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NHL Insider

Boogaard in Rangers' thoughts as camp opens

Friday, 09.16.2011 / 5:54 PM / NHL Insider
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- As the Rangers gathered on their first day of training camp, their thoughts turned to who was missing.

Derek Boogaard would have been starting his second season in New York on Friday, but he passed away on May 13 -- the first of far too many tragedies during the past few months that sent the hockey world into mourning.

"You have your thoughts about it," coach John Tortorella said, "but you mourn, you grieve and you have to move along with your life and get about your business -- never forgetting, but also trying to conduct yourself each day."

Coach, teammates defend Byfuglien's conditioning

Friday, 09.16.2011 / 4:30 PM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Dustin Byfuglien could not speak in depth about the legal questions that have been associated with him since last month's boating incident in Minnesota, but his teammates and coach did plenty of talking in his defense.

Byfuglien and his Winnipeg Jets teammates underwent physicals and fitness testing Friday at the MTS Centre, and this was Byfuglien's first time answering questions from the media since the incident.

He was arrested Aug. 31 in Minnesota for suspicion of boating while impaired and faces criminal charges because he refused to provide a blood or urine sample. Legal considerations prevented Byfuglien from discussing details of the arrest, though he acknowledged he regretted the situation.

No pucks in sight as Rangers camp opens up

Friday, 09.16.2011 / 4:27 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Mike Rupp excitedly proclaimed he "survived" the first installment of John Tortorella's dreaded fitness testing. After joking earlier in the week about hoping he doesn't have a heart attack, prized free-agent signee Brad Richards was doing just fine after finishing the grueling sprints.

Sure, his heart was racing, but whose wasn't? Everyone were wearing a Rangers practice jersey Friday at the MSG Training Center had sore legs and were struggling to catch their breath.

Hawks won't rush Sharp after appendectomy

Friday, 09.16.2011 / 2:25 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- There's never a good time to have an appendectomy, but the Chicago Blackhawks do feel a little fortunate star forward Patrick Sharp had one before the start of training camp.

Sharp, 29, is recovering from an emergency appendectomy on Monday night, after he showed up to a charity golf outing that morning and started to feel ill. The team doctor estimated Sharp will be out three-to-four weeks, which would mean missing the most -- if not all -- of the pre-season and training camp.

A fixture in Chicago's top six forwards, Sharp could potentially return for the season opener Oct.7 in Dallas but no set timeline has been established. The Hawks are just glad the outcome was positive.

'Finnish Flash' to return to Helsinki as NHL great

Thursday, 09.15.2011 / 4:20 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - Columnist

50 -- Goals by Selanne against the Los Angeles Kings, the most he's scored against any opponent. He has 109 points against the Kings, also the most Selanne has scored against any other team.

As he prepares for the 2011-12 season, Teemu Selanne's career has come full circle.

The "Finnish Flash," now an Anaheim Duck for at least one more season, will play before the home fans in Helsinki on Oct. 7, when the Ducks face Buffalo as part of the NHL Premiere Series. It's a homecoming nearly two decades in the making -- Helsinki is where Selanne first came to hockey prominence with Jokerit, initially as a junior and then as one of the deadliest snipers in the SM-Liiga, Finland's top league. He led the team to the league championship in 1991-92 and was tops among all goal-scorers with 39 in 44 games.

Selanne left Finland that fall for Winnipeg, where the Jets had selected him with the 10th pick in the 1988 Entry Draft and signed him to come to North America. Wearing No. 13 because his preferred No. 8 belonged to defenseman Randy Carlyle (later his coach in Anaheim), Selanne lit up the NHL for 76 goals and 132 points, shattering the rookie record in both categories. He joined Finnish legend Jari Kurri and Russian Alexander Mogilny (who also scored 76 in '92-93) as the only Europeans to lead the NHL in goals, and took home the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie.

Holmgren: Season will show if moves were right

Thursday, 09.15.2011 / 4:03 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren sat down with to talk about Philly's offseason changes. (Getty Images)
It's been a challenging offseason for Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren -- both personally and professionally.
Holmgren engineered a massive re-working of his roster this summer, swapping a pair of franchise cornerstone All-Star centers in Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, while also handing out one of the biggest contracts of the summer to goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
He repatriated Jaromir Jagr to the NHL, brought forward Maxime Talbot from one side of the bitter Keystone State rivalry to the other, and added a pair of highly regarded center prospects in Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier.
On a personal level, Holmgren is still showing the aftereffects of a horrific bicycle crash earlier this month that left him with a broken shoulder, six broken ribs, and cuts and bruises on his head, hand and leg.

Tavares becoming face of the Islanders

Thursday, 09.15.2011 / 2:43 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

John Tavares will celebrate his 21st birthday next Tuesday. While most hockey players that age are still fighting their way up the professional ranks, Tavares will be preparing for his third NHL season with the New York Islanders.

"Ricky's (DiPietro) calling me a veteran and I'm just turning 21," Tavares told "It's hard to believe, but I'm excited for it. Every year, I want to keep improving and keep getting better and I'm trying to become one of the elite players in the League and help our team get back to where we should be and where we could be. It's a new responsibility trying to take my game to another level."

He'll have plenty of time to find that level on Long Island. On Thursday, the Islanders announced that Tavares signed a six-year contract that will keep him with the franchise through the 2017-18 season.

"I believe in this organization and this hockey team," he said when asked why he was willing to make a long-term commitment with a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2007. "The Stanley Cup is what we want, obviously sooner than later. But we've got to take it one day at a time. It's for us as a team to take the next step and make the playoffs."

Busy weekend ahead as NHL teams open camp

Thursday, 09.15.2011 / 12:52 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - Columnist

The calendar says summer ends on Sept. 23. But for the players aiming to be on an NHL roster this season, it really comes to an end this weekend, when teams open their training camps open. The majority of veteran players will have their first official on-ice sessions Saturday morning.

Not that the opening day of camp will be the first time players have hit the ice since the end of last season. Most of them have already been skating -- Alex Ovechkin is so eager to prove that last season's 32-goal, 85-point performance was an off-season that he jumped on the ice and did drills during the Washington Capitals' rookie camp last weekend.

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.
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Quote of the Day

I don't have a crystal ball. Predicting is a real complicated thing. If we stay healthy, have enough depth and get the good goaltending we think we're going to have, you can go all the way. But a lot of things have to happen. There's going to be a lot of teams that think the same thing. Everyone made deals. We're all are optimistic about where we'll end up.

— Rangers general manager Glen Sather after being asked if he's constructed a team that can win the Stanley Cup before their 4-1 win against the Predators on Monday
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