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(Page 13 of 257)
NHL Insider

Sharks GM: Time has come to start rebuilding

Tuesday, 06.17.2014 / 7:16 PM / NHL Insider

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- What San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson used to describe as a "reset-refresh" for his team has turned into an all-out rebuilding project, and he hammered home that point Tuesday in a session with the media before the upcoming NHL Draft.

Wilson announced that the Sharks have re-signed 26-year-old goaltender Alex Stalock to a two-year contract, preventing him from becoming an unrestricted free agent in a move that shows San Jose is committed to turning the team over to its younger players. Stalock will be given a chance to supplant Antti Niemi, 30, as the Sharks' No. 1 goaltender.

The Sharks have ruled out trading any of their young talent or high draft picks. Wilson has spread that message to his veterans, including forwards Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, to San Jose's fans and to general managers throughout the NHL.

"I've had a lot of calls," Wilson said. "A lot of people at the GM meetings, they know where we're going. We now become a tomorrow team. So when you spell that out, it does create a response. Now a tomorrow team, is it one year, two years? Time will tell on how our young players handle the responsibility given to them but also making sure we don't give it to them too soon."

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As Kings face free agency, Mitchell set to keep going

Tuesday, 06.17.2014 / 4:50 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell said he's had some informal talks with general manager Dean Lombardi about re-signing and he expects that to continue as the Kings move forward into their summer of celebration.

The Kings conducted physicals Tuesday before breaking up for the offseason following their second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons. Mitchell, like a lot of his teammates, was still recovering from the celebration festivities, but he said he expected to meet with Lombardi soon.

"I'm sure it will happen in the next little bit," Mitchell, 37, said. "We're kind of all doing the same things: exit medicals … a little bit of partying mixed in. Just a little bit. See how my [golf] swing is this afternoon. Really, if it's going to get done, it gets done in a short period of time. There's lots of time."

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Kings, fans celebrate second Cup in three seasons

Monday, 06.16.2014 / 7:06 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Jonathan Quick looked like he hadn't slept since Friday night. Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty and Trevor Lewis still had their beards. Coach Darryl Sutter's face was slightly drained, and he could only joke when asked about how much the Los Angeles Kings love playing together.

"They don't love it that much because they could have been playing tonight," Sutter responded.

Monday would have been Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Kings and New York Rangers, but instead the city celebrated the Kings' second Cup title in three seasons with a parade and rally. The longest run in playoff history (26 games) ended Friday in Game 5 with the longest game in Kings history, a 3-2 win on Alec Martinez's goal with 14:43 into the second overtime.

"It was an emotional, exhausting ride," Conn Smythe Trophy winner Justin Williams said. "For us to come out on top after you poured everything that you had into it, and it was good enough, words can't describe it."

More than 300,000 fans lined the streets surrounding Staples Center on a bright, mild day downtown, two years to the day of the parade to celebrate the 2012 Cup. This time there was a sense that something truly big is growing here. The Kings have the foundation for a modern-day dynasty, with most of their team intact for the future and their faces and blue-collar ethic now forever engrained in the local sports landscape.

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Stanley Cup Final loss continues to sting for Rangers

Monday, 06.16.2014 / 5:04 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Three days later, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is still a picture of devastation.

"It's going to be a couple of weeks now where it's going to hurt," Lundqvist said Monday as he put a bow on the 2013-14 season while sitting in his locker stall at the Madison Square Garden Training Center.

Lundqvist will spend the next few weeks trying to come to grips with having his dream die on the ice Friday night at Staples Center, when Alec Martinez of the Los Angeles Kings beat him for a double-overtime, Stanley Cup Final-clinching goal Lundqvist won't soon forget.

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Five questions for the Rangers this offseason

Monday, 06.16.2014 / 4:36 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers were still dealing with a whirlwind of emotions as they cleaned out their lockers Monday following their defeat in five games against the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final. With the Rangers' front office facing a series of difficult decisions this summer, the emotional start to the offseason may be a sign of things to come.

The Rangers lost three games in extra time during the best-of-7 Cup Final, including a devastating double-overtime loss in Game 5 on Friday in which Alec Martinez's game-winner lifted the Kings to the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons.

"It was a tough loss that's going to haunt me and my group for some time," New York coach Alain Vigneault said. "I'm hoping we're going to learn from this and we as management are going to work on putting a good team on the ice. But every year is different. Next year's team is going to be different, and we've got to go through the same process."

Here are five questions the Rangers must answer in that process:

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Busy calendar remains for NHL teams

Monday, 06.16.2014 / 12:48 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Just because the Stanley Cup has been awarded doesn't mean the end credits have rolled on the 2013-14 NHL season.

There are a number of big events coming in the next few weeks that will go a long way toward deciding which team is the final one standing a year from now.

The hard work started Monday when the window opened for teams to offer compliance buyouts to players. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams were given two special buyout provisions that allow them to buy out a player's contract while not having it count toward the salary cap. And those compliance buyouts only could be used following the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

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Kings poised to be Cup contenders for several years

Monday, 06.16.2014 / 11:00 AM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Kings are Stanley Cup champions for the second time in three seasons and have a collection of star players who are both signed to long-term contracts and young enough to remain at their current level for at least the next few seasons.

General manager Dean Lombardi has cultivated the closest thing the NHL has seen to a perfect roster in the salary-cap era. The Kings have built a champion through the NHL Draft and deft trades, molding the roster while relying on free agency as little as possible. There is little reason to believe the Kings won't be contenders for the Stanley Cup again in 2015 and beyond.

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Stars' Fiddler gets unique 'hat trick' at concert

Wednesday, 06.11.2014 / 4:32 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Dallas Stars forward Vernon Fiddler has a single three-goal game to his credit, scored on Nov. 12, 2010 as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes. But at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on June 7, the veteran center came away with a whole other kind of hat trick.

Attending the latest stop on country singer George Strait's "Cowboy Rides Away" tour, Fiddler was in the right place at the right time when the legendary musician flung his cowboy hat into the crowd as the concert ended. Fiddler barely had to move as the iconic piece of country memorabilia came right to him.

"At the end, he comes out for his encore and my buddy said, 'You're going to catch this hat, watch.' I looked at him and thought, 'What are you talking about?'" Fiddler told NHL.com. "[Strait] walked off the stage and it looked he wasn't going to even throw his hat. He came back on stage and said, 'I forgot. Somebody might want this.' He chucked it and it boomeranged around four or five rows away from me and then came back and landed right on my lap."

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Wild GM says coach Yeo earned contract extension

Friday, 06.06.2014 / 3:44 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild made official their commitment to coach Mike Yeo, holding a press conference Friday at Xcel Energy Center to announce the three-year contract extension Yeo signed May 31.

Yeo, who at 40 yeards old is the youngest coach in the NHL, guided the Wild this season to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in franchise history, the first such trip since 2003. The original three-year contract Yeo signed when he was named the third coach in Wild history June 17, 2011, was set to expire at the end of this month.

"Mike is the only guy that was going to be here," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "As the season goes on, the right time to do these things is at the end of the season."

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Blackhawks' next goal: extensions for Toews, Kane

Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 8:03 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Entering this season, the Chicago Blackhawks had accomplished their "One Goal" organizational credo by winning the Stanley Cup twice in four years.

They fell one goal short of playing for it again this season, losing in overtime of Game 7 of the Western Conference Final on a goal by Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez. That abruptly ended the reign of the defending Stanley Cup champions with a 5-4 loss.

Less than two days later, the Blackhawks reassembled at United Center to sum it all up by looking back at what happened and forward to next season.

"We lost in the conference finals to the Red Wings five or six years ago and that was treated more as a celebration," left wing Patrick Sharp said Tuesday. "It felt good to get that far. This year it feels pretty disappointing. I feel like we all felt we should still be playing. It's a disappointing time."

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Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season