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NHL Insider

Therrien can hit the ground running with Canadiens

Tuesday, 06.05.2012 / 7:36 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BROSSARD, Que. – When a coach takes over a new team, often times he can avoid answering specific questions about the changes that need to be made by saying he hasn't seen his new team often enough.

Michel Therrien didn't have that luxury when he was named coach of the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

Through his work as an analyst for RDS the past year, Therrien very closely watched the Canadiens and picked their games apart on the all-sports network's post-game show.

The one thing that appears to have jumped out to Therrien from the Canadiens' 2011-12 season -- where they finished 28th overall in the NHL standings -- was an unwillingness to work.

"I want to give this team a work ethic, a level of discipline that will be exemplary," Therrien said in his opening statement at Tuesday's press conference. "I want fans to be proud to come to the Bell Centre and cheer on a team that works hard."

Matthew Perry talks Kings on 'NHL Hour'

Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 8:08 PM / NHL Insider

The Los Angeles Kings might want to think about reserving a seat at Staples Center for actor Matthew Perry in future seasons.

"I have had season seats to the Los Angeles Kings twice in my life -- this year and 1993," Perry said during an appearance Thursday night on "NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman."

Of course, 1993 was the only season prior to the current one when the Kings reached the Stanley Cup Final, so Perry would seem to be something of a good luck charm.

Lidstrom discusses his retirement on 'NHL Hour'

Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 7:24 PM / NHL Insider

As part of a hectic Thursday that started at Joe Louis Arena, where he announced his retirement after two decades playing for the Detroit Red Wings, defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom appeared on the "NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman," where he was praised for all he has contributed to the League over the years.

"First of all, congratulations on a spectacular career," Bettman said. "Thank you for all the thrills you've given us. Thank you for the classy, terrific way you've always represented our League and our game and the Red Wings."

Lidstrom, a seven-time winner of the Norris Trophy and a four-time Stanley Cup champion, reiterated some of the comments he made at his news conference earlier in the day about coming to the conclusion that he didn't have the same drive necessary to continue playing at an elite level.

Zetterberg, Kronwall, Datsyuk top candidates for 'C'

Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 6:37 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

DETROIT -- The question has been kicked around a few times before, but now that Nicklas Lidstrom has made his retirement official it's time for the Detroit Red Wings to think about the answer for real.

Who will be wearing the captain's "C" on his sweater when the 2012-13 season begins?

Lidstrom wore it for six seasons, starting in 2007 after he inherited it from fellow Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman -- who retired after the 2006 season. Yzerman wore it for 22 seasons, so between the two the "C" has only been worn by two Wings in almost the past 30 years.

It's become a pretty big deal in Motown, and by the sounds of it there are three candidates -- all of whom are currently alternate captains. Henrik Zetterberg is the favorite for many speculators, while Niklas Kronwall is thought to be another strong candidate with dazzling center Pavel Datsyuk in the mix, as well.

Lidstrom tributes pour in on Twitter

Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 12:44 PM / NHL Insider

There aren't many NHL players more universally respected than Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom.

So when the 20-year veteran announced his retirement Thursday morning, the NHL fraternity immediately began flooding the Twitterverse with their personal tributes to a player who walked away less than a year after winning his seventh Norris Trophy as the League's best defenseman, second all-time behind Bobby Orr's eight. It's part of an incredible mantle that includes four Stanley Cup wins, an Olympic Gold medal, a world championship, and 1,142 NHL points.

But when it came time for Lidstrom's NHL peers to send off the future Hall of Famer, the discussion wasn't about stats but about the class, respect, and dignity exhibited by one of hockey's all-time great.

Here are some of the player tributes that appeared on Twitter immediately after Lidstrom announced his retirement:

Larionov: Lidstrom 'set the example' for rest of NHL

Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 12:11 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Hockey Hall of Famer Igor Larionov was overcome with emotion on Thursday morning when asked here at the Westin Bristol Place hotel about the playing career of former Detroit Red Wings teammate Nicklas Lidstrom.

But a bloodshot Larionov, who teamed with Lidstrom for eight seasons in Detroit, certainly found the right words when discussing his good friend and his decision to retire from the game following two glorious decades.

"He set the example for the young guys and everyone in the League on how to behave on and off the ice and how to play the game," Larionov told "It's not just muscle and toughness, but smarts, and that's what he brought each and every night."

Rival GMs appreciate brilliance of Lidstrom

Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 6:57 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Minutes before the end of a meeting of the NHL's general managers, the Detroit Red Wings announced a press conference for Thursday afternoon about the future of captain Nicklas Lidstrom.

"He's going to announce his decision for next ... I'll let Nick -- he's played 20 years, he can make his own announcement," Detroit GM Ken Holland said as he left the meeting at the Westin Times Square

As the GMs filed out of the ballroom at the midtown Manhattan hotel, several were asked about the impact of Lidstrom, who according to NHL Network will announce his retirement after 20 years in the NHL.

"I think he's going to go down as one of the all-time best defensemen ever to play," said Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman, who was the captain in Detroit before Lidstrom. "Having played with him and watched him closely from his first game, people know about it now but we've said it all along -- you have to watch him closely to appreciate how good he is, what a great athlete he is because he makes the position look so easy. He is a special athlete."

Gainey: Return to Dallas comes at right time

Wednesday, 05.16.2012 / 3:25 PM / NHL Insider

Steve Hunt - Correspondent

"Bob Gainey's a Dallas Star and I believe that without that influence in this franchise we wouldn't have captured the Stanley Cup in '99. He was the right guy in the right place." -- Stars president Jim Lites

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars officially welcomed former general manager and coach Bob Gainey back to the organization Wednesday. Gainey, a 1992 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame, will serve as a senior advisor to the hockey department.

"I'm really pleased and excited to be joining, or re-joining, the Dallas Stars organization," Gainey said. "It comes at a particular good time in my career where I've had many experiences over a long period of time in pro hockey, in the NHL. I guess I'm going to be a consultant without boundaries."

The 58-year-old Gainey most recently worked in the Montreal Canadiens organization, serving as general manager from 2003-10; he also was interim coach on two occasions. He had served as the Stars' coach from 1990-96 and was the club's general manager from 1992-2002.

Cowher's love for hockey grows over time

Tuesday, 05.15.2012 / 8:45 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

Bill Cowher reached the pinnacle of his sport by leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to a Super Bowl victory. But through all his years on NFL sidelines, he never forgot about another sport he loved.

Cowher grew up in Pittsburgh as a fan of the AHL's Pittsburgh Hornets, the city's predecessor to the Penguins. His appreciation for hockey only grew when he was hired as the Steelers' coach in 1992 -- the same time another iconic Pittsburgher was cementing his own status within the city's sporting hierarchy.

"I knew Mario [Lemieux] and all those guys. I knew them very well," Cowher told before his appearance on Cisco NHL Live to discuss, a website aimed at raising awareness about skin cancer. "Howard Baldwin was the owner back then and [Jaromir] Jagr came on the scene and they were a very talented team."

Coaching candidates that could merit consideration

Monday, 05.14.2012 / 2:33 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Dale Hunter's departure from Washington was as surprising as his arrival.

Citing a desire to spend more time with his family and run the family business -- the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League -- Hunter announced Monday that he would not return to the Capitals for a second season.

The task for GM George McPhee now becomes finding a third coach in six months for a team that shifted its focus on an up-and-down, attacking system under Bruce Boudreau to a more defensive-oriented style under Hunter.

So who could be next? takes a look at a few early possibilities:

Marc Crawford -- Crawford is a veteran coach who has proven he knows how to win as well as get along with top-level players. He coached Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg to a Stanley Cup with the 1996 Colorado Avalanche, and has been to the playoffs eight times in 15 seasons. He's hungry for one more shot after missing the playoffs in each of his last two stops -- two seasons with the Kings and two seasons with the Stars.

Marc French -- In his three seasons as coach of the Hershey Bears, the Capitals' American Hockey League affiliate, the team has finished with at least 88 points. In 2009-10, his first season, the team set franchise records with 123 points and 60 wins. Since arriving in Hershey, he's helped develop current Caps Braden Holtby, Dmitri Orlov, John Carlson and Karl Alzner.

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