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NHL Insider

Emery clears waivers, on way to AHL

Tuesday, 02.08.2011 / 12:34 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"Ray Emery has been a solid NHL netminder for several years and is only 28 years old. We are going to give him a chance to go to Syracuse and establish himself again. He's worked hard to get back into shape and we are looking forward to seeing what he can do."
-- Anaheim Ducks Executive Vice President/GM Bob Murray

Ray Emery, signed Monday by the Anaheim Ducks, has cleared waivers and has been assigned to the team's American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.

The waiver period ended at noon ET on Tuesday.

Emery is attempting to come back from avascular necrosis, a condition which saw the near-complete degradation of the top of the ball in his hip joint. It's the same condition that led to the end of the athletic career of two-sport star Bo Jackson.

Emery had surgery in April, and began on-ice workouts in October. He hasn't played an organized hockey game since Feb. 1, 2010, when he made 18 saves for the Philadelphia Flyers in a shutout victory against the Calgary Flames.
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AHL call-ups helping keep Pens in Eastern race

Tuesday, 02.08.2011 / 10:53 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Dustin Jeffrey never will be Sidney Crosby, but he can mimic him for at least a little while. Eric Tangradi can't be Evgeni Malkin on his best day, but at 6-foot-4 and 221 pounds he does have the size to fill a power-forward role for the Pittsburgh Penguins for now.

This is how the Penguins are going to have to roll for the next couple of weeks as GM Ray Shero works on finding a team willing to trade with him in light of the season-ending knee injury to Malkin and Crosby's concussion. Names like Jason Arnott, Ales Hemsky and ex-Penguin Alexei Kovalev have been associated with rumors involving Pittsburgh, but for now coach Dan Bylsma has Jeffrey and Tangradi, a pair of AHL call-ups, filling major roles.

He's fine with it because what Jeffrey, Tangradi and even Tim Wallace, who played his first game of the season Sunday in Washington and fought David Steckel, lack in experience they more than make up for in energy, desire and knowledge of the Penguins' system.

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Work visa all that's keeping Forsberg off ice now

Monday, 02.07.2011 / 4:36 PM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

"Once he's squared away, it will be Peter's and my decision. Once that (the paperwork) is cleared up, he'll be available. I think it will give us a spark emotionally, and it will certainly boost our lineup." -- Joe Sacco

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The good news is Peter Forsberg said he's feeling so good on the ice that he conceivably could have played against the Phoenix Coyotes here Monday.

The bad news is, even if he wanted to, he couldn't.

After signing a contract to play for the Colorado Avalanche over the weekend, Forsberg now has to enter the United States as a worker rather that a visitor. That means he has to leave -- perhaps as early as Monday -- and obtain the proper immigration and work-visa paperwork before resuming his NHL career with the Avalanche.

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Green suffers scary moment in Caps' win

Sunday, 02.06.2011 / 4:49 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- A game and a rivalry already missing some serious star power didn't need to lose any more, but Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green couldn't get the ringing out of his ears until it was too late. Sunday's game between Washington and Pittsburgh had to go on without Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Alexander Semin and Green.

Green was struck directly in the right ear by Brooks Orpik's slap shot in the final moments of the first period at Verizon Center and fell to the ice clutching his head. Blood immediately started pouring out of his ear and Green had to be helped off the ice, but for right now it doesn't appear that the injury is anything more serious than a headache.

Green spoke to the media in the dressing room following Washington's 3-0 win and said there was no way he could have returned to the game.
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Better day for Forsberg at Friday practice

Friday, 02.04.2011 / 3:53 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

Peter Forsberg said he felt better following Friday's practice with the Colorado Avalanche, but he's still not ready to make a decision on signing a contract and joining the team.

It's a marked contrast from Wednesday, when his mood was down after a less-than-stellar practice and he said, "If I had to make a decision today, it wouldn't be that positive."

"It's starting to feel better, actually, compared to Wednesday," Forsberg said Friday of his oft-injured right foot. "We're near a decision here. We're very near a decision here."

With All-Star Matt Duchene taking what was termed a "maintenance day" and not skating, Forsberg centered a line with Milan Hejduk and Chris Stewart.

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Lemaire returns to teach Devils all the right ways

Friday, 02.04.2011 / 3:16 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

Jacques Lemaire had nothing left to prove in the NHL when he announced his retirement last April. Eight Stanley Cups as a player with the Montreal Canadiens and one as coach of the New Jersey Devils in 1995 speak volumes about his accomplishments.

Yet eight months later, the 65-year-old found himself back in New Jersey coaching a team that was 9-23-2, dead last in the NHL. The Devils were 20 points out of a playoff spot, something that became a given for them during the past 15 seasons.
 
So when Devils GM Lou Lamoriello made that phone call just days before Christmas, why would Lemaire agree to abandon his retirement and replace John MacLean behind the bench in what was a completely hopeless situation?
 
"I took it because of Lou," Lemaire said. "There's no doubt that this is the first thing why I took the job. The second one is I feel that it's a top organization and it was hard to look at them play the way they were playing and I know a lot of these guys I coached in the past. I felt sorry for them for what was happening to them. I thought I could help."

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Perseverance pays dividends for Hendricks

Friday, 02.04.2011 / 1:25 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

"Hendy is a guy who can play any [forward] position and play in all situations. He brings a lot of energy and he's well liked by his teammates."
-- Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau on Matt Hendricks

Matt Hendricks had set a deadline.

If he reached the age of 30 and hadn't made it in the NHL, he was going to play in Europe. Many other players do it. In the right country, the pay and lifestyle are better than what they are in the American Hockey League. He had a family and kids to worry about.

He was 29. Originally drafted in the fifth round in 2000, he stayed in school and played four seasons at St. Cloud State in his native Minnesota. He made stops in the AHL in Milwaukee, Lowell, Rochester, Hershey, Providence and Lake Erie. There also was a stint in the ECHL with Florida during the NHL work stoppage in 2004-05.

All of that can get to be too much for a hockey player, even if he's chasing the dream.
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Caps looking up division standings

Friday, 02.04.2011 / 12:01 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

For the past two seasons the Washington Capitals have won the Southeast Division with relative ease, finishing a combined 49 points ahead of the competition.

To put it in perspective, three other teams -- New Jersey, Vancouver and San Jose -- also have won their divisions each of the past two seasons, and the combined margin for those six titles is only 51 points.

Washington's quest to capture the division flag for a fourth straight season has been met with much greater resistance. Some of it is self-inflicted -- the Capitals have gone winless in 20 of their past 33 games since beginning the season with a League-leading 14-4-1 start.
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Vinik and Leiweke discuss visions for Lightning

Thursday, 02.03.2011 / 8:01 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning have made plenty of news this week, for all the right reasons.

On Monday, owner Jeff Vinik and CEO Tod Leiweke, along with general manager Steve Yzerman, revealed a long-term vision for the Tampa Bay organization that included the unveiling of a new logo plus home and road jerseys.

On Tuesday, Vinik and his wife announced a donation of more than $10 million over the next five years through the Lightning Foundation to deserving community heroes and charity partners in Tampa Bay.

Capping off a busy three days, the Lightning on Wednesday announced a privately funded $35 million transformation of the St. Pete Times Forum.
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Flyers salute Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke

Thursday, 02.03.2011 / 7:52 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Scott Hartnell never had the privilege of witnessing Flyers legend Bobby Clarke in action, but judging by that toothless grin, he can ascertain his passion for winning.
 
Winning was all Bobby Clarke was passionate about.
 
"I didn't watch him in the 70's, but from just talking with (GM Paul) Holmgren and the guys who were around when he was player, he was the ultimate competitor," Hartnell said. "He gave it his all every shift. You can see by his toothless smile back in the day; he just left it all out there on the ice."
 
Clarke, 61, returned to the ice on Thursday, in fact, when the Flyers presented their Hall of Fame center and his family the original retired number banner that hung from the rafters at the Spectrum prior to the team's game against the Nashville Predators at Wells Fargo Center, Clarke was joined by his grandson.
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Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals