruins was 2006-07, which was the last time they missed the playoffs. Since then the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and reached the Final again in 2013, where they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.

According to Chara, the struggles last season showed it was time for the Bruins to put that run of success behind them and prepare for the next run, even though they finished two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final Eastern Conference wild card.

Atkinson, Mrazek top Jensen's fantasy sleepers list

Thursday, 09.17.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Top-tier players at each position are needed to compete for a fantasy title, but late-round, under-the-radar options with upside, known as sleepers, can pay large dividends.

Fantasy sleepers are found late in drafts with a chance to outperform expectations, but this concept needs to be distinguished from breakout, draft bargain, and bounce-back candidates. Breakouts (i.e. Jakub Voracek, Vladimir Tarasenko in 2014-15) usually are obtained in the 90 range, or a little later in drafts, but can reach superstar production after showing signs of promise in the past. Draft bargains (Blake Wheeler, Radim Vrbata, Scott Hartnell in 2014-15) have pedigree but are overlooked. Bounce-backs, whether injury (Pekka Rinne, Kris Letang in 2014-15) or performance (Rick Nash, Braden Holtby in 2014-15), have a track record of fantasy relevance that comes with a factor that hindered their ceiling the previous season.

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