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NHL Insider

Blackhawks know patience is necessary evil

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 12:57 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Jonathan Toews understands the concept of having patience, how it can be a virtue, and why it's a particularly necessary asset for him and the Chicago Blackhawks to have at the start of this season.

That doesn't mean Toews, Chicago's captain, has to like the need for patience or wants any part of it. Haste is what Toews feels. A sense of urgency is the asset he wants his team to have. Slowly working into a season is not for him; it's not his style.

"Especially for myself, sometimes you want to go, you want things to work right away, and when they don't you can get frustrated," Toews said. "As a team I think we know how to handle that now."

Toews is hoping what he saw Wednesday is a sign of that urgency growing on the Blackhawks quickly.

Chicago's season started at United Center with a banner-raising ceremony signifying their Stanley Cup championship from last season. The night ended with the Blackhawks on the wrong end of the score in a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers because of a slow start that led to a preventable goals in a poor first period and a deficit they couldn't overcome despite a strong second and third periods.

Blackhawks raise 2015 Cup championship banner

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 12:54 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- The countdown clock on the scoreboard above center ice, set at 26 minutes, started going down when the video board turned on, showing pictures of the Chicago Blackhawks' latest Stanley Cup championship run.

More videos played, displaying images of the Stanley Cup, the Conn Smythe Trophy and the celebration from June 15, the night the Blackhawks won the Cup on their home ice.

The show was on, banner-raising night at United Center, the third of its kind since 2010, and it was like a dance party came to the "Madhouse on Madison." The lights went off and arena staffers tossed giant, glowing balloons into the crowd. The wristlets that were on every seat started lighting up in unison.

Galchenyuk gives Canadiens boost in opener

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 12:40 AM / NHL Insider

Tim Wharnsby - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Montreal Canadiens received the kind of play they have been accustomed to from Max Pacioretty, P.K. Subban and Carey Price in their season opener Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

But to see Alex Galchenyuk score his first regular-season game-winning goal since Dec. 16, 2014 in his first game as Montreal's second-line center was a welcome sight for the Canadiens in their 3-1 win against the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.

In his first three NHL seasons, Galchenyuk primarily has played the wing. Though last season was his most productive in the NHL, with 20 goals, the Montreal coaching staff wanted to see the 21-year-old become more involved and shoot more.

"There is no doubt we would like to see him taking the option of shooting the puck," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said.

Banner raising closes door on Blackhawks' latest title

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 2:45 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- The vacancy that currently exists in the rafters at United Center, an empty space between the Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup championship banners from 2010 and 2013, was hard to miss if you simply looked up Wednesday morning.

"Yeah, I noticed," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "These things don't slip by me."

He'll notice the banner that will fill the empty space Wednesday night for the rest of his life. It's part of his legacy and part of Blackhawks' lore.

"It's pretty amazing to think we've been able to put three banners up there so far," Toews said. "That is what you play for."

The 2015 championship banner that will be raised here represents the latest great accomplishment by the Blackhawks, winners of the Stanley Cup in three of the past six seasons (2010, 2013 and 2015), making them arguably the NHL's newest dynasty, depending on how one defines a dynasty.

It also represents a last hurrah.

The players received their lavish, diamond-studded rings Sunday night and will bring the Stanley Cup on the ice as part of the banner-raising ceremony prior to their season-opener against the New York Rangers (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

Babcock's goal to make Maple Leafs better every day

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 2:16 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Mike Babcock was asked a simple question: How much difference can a coach make on a hockey team?

"I have no idea," Babcock said. "What I would tell you is everywhere I have gone I have just tried to get better each and every day and be process-oriented, love the guys and try to make them as good a player as they possibly can be. I want to make the player accountable and make the organization proud of us. I like to be proud when I leave the rink."

Babcock signed an eight-year contract worth a reported $50 million to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 20. The belief is that in time he will bring a winning attitude and positive results.

Eichel eyes NHL debut, Sabres to help him adjust

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 2:13 PM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- When the Buffalo Sabres host the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, it will mark the official start of Jack Eichel's NHL career.

Eichel will play his first regular-season NHL game, and after a long summer of sorting through being the second pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, Sabres development camp, the Sabres Prospects Challenge and his first NHL training camp, his dream will become a reality.

"I'm really excited about it. I have a lot of family and friends coming in so it's going to be a special moment for me," Eichel said Tuesday. "It's something I've dreamed of my whole life; stepping foot on that ice and making the NHL. I'm trying to soak it all in right now with everything that's going on in my life. I think it's all happened really quickly, but I'm trying to soak it all in. It's kind of been a whirlwind, but you're finally playing hockey for a living and everything you've done your whole life is to get to this point. It's pretty special."

Eichel skated on a line with veterans Matt Moulson and Brian Gionta on Tuesday, but Gionta missed practice Wednesday because of an injury. At practice Wednesday Eichel skated with Evander Kane and Sam Reinhart, the second pick of the 2014 draft.

Jagr still going strong on 25th anniversary of first goal

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 12:17 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

At 18 years old and playing his second NHL game, Jaromir Jagr scored his first NHL goal when the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New Jersey Devils 7-4 at Pittsburgh Civic Arena 25 years ago today.

A quarter-century later, Jagr, 43, is entering his second season with the Florida Panthers, and 22nd in the NHL.

Parked in front of the Devils net on Oct. 7, 1990, Jagr scored off the rebound of defenseman Jim Johnson's shot from the point. In goal for the Devils was Chris Terreri, currently the Devils' goaltending coach.

Oilers' McDavid sees hard work pay with NHL debut

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 12:12 PM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid may be the most anticipated player to join the NHL in 10 years, but few are as excited about his upcoming debut than he is.

Not since Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby entered the League in 2005 has a player generated as much interest as McDavid, who will play his first regular-season game with the Oilers on Thursday at the St. Louis Blues (8 p.m. ET; SN360).

"It's something that you dream of for so long," McDavid said. "The draft is one thing, but to finally be in this situation is another, so I'm really excited. It's been a long road; it's been a lot of hard work. I think a lot of guys' stories are different in how they get here, but the one common theme is hard work and my story is not any different that way. I put in a lot of hours to be here and I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to it for my family and for them to enjoy it. I know my dad and mom are going to be very proud and it's going to be great experience."

Brodeur 'at peace' with how playing career ended

Tuesday, 10.06.2015 / 5:31 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Retired NHL goaltender Martin Brodeur has no regrets over how he ended his career after setting numerous records and winning three Stanley Cup championships as a member of the New Jersey Devils.

In Brodeur's eyes, playing the final seven games of his career with the St. Louis Blues was all part of his incredible journey.

"You know what, I'm at peace with that decision," Brodeur told NHL.com. "Looking back, I have zero regrets in how I closed out my career. In the perfect storm finishing up as a member of the Devils would have been great but I never thought it would happen that way, never saw it coming."

The Devils announced Tuesday they will retire Brodeur's No. 30 on Feb. 9 at Prudential Center; a statue of Brodeur will also be built outside Prudential Center in Championship Plaza.

Lemieux 'shocked' by surprise 50th party: Bergevin

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 10:41 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin turned 50 this year with little fanfare, but he understands why that won't be the case for one of his lifelong friends.

Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux turned 50 on Monday, nearly two months after his former minor hockey teammate Bergevin hit the milestone on Aug. 11.

The two technically are competitors in the NHL's Eastern Conference, but the friendship they forged playing for the same team in pee-wee, bantam and midget in southwest Montreal nearly 40 years ago remains as strong as ever.

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