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NHL Insider

Saluting Crosby at 25: Facts and figures

Tuesday, 08.07.2012 / 5:14 PM / NHL Insider

Darryl Haberman - NHL.com Director, Production

It's hard to believe, but Sidney Crosby turns 25 today.

Crosby was the first player picked in the 2005 NHL Draft -- the Pittsburgh Penguins won the right to draft him after a lottery that left the Anaheim Ducks a disappointed second.

In the seven seasons since he was chosen, Crosby has been everything the Penguins could have wanted, and then some. He has led the League in goals and points, won a Hart Trophy as regular-season MVP, and led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup.

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Flyers have several options in patching up blue line

Tuesday, 08.07.2012 / 2:15 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Philadelphia Flyers haven't played a game since May, yet they've suffered more catastrophic losses to their blue line during the summer than most teams face throughout a season.

Matt Carle signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning as a free agent. The news on Chris Pronger's concussion hasn't been positive and he can't be counted on this season. Now Andrej Meszaros is out indefinitely -- perhaps the entire regular season -- after surgery to repair a torn Achilles' tendon Tuesday.

That doesn't even include the failed attempt to sign Shea Weber, who put his name to a lucrative offer sheet only to see it matched by the Nashville Predators.

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Emrick adds to ties between hockey, water polo

Saturday, 08.04.2012 / 7:00 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

During the dog days of the summer sports season, hockey fans have tried to find something that can replicate the game they love. Fortunately, the 2012 Summer Olympics in London have been a welcome distraction until NHL training camps open in September.

But it hasn't just been marquee sports basketball and track and field that have drawn the attention of hockey fans. NHL players and fans alike have rallied around water polo, a sport with more than its share of similarities to hockey.

"[They both] have nets and power plays and goaltenders and penalty shots. Also, the resilience the [water polo] players have is very comparable to hockey," said Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick, who has called hockey play-by-play for almost 40 years and is doing the same for NBC's Olympic water polo coverage. "There is a feeling, too, that part of the character is similar to hockey. Unless [an injury] is really bad, you don't go for repairs. You just get back in."

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Williams' day with Cup includes marriage proposal

Thursday, 08.02.2012 / 7:43 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

When Justin Williams had his first day with the Stanley Cup, back in 2006, he celebrated at his charity golf tournament and was the guest of honor at a parade through his hometown of Cobourg, Ontario.

Justin Williams
Right Wing - LAK
GOALS: 22 | ASST: 37 | PTS: 59
SOG: 241 | +/-: 10

Six years later, Williams is a married father of two, and he chose to spend his second day with hockey's greatest trophy in a slightly more intimate fashion, enjoying a day with the Cup at his home in Ventnor, N.J., on Thursday with a small group of people, followed by a larger party later that night at Caesar's Atlantic City.

"This time it's more family and friends," Williams told NHL.com.

The Los Angeles Kings forward started his day with the Cup just before 9 a.m., and the first order of business was eating Cheerios out of it with wife Kelly, son Jaxon, 4, and daughter Jade, 17 months.

Other children had their turn with the Cup and some spoons -- the house was filled with a number of them as Williams' sister and some of Kelly's four brothers brought their families.

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Despite Alfredsson return, Swedish team in transition

Tuesday, 07.31.2012 / 6:18 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Ottawa Senators fans everywhere were no doubt excited by captain Daniel Alfredsson's announcement that he would be returning for his 17th season. But there's another team wondering how long he'll be playing.

As captain of the Swedish national team at the World Championship in April, 39-year-old Alfredsson partnered with a new generation of Swedish stars, including Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog and Senators teammate Erik Karlsson. Sweden finished a disappointing sixth at the Worlds, and the team and ensuing retirement of legendary defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom from the Detroit Red Wings marked a changing of the guard in Swedish hockey.

"There's always going to be new players and always going to be older guys stepping down. It's unfortunate," said Landeskog, a 19-year-old who served as an alternate captain at the Worlds despite being the team's second-youngest player. "Playing against Alfie and Lidstrom [in the NHL] was a dream come true. At the same time, there's always going to be a generation shift. There's always going to be new younger players coming up. That's what makes it so exciting."

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Cristobal Huet hoping for an NHL return

Tuesday, 07.31.2012 / 10:41 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Cristobal Huet wants to come back to the NHL after a two-year exile in Europe.

Sent overseas by the Chicago Blackhawks to provide salary-cap relief from the final two seasons of a four-year, $22.4-million contract after they won the 2010 Stanley Cup with Huet on the bench, the French-born goaltender is eager to prove he should still be playing in the sport's top League.

"I still belong, I'm better than some other guys, and I'd like another shot," Huet said recently from Europe, adding his agent had talked to "a few" NHL teams. "I'd love to come back, but I know once you are out of the League a little bit, guys tend to forget about you and that's the nature of the beast. But I still think I have something to show in the NHL, and to prove I still belong there. For me, it would be a great second chance to come back and play in the best League."

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NHL players can't get enough of London Olympics

Monday, 07.30.2012 / 2:53 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

With another month to go before training camps are scheduled to open, NHL players have to find ways to pass the time. Of course, exercising is one way. But many players have become enamored with the 2012 Olympic Games from London, England.

Players from across the League have been expressing their excitement via Twitter in recent days.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Matt Read (@MReader24) watched Sunday's dramatic table tennis match that saw American 16-year-old Ariel Hsing nearly upset China's Li Xiaoxia, a favorite to win the gold medal. Hsing took Xiaoxia to the limit before losing the best-of-seven match in six games: 11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9.

"This ping pong match is crazy," Read tweeted Sunday. "I don't think I could return a serve."

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Brown enjoys busy day with Lord Stanley

Sunday, 07.29.2012 / 6:23 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Dustin Brown was the 13th pick by the Kings in the 2003 Draft that will likely go down as one of the greatest -- if not the greatest -- in NHL history.

He played in 31 games that following season and has lived in and played for Los Angeles ever since, save for the 2004-05 campaign when he lived in Manchester while playing for the Kings' minor-league affiliate in New Hampshire during the work stoppage.

That's nearly a decade in Southern California that culminated with the Kings winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history in June with Brown as the team's captain. It would be pretty easy for the 27-year-old to have "gone Hollywood" with all that success, but during his time with the Stanley Cup in his hometown of Ithaca, N.Y., this weekend, it seems he hasn't changed all that much or lost sight of what's important.

Brown is now a husband and father of three boys -- Jake, 4, Mason, 3, and Cooper, 1 -- and he and his wife, Nicole, purchased a home in Ithaca last year. The couple felt it was important to have a summer home here to show their boys there's more to their lives than just hockey and Los Angeles.

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Brown uses Cup to help military families

Saturday, 07.28.2012 / 9:03 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

ITHACA, N.Y. -- When Dustin Brown finally learned when he'd spend his official day with the Stanley Cup, his first thought wasn't about how he'd like to party with it at local bars.

His first thought wasn't about how he'd love have his three sons, Jake, Mason and Cooper, drink chocolate milk from its top, like they did in Los Angeles.

Dustin Brown
Right Wing - LAK
GOALS: 22 | ASST: 32 | PTS: 54
SOG: 214 | +/-: 18
His first thought wasn't about all the places he would take it in his hometown so he could relive his high school glory days as a state champion in ice hockey.

His first thought was about family.

Christopher Bordoni, the cousin of Dustin's wife, Nicole, was critically wounded during an attack by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan in January and died from his injuries 10 weeks later in San Antonio. At the time of the attack, Brown was on an off-day preparing for his Los Angeles Kings to play host to the Calgary Flames the following night.

Brown was away from his hometown then, but he made sure to do what he could for servicemen like Bordoni and their families during his day with the Cup on Saturday.

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Staal 'ecstatic' to join Hurricanes, older brother

Friday, 07.27.2012 / 4:33 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Jordan Staal
Center - CAR
GOALS: 25 | ASST: 25 | PTS: 50
SOG: 149 | +/-: 11
Jordan Staal would much rather play with his brother than against him.

Traded on his wedding day in June, he became teammates with older brother Eric Staal on the Carolina Hurricanes.

"We knew the family thing was a very intriguing part of this whole thing," Jordan said Friday at a press conference, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. "To play against two brothers in the NHL is pretty awesome, but to play alongside your brother, both in the primes of our careers, is very, very exciting. As a family, for me and Eric especially, we're ecstatic to have this come together as it did."

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Quote of the Day

Hockey means everything to people here [Winnipeg]. They take their team's success to heart. We've had an incredible year and they've given us incredible support.

— Jets center Mathieu Perreault after losing to the Ducks in Game 3 of their playoff series on Monday