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NHL Insider

Bergeron 'did what any of my teammates would have'

Tuesday, 07.02.2013 / 2:37 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- As the time on the clock slipped to less than two minutes to play in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said he had two thoughts.

One, that his team with a 2-1 lead was about to push the Chicago Blackhawks to Game 7.

Two, that he'd have to go through a heck of a lot more treatment in order to play in a do-or-die game with the Cup on the line two nights later.

Bergeron was spared having to repeat the difficult process he went through in order to play in Game 6. The Bruins lost the game, 3-2, and the series. Instead of returning to Chicago, Bergeron headed to the hospital, where he remained for a couple of days.

Devils' Brodeur thanks fans for NHL 14 cover honor

Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 3:00 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Stanley Cup champion, Vezina Trophy winner, all-time wins leader, surefire Hall of Fame member. These are milestones Martin Brodeur has attained in his career with the New Jersey Devils.

But until this week, there was still one honor that had eluded him in his 20 seasons: video game cover model.

Brodeur finally earned that distinction Friday when it was announced, in a cover vote in which more than 22 million fans voted online and an additional million participated through Twitter, he was selected to be one the cover of EA's NHL 14 game.

"I think that's the beauty of this for me. Just the amount of fans that voted; over 22 million people voted for the cover. When you finish on top, it feels pretty good," Brodeur told NHL.com. "I think it's exciting. I never really realized I wasn't on the cover. There's only one game a year. It's pretty exciting for the fans to be involved and to decide who is going to be on the cover."

Expectations are higher for U.S. team in 2014

Saturday, 06.29.2013 / 3:39 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Continuity and raised expectations were the major themes among the most influential minds in U.S. hockey Saturday as the United States announced its general manager and coach for its entry in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Most of the members of the management group, from newly appointed general manager David Poile through the collection of current and former NHL GMs who will advise him, have worked together previously to select American teams for international competitions. The man who will lead the team behind the bench, Dan Bylsma, has no international coaching experience but has plenty of familiarity in dealing with Poile's top lieutenant -- Ray Shero, his boss with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Poile talked at length Saturday about how the core of the team that captured the silver medal in the 2010 games in Vancouver will be back in 2014, provided the League, NHL Players' Association and International Olympic Committee come to an agreement about NHL players participating in Sochi. Many of these players have accumulated plenty of experience playing together, either in international tournaments or at the United States National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Bruins face tough offseason of roster decisions

Friday, 06.28.2013 / 2:09 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- After the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, general manager Peter Chiarelli was able to maintain most of the team's core for the next season, as well as for the shortened 2012-13 season.

But during the summer of 2011, the salary cap went up.

This summer, Chiarelli will have the double challenge of retaining the core of a team that went all the way to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final but lost to the Chicago Blackhawks, and a financial framework that features the NHL salary cap dropping almost $6 million for the 2013-14 season.

It's Chiarelli's mandate from ownership to make sure his team again has what it takes to make a run for the Cup.

"I want to keep this team together as best as I can, as we can," Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs said during a press conference Friday at TD Garden. "That's Peter's job this summer. It's something that keeps him up at night and it's something that he's going to work on. We're going to do as well as we possibly can. Interestingly, when we won the Cup, we were able to keep almost the whole team together. That wasn't true of Chicago [after their Cup win in 2010]. But when they reconstituted themselves, they won it again."

Blackhawks' GM Stan Bowman gets right back to work

Thursday, 06.27.2013 / 8:12 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGOChicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman just smiled when he was asked if he could explain how his team was able to stun the Boston Bruins with two late goals 17 seconds apart to win Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final and capture its second championship in 36 months.

"We just kept going," he said at United Center on Thursday, three days after the Blackhawks' historic comeback. "I've referenced a few times how that was sort of the symbol for our team, is we were relentless all year long – starting off with the streak [of 24 games without a regulation loss] we had.

"We just always were looking full steam ahead. We never took time to, I guess, acknowledge what we had accomplished or sat back. We just were always looking ahead … I thought it was sort of a fitting ending to a fabulous season."

Indeed it was, but Chicago's front office won't have much time to enjoy it -- not with the NHL Draft coming on Sunday in Newark, N.J., (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN), and the start of free agency looming five days later.

Briere focused on positives after Flyers buyout

Wednesday, 06.26.2013 / 4:49 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Rather than dwell on the negative of having his contract bought out, Danny Briere said he's getting ready for an exciting summer.

The Philadelphia Flyers informed the veteran forward June 20 that it would use one of its compliance buy outs to get out of the final two seasons of the eight-year contract he signed in the summer of 2006.

On Tuesday, the team said it would use its second and final compliance buyout on the contract of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. The buyouts will become official at 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

While disappointed to be leaving a team he envisioned ending his career with, Briere told NHL.com Wednesday he's looking forward to the next phase of his career. He'll be free to sign with any of the 29 other teams starting July 5.

Canucks players eager to learn from Tortorella

Tuesday, 06.25.2013 / 11:01 PM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Henrik Sedin was one of four Vancouver Canucks players watching the introduction of coach John Tortorella from the back of a packed press room Tuesday.

The captain listened intently as Tortorella talked of pushing for more out of a veteran team that came within a win of the Stanley Cup in 2011 but has one win in two playoff appearances since, after being swept by the San Jose Sharks this postseason.

Sedin heard Tortorella talk of the need for better defending and more shot blocking throughout the lineup, and specifically adding a penalty-killing role for him and twin brother Daniel Sedin, the team's leading scorers.

Henrik Sedin said he liked what he heard from his new coach, and didn't seem worried about hearing it more pointedly -- and loudly -- inside a locker room that predecessor Alain Vigneault long ago turned over to the veterans.

Kekalainen 'optimistic' Bobrovsky will stay with CBJ

Tuesday, 06.25.2013 / 3:45 PM / NHL Insider

Connor Mellas - NHL.com Staff Writer

Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said Tuesday he's working toward getting contract extensions taken care of prior to July 5 with a pair of impending restricted free agents, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and forward Artem Anisimov.

"I'm very optimistic about Sergei Bobrovsky wanting to play for the Columbus Blue Jackets," the GM said. "He won the Vezina Trophy last year, had success in the NHL and was a big part of our success. I'm hoping that he wants to continue on that path and grow with our team."

Bobrovsky, 24, won the Vezina Trophy as the League's top goalie after recording a 2.00 goals-against average, .932 save percentage and four shutouts in 38 games. Bobrovsky was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in the summer of 2012 to split time with Steve Mason, but Bobrovsky took control of the starting job and Mason was traded to the Flyers in April.

Potentially complicating the negotiations is reported interest in Bobrovsky from Russian clubs.

Options for Flyers in filling out goaltending tandem

Tuesday, 06.25.2013 / 3:02 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Two years ago the Philadelphia Flyers completed a disappointing 10-game run through the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs that saw them start three goaltenders, all of whom had little to no success.

The response was for the team to invest heavily in a franchise goaltender.

Two years and a lot of money later, the Flyers still are looking for that player.

Nearly two years to the day they announced goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov had signed a nine-year, $51 million contract, Philadelphia announced it would use its second and final compliance buyout to terminate the remaining seven years of Bryzgalov's contract.

"I met with Ilya this morning and informed him that we are going to exercise a compliance buyout of his contract," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement released by the team. "This was a very difficult business decision to make for us and we want to thank Ilya for his time here and wish him all the best moving forward."

Five reasons Bruins fell short in Stanley Cup Final

Tuesday, 06.25.2013 / 11:36 AM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

The Boston Bruins wiped out the top team in the Eastern Conference in record-setting fashion.

But after sweeping the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final, allowing two goals in the process, the Bruins found the Presidents' Trophy-winning Chicago Blackhawks too hard to handle in the Stanley Cup Final.

Even a one-goal lead with less than 90 seconds to play in regulation of Game 6 wasn't safe against the Blackhawks' deep, talented attack.

So the Blackhawks became the first team of the salary-cap era to win the Stanley Cup for a second time, and the Bruins now enter a summer that will be short in days but long on regrets and retooling.

The Bruins lost because of more than just Bryan Bickell's game-tying goal and Dave Bolland's game-winning score in the clinching Game 6. Here are five reasons the Bruins didn't hoist the Cup in 2013:

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