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2014 NHL Draft
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NHL Insider

Health is Hemsky's main focus moving forward

Wednesday, 02.02.2011 / 1:42 PM / NHL Insider

Robin Brownlee - NHL.com Correspondent

"I'm just happy I can play again. It's been a tough two weeks for me. I'm just glad to be back and be fine to play."
-- Ales Hemsky

EDMONTON -- As much as he wants two points against the Los Angeles Kings tonight, Ales Hemsky of the Edmonton Oilers wants nothing more than to stay healthy for the balance of this season.

The Oilers have 49 games in the books as they host the Kings at Rexall Place, but Hemsky has played in just 32 of those because of a strained groin and a concussion.

Limited to 22 games in 2009-10 because of season-ending shoulder surgery, it's been a difficult stretch of bad luck and bad health for the talented Czech winger.

Rangers getting back some of their injured players

Wednesday, 02.02.2011 / 9:05 AM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- At least the New York Rangers have their health.

It may seem like a small consolation after failing to hold a 2-0 lead and losing 4-3 in a shootout to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, but the Rangers received a huge boost by getting forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan back in the lineup.

Dubinsky, the team's leading scorer with 39 points, missed five games with a stress fracture in his left leg. Callahan has 11 goals and 13 assists in 33 games, but the Rangers really missed his contributions as a penalty killer and human wrecking ball, a skater willing to throw his body around without concern for his well-being, when he missed 19 games with a broken hand.

They returned in style Tuesday, as Dubinsky picked up an assist and Callahan scored a goal from in front of the net to tie the game at 3-3. They both logged more than 21 minutes, but it looked like Callahan got into the flow of things a little faster than Dubinsky.


Pens not sure they'll have Staal on Wednesday

Tuesday, 02.01.2011 / 11:52 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The Penguins don't expect to know until Wednesday if center Jordan Staal will face any supplementary discipline from the NHL for the match penalty he received after punching Rangers forward Brandon Prust in the face late in the second period of Tuesday's 4-3 shootout win at Madison Square Garden.

Staal hit the Prust with his left fist and sent him spinning to the ice at the end of a scrum in front of the Rangers' bench. The officials first sent Staal to the box and then sent him to the dressing room with a match penalty.

The NHL rulebook states that "in addition to the match penalty, the player shall be automatically suspended from further competition until the Commissioner has ruled on the issue." Pittsburgh is scheduled to host the Islanders on Wednesday night.


Hurricanes get back to work

Monday, 01.31.2011 / 8:04 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Of everyone in the Carolina Hurricanes locker room Monday who was excited to get back to the business of playing hockey, coach Paul Maurice was clearly the most relieved that the All-Star festivities were finally over.

With three players in the All-Star Game and franchise goaltender Cam Ward taking part in the fastest skater competition during the Honda SuperSkills and getting blitzed during the first 20 minutes of Sunday's game, how could you blame him?

Richards sees Wild starting to come together

Friday, 01.28.2011 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Minnesota coach Todd Richards has his All-Star break plans squared away, and it'll be a great change from the norm.

Richards told NHL.com that he has two boys playing hockey in the Twin Cities region, so he plans on being at the rink this weekend, "but I'll be in the stands critiquing the coaches."

For all the shots he's taken over the last year and a half, the Wild bench boss deserves this chance to be on the other side. You can even say he's earned it by how his team played heading into the All-Star break.

January was by far the Wild's best month of the season. Their 8-4 record, including 6-2 on the road, lifted them to within one point of seventh in the Western Conference, meaning there is reason to believe that with a good start to February the team that missed the playoffs the past two seasons has a legitimate shot at getting back in the spring dance this year.


Karmanos talks growth in Raleigh on NHL Hour

Thursday, 01.27.2011 / 7:40 PM / NHL Insider


Peter Karmanos clearly remembers the ridicule his organization received after it moved from Hartford to North Carolina in 1997. Attendance was poor as the team played its first two seasons in Greensboro while waiting for its new arena in Raleigh to be constructed.

Karmanos repeatedly heard that hockey wouldn't catch on in such a non-traditional market, but with the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover days away from facing off at the RBC Center, such a notion has been clearly disproved. The Hurricanes draw well and boast one of the loudest arenas in the League. This weekend, Raleigh is the center of the hockey universe.

"To me personally, I think it's always rewarding for the owner to be able to show off his market, show off our building, and have a chance to let the community respond on a national basis," Karmanos said on Thursday's "NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman."

New-look Lightning lead surprise teams

Thursday, 01.27.2011 / 1:31 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

With a new owner, a new general manager, a new coach and 10 new players who have played at least 24 games, the Tampa Bay Lightning went through a full overhaul this past summer. About the only thing the Lightning didn't change was their address and a couple of superstars that call the St. Pete Times Forum home.

Change apparently has done the Lightning well. Their new look from top to bottom has been a great fit, but it would be hard to find anyone who expected Tampa Bay to be leading the Southeast Division 50 games into the season -- ahead of the reigning Presidents' Trophy winners, the Washington Capitals.

Well, it is true. The Lightning have a four-point lead on the Capitals and shut out their division rivals twice in January. They also lead our list of the three most surprising teams in the NHL at the All-Star break:

What are the surprise stats at the ASG break?

Thursday, 01.27.2011 / 11:42 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Numbers are such a big part of the game. They drive scouting and lead to postseason awards. They let us know where a team is most dangerous and where it's most vulnerable. Ditto for players.

Coaches will say they hate stats and players will say they don't concern themselves with them, but it's hard to believe any of that is true. Stats are painted on every story we write and every piece of analysis we give.

They lead to debates, sometimes bitter arguments. They are the backbone to selecting players for an All-Star Game.

Six players who have been first-half revelations

Thursday, 01.27.2011 / 11:34 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

We've got a goalie who wasn't supposed to be the No. 1, but has clearly established himself as just that for the reigning Stanley Cup champions. We've got a defenseman who hadn't played the position on a full-time basis until this season. We've got another blueliner who is finally getting his moment and has turned himself into a Norris Trophy candidate.

And we've got three forwards that have each had success this season unlike they've ever had before in their NHL careers.

This is your NHL.com All-Surprise Team for the first-half (plus) of the 2010-11 season:


Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

28 games played, 16 wins, 2.19 GAA, .919 save percentage

Marty Turco signed a one-year deal during the offseason and was immediately tossed at the top of the Blackhawks' goaltender depth chart, passing by Crawford without even a whisper from anyone. Someone forgot to tell Crawford he was supposed to be a backup this season because he hasn't played like one and coach Joel Quenneville isn't using him like one.

Crawford, who spent the past four seasons in the AHL, has solidified the Hawks' goaltending with his brilliant play. He's fifth in the League in goals-against average.

"Now we've got great goaltending," All-Star right wing Patrick Kane told NHL.com. "Our goaltending has been a strong point for us, definitely."

Snow felt no choice but to suspend Nabokov

Thursday, 01.27.2011 / 11:02 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

New York Islanders General Manager Garth Snow has been successful in claiming players on waivers before, but what's happened with goaltender Evgeni Nabokov is something he never saw coming.

The Islanders claimed Nabokov on waivers last Saturday, but when the goaltender publicly said he would not report to the club -- including hanging up on Snow -- he felt that by Tuesday, he had no choice but to suspend him.

"We make the claim, we get the player off waivers, we set up a flight for Sunday morning, set up another flight for Monday morning. At that point my hands were tied," Snow said in an interview with the MSG television network. "We had to go though with the suspension. I feel it was going to be a good addition to our locker room, with his track record, his winning percentage, his save percentage."

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Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie