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Preseason standouts worth targeting in fantasy

Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider

Last season was a prime example of why monitoring preseason roster activity can pay huge dividends in fantasy hockey.

I identified five under-the-radar preseason standouts last October based on factors including line combinations, elevated roles and production. Three of them proved to be top-100 fantasy players.

Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning latched on with Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat and went on to post 65 points, a plus-38 (T-1st in NHL) and 191 shots on goal. He finished 21st among all fantasy assets. Not far behind was Filip Forsberg, 35th in Yahoo leagues, with only the third rookie season of 60-plus points, a plus-15 or better and 230-plus shots on goal (SOG) in the expansion era. Tyler Toffoli of the Los Angeles Kings finished 93rd, catapulted by a hot start alongside Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson.

Mario Lemieux turns 50, NHL players share memories

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 10:41 AM / NHL Insider

Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner and chairman Mario Lemieux, one of the greatest NHL players of all time, turned 50 on Monday.

To commemorate Lemieux's special day, asked players across the League for their memories of the man known as "The Magnificent One."

Lemieux, who battled health issues throughout his 17-season NHL career, had 1,723 points in 915 games, all with the Penguins. He won the Stanley Cup twice as a player (1991, 1992) and again as Penguins owner in 2009.

Lemieux 'shocked' by surprise 50th party: Bergevin

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 10:41 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin turned 50 this year with little fanfare, but he understands why that won't be the case for one of his lifelong friends.

Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux turned 50 on Monday, nearly two months after his former minor hockey teammate Bergevin hit the milestone on Aug. 11.

The two technically are competitors in the NHL's Eastern Conference, but the friendship they forged playing for the same minor hockey team in Pee-Wee, Bantam and Midget in southwest Montreal nearly 40 years ago remains as strong as ever.

Opening week has Babcock, Kessel, McDavid debut

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 10:00 AM / Weekly Primer

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

The 2015-16 NHL season gets underway Wednesday with four games, including two Original Six matchups.

This week, seven coaches will debut with a new team, a potential generational type player will play his first NHL game, and a second team arrives within New York City limits.

Here are games that should garner plenty of attention:

2015-16 picks: Capitals will be big winners

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which begins Wednesday.

How will the 2015-16 season unfold? That's the question we asked several staffers and the answers were surprising, to say the least.

If our collection of prognosticators are right, fans of the Washington Capitals will be very happy. The Capitals appeared as Stanley Cup champions on four of nine ballots, while Tampa Bay and Anaheim also received multiple votes. Washington star Alex Ovechkin was a near-unanimous choice to win the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy for the fourth straight season, while Braden Holtby received some serious consideration to claim his first Vezina Trophy.

In the heavily discussed battle for the Calder Memorial Trophy, it was Edmonton forward Connor McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, who earned the early nod, named as the winner on seven ballots. Buffalo forward Jack Eichel, The No. 2 pick in the 2015 Draft, was selected on the other two ballots.

For a snapshot on how the prognosticators see the season playing out, check out the predictions below:

Lightning's Drouin gains confidence on Stamkos line

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Corey Long - Correspondent

TAMPA -- When Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin entered training camp last month, he wanted to put a rocky rookie season behind him.

Drouin, the No. 3 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, missed all of camp last season with a fractured thumb and started 2014-15 with a weekend's worth of rehab games for Syracuse of the American Hockey League before joining the Lightning in mid-October.

Despite playing 70 regular-season games and six in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Drouin didn't seem to fit in to the plans of coach Jon Cooper. Drouin had four goals and 28 assists but couldn't find a consistent line and was on the bench more times than not during the postseason.

Eight potential breakout players in 2015-16

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which begins Wednesday.

One year ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning were hoping forward Nikita Kucherov could have a breakout season, prove his skill could translate in the NHL, that he was worth the tough love he was shown during his rookie season of 2013-14.

At the same time, the Calgary Flames were hoping center Sean Monahan could build on his strong rookie season to bust out in a big way, and the Detroit Red Wings were banking on Tomas Tatar to become a go-to scorer in his second full season.

All three answered.

Sabres' Eichel preseason pick for Calder Trophy

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, the first two players picked at the 2015 NHL Draft, are considered by many to be the frontrunners for the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.

McDavid, chosen No. 1 by the Edmonton Oilers, said having an impact each shift, regardless of whether it results in a goal or not, is most important to him.

"Numbers are one thing, but some of the best games I ever played have been games in which I didn't get a point or maybe had one point," he said. "You don't necessarily have to put up a lot of points to be impactful. There are lots of ways you can impact a game, and that's something I take a lot of pride in, trying to impact the game in any way possible."

Eichel, selected No. 2 by the Buffalo Sabres, believes team success will lead to individual success.

Blackhawks receive Stanley Cup championship rings

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 9:41 PM / 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

The Chicago Blackhawks received their 2015 Stanley Cup championship rings during a private ceremony Sunday.

Each ring has 355 round, pear, marquise and princess-cut diamonds, totaling 10.8 carats, set in 14-karat white gold, the Blackhawks said. The top of the ring has "Stanley Cup Champions" around the Blackhawks logo; the left side commemorates their six Cup titles; and the right side features Chicago’s secondary logo and the player’s name and number.

The ring was created by Jostens.

The Blackhawks begin defense of their third championship in six seasons Wednesday when they host the New York Rangers (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

Sharks forward Torres to have Player Safety hearing

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 9:16 PM / Department of Player Safety News

San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres will have a hearing Monday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg during a preseason game Saturday.

Silfverberg was hit by Torres at 12:45 of the second period. He left the game and did not return. Torres received a match penalty for an illegal check to the head.

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: illegal check to the head/interference/charging.

Torres waived his right to an in-person hearing Sunday.

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Quote of the Day

[Stamkos] is a great teammate and a great leader, that's why he's got the 'C'. He brings that tremendous work ethic to the rink and he's one of the top players in the game. I know if I put the passes where they are supposed to be, there's a very good chance he's going to put it in the back of the net.

— Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin
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