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(Page 201 of 274)
NHL Insider

Canadiens optimistic as training camp nears

Wednesday, 09.14.2011 / 4:58 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

LAVAL, Que. – For a team that was knocked out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the first round, the Montreal Canadiens appeared to be pretty content with the roster judging by a lack of offseason moves.

Aside from power forward Erik Cole and backup goalie Peter Budaj, general manager Pierre Gauthier stayed away from the unrestricted free agent market.

The inactivity from management sent a message to a group of players that lost in overtime of Game 7 to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins that there was a belief in its ability to grow from that disappointment and become stronger as a result.

"We left last season on an optimistic note," Gauthier said Wednesday at the team's annual fundraising golf tournament just north of Montreal. "We were disappointed to lose in overtime of a seventh game, but with the injuries last season and the roles of the young players, a lot of the veterans were saying we have a good team."

Army veteran McKelvie ready to start pro career

Wednesday, 09.14.2011 / 4:00 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. – No player attending this past week's Bruins rookie camp has waited longer to get there or appreciated the opportunity to skate with a professional jersey on more than Zach McKelvie.

After all, just two years ago the defenseman didn't know if his dream of playing professional hockey would ever come true.

After a standout four-year career at Army, Department of Defense policy required McKelvie to remain on active duty for 24 months. Instead of going to training camp with the Bruins' farm team in Providence, he reported to Fort Benning, Ga., for training and to await an assignment.

One-on-one with Mike Yeo, youngest coach in the NHL

Wednesday, 09.14.2011 / 8:55 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

New Wild coach Mike Yeo will enter the 2011-12 season as the youngest coach in the NHL. (Getty Images)
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Mike Yeo will enter the 2011-12 season as the youngest coach in the NHL.
That fact doesn't seem to faze the 38-year-old father of two who was named the third coach in the 11-year history of the Minnesota Wild on June 17. Yeo, who replaced Todd Richards after two seasons, had spent five seasons as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins and helped lead the club to a Stanley Cup in 2009.
He also guided the Wild's top farm club in Houston to the American Hockey League finals last season in his only year as coach of the Aeros. He likes teams that play with speed and aggressiveness, and stresses puck-possession time in the offensive end.

Yeo inherits a team that has qualified for the playoffs just three times in 10 seasons (2003, '07 and '08) and has advanced beyond the opening round just once. While he certainly has his work cut out for him, Yeo is up for the challenge and ready to get the season started.

All cheers for Cup-champion Bruins

Tuesday, 09.13.2011 / 11:35 AM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- The magical powers of the Stanley Cup seemingly know no bounds.

For the first time in the several years, since the Bruins started holding their annual "State of the Bruins" town hall meeting for season-ticket holders, there were standing ovations during introductions and applause after every answer to questions from the audience Monday at TD Garden.

Any doubts that Boston and Bruins fans have been transformed by the end of the 39-year championship drought were dashed by the jovial mood of those gathered at the Bruins' home rink.

Rangers' Callahan joins exclusive fraternity

Monday, 09.12.2011 / 4:34 PM / NHL Insider

David Kalan - Staff Writer

Few individual honors in hockey are more meaningful than being named a team captain, and doing so as a native of the United States is an exclusive club. On Monday, the New York Rangers' Ryan Callahan became the 37th member of that fraternity.

With Ryan Callahan named captain of the New York Rangers on Monday, the NHL again has four captains -- Callahan, the Kings' Dustin Brown, the Canadiens' Brian Gionta and the Blues' David Backes -- who hail from the United States. While that news should be a source of pride for any U.S. hockey fan, it should be particularly so for those from the Empire State. Three of the four current U.S.-born captains in the NHL -- Brown, Gionta and Callahan -- are New York natives, but it is Callahan who gets the rare treat of being a captain of an NHL team in his home state.

Laviolette was rookie coach when attacks occurred

Friday, 09.09.2011 / 6:44 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

The tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001 will resonate with anyone who was old enough to understand the gravity of what happened. It's one of those moments where you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when the terrorist attacks happened 10 years ago Sunday.

Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette is no exception.

"I was probably two minutes into my first training camp as a head coach in the National Hockey League," he said. "Day 1. I'll never forget."

Laviolette was a 37-year-old first-year coach of the New York Islanders on that fateful day. The Islanders were holding training camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Laviolette had just led the first group of players onto the ice.

"I might have heard first from the players, but shortly after that, five after nine or seven after nine, (General Manager) Mike Milbury came over and told me what had happened," Laviolette said. "Nobody was sure at that point. We didn't really know."


Leetch still feels loss of close friend in 9/11 attacks

Friday, 09.09.2011 / 4:02 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Brian Leetch has no memory of scoring the overtime winner. He barely remembers playing in the game.

It was Oct. 6, 2001, the New York Rangers' first regular-season home game in the post-9/11 world. Leetch's job forced him to be on the ice at Madison Square Garden that night, but looking back on it, his mind was elsewhere.

Leetch was lost somewhere between the devastation he felt as a person who called New York City home and the heartache he was enduring as one of thousands who lost a dear friend in the World Trade Center the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. 

Kesler still unsure when he'll be able to return

Friday, 09.09.2011 / 1:51 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The only guarantee Selke Trophy winner Ryan Kesler can offer is that he won't be able to join his teammates on the ice in Vancouver when training camp begins next week. The Canucks center had surgery to repair a tear in his hip in late July and he's nowhere near being ready to play yet.

"Not a chance," Kesler told Friday during the Player Media Tour.

So if he's not ready for training camp, can it be assumed he won't be ready for the start of the season either?

Pronger feels 'pretty good' in return to the ice

Friday, 09.09.2011 / 1:01 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

VOORHEES, N.J. -- For his first time on the ice in more than four months, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger said Friday that he felt pretty good.

However, he knows a true test of the condition of his surgically repaired back won't come until the weekend.

"We'll see how I feel (Saturday)," he told reporters at Virtua Skate Zone here following his 25-minute solo skate. "Having not skated or done anything on the ice in 4 1/2 months, you've got to take it slowly and see how you feel day by day. I felt pretty good out there. Usually the first time on the ice is when you feel good. Then it's Day 2, 3, 4, and 5 you're a little suspect. We'll see how I feel (Saturday)."

Ten years later, 9/11 still resonates in hockey

Friday, 09.09.2011 / 11:03 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

"When I moved here, living in Manhattan, just meeting people that had been affected by it, it was a reality check.  Knowing how huge those towers were and the devastation it caused, it was a big eye-opener when I moved here."
-- Marc Staal

Brian Gionta arrived at South Mountain Arena in West Orange, N.J. early in the morning on Sept. 11, 2001 with anticipation and nerves. It was around 8 a.m. on his first day of training camp in the NHL and Gionta was preparing to make an impression on the New Jersey Devils.

An hour later, training camp meant so little. An hour later, the world was a much different and more dangerous place.

Gionta grew up in Rochester, N.Y., which is about a five-hour drive from lower Manhattan. He grew up adoring the New York City skyline, and on that fateful morning, while he was starting his NHL journey, the World Trade Center was falling.
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Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday