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(Page 203 of 269)
NHL Insider

Sharks look for answers that will yield Final trip

Thursday, 05.26.2011 / 7:13 PM / NHL Insider

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE, Calif.  -- If the puck had taken a few different bounces Tuesday night at Vancouver, Sharks captain Joe Thornton would have spent Thursday afternoon preparing to play Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.

Instead, Thornton was cleaning out his locker and rehashing another close-but-no-Stanley-Cup season before heading to the hospital for surgery on his broken pinky.

"It's still pretty tough," Thornton said of the Sharks' 3-2 double-overtime loss in Game 5. "You wanted to play tonight, and obviously you're not. It's still tough and I'm sure it's going to sting for a little bit. But we have a great group of guys in here who are going to come back next year and want it even more. I'm optimistic about the future.

Canucks' GM Gillis on 'NHL Hour' Thursday

Thursday, 05.26.2011 / 3:21 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis will be Thursday's guest on NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman on NHL.com and SIRIUS XM Radio at 6 p.m. ET.

In his third season as GM, the Canucks won the Presidents' Trophy and set franchise records for both wins and points. They ousted the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, defeated the Nashville Predators in the second round and on Tuesday finished off a five-game Western Conference Finals win over the San Jose Sharks to advance to the third Stanley Cup Final in their history and the first in 17 years.

NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman broadcasts live on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET on NHL Home Ice (XM Channel 92 and on SIRIUS Channel 207 as part of the "Best of XM" programming package) and NHL.com. The show will re-air on SIRIUS XM Radio, with archived shows available for download via podcast on NHL.com.

Rafalski's departure leaves questions for Wings

Wednesday, 05.25.2011 / 5:11 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- The offseason for the Detroit Red Wings just got a lot more interesting with the retirement of veteran puck-moving defenseman Brian Rafalski.

Detroit General Manager Ken Holland was already sweating out a decision about whether 41-year old Red Wings captain and future Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom would play another season. Now, without Rafalski, Holland could have two gaping holes in the top four of his blue line next season if Lidstrom retires.

No wonder Holland is crossing his fingers and toes before going to sleep each night -- not to mention giving hopeful "thumbs-up" signs almost every time he mentioned Lidstrom on Wednesday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena, following Rafalski's retirement ceremony.

Lashoff growing on the ice, in the studio

Monday, 05.23.2011 / 1:25 PM / NHL Insider

Joe Landolfi - NHL.com Staff Writer

Matt Lashoff only has his father to blame.

When he was 3, his father built an ice rink in the backyard of their East Greenbush, N.Y. home for him and his brother, Brian. Almost immediately he was hooked, and Matt's career path was set.

But there also was that whole music thing. Lashoff's father is an accomplished guitarist who had played in bands since Matt was born. He taught Matt the love of the guitar at an early age.

Fast forward 23 years later and it's no wonder Lashoff finds himself living a double life -- rugged, crease-clearing defenseman for the Maple Leafs by day; guitarist/singer/songwriter by night.

Summer coaching carousel begins to spin

Sunday, 05.22.2011 / 3:11 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

While most of the attention of the hockey world is focused on the conference finals, five teams -- the New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild, Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars -- have their view in other places.

Those are the only teams with coaching vacancies, and as the summer nears, those five teams are zeroing in on potential candidates.

Big names and coaches working their way up the professional ladder all have been tossed into the rumor mill. Here are a few of the candidates whose names you might be hearing more of in the not-too-distant future.

THE VETERANS

Marc Crawford -- He won the Stanley Cup in 1996, his second season with the Avalanche, and then guided the Canucks to the playoffs four times in seven seasons. His two seasons in Los Angeles and Dallas weren't as successful, but a team could take a chance on him.

Vinik credits 'world-class' people for turnaround

Thursday, 05.19.2011 / 7:32 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

First-year owner Jeff Vinik had an analogy ready when asked on Thursday night's "NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman" about the meteoric rise of his Tampa Bay Lightning from a non-playoff team each of the past three seasons to their current position tied at one win apiece in the Eastern Conference Finals, with Game 3 taking place later in the evening at St. Pete Times Forum.

"My day job is in the stock market, and I buy a stock because obviously I think it's going to go up over time," Vinik said. "And I never quite know how far it's going to go up or when … I re-evaluate it every day. So if you look at this hockey team, I go into the season thinking we can be a good or very good hockey team. I'm a fan, just like the other 20,000 people who are in this building tonight, and I let (General Manager) Steve (Yzerman) and (coach) Guy (Boucher) do their jobs. But I thought we had a good team coming into the season, and obviously I couldn't be more pleased about the regular season and certainly the playoffs. And just like the players say and Guy says, it's one day at a time and one game at a time. I didn't expect to be here, but let's keep going."

Isles-Kings games tense for brothers-in-law

Thursday, 05.19.2011 / 11:41 AM / NHL Insider

Emily Kaplan - NHL.com Staff Writer

"It's better off only having to face him once or twice a year. Because there's a lot of tension going into those two games." -- Kings goalie Jonathan Quick on facing brother-in-law, Matt Moulson

When Matt Moulson scored two goals against the Kings last season to propel the Islanders to a 3-0 win on Feb. 19, the New York forward experienced an emotion besides elation.

While Moulson was happy to lead the Islanders to victory, he also sympathized with Los Angeles' goaltender, Jonathan Quick.

That's because to Moulson, Quick is more than just an opposing goalie. He's also his brother-in-law.

And Moulson, New York's 27-year-old rising star, knows that Quick was about to be the brunt of most jokes at the next family dinner.

Moulson feels future is bright for Islanders

Thursday, 05.19.2011 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Emily Kaplan - NHL.com Staff Writer

Matt Moulson can't even count the number of times he's heard the question.

It seems that after Moulson, the Islanders' 27-year-old left wing, signed a three-year, $9.45 million extension with the team in the middle of last season, everyone wanted to know one thing: Why was a rising young star so adamant about staying on Long Island?

The answer is something Moulson can explain, but doesn't think people understand unless they're in the organization. They can listen, but they won't truly get it unless they're at practices, in meetings or around the team on a daily basis.

"More often than not, the people who asked me that question are people outside of the organization," Moulson said. "Sometimes the Islanders get a bad rep. The organization isn't as successful as they want it to be, or how it has been in the past. But that's fine with us. We know we have a lot of potential to do well, and I think we have a real bright future."get there."

Lightning owner Jeff Vinik on NHL Hour

Wednesday, 05.18.2011 / 8:35 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik will be Thursday's guest on “NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman on NHL.com” and Sirius XM Radio at 6 p.m. ET.  The show, live from Tampa, will be hosted by Eddie Olczyk and Phil Esposito.

Vinik bought the Lightning in February 2010 and has presided over the rebirth of the franchise under GM Steve Yzerman and coach Guy Boucher. The Lightning, who missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons from 2008-10, not only returned to the playoffs this season but beat Pittsburgh in seven games and swept Washington in four to make the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since winning it all in 2004.

"NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman" broadcasts live on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET on NHL Home Ice (XM Channel 92 and on Sirius Channel 207 as part of the "Best of XM" programming package) and NHL.com. The show will re-air on Sirius XM Radio, with archived shows available for download via podcast on NHL.com.

Niederreiter hopes to take next step with Isles

Monday, 05.16.2011 / 8:05 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Nino Niederreiter will still be only 18 years old when he reports to his second NHL training camp this September.

But after the season he just enjoyed -- his second in North America -- the highest Swiss player ever selected at the NHL Entry Draft (No. 5, 2010) one has to think Niederreiter is already ahead of the game.

After beginning the 2010-11 season in the NHL, Niederreiter was returned to the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. In 55 regular-season games, the 6-foot-2, 203-pound left wing had 41 goals, 29 assists, 67 penalty minutes and a plus-28 rating. But it was Niederreiter's postseason that has to have Isles GM Garth Snow downright giddy.
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