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NHL Insider

Boyle awed by role of friend in Ice Bucket Challenge

Tuesday, 08.26.2014 / 4:28 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

It's been an eventful, sometimes difficult summer for Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brian Boyle.

He got married one week after he and the New York Rangers were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final. Three weeks after that, he signed a three-year contract with Tampa Bay.

But a summer that started with such promise ended tragically with Boyle burying his best friend. It was at the recent wake of former Boston College hockey player Corey Griffin that Boyle caught up with another friend, former BC baseball captain Pete Frates, the man who unwittingly touched millions of people as one of the driving forces behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

"Isn't it amazing? This thing was pretty organic by Pete and his family," Boyle told NHL.com. "Who hasn't done it yet? You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn't. That's got to be the coolest feeling for Pete."

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Paul Stastny eager to be a winner in his hometown

Monday, 08.25.2014 / 9:58 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Paul Stastny is not one for taking strolls down memory lane.

The St. Louis Blues' new center isn't one to make bold predictions either. Stastny certainly wasn't going to predict that he would one day suit up in the city where he spent much of his childhood.

But like many who consider it a dream to play in their hometown, Stastny is living out his dream now, and for at least the next four seasons.

"God has a plan for myself, and whatever it is I take it in stride and I'm happy with the situation I'm in right now," said Stastny, who was formally introduced Monday evening at Fox Sports Midwest Live! inside Ballpark Village, which is just north of Busch Stadium, home of baseball's St. Louis Cardinals.

Paul Stastny
Center - STL
GOALS: 25 | ASST: 35 | PTS: 60
SOG: 150 | +/-: 9
"I was just excited about playing juniors, then from juniors to playing college," said the 28-year-old Stastny, who was eight when his father, Hockey Hall of famer Peter Stastny, played for the Blues. "I didn't care where I got drafted. I got drafted, I was excited to keep developing as a player, then I got to Colorado and I was excited. I never looked that far down the road. That's the way I've always been. You can never really hope for stuff like that."

Stastny, who signed a four-year, $28 million contract with the Blues after spending the first eight seasons of his NHL career with the Central Division rival Colorado Avalanche, grew up in St. Louis, where Peter Stastny concluded his career with the Blues in 1995.


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Tribute for Demitra makes emotional stop in Trencin

Friday, 08.22.2014 / 7:01 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The traveling tribute to Pavol Demitra made an emotional Friday night in Trencin, Slovakia, which is the birthplace of Demitra.

A group of St. Louis Blues alumni and a group of Slovakian hockey stars have been staging a series of games to honor Demitra, who died nearly three years ago after he and 43 other passengers died in a plane crash in Yaroslavl, Russia.

Demitra played for the Blues from 1996 to 2004. He also played for the Ottawa Senators, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks during his NHL career.

Friday, the series settled in Trencin, the birthplace of Demitra and several other high-profile NHL stars. Demitra’s father, also named Pavol, was on hand for the game and visited the players before the game and also dropped the ceremonial first puck.

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Former NHL player Wilson coping with ALS

Friday, 08.22.2014 / 12:00 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

It was late Oct. 2013 when former NHL player Mitch Wilson began experiencing something unusual in his right arm during a long journey home from Hawaii along the Pacific.

Since retiring from hockey in 1995, Wilson had been enjoying life on the high seas the past 20 years as a tugboat captain.

"For some reason, the ocean was always a calming influence for me; it was therapeutic," he said.

But during that trip, Wilson's arm began to twitch, and his right hand starting cramping and losing strength. He had blood drawn and went through a series of tests but not until he saw a neurologist some five months later did he receive the unsettling news.

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Rangers' Lundqvist ready to roll after Cup Final run

Friday, 08.22.2014 / 11:54 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The long lightning bolt that cracked behind him as he tossed the tennis ball up in the air Thursday night was symbolic of Henrik Lundqvist's return to New York City after a summer in Sweden.

It was electric. It was energetic. So was Lundqvist.

"Going back to Sweden, that's where I recharge," Lundqvist said. "You see family, friends. I had a great summer. It went by pretty fast, but coming back to New York is always a good feeling. You get a break for two months and you start missing the city, your friends here, the team and teammates. It's always a good feeling to come back."

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Jordan Subban scores alley-oop on brother Malcolm

Tuesday, 08.19.2014 / 9:29 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Jordan Subban was asked to do something unique in the practice-ending shootout Tuesday.

Did he ever.

The Vancouver Canucks defenseman prospect scored an alley-oop goal against his brother Malcolm Subban, a Boston Bruins goalie prospect, at a preseason conditioning camp in Toronto.

"That was the first time I tried it; we just made it up as we went along," Jordan told the Canucks website. "We were told to have fun and do something silly, like the NBA dunk contest, so I guess that was my inspiration."

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Commissioner Bettman takes Ice Bucket Challenge

Saturday, 08.16.2014 / 5:41 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

With so many charitable causes seeking much-needed donations, who knew a series of videos showing people dunking ice water over their heads could make such a difference?

The exponential growth of the Ice Bucket Challenge through social media has helped raise overall awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, and members of the hockey community have done their part.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman accepted the challenge Thursday while in Columbus to help promote the 2015 NHL All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena. Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, Winnipeg Jets executive chairman Mark Chipman and ESPN host John Buccigross were among those who issued the challenge, the Commissioner said.

Commissioner Bettman challenged Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan, Calgary Flames president Brian Burke, Los Angeles Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake and Columbus Blue Jackets owner John McConnell.

Burke accepted the challenge on Friday, as did McConnell.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly accepted the challenge Saturday.

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Kane highlights NHL players in Buffalo summer league

Saturday, 08.16.2014 / 10:51 AM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Patrick Kane
Right Wing - CHI
GOALS: 29 | ASST: 40 | PTS: 69
SOG: 227 | +/-: 7
Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has won the Stanley Cup twice and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2013. But the NHL star added to his trophy case this summer when he raised the Father Charles Cup in his hometown of Buffalo.

He even paid $265 for the honor.

This is the Fattey Hockey League, the finest summer league in Western New York, where high school players skate against some from the NHL.

"There's never been a great skate in Buffalo in the summer. The concept was, 'How do we make it?" said Nik Fattey, the founder and namesake of the FHL. "There are so many good hockey players in Western New York. So how do we get everybody together to play in a league?"

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Thornton loss takes color from Bruins' Merlot Line

Wednesday, 08.13.2014 / 9:21 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Daniel Paille isn't sure when it will sink in that Shawn Thornton isn't his Boston Bruins linemate anymore, but Paille expects it will be more verbal than physical.

"With his absence, you're not going to know until the season starts," Paille told the Boston Herald on Tuesday. "That's when you'll have those moments when you think, 'Jeez, Shawn would have said this.' Or he would have brought something to the table."

Paille saw his friend at Thornton's annual Putts and Punches for Parkinson's charity golf tournament, held in Middleton, Mass. The Bruins chose to let Thornton sign with the Florida Panthers as an unrestricted free agent.

The Panthers visit the Bruins at TD Garden on Nov. 4.

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Canadiens' Subban puts contract talks in past

Tuesday, 08.12.2014 / 8:52 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

P.K. Subban
Defense - MTL
GOALS: 10 | ASST: 43 | PTS: 53
SOG: 204 | +/-: -4
P.K. Subban has moved on from his contract negotiation with the Montreal Canadiens. He hopes everyone else will too.

"At this point in time, I think everybody just needs to look at the fact that the deal's done, I'm here for a long time," Subban told the Canadiens website Tuesday. "It doesn't matter how the process happened. ... I understand that when it's me it's a little bit more magnified; that's OK."

Subban, who was speaking at coach Michel Therrien's charity golf event, said he was prepared for the criticism that came his way during the talks, but he did not expect what was directed at the other side of the table.

"I think it was a little bit unsettling to hear some of the things that were said about management and [general manager Marc Bergevin] during the process," Subban said. "I understand, but it was still disturbing for me. ... I hope people understand that it was a very healthy process."

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Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players