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(Page 18 of 274)
NHL Insider

After trade talk, Hurricanes' Ward looks to regain form

Friday, 09.05.2014 / 11:20 AM / NHL Insider

Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward is not the player he once was. He knows it, and he's not afraid to talk about it. Bluntly.

"I know I've been inconsistent," Ward said. "Inconsistency at the goaltending position is something you can't afford. These last couple years, dealing with injuries and other issues ..."

Ward rethinks his point and continues.

"But excuses are for losers, so those don't do you any favors."

Ward is opting for straight talk these days. Often reticent about his shaky play in recent seasons, he now speaks with nothing-left-to-lose candor. One reason: Early in the summer, Ward learned that the Hurricanes were looking at trade options. In his first days on the job, general manager Ron Francis phoned Ward to let him know.

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Pacioretty eager to help lead Canadiens

Thursday, 09.04.2014 / 4:35 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- It may have been a sign of things to come when it was pointed out to Max Pacioretty that his likeness in EA Sports' new NHL 15 is wearing the captain's "C," and the Montreal Canadiens left wing smiled when he was asked if he knows something that has not yet been shared with the rest of the hockey world.

"No, I don't know anything," Pacioretty said Thursday after participating in EA Sports' Motion Capture Display. "But I believe somebody at EA Sports should be in line for a promotion."

The fact is the Canadiens are in the market for a captain since Brian Gionta, their captain the past four seasons, signed a three-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres on July 1.

The Canadiens whipped their typically emotional fans into frenzy last season when they bounced the Tampa Bay Lightning from the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in four games and then eliminated the Boston Bruins in seven. Things turned sour in the Eastern Conference Final, however, when Montreal was beaten in six games by the New York Rangers.

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Red Wings' DeKeyser takes flight with Blue Angels

Wednesday, 09.03.2014 / 2:17 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Defenseman Danny DeKeyser was never one to worry about the abuse his body would endure as a shot blocker in his rookie season with the Detroit Red Wings. After all, the 24-year-old Detroit native finished second on the Red Wings with 116 blocked shots in 2013-14.

But that potential bodily harm was nothing compared to the 40-minute flight he experienced inside an F/A-18 Hornet jet with Lt. Ryan Chamberlain of the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels at Selfridge Air Force Base on Tuesday in Harrison, Mich.

Right from takeoff, DeKeyser knew this would be an experience unlike any other.

"I felt like it went straight up, which was kind of weird," DeKeyser told The Detroit News. "[The pilot] guns it and we're flying over Port Huron in two minutes."

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Panthers' top pick Ekblad welcomes father's guidance

Monday, 09.01.2014 / 1:49 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

In the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft, several young players added to their respective families' considerable hockey legacies. But there was no bigger name than Aaron Ekblad, the top pick by the Florida Panthers who credits his father, David, with helping him get to the NHL.

So in a draft filled with sons, brothers and nephews of NHL players, how did an accountant from Southwestern Ontario raise one of the world's top defensive prospects?

"He seemed to thrive on his own and didn't really need any push from me. I certainly don't want to get in the way of the coaches. You see how that goes sometimes," David Ekblad said. "I never really worried about it and just enjoyed the ride."

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Two Russian prospects adjust to North American life

Thursday, 08.28.2014 / 4:47 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

When Russia won its second IIHF World Championship in three years last May, the gold-medal squad featured some of the NHL's biggest names, including Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Bobrovsky.

But for the two youngest players on that roster, Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Worlds were the final victory before their careers, and effectively their lives, changed.

Two of the world's top hockey prospects, representing the future of Russian hockey, are now entering their first full seasons in North America, a crucial step in their respective careers.

"It's a totally different culture. It's obviously a big adjustment," Kuznetsov said. "The language barrier is the biggest thing."

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Wild starting job in goal wide open, coach says

Thursday, 08.28.2014 / 4:25 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The Minnesota Wild will enter training camp next month with three goaltenders, Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper, competing for the starting job. Wild coach Mike Yeo said each will have a chance to win the No. 1 job.

"I have to say we're kind of open right now, to be honest with you," Yeo told Michael Russo of the Star Tribune on Wednesday during an appearance at the Minnesota State Fair. "We're going to have some scrimmages … but we're going to have to pretty quickly determine who we want to give a greater workload to after that. That's going to be a good challenge."

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Senators' Lehner welcomes competing with Anderson

Thursday, 08.28.2014 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Ottawa Senators goaltender Robin Lehner said Wednesday he's ready to continue competing with veteran Craig Anderson for the No. 1 job after each player signed a three-year contract in the past month.

"There are always two goalies and somebody pushing from down below (in the American Hockey League)," Lehner said, according to the Ottawa Citizen. "It's just how it works. I don't think there should be a big deal about it."

Lehner, who was a restricted free agent, agreed to his $6.6 million contract on July 31. Anderson agreed to a $12.6 million extension that takes him through the 2017-18 season on Aug. 25.

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Boyle awed by role of friend in Ice Bucket Challenge

Tuesday, 08.26.2014 / 4:28 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

It's been an eventful, sometimes difficult summer for Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brian Boyle.

He got married one week after he and the New York Rangers were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final. Three weeks after that, he signed a three-year contract with Tampa Bay.

But a summer that started with such promise ended tragically with Boyle burying his best friend. It was at the recent wake of former Boston College hockey player Corey Griffin that Boyle caught up with another friend, former BC baseball captain Pete Frates, the man who unwittingly touched millions of people as one of the driving forces behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

"Isn't it amazing? This thing was pretty organic by Pete and his family," Boyle told NHL.com. "Who hasn't done it yet? You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn't. That's got to be the coolest feeling for Pete."

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Paul Stastny eager to be a winner in his hometown

Monday, 08.25.2014 / 9:58 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Paul Stastny is not one for taking strolls down memory lane.

The St. Louis Blues' new center isn't one to make bold predictions either. Stastny certainly wasn't going to predict that he would one day suit up in the city where he spent much of his childhood.

But like many who consider it a dream to play in their hometown, Stastny is living out his dream now, and for at least the next four seasons.

"God has a plan for myself, and whatever it is I take it in stride and I'm happy with the situation I'm in right now," said Stastny, who was formally introduced Monday evening at Fox Sports Midwest Live! inside Ballpark Village, which is just north of Busch Stadium, home of baseball's St. Louis Cardinals.

Paul Stastny
Center - STL
GOALS: 25 | ASST: 35 | PTS: 60
SOG: 150 | +/-: 9
"I was just excited about playing juniors, then from juniors to playing college," said the 28-year-old Stastny, who was eight when his father, Hockey Hall of famer Peter Stastny, played for the Blues. "I didn't care where I got drafted. I got drafted, I was excited to keep developing as a player, then I got to Colorado and I was excited. I never looked that far down the road. That's the way I've always been. You can never really hope for stuff like that."

Stastny, who signed a four-year, $28 million contract with the Blues after spending the first eight seasons of his NHL career with the Central Division rival Colorado Avalanche, grew up in St. Louis, where Peter Stastny concluded his career with the Blues in 1995.


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Tribute for Demitra makes emotional stop in Trencin

Friday, 08.22.2014 / 7:01 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The traveling tribute to Pavol Demitra made an emotional Friday night in Trencin, Slovakia, which is the birthplace of Demitra.

A group of St. Louis Blues alumni and a group of Slovakian hockey stars have been staging a series of games to honor Demitra, who died nearly three years ago after he and 43 other passengers died in a plane crash in Yaroslavl, Russia.

Demitra played for the Blues from 1996 to 2004. He also played for the Ottawa Senators, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks during his NHL career.

Friday, the series settled in Trencin, the birthplace of Demitra and several other high-profile NHL stars. Demitra’s father, also named Pavol, was on hand for the game and visited the players before the game and also dropped the ceremonial first puck.

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic