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NHL Insider

New GM will be Davidson's first big hire in Columbus

Tuesday, 02.12.2013 / 9:32 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

John Davidson wasted little time making his mark on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Four months after being hired as the team's president of hockey operations, Davidson made a major move Tuesday night by firing general manager Scott Howson. No successor was announced, but Davidson told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun he has no plans to take the job himself.

Davidson will have a number of candidates to choose from as he looks for Howson's replacement. Here’s four of the possibilities (listed in alphabetical order):

John Ferguson Jr.: The former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager hasn't run an NHL front office since being let go in early 2008. He's serving as a scout for the San Jose Sharks, but interviewed for a position with Columbus last summer.

Schenn, van Riemsdyk set to face former teams

Monday, 02.11.2013 / 12:45 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Philadelphia Flyers believed one of their big offseason needs was a physical, shot-blocking presence on defense. The Toronto Maple Leafs thought they were in need of more goal-scoring.

With one trade, both appeared to find just what they were looking for, with the Flyers sending forward James van Riemsdyk to the Maple Leafs for Luke Schenn on June 23, 2012.

Monday in Toronto, each player will get his first chance to face his former teammates when the Flyers make their first visit to the Air Canada Centre.

It's a night both players admit to looking forward to since the schedule for the 2012-13 was announced.

"When the schedule came out, with this being the first game out, it's something you look forward to," Schenn said. "One that you definitely look for on the calendar is the return to Toronto. I think both teams have obviously moved on and they’re both having success, too, and we are starting to, too. There is no question that I look forward to going back there."

McPhee: Caps need fewer penalties, better play in net

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 4:08 PM / NHL Insider

Ben Raby - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- With the Washington Capitals occupying last place in the NHL standings and off to the fourth-worst start in franchise history, general manager George McPhee points to two areas in particular that must improve.

"I think the only -- the two areas we must get better is keeping pucks out of our net and it starts by not taking penalties," McPhee said Friday.

The Capitals are 2-8-1 and have allowed a League-high 15 power play goals against. Only the Edmonton Oilers (54) and Montreal Canadiens (52) have been shorthanded more than Washington (51) through 11 games.

Author Arnold reflects on Petes' landmark status

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 3:59 PM / NHL Insider

Ed Arnold - Special to NHL.com

Ed Arnold is the retired editor of The Peterborough Examiner who has written several books on Peterborough hockey, including "Whose Puck Is It Anyway?," as well as "Hockey Town," a look at NHL players and their lives before they got to Peterborough. He is presently embedded with the Peterborough Petes for an entire year, getting exclusive access behind the doors, where others have never been allowed, for a book commissioned by Harper Collins.

PETERBOROUGH, Ontario -- The Peterborough Petes have been called a hockey factory, and in some NHL circles, they're nicknamed "The Hockey Mafia." It is Hockey Town, Canada, maybe World (forgive us, Detroit), and this weekend the city is the home base for CBC's Hockey Day in Canada.

Few, if any, NHL teams have gone without a Peterborough connection since the Petes arrived in 1956. The Petes in the hockey world are as familiar as Big Ben in London, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the CN Tower in Toronto.

The Petes are Peterborough's landmark.

Broadcaster Dalliday a Perterborough legend himself

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 3:57 PM / NHL Insider

Tim Wharnsby - Senior Writer, CBCSports.ca

Gary "Diller" Dalliday often jokes that he doesn't know if he grew up on the right or wrong side of the tracks.

That's because just outside the Bethune Street house in the blue-collar neighborhood of Peterborough, Ontario where he was raised in by his grandmother, train tracks ran up the middle of the street.

"Every morning I woke up at 7 because literally the whole house shook when the CN freight train passed our place on its way to Lakefield," Dalliday, now 71, recalled. "It was better than an alarm clock."

Staal brothers hopeful Petes can rebound

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 3:54 PM / NHL Insider

Tim Wharnsby - Senior Writer, CBCSports.ca

Eric and Jordan Staal occasionally take a peek at the Ontario Hockey League standings and they don't like what they see these days.

Their old junior club, the Peterborough Petes, uncharacteristically has been mired in a three-season slump. Unless the Petes can overcome a six-point deficit to the Kingston Frontenacs in the final 17 games of this season, they will miss the playoffs for a third straight time after missing three times in their first 54 years of existence.

The current funk has been difficult to take for the hockey-mad town of Peterborough, Ontario, the central site for Hockey Day in Canada on Saturday.

Jagr, Selanne continue to wow fellow players

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 3:03 PM / NHL Insider

Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent

Jaromir Jagr
Right Wing - DAL
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 5 | PTS: 8
SOG: 30 | +/-: 4
DALLAS -- Between them, they have skated in more than 2,700 NHL games, scored more than 1,300 goals and amassed more than 1,700 assists throughout their impressive NHL careers, making the matchup Friday between the Anaheim Ducks and Dallas Stars here at American Airlines Center (8:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US) a must-see because it will feature two of the best players ever to lace them up -- Anaheim's 42-year-old Teemu Selanne and Dallas' 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr.

The game is the only one Friday, giving fans a great opportunity to witness two of the greatest European-born players in NHL history.

Petes tradition remains big part of hockey history

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 10:30 AM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

They call it the Peterborough Mafia.

It's not a phrase you'd expect in reference to a central Ontario city with a population of fewer than 80,000 people. But in the context of hockey, the Peterborough Mafia is very real. In fact, it's a big reason the city and its team, the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, will be the focal point of Saturday's Hockey Day in Canada celebration, which will be broadcast by CBC across Canada as well as by the NHL Network and NHL Gamecenter in the United States.

Following in the steps of his older brother, Eric, Jordan Staal won an OHL championship with Peterborough in 2006 before being drafted second overall by Pittsburgh at the 2006 Draft. After winning the Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh in 2009, Jordan joined his brother Eric in Carolina in 2012. (Photo: Peterborough Petes)

"We are a real hockey community. The fans know their game. So no matter who you are, when you're on the ice you can't fool the fans," said Petes president Jim Devlin, who attended the team's first game as a teenager in 1956. "Sometimes they can be hard on the players, but when they give hard work and show results, those guys are gods in this town."

In a rich history spanning more than 50 years, a lot of those players have gone on to conquer the hockey world outside Peterborough. Established as a farm team for the Montreal Canadiens, the longest continuously operating junior hockey team in Canada has graduated more than 150 players to the NHL, more than any junior team.

That includes the names Redmond, Gainey, Yzerman, Pronger and Staal. Wayne Gretzky played three games for the Petes as a 16-year-old. Even less-prominent Peterborough alums have gone on to enjoy lengthy NHL careers.

The longevity is a trademark many former Petes attribute to a coaching lineage passed down from Scotty Bowman to Roger Neilson to Gary Green to Mike Keenan to Dick Todd, the former New York Rangers assistant who coached for 15 seasons in Peterborough and won 500 games faster than any coach in Major Junior A history.

Kris King, a Petes alum who played for Todd prior to 849 NHL games, serves as the League's vice president of hockey operations.

Hartford Whalers' impact still felt in coaching circles

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Hartford Whalers of the late 1980s and early 1990s were competitive at times. That used to be the nicest thing anyone could say about them.

From 1987-88 to the 1991-92 NHL season, the Whalers made the Stanley Cup Playoffs five straight years. They did so by finishing fourth in the five-team Adams Division before bowing out in the first round each year. They posted one winning season in that time.

But years later, players from those teams have made a greater impact on the League than anyone could have expected. Nine Whalers from that time have been a coach in either the NHL, an international, minor or junior league.

Tortorella wants more from Rangers

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 12:11 AM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- John Tortorella isn't an optimist or a pessimist -- he's a realist.

He knows that even after a 4-1 victory against the New York Islanders on Thursday night, the reality is his New York Rangers have a long way to go before they recover the form of last year's team that came within six victories of a Stanley Cup.

"We have to find a way to get points and we did," said Tortorella, whose team is 5-5-0 through 10 games. "But I think there's a lot of sloppiness with our game, as far as on the puck. There are a lot of things that need to continue to improve. But the key thing is finding ways to get points as we try to get better as a team."

Following a 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night, Tortorella made no secret about his displeasure with his players. He didn't single out anyone, but heaped praise on rookies J.T. Miller, a 19-year-old who was making his NHL debut, and Chris Kreider, who scored the team's lone goal in the loss.

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