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NHL Insider

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.

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.

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.

Shootout success isn't limited to stars

Saturday, 07.21.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

It's hard to believe, but the shootout has been with us for seven seasons. The breakaway competition was adopted in 2005 as a way to settle NHL games that were tied after overtime. It has turned into must-see TV -- how many times have you been flicking through the channels and stopped to watch when you saw teams heading to the shootout?

Some teams and players have fared far better than others -- and the most successful players aren't always the biggest names. Dany Heatley, a two-time 50-goal scorer, and 2011 Art Ross Trophy winner Daniel Sedin have lifetime percentages of 18.2 in the shootout -- well below the all-time League average of 32.72 percent. Marian Gaborik, a three-time 40-goal scorer, is 6-for-26 (23.1 percent). But Frans Nielsen and Erik Christensen, who've never been big-time scorers during regulation and overtime, are among the most successful in the tiebreaker.

Shootout retrospective: Seven year history

Saturday, 07.21.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

It's hard to believe, but the shootout is now seven years old -- and it's been used to decide more than 13 percent of NHL regular-season games (1,138 of 8,610) since the tiebreaker was adopted in 2005.

The stakes can be high: The Philadelphia Flyers' run to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final never would have happened if they hadn't beaten the New York Rangers in a shootout on the final day of the regular season. The New York Islanders made the postseason in 2006-07 by beating the New Jersey Devils in a shootout in their season finale. Last season, San Jose, Los Angeles and Calgary all had 34 non-shootout wins -- but the Sharks (nine shootout wins) and Kings (six) made the playoffs while the Flames, who went 3-9 in the tiebreaker, stayed home.

Hawks star Kane sorry for 'embarrassing' photos

Friday, 07.20.2012 / 9:49 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Patrick Kane stepped to the podium on Friday afternoon and knew he would face questions about an incident from earlier this spring.

Patrick Kane
Center - CHI
GOALS: 23 | ASST: 43 | PTS: 66
SOG: 253 | +/-: 7
The 23-year old forward for the Chicago Blackhawks hadn't yet spoken publicly about an offseason incident in Wisconsin that resulted in a series of unflattering photographs and stories circulating across the Internet about his partying there on May 5.

"We all saw the photos. They were pretty embarrassing," Kane said. "And that's probably the biggest thing. Nothing illegal ever happened and I guess it was the offseason and you're trying to have a good time, but you've got to realize the spotlight you're in no matter where you are. For me, the situation I'm in now, you've always got to act like someone's watching you no matter what you do and it's going to be put out there on the Internet or news blogs. That's the standpoint I'm taking."

Hossa working hard for return to Blackhawks

Friday, 07.20.2012 / 7:45 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa continues to show progress in his recovery from a concussion that knocked him out of the Chicago Blackhawks' loss to the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Marian Hossa
Right Wing - CHI
GOALS: 29 | ASST: 48 | PTS: 77
SOG: 248 | +/-: 18
Meeting with reporters in person for the first time since a hit by Coyotes forward Raffi Torres in Game 3 of the series, Hossa said he's been working out hard off the ice for about a month and showing no symptoms.

"Lots of time has passed by and that helped me," Hossa said Friday afternoon at a media function prior to the start of the Hawks' annual fan convention this weekend at the Chicago Hilton. "I didn't have to rush anything and that was most important thing. After (it was decided) that I couldn't fly home to Slovakia, I just basically didn't do anything. I just relaxed and (at) some point I decided to try to do something, start working out. Things right now are on a level where I want to be and I'm happy where I am so far."

10 candidates for bounce-back seasons

Friday, 07.20.2012 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Disappointing seasons happen to almost everyone. Sometimes they're due to injuries; sometimes they're just bad luck, and other times they are a combination of circumstances.

Here are 10 players who, for a variety of reasons, didn't have their best season in 2011-12 -- but are good candidates to bounce back in 2012-13:

Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks -- Getzlaf averaged more than a point per game from 2007-08 through 2010-11, but his scoring touch inexplicably vanished last season when he managed 11 goals and 57 points while averaging 21:35 of ice time in 82 games. Not surprisingly, the Ducks missed the playoffs. It was the worst full-season offensive showing of the forward's career. For the Ducks to get back into the playoffs, Getzlaf has to return to being the player who was among the NHL's best centers in the previous four seasons.

In offer sheet, Holmgren again makes bold move

Thursday, 07.19.2012 / 2:06 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Only two compensation-eligible free agents in the last 15 years have switched teams. That fact, however, didn't stop Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren from signing Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber to an offer sheet.

The reported 14-year, $100 million-plus deal, announced by the Flyers on Thursday, is just the latest in a litany of aggressive moves that have marked Holmgren's tenure in Philadelphia.

Holmgren's fearlessness can be traced to his first day on the job, Oct. 22, 2006, when he fired Stanley Cup-champion coach Ken Hitchcock and replaced him with first-year NHL assistant John Stevens.

DeBoer prepares to move on without Parise

Thursday, 07.19.2012 / 1:53 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- While the loss of captain Zach Parise via free agency was tough to take, New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer is confident his group can pick up where it left off last season.

The Minneapolis-born Parise agreed to a 13-year, $98 million deal with the Minnesota Wild on July 4. The contract will keep the 27-year-old in his home state until age 40. He had spent his first seven seasons in the League with the Devils.

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Quote of the Day

I would definitely love to play with him. He's a skilled player and over the years he definitely has shown that he can score a lot of goals. I think it would work out well.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk on Alexander Semin