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NHL Insider

Maple Leafs trying their best to move forward

Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 8:49 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

TORONTO -- A new era dawned on the Toronto Maple Leafs when they reported for training camp Thursday, but aspects of the recent past remain.

Despite a remade front office and a message of new hope, the majority of the day was spent answering for the sins of the past, particularly missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, and sidestepping fresh controversies created before the 2014-15 team even took the ice for the first time.

"There's a tremendous amount of scrutiny that takes place," coach Randy Carlyle said. "We understand that. That's the education that we're trying to bring to our players, that this isn't easy. But no one said it was easy to play in the NHL. It's difficult. And there are days that are more difficult than others."

Thursday was difficult at times when Maple Leafs new and old arrived at MasterCard Centre for physicals and other off-ice activities before taking the ice Friday.

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Flyers hope to see Timonen return to good health

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 3:45 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PINE HILL, N.J. -- The Philadelphia Flyers acknowledge there will be a sizable deficit to cover if defenseman Kimmo Timonen is out for a significant amount of time this season.

However, Timonen's teammates will trade his on-ice absence for knowing the 39-year-old will at least be healthy.

The Flyers announced Aug. 5 that Timonen had been diagnosed with blood clots in his lower right leg and both lungs. He spent time in a hospital in his native Finland receiving treatment, but has been in the Philadelphia area for about two weeks.

"Just good to see him around and in good spirits," defenseman Nicklas Grossmann said. "When things happen to people like that, you're always worried about the person. You don't really think much about the hockey player Kimmo, but about the person and his family and all that. You want him to get healthy quick."

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Canadiens view goalie Price as one of their leaders

Monday, 09.15.2014 / 8:32 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

LAVAL, Quebec – The word "transition" was used often at the Montreal Canadiens' annual charity golf tournament on Monday.

Carey Price
Carey Price - CAREER
Goalie - MTL
RECORD: 179-137-44
GAA: 2.52 | SVP: .917
General manager Marc Bergevin and coach Michel Therrien used the word immediately to explain their decision to go without a captain for the second time in team history this season, instead naming Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban to serve as alternates.

The group represents the past, present and future of the team, and it's possible a new leader will indeed emerge from that group to replace the departed Brian Gionta and become Canadiens captain next summer.

But it is just as possible, if not likely, that the actual leader of the team was unofficially named when the team decided to forego naming a captain.

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Sabres' Trottier excited to be behind bench again

Sunday, 09.14.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Bryan Trottier was flattered when Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Nolan started calling this summer with questions about hockey. He never expected those calls would result in a job offer.

More than a decade removed from his last stint behind an NHL bench, the Hockey Hall of Fame member now is working his way back into the League and excited to help a young Sabres team rebuild.

"He [Nolan] was calling to run some ideas by me," Trottier told NHL.com. "I'm thinking it's going to be about young kids and maybe I'll give him a hand here or there. It was really kind of neat when he asked the question."

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Stastny ready for new challenges with Blues

Friday, 09.12.2014 / 9:27 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Paul Stastny is excited to begin the second chapter of his NHL career with the St. Louis Blues this season.

The 28-year old center, who left the Colorado Avalanche this summer to sign a four-year, $28 million contract with the Blues, participated in his first informal skate Friday and said afterwards he was a little apprehensive when arrived in St. Louis this week.

Paul Stastny
Center - STL
GOALS: 25 | ASST: 35 | PTS: 60
SOG: 150 | +/-: 9
"I think there's a little nervousness … there always is," Stastny told the Blues' website. "I think that comes with the territory, whether it's a new locker room, whether it's the start of the season. I think everyone does. If you don't get nervous, I think you lose your excitement and the love of the game. But at the same time, I'm a quiet guy so I'll sit around and fly under the radar and kind of get used to what guys have that dry sense of humor and what guys don't, what guys you can push and what guys you can't. I think once the season starts, I think you each kind of lead by example on the ice and from there everything kind of falls [into place] in the locker room and away from the rink."
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Canadiens' Bozon ready to make his mark after illness

Friday, 09.12.2014 / 6:22 PM / NHL Insider

Emna Achour - LNH.com Staff Writer

BROSSARD, Quebec -- More than five months after being afflicted with a rare form of meningitis and nearly losing his life, Tim Bozon arrived at the Montreal Canadiens' training facility as ready as he's ever been to play hockey.

Speaking to the Montreal media for the first time since his illness as the Canadiens kicked off their rookie camp Friday, the 20-year-old forward prospect reassured everyone he is in perfect health.

"If I wasn't at 100 percent then I wouldn't be here today," said Bozon, a third-round pick (No. 64) by the Canadiens in the 2012 NHL Draft. "There was no pressure from the Canadiens, but I know they won't be doing me any favors, either. That's normal; this is a sports environment and it's competitive. It's up to me to carve out a niche. As of [Saturday], I want to be a normal player, act like nothing ever happened and turn the page."

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Subban's star shines brightly as he enters his prime

Friday, 09.12.2014 / 3:21 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

P.K. Subban
Defense - MTL
GOALS: 10 | ASST: 43 | PTS: 53
SOG: 204 | +/-: -4
As if Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban wasn't already going to light up the red carpet at the 2014 NHL Awards with his gregarious and convivial personality, he turned it up a notch when he arrived in a bright orange linen suit with a glitzy gold watch on his left wrist and his lavish new Olympic championship ring on his right hand.

Subban didn't need a big slap shot or a wild goal celebration to grab the attention of the crowd outside the Encore Theater in Wynn Las Vegas on June 24. He was as flashy as ever.

But no one should have been surprised at Subban's suit and bling, or that he was there in a dual capacity -- as a finalist for the EA Sports NHL 15 cover vote and as a roving reporter for NHL Network to interview the stars on the red carpet and backstage.

Subban embraced his evening in front of the camera the same way he embraces everything in his life, on and off the ice, on and off camera -- he jumped into the spotlight, felt it warm him up and let his big, bold personality burst through.

According to Subban and some people who know him best, none of it was an act. None of it ever is.

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Analysis: Rules changes could create more scoring

Thursday, 09.11.2014 / 5:39 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Though the NHL's general managers didn't have an interest in devising major rule changes when they met six months ago in Boca Raton, Fla., they did come up with a plan to create subtle changes geared toward increasing offense.

After the majority of their recommended changes were approved by the NHL Competition Committee, the NHL Board of Governors and the National Hockey League Players' Association's Executive Board, the League announced the changes for the 2014-15 season Thursday.

Not surprisingly, they are similar, and in many cases the exact same, as the ideas the GMs discussed, debated and recommended six months ago. And yes, the majority of the changes have been written into the rulebook with the underlying goal of increasing offense.

Here are six examples:

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Maple Leafs more than happy with Rielly's progress

Thursday, 09.11.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly winced when Montreal Canadiens foe Max Pacioretty, using his own likeness on NHL 15, scored against him as the two demonstrated the soon-to-be-released game during an event earlier this month at MasterCard Centre.

"Ouch!" Rielly said. "I'm going to hear about that one from Randy between periods."

A little humor to ease the tension.

Randy, of course, is Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle; a demanding, no-nonsense taskmaster who smiles and jokes in public but is just a little more direct behind closed doors.

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Islanders' Okposo eager to 'take that next step'

Wednesday, 09.10.2014 / 8:57 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Kyle Okposo
Right Wing - NYI
GOALS: 27 | ASST: 42 | PTS: 69
SOG: 195 | +/-: -9
Not many things went right for the New York Islanders last season, but they were certainly pleased with the emergence of right wing Kyle Okposo.

The 26-year-old, who battled inconsistency in prior seasons, found chemistry on the top line alongside center John Tavares and led the Islanders with 69 points (27 goals, 42 assists) in 71 games. He finished in the NHL top 20 in scoring, though he missed the final 10 games of the season with a lower-body injury.

Okposo spent the summer in his native Minnesota but returned to New York recently and skated at the Islanders practice facility on Wednesday. The power forward is aiming to build off his career season with hopes of helping the Islanders qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs after finishing 14th in the Eastern Conference.

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Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff