Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
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NHL Insider

Drury buyout shows Rangers committed to youth

Thursday, 06.30.2011 / 1:54 PM / NHL Insider

Emily Kaplan - Staff Writer

"I know [General Manager Glen Sather] and the whole organization feels OK, there's the kids, there's our foundation, now let's go see where we can add and try to get better. And there may be a situation where, well, that didn't work. Let's not add for the sake of adding. Stay with it. That's a key come July 1 because it turns in to such a frenzy that you get a little crazy. If it isn't what we need and it isn't the right piece for us right now, we have to stay pat and continue to develop." -- John Tortorella

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- John Tortorella, the N.Y. Rangers coach, addressed the media Thursday afternoon, commenting on a myriad of topics including New York's recent buyout of Chris Drury, and the team's philosophy entering free agency, which begins Friday.

Tortorella, speaking at the MSG Training Facility during the team's annual prospect development camp, said it was hard to part ways with Drury, the Rangers' captain for the past three seasons.

"Dru is Dru," Tortorella said. "I love the guy. But you still have to make decisions that you think are best for the club."

On July 1, 2007, Drury signed a five-year, $35.25 million contract with the Rangers -- which would have run through next season.

The 34-year-old Drury missed 58 games in the 2010-11 campaign because of finger and  knee injuries. He finished the season with just 1 goal and 4 assists.

Panthers sign one Tomas, working on another

Wednesday, 06.29.2011 / 3:52 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Florida Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon convinced at least one Tomas to join the Panthers' rebuilding project Wednesday. The question now is, can he persuade the other -- and perhaps more important -- Tomas to do the same.

While Tomas Kopecky's signing for four years at a reported $12 million was the official news out of Sunrise, Fla., thoughts remained on the future of Panthers star goalie Tomas Vokoun, who will become an unrestricted free agent at noon ET on July 1 if Tallon can't get him under contract beforehand.

"We're in negotiations with him as we speak and we're very hopeful," Tallon said on a conference call with local reporters Wednesday. "That's all I can tell you."

Bailey hopes for bounce-back season with Isles

Tuesday, 06.28.2011 / 10:28 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

Ever since that night in Ottawa back in 2008 when New York Islanders GM Garth Snow traded down at the Entry Draft to select Josh Bailey at No. 9, the latter has carried with him some lofty expectations.

Perhaps they were unfair. Or perhaps he simply hasn't met them yet.

Whatever the case may be, Bailey -- who will be all of 22 years old when the Isles open the 2011-12 season on Oct. 8 against the Florida Panthers -- remains eager to prove Snow and his staff were right for passing on the likes of Luke Schenn and Colin Wilson three years ago. And regardless of what the expectations of Bailey might be from the Isles' fan base, nobody has greater expectations of Bailey than No. 12 himself.

"I've never had anything but good things said to me by the fans," said Bailey, who, with 34 NHL goals, has more tallies than any player taken from that 2008 Entry Draft not named Steven Stamkos. "People have always been great to me here. As far as expectations go, people are so great to me that I think the expectations I set for myself are things that I strive for. I don't really focus on too much else. I've learned over three years in the National Hockey League that you learn to just keep your focus and not ride the ups and downs so much. That was the one thing I definitely learned a lot about last year."

O'Ree honored by Boston Sports Museum

Tuesday, 06.28.2011 / 9:38 PM / NHL Insider

Bob Snow - Correspondent

BOSTON -- Willie O'Ree returned to the footprint Tuesday night where he established an imprint in NHL history a half-century ago.

When he took his first Bruins shift on January 18, 1958 in Montreal against the Canadiens, O'Ree became the first black player to crack an NHL roster.

The next night of the back-to-back affair, his first shift in Boston extended the milestone to two countries in 24 hours.

Tuesday night, the Boston Sports Museum honored the Fredericton, New Brunswick native with the Hockey Legacy Award at the 10th Annual "The Tradition," joining previous hockey recipients, including Milt Schmidt, Harry Sinden, Cam Neely, and last year, the entire 1970 Stanley Cup squad.

Landeskog, Siemens excited to be Avs

Tuesday, 06.28.2011 / 7:12 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent

DENVERGabriel Landeskog admitted to being a little star-struck upon entering the Colorado Avalanche locker room at the Pepsi Center for the first time.

Landeskog and Duncan Siemens, selected by the Avalanche with the second and 11th overall picks in last weekend's Entry Draft, were introduced to the local media in the room on Tuesday.
The Swedish-born Landeskog, an 18-year-old left wing, was thrilled to see Joe Sakic's retired locker in the corner – it's encased in plexiglass and includes a No. 19 jersey and equipment – and he was especially excited when a reporter pointed to where former star Peter Forsberg's old locker was.

"Maybe I'll go and stand in front of that locker for a bit," Landeskog said. "I'm very thrilled to be a part of this, not only because of Peter Forsberg – one of the best players to ever play the game – but obviously (because of) Joe Sakic, Ray Bourque, Patrick Roy and Adam Foote. I'm very excited to be wearing this jersey. It's a tremendous honor and I'm looking forward to making an impact."

Schenn ready to make good on massive potential

Tuesday, 06.28.2011 / 4:42 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- When the chairs and name tags were set out on the dais in the Hall of Fame room at Wells Fargo Center prior to Tuesday's press conference, there was more than just a coincidence that Brayden Schenn was placed right in the middle.
Schenn, a 19-year-old center considered by many to be the top young prospect in the game, likely will be in the middle of any success the Philadelphia Flyers have during the next few seasons.
"At the time of the trade I publicly said in our opinion he's one of the top, if not the top, player outside the NHL," Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren said in introducing Schenn, along with Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek, to the Philadelphia media, Tuesday. "We think a lot of Brayden as a young player."

Newest Flyers don't feel added pressure

Tuesday, 06.28.2011 / 4:29 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

"I don't feel any extra pressure. It's still the same game -- a hockey puck and the boards." -- Jakub Voracek

PHILADELPHIA -- Replacing two All-Stars on a team with Stanley Cup expectations could be a daunting task, but Jakub Voracek, one of the newest members of the Philadelphia Flyers, sees things a bit differently.
"I don't feel any extra pressure," Voracek, wearing his new orange No. 9 jersey, said Tuesday during his first press conference as a member of the Flyers. "It's still the same game -- a hockey puck and the boards."
Voracek, along with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds, met the media at Wells Fargo Center, and said just because they were traded for big stars doesn't mean they need to change anything about their games.

Brouwer brings Cup experience to Capitals

Monday, 06.27.2011 / 5:32 PM / NHL Insider

David Kalan - Staff Writer

Stanley Cup championship experience is always a valuable asset that's tough to come by. Getting it in someone who will be just 26 when the 2011-12 NHL season starts is even tougher.

The Washington Capitals managed to find both last Friday when they dealt their first-round pick in the 2011 Entry Draft to Chicago for left wing Troy Brouwer. While his total of 76 points over the last two seasons are solid but not overwhelming, Brouwer is likely going to be expected to bring that certain je ne sais quoi that one finds in a Stanley Cup champion.

A versatile part of Chicago's 2010 title run, in which Brouwer was able to play a grinding style both offensively and defensively while shifting between multiple lines, he believes he can provide that missing something that has prevented the Capitals from finally having a postseason breakthrough.

"Washington's got a great team with a lot of potential right now, they just need a little bit of help getting over that playoff bump there," Brouwer said during a conference call with the media Monday. "Sometimes you need a little bit of an outside view just to come in and make sure that guys are doing what they need to do in important games."

Bylsma has Crosby, Malkin updates, talks Jagr

Monday, 06.27.2011 / 3:46 PM / NHL Insider

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma had encouraging news to report on Sidney Crosby, an interesting item on Evgeni Malkin and more sound bites on a potential Jaromir Jagr return to the Steel City when he met with the local media Monday afternoon.

Bylsma is less than a week removed from winning the Jack Adams Trophy as coach of the year after leading the Penguins to a first-place finish in the Atlantic Division despite playing the first half of the season without center Jordan Staal and most of the second half without his two stars at the pivot, Crosby and Malkin.

A concussion suffered in early January sidelined Crosby for the remainder of the season. He began taking part in Pittsburgh's morning skates late in the season and during the playoffs, but was never cleared for contact and eventually stopped skating when he had a mild reoccurrence of post-concussion symptoms. 

GM Tallon sells Campbell on joining Panthers

Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 7:00 PM / NHL Insider

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

ST. PAUL -- It appears Dale Tallon is quite the salesman.

The Florida GM spent Friday night convincing All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell that the struggling Panthers were a better hockey home for his skill set than the Original Six Chicago Blackhawks, who won the Stanley Cup in 2010.

Tallon, who recruited Campbell to play for those Blackhawks back in 2008 when he was GM in Chicago, worked his sale pitch magic again -- using all the tricks in his arsenal. After all, Tallon admitted Saturday that he is "selling fun."

"History; relationships," he said when asked how he wooed Campbell to Florida, persuading him to waive his no-trade clause. "We got him to Chicago and we had to sell him on Chicago. He came and then we didn't have to sell him that hard to get to Florida."

All Tallon had to do was share the blueprint for the Panthers' future.

"Dale did some great things in Chicago for a lot of guys and I've talked to a lot of my ex-teammates who are saying to me, 'Get me there,' "Campbell told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. ""Dale will make this place very attractive for players to want to come and play there. We'll get this organization going in the right direction and make the fans want to come back and support a great team."

Tallon says the acquisition of Campbell will help in the recruitment of other players.`

"It's going to be a destination for players," Tallon said. "That's the goal."

While the GM is a good salesman, he does not have a warped sense of reality. He knows his team only won just 30 games this past season and finished No. 27 in the 30-team NHL. But he also knows that his plans work, and he believes he took the next step in that plan this weekend with his picks in the 2011 Entry Draft.

"We're not there yet, but with the drafts we had last year and this last year; it's coming," Tallon said. "With the ability to sign some free agents moving forward, we're going to get there quicker than we did in the past and that is the goal."

Campbell certainly helps in that regard. Tallon may be comfortable with Campbell because of past history, but he also knows how much better he makes his new team.

"We need good players," Tallon said. "We need as many good players as we can get. That's a dimension we don't have, a guy that can carry the puck and play 28 minutes a game and help our power play. We had the worst power play in the League, and Brian will help us immensely.

"He gives us offense from the back end, he gives us speed and he gives us the ability to get the puck out of our end quickly -- all those things. It's just one piece, but an important piece."

Now he is ready to add even more pieces as the July 1 free-agent period approaches.

"We have some other things in the fire moving forward this week, so things are good," Tallon said. "We put ourselves in a good position now and move forward. Still a lot of talk and chatter and we hopes this starts to steamroll and force us to make some moves." 

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Quote of the Day

That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do ... It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it.

— Flames forward Mikael Backlund on scoring the overtime winner against the Ducks in Gm. 3