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2014 NHL Draft
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NHL Insider

Rangers' St. Louis moving forward after tough spring

Friday, 07.25.2014 / 9:22 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Dan Boyle signed with the New York Rangers as a free agent, which means not only does Martin St. Louis get to reunite with a former teammate who can fill a void on defense, it gives his dad, Normand, a needed bit of friendship too.

"[Dan's] parents are really close to my parents," Martin St. Louis told Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com in a lengthy interview published Thursday. "I think my dad was really excited to have some close friends come on the team, I guess. Obviously with what he's gone through, I think that's going to help him tremendously this next year to have these close friends to him close.

"All in all, I think it's a really exciting time."

Martin's mom and Normand's wife, France, died at age 63 on May 8, during the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Her funeral was held May 18, the day between Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference Final.

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Mueller could break through with Sharks this season

Friday, 07.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson repeatedly has talked this offseason about his plan to rebuild the team around its younger players.

Mirco Mueller, a 19-year-old defenseman from Switzerland, heard Wilson's message loud and clear.

"When Doug Wilson says he trusts in younger players and he wants to build on our age group, that gives you a lot of motivation and confidence that you really have a shot to make the team," Mueller said during Sharks development camp this month.

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Hurricanes stalwart Wesley sees son carry on legacy

Friday, 07.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Josh Wesley has his father's build, cutting an imposing figure on the PNC Arena ice. Even at 18 years old, you might mistake the kid for his father at a glance.

The giveaway is the No. 22 on Josh's Carolina Hurricanes jersey, doubling up on Glen Wesley's No. 2, which hangs in the rafters.

The Hurricanes selected Glen's son, also a defenseman, in the fourth round (No. 96) of the 2014 NHL Draft, creating the potential for a second generation of Wesleys playing defense in Carolina.

But drafting Josh sets up another interesting dynamic: His father is the director of defensemen development for the Hurricanes.

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Bruins' Eriksson could fill Iginla's top-line role

Thursday, 07.24.2014 / 4:53 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Jarome Iginla's departure means there is an opportunity for Loui Eriksson to move into a more prominent role with the Boston Bruins. At least that's the way Bruins coach Claude Julien sees it now as he contemplates what his lineup could look like Oct. 8, when Boston opens the 2014-15 regular season against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Julien, who spoke on a conference call Thursday to announce the hiring of Joe Sacco as an assistant coach, said Eriksson will be given the opportunity to take Iginla's minutes and, ideally, account for the production Iginla gave Boston last season.

Iginla had 30 goals and 31 assists but signed a three-year, $16 million contract with the Colorado Avalanche on July 1. Eriksson had 10 goals and 27 assists in 61 games last season but was sidetracked by concussions.

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Babcock looks to learn more via advanced stats

Thursday, 07.24.2014 / 10:46 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock is of the belief that the more information he can gather the better he will be at evaluating and running his team. That's why Babcock is interested in the growing movement of advanced statistical analysis in the NHL.

"Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind," Babcock told NHL.com. "You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'"

Babcock said the Red Wings have not hired someone to serve as an analytics guru, but he said such a move is coming.


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Wild's Dumba hoping to stay in one place this season

Thursday, 07.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba got his first real taste of the NHL last season. It was one stop on a whirlwind tour that entrenched Dumba as one of the League's top defense prospects.

This season he hopes to turn that experience into a full-time role with the Wild.

"I was all over the map," Dumba said. "But it was fun every step of the way. I was learning something new every day when I was up here with Minnesota."

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Predators' Fiala part of upward trend in Swiss talent

Thursday, 07.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

Nashville Predators chief amateur scout Jeff Kealty remembers when he began to observe a change in the level of quality in Switzerland's national teams, particularly at the amateur level.

It was August 2007 and Kealty was at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, one of the top under-18 tournaments in the world. He noticed the way Swiss defenseman Roman Josi competed against Canada forward Steven Stamkos, who already was the consensus top pick in the coming NHL Draft. Kealty saw that Josi, who the Predators ended up selecting in the second round (No. 38) in 2008, was not at all intimidated playing against Stamkos.

Last season, Josi logged 26:25 in time on ice per game, ranking him fifth in the NHL, and he has grown into one of Nashville's foundational players. Overall, nine players from Switzerland spent time in the League in 2013-14. Nashville was the only franchise that had two Swiss players it signed and developed. The other is center Simon Moser, who played for Switzerland's Olympic team. The Predators signed Moser, now 25, to a free-agent contract last summer.

The Predators went back to the Swiss with the 11th pick in the 2014 draft and took center Kevin Fiala.

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Booth joins Maple Leafs to 'revive my career'

Wednesday, 07.23.2014 / 8:58 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

David Booth is ready with a list of reasons he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs: He can play for an Original Six team close to home with a chance for some significant ice time.

"There's just so many things that I'm excited about," Booth said Wednesday on TSN 1050 Radio. "... Just the opportunity to, I guess, revive my career a little bit."

Booth this week signed a one-year contract with the Maple Leafs reportedly worth $1.1 million, after the forward was bought out by the Vancouver Canucks following his third disappointing season there.

Unable to play a full season since 2010-11 with the Florida Panthers, Booth finished with 51 points (26 goals) in 134 games with Vancouver.

"It's been a little bit tougher the past couple years, with some injuries, setbacks that I've had," he said on "The Bryan Hayes Show." "I've stayed positive through them all. ... I thought I was playing some good hockey there toward the end of the year ... and I've had a great summer of training, been healthy, and really excited to get a start here in Toronto."

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Bozon on comeback trail after life-threatening illness

Wednesday, 07.23.2014 / 4:37 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

With 20 goals in his previous 22 games, Kootenay Ice forward Tim Bozon was playing so well that nobody paid much attention when his nose suddenly started bleeding during warm-ups for his Western Hockey League game against the Saskatoon Blades on Feb. 28.

The Montreal Canadiens' third-round pick (No. 64) in the 2012 NHL Draft scored late in the first period to spark Kootenay's comeback from a two-goal deficit for a 4-2 win.

The next morning Bozon was rushed to a hospital and placed in a medically induced coma.

Five months removed from a bout with a severe form of meningitis, Bozon is returning to the ice with an eye on Canadiens training camp in September.

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Sabres' big defensemen set to compete for jobs

Wednesday, 07.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- If there's a position battle to keep an eye on in training camp for the Buffalo Sabres, it's defenseman.

Sabres development camp boasted a roster that featured four defensemen who played in the NHL last season, three first-round picks. Mark Pysyk, Buffalo's first-round pick in 2010, and 2013 first-round picks Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov joined 2012 second-round selection Jake McCabe as the headline players.

The four will challenge for spots in the NHL this season, but at development camp they were there to measure up against each other, and it set the table for what's to come in September.

Experienced players Tyler Myers and newly acquired Josh Gorges are likely the two sure bets to have spots in the Sabres lineup this season. After that, competition figures to be intense between the four young players at development camp, as well as established Sabres Mike Weber, Chad Ruhwedel, and free-agent signings Andrej Meszaros and Tyson Strachan.

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Quote of the Day

I kept refreshing the page on the NHL website after the second round and I was shocked he lasted that long. I'm sure the Coyotes were pretty happy to get him. He's such a good player and he plays big in big games.

— Arizona Coyotes forward Henrik Samuelsson on prospect Edgars Kulda being draftedd