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NHL Insider

Couturier taken to hospital for further evaluation

Saturday, 12.17.2011 / 5:36 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was at a loss for words when asked about the rash of head injuries his team has endured this season.
On Monday, the team learned leading scorer Claude Giroux would be out indefinitely with a concussion. Three days later, it was announced that Flyers captain Chris Pronger was done for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs with severe post-concussion syndrome.
Rookie Sean Couturier became the third player to be sidelined by a head injury this week after being hit in the head by a puck Saturday afternoon in a 6-0 loss to the Boston Bruins. Fellow rookie Brayden Schenn is also out with a concussion.
"You have to ask yourself, 'Are we in a bad stretch here?' " Laviolette said. "Is it some tough breaks where things are happening and guys are getting banged in the head? … It's a good question."

City of Winnipeg ready to salute Selanne

Saturday, 12.17.2011 / 4:37 PM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - Correspondent

WINNIPEG - The memories from Teemu Selanne's rookie season in Winnipeg cross all lines in the city's hockey culture.

Those memories weave all across the city's fervent fan base, through the media corps that covered Winnipeg's NHL days then and now and into the dressing room of the current incarnation of the Jets.

Selanne's 76-goal rookie season in 1992-93 still resonates deeply in Winnipeg, and his arrival with the Anaheim Ducks for a contest Saturday night at MTS Centre is perhaps the hottest ticket in town since the Jets' season-opener Oct. 9.

"There will be a lot of buzz in the building regarding Selanne," Jets coach Claude Noel said, "and there should be. He's had a great career, and we want him to continue having a great career after the game. For what he has done for a lot of things here, he has been a tremendous player in the League and still is."

Selanne's 132-point rookie season earned him the Calder Memorial Trophy and began a career that is now in its 19th NHL season. Remarkably enough, Selanne's 76 goals that season only tied him for the League lead, as Buffalo's Alexander Mogilny also posted 76 tallies.

Selanne happy to bring family for Jets reunion

Saturday, 12.17.2011 / 1:28 PM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - Correspondent

WINNIPEG – It has been nearly 16 years since Teemu Selanne last showed up in Winnipeg for an NHL game.

But Selanne and the Anaheim Ducks will play the Winnipeg Jets tonight at the MTS Centre in Selanne's first game back in Manitoba since Feb. 4, 1996.

Three days after that 1996 game, the original Winnipeg Jets shipped Selanne in a four-player trade to Anaheim, where he has since built a life with his family and further established himself as one of the all-time NHL greats. Selanne has recorded 900 points with Anaheim since the deal, while also making stops in San Jose and Colorado before returning to Southern California, and is the Ducks' all-time leading scorer.

Now Selanne is back in Winnipeg, and the Ducks made Selanne available to the media Saturday morning at a downtown hotel. The event allowed Selanne to venture back nearly 20 years to his days with the Jets.

Martin's tenure in Montreal had highs, lows

Saturday, 12.17.2011 / 1:16 PM / NHL Insider

Here's a look at the Jacques Martin era in Montreal, which lasted two-plus eventful seasons:

June 1, 2009 – Montreal names Jacques Martin as the 26
th coach in franchise history. One year after earning the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Canadiens fired Guy Carbonneau before the end of the 2008-09 season and finished as the No. 8 seed before being swept by the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

April 10, 2010 – The Canadiens clinched a playoff spot in the final game of their season with a 4-3 overtime loss against Toronto. They ended up with the No. 8 seed after Philadelphia defeated the New York Rangers in a shootout to claim in the No. 7 seed.

April 28, 2010 – Jaroslav Halak made 37 saves to help the Canadiens complete one of the most improbable upsets in NHL postseason history with a 2-1 win against the top-seeded Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the opening round at Verizon Center. Not only did the Canadiens defeat the Presidents' Trophy winners, they rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to do so. 

Playing, coach experiences could help Cunneyworth

Saturday, 12.17.2011 / 11:45 AM / NHL Insider

MONTREAL - Randy Cunneyworth spent 20 years as a player in the NHL building a reputation as a tough, grinding forward with great leadership abilities.

He says he coaches the exact same way.

"If I were to self-evaluate myself, I would say my coaching style is similar to the way I played," Cunneyworth said after being named the 27th head coach in Montreal Canadiens history Saturday morning. "I felt for the most part I played very hard, and I like to think I coach very hard. I compete."

Cunneyworth will have the interim tag, but general manager Pierre Gauthier said he will be in charge for the remainder of this season and a re-evaluation will be done in the offseason.  Cunneyworth has been a coach for 11 seasons, most of them as a head man in the American Hockey League.

He spent seven seasons at the helm of the Rochester Americans, the Buffalo Sabres minor league affiliate. He led the team to six playoff berths, two 100-point seasons and reached the conference finals in 2003-04.

Cunneyworth earned his first experience as a coach in the NHL during two seasons as an assistant with the Atlanta Thrashers before being named the head coach Montreal's AHL affiliate the Hamilton Bulldogs last season.

Devils retire Scott Niedermayer's No. 27

Friday, 12.16.2011 / 8:01 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Scott Niedermayer spoke with the same type of grace with which he played.

On a night in New Jersey that belonged to him and his No. 27, Niedermayer took several minutes out of his speech to thank so many people, including many from the Devils organization, both alive and deceased, to the training staff, former teammates, ex-coaches, the evening's MC, Mike Emrick -- and his family, even the one that housed him when he first came to New Jersey in 1991 as an 18-year-old.

At the same time, the Devils did all they could to thank Niedermayer, making Friday night at Prudential Center all his as they sent his No. 27 up to the rafters to join Scott Stevens' No. 4 and Ken Daneyko's No. 3 --  not to mention the Stanley Cup championship banners from 1995, 2000 and 2003 that the three of them helped to win.

Talbot, Flyers look for solutions without Pronger

Friday, 12.16.2011 / 2:52 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

"When Sid went down, our younger guys were coming from the [American Hockey League] and playing a big role for us. It's tough because you lose your captain … you're missing leadership. But at the same time, everyone needs to give a little bit more. You can't just stop playing. It's unfortunate and you can't say it enough because he's a huge part of the team, but we need to keep on playing." -- Max Talbot

Philadelphia Flyers forward Maxime Talbot has once before experienced the trials and tribulations of losing his captain for a large portion of the season.

It happened last year when Talbot was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins and star center Sidney Crosby missed the final 41 regular-season games and the playoffs because of symptoms stemming from a concussion.

The 27-year-old Talbot must feel a bit snake-bitten these days. On Thursday, one of the newest members of the Flyers learned defenseman Chris Pronger would be sidelined the remainder of the regular season and playoffs with a similar diagnosis.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren met with the media Friday at The Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., to discuss Pronger's condition and his team's future. He admitted Pronger was devastated when told he would not play again this season.

Niedermayer's number to join mentors in N.J. rafters

Friday, 12.16.2011 / 2:31 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Twenty years have passed since Scott Niedermayer showed up in West Orange, N.J. for his first training camp as a member of the New Jersey Devils. He walked into the dressing room that first morning at South Mountain Arena and was greeted by fellow defensemen Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko, veterans who by then had played in a combined 1,116 NHL games.

Friday night, Niedermayer's No. 27 will join Daneyko's No. 3 and Stevens' No. 4 in the rafters at Prudential Center. It's a reality that even Niedermayer is having trouble wrapping his head around.

"I came in here with very little expectation or pressure," Niedermayer recalled Friday afternoon. "There were guys out there handling all the heavy lifting; I just got to enjoy the ride and learn a lot from these guys. They were great teammates. They had each other's backs and they had my back. I was never afraid to go on the ice when those guys were out there. It's a real honor for me to join those two guys."

Devils set to honor blueliner who was a class above

Friday, 12.16.2011 / 10:36 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Considering the number of possible answers, the question certainly seemed loaded.
What, in your opinion, was Scott Niedermayer's greatest moment as a Devil?
Lou Lamoriello, New Jersey's longstanding general manager, didn't even hesitate to answer. He didn't stammer or even stumble over a single word. The answer came as easily to him as skating the puck up the ice came to Niedermayer.
"It's the goal in Detroit, in the Stanley Cup Final. That comes right to mind without even thinking," Lamoriello told on Thursday afternoon. "He went from one end of the rink to the other end, shot the puck and it missed the net, the rebound came out and he put it in. That was probably the turning point of the Stanley Cup win for us."

Neuvirth throws Caps goalie situation into flux

Friday, 12.16.2011 / 12:50 AM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - Correspondent

WINNIPEG – It is far too early to call the Washington Capitals' goaltending situation a controversy.

But the Capitals certainly do have a goaltending competition going on between veteran Tomas Vokoun and his understudy and fellow Czech, Michal Neuvirth.

Neuvirth played his 12th game of the season on Thursday night against Winnipeg and shut down a Jets team that had established an offensive presence on home ice over the past month. In Neuvirth's last appearance at the MTS Centre four weeks earlier, the Jets had pinned four goals on the goalie on 31 shots.
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