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Stanley Cup Final
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NHL Insider

With Weber out, Flyers will look from within

Wednesday, 07.25.2012 / 12:56 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

So now that the dust has settled from the Shea Weber saga, Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren feels it's time to move forward.

The Nashville Predators on Tuesday put to bed any visions of Weber donning a Flyers jersey next season when they matched Philadelphia's 14-year, $110-million offer sheet, thus retaining their three-time NHL All-Star.

Shea Weber
Shea Weber - 2011-12
Defense - NSH
GOALS: 19 | ASST: 30 | PTS: 49
SOG: 230 | +/-: 21

Holmgren said he learned of the Predators decision to match at 3:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday and his initial reaction was "disappointment."

"We were hopeful they wouldn't match, but obviously they did," Holmgren told reporters via a conference call Wednesday. "We tried to add, in our minds, the best defenseman in the game to a good, young, up-and-coming team, and it didn't work."

So in a span of 21 days, Holmgren and the Flyers were rebuffed in their attempts to sign unrestricted free agent defensemen Ryan Suter and Matt Carle, forward Zach Parise and restricted free agent Weber.

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Brandon Sutter introduced, excited about new team

Wednesday, 07.25.2012 / 12:53 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Brandon Sutter has had a month to get over the shock of being traded for the first time in his hockey career. Now he says he's excited at the thought of playing with his new team, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said Wednesday during a media conference call. "At first it was tough -- it was the first time I'd ever been traded, I was in a place where I was comfortable.

"It's a tough thing to go through, no matter who you are. At first it kind of takes you aback and it's a little disappointing, but you start to think about it and you get excited. Once I meet the guys and start skating it will be awesome. I'm getting really pumped about it."

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A look at some of the greatest scorers in NHL history

Tuesday, 07.24.2012 / 1:50 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

A sniper is the guy who always seems to have the puck on his tape when the game is on the line. He's the guy who keeps goaltenders awake at night with his lightning-quick release and corner-picking accuracy. The puck is barely on his stick before it's on the way to (and into) the net.

Not every big scorer is a sniper. Gordie Howe, No. 2 on the all-time goal-scoring list, was a power forward whose combination of skill and strength was unique. Wayne Gretzky, the NHL's all-time leader in goals, is a category unto himself, since he scored goals in just about any way imaginable but was even better at setting up teammates than at turning on the red light himself.

Snipers generally need some assistance -- they're the kind of guys who finish a play, not the ones who start it. But in an era when every goal is precious, a top sniper is a must-have.

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NHL records that don't figure to be broken

Tuesday, 07.24.2012 / 1:16 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Not all that long ago, Gordie Howe's 801 goals and Terry Sawchuk's 103 shutouts were deemed to be records that would stand the test of time. Then along came Wayne Gretzky and Martin Brodeur, who dropped the former Detroit teammates back to No. 2 in their respective categories.

Players like Gretzky and Brodeur have set standards for the players of today and tomorrow to shoot at. But there are some records that don't figure to be broken for a long time, if ever. Here are a few of them.

Most consecutive complete games by a goaltender: Glenn Hall, 502

Hall was as brilliant as he was durable -- a combination that landed him in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Hall took the ice for the Detroit Red Wings on opening night in 1955-56 and played all 70 games. He did the same thing the following season. The Wings sent him to Chicago in the summer of 1957, and he played all 70 games for the Hawks for five consecutive seasons, leading Chicago to a Stanley Cup in 1961.

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Jackets heading in new direction with reworked roster

Monday, 07.23.2012 / 7:39 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Columbus used to have a superstar player surrounded by a team with flaws. Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson hopes that by trading Rick Nash to the New York Rangers, his team will have fewer flaws despite not having a superstar player.

Howson ended the Nash trade speculation Monday by shipping the best player in franchise history to the Rangers in exchange for forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, defenseman Tim Erixon and a first-round pick.

"I think all three players have a chance to be the cornerstone in this trade," Howson said. "Who knows, the first-round pick might also be. We are really happy in getting the players and pick we got. We think they're going to bring a lot to our hockey team."

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A look at Rick Nash by the numbers

Monday, 07.23.2012 / 5:54 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Rick Nash is bound for Broadway.

After spending his entire NHL career with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the most successful player in franchise history was traded to the New York Rangers on Monday for three players and a first-round draft pick. Nash heads for the Big Apple holding most of the Jackets' franchise scoring records, but with only one playoff appearance to show for it.

Here's a numerical look at Nash's career as he prepares for the next chapter:

0 -- Playoff games won by the Blue Jackets during Nash's time in Columbus. The Jackets were swept by Detroit in 2009, the only time the franchise has made the postseason.

1 -- Major awards earned by Nash. He scored 41 goals in 2003-04, his second NHL season, to earn a share of the Rocket Richard Trophy, given each season to the player with the most goals. Nash is the youngest player to win the award.

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Jackets using return haul for Nash to start over

Monday, 07.23.2012 / 5:33 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Scott Howson knew since February this day was coming.

Rick Nash had asked for a trade out of Columbus, and the Blue Jackets general manager finally made it happen Monday by sending his team's now-former captain to the New York Rangers in a blockbuster deal that will have ramifications on both franchises -- and perhaps also on Howson -- for years to come.

In return for Nash, the face of the franchise and the best player by a landslide to ever play for the Blue Jacket, Howson brought forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, defensive prospect Tim Erixon and a first-round draft pick back to Columbus.

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Trade answers Rangers' need for more offense

Monday, 07.23.2012 / 3:45 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Rangers reportedly picked up Rick Nash in a trade with the Blue Jackets on Monday in exchange for forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, defenseman Tim Erixon and a first-round pick, bringing an end to one of the longest-running dramas in recent NHL history.

Rick Nash
Right Wing - NYR
GOALS: 30 | ASST: 29 | PTS: 59
SOG: 306 | +/-: -19
Once word leaked in February that Nash wanted out of Columbus, it seemed inevitable that he would land in New York. The Rangers had the right pieces, the need for offense and the cap room to take on Nash's big contract, but a deal could not be struck before the trade deadline.

The two sides were close to a deal before the deadline, but one of the sticking points was believed to be Chris Kreider, whom the Rangers refused to include in any package for Nash. Kreider was with Boston College at the time, but signed with the Rangers before the Stanley Cup Playoffs and was a major contributor during New York's run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

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Brodeur, Selanne lead NHL's over-35 club

Sunday, 07.22.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Hockey at the NHL level is a sport for the young, right? Well ... not always.

The number of young impact players in the NHL seems to rise every year, but that doesn't mean there's no place for guys whose playoff beards include more than a little gray. Though the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom and the decision by Tim Thomas to take a year off have thinned the NHL's brigade of oldies-but-goodies, there are still a number of players 35 and older who are more than capable of keeping up with the kids.

Using the NHL's postseason All-Star team format, here's a look at the best of the over-35 crowd:

First Team

Goalie

Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils

Age: 40

After arguably the worst season of Brodeur's career -- he finished 2010-11 with a sub-.500 record (23-26-3) for the first time and his 2.45 goals-against average was his highest since 2005-06 -- he showed last season that he's anything but washed up. Not only did Brodeur go 31-21-4 while leading the Devils back to the playoffs, the NHL's winningest goaltender ramped up his play in the postseason, leading New Jersey to its first Stanley Cup Final since 2003. He'll be back for more after signing a two-year deal this summer.

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Seven players looking to avoid one-hit label

Saturday, 07.21.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

In the world of music, they're known as "one-hit wonders" -- artists who have a big-time record, but can never replicate that kind of success.

The NHL has its own version of one-hit wonders -- players who were in the right spot at the right time for a season, but found out that repeating their success wasn't as easy. Their poster boy is 1980s forward Warren Young, who scored 40 goals for the Pittsburgh Penguins playing with Mario Lemieux in 1984-85 and never came close to that total again (Young finished his career with 72).

Every season, a handful of players come out of nowhere to put up numbers no one expected. The challenge for those who did it last season is to show in 2012-13 that they've got what it takes to repeat (or at least come close to) what they put up in 2011-12.

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Quote of the Day

I'm here to develop a winning culture and a winning team. There is a bright future ahead of this team.  A lot of young, great hockey players here and on the way … a fan base that's passionate about the game of hockey.

— Dan Bylsma after being introduced as new coach of the Buffalo Sabres