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(Page 233 of 259)
NHL Insider

Phaneuf enjoying return to Calgary

Thursday, 12.16.2010 / 4:37 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"It's exciting to be back. I had a lot of real good times here. I started my career with this organization. I've got nothing but good things to say about the organization." -- Dion Phaneuf

Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke was pretty succinct when asked what kind of reaction Dion Phaneuf should expect from the crowd at Scotiabank Saddledome when the defenseman returns to his former home arena.

"It should be applause," Burke said. "He didn't ask for a trade out of Calgary. Calgary thought they could make their team better."

Whether either team has gotten better since last season's trade is debatable, but the fact remains that Phaneuf's return to Calgary is big news in Alberta.
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Omark, Paajarvi get first chance to skate together

Thursday, 12.16.2010 / 2:45 PM / NHL Insider

Robin Brownlee - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers will feature a Swedish connection when they face the Columbus Blue Jackets at Rexall Place on Thursday as coach Tom Renney has rookie forwards Linus Omark and Magnus Paajarvi on a line with centre Ryan O'Marra.

It marks a first for Omark, who hails from Overtornea, and Paajarvi, who is from Norrkoping. They have been teammates on various Swedish national teams in the past, but never have been linemates.

"He's a skilled player, so skate hard, create your own ice and the puck will be there," Paajarvi said of Omark.

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Seguin ready to put lessons learned to use vs. Habs

Thursday, 12.16.2010 / 2:26 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

"I'm taking the positives out of it. It was a new experience, a new perspective on the game. I'm ready to get back in the lineup when I get back in."                        -- Tyler Seguin

MONTREAL -- The irony of the situation was not lost on Tyler Seguin.

The Boston Bruins rookie was sitting in the press box Tuesday as a healthy scratch for the first time in his young career, watching his teammates lose to 3-2 to the Buffalo Sabres.

As Seguin looked around HSBC Arena, he saw all the preparations for the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship that begins a day after Christmas, a tournament he was eligible to play in for his native Canada, and a tournament he missed last year when he was cut as a 17-year-old.

It also happened to be the same day Canada announced its roster for this year's event.
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Lidstrom's trick latest example of his skill

Thursday, 12.16.2010 / 12:33 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"We talk about this every single year. We think he's the best defenseman in the game and obviously he's an elite talent. But he's an elite person and he's a great leader. He sets the tone for this hockey club structurally, work-ethic wise, how he handles himself as a pro, how you practice and the way you play. He models. You've got to give the guy a lot of credit." -- Mike Babcock

Nicklas Lidstrom's Hall of Fame resume is pretty much set, and has been for quite a while.

Six Norris trophies, four Stanley Cups, nine times on the NHL First All-Star Team, appearances in 10 NHL All-Stars Games -- with No. 11 likely to come next month -- his status as the only European-born and -trained player to captain a team to a Stanley Cup … the list of superlatives goes on and on.

But just when you thought Lidstrom had accomplished everything a legend could, he managed to amaze once again.

Wednesday night against the St. Louis Blues, in career game No. 1,442, Lidstrom managed a personal first -- an NHL hat trick.

His slap shot from just above the left circle opened the scoring 4:02 into the second period, his slapper from the point 2:46 into the third made it 4-1, and he closed the game with an empty-net goal with 30 seconds left in the third. The shot, a slapper from the left point, went through four Blues players with chances to block it. 
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Isles' Hamonic adjusting well to life in NHL

Wednesday, 12.15.2010 / 5:04 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The wind chill on Long Island this week has temperatures dipping into the single digits, but New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic is practically ready to hit Jones Beach.

"This is almost T-shirt weather," the Manitoba native joked Wednesday morning. "I almost wore a muscle shirt today. Talking to everyone back home, it's been really cold. It's been snowing for a while. It's actually nice to see some snow on the ground here. It feels a little familiar now."

Hamonic is a little familiar with the NHL these days, too. It's been almost a month since he made his debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thanksgiving Eve. Since then, his ice time and responsibilities have only increased. The 20-year-old is now averaging more than 20 minutes per game and is playing in all situations.
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Extremely tight West race could leave Hawks in cold

Wednesday, 12.15.2010 / 4:25 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- If the Stanley Cup Playoffs had started on Wednesday, the Chicago Blackhawks wouldn't even get a chance to defend their championship from last season.
 
Before Wednesday's games, the Hawks found themselves in ninth place in the Western Conference -- on the outside of the playoff field with 35 points. Los Angeles and San Jose would both qualify with 35 points, while Phoenix (34 points), Columbus (34 points) and St. Louis (33 points) would also be left out.

It's not a position the Hawks figured they'd find themselves in after 32 games as they try to repeat as Cup champions, but it's the cold, hard reality of their situation regardless.
 
"I'd say right now, there's 13 teams (in the Western Conference) that think they're going to be in and maybe even 14," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "That's probably how it's going to play out all year long. Certainly, the final picture, who knows how it's going to be? It can unfold later on where maybe it becomes clear, but right now we've got to believe (making the playoffs) is our objective and that's our goal and we've got some work to do."

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Kane a possibility for Friday vs. Red Wings

Wednesday, 12.15.2010 / 3:35 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Good news for the Chicago Blackhawks has been a relative term this season.
 
In fact, the Hawks' perception of good news often has come in relation to injured players and the speed at which they are recovering. That being the case, there was a little more good news following Chicago's morning skate at the United Center on Wednesday, as they prepared to face the Colorado Avalanche for the second time in three days.
 
Injured forwards Patrick Kane (lower body) and Fernando Pisani (upper body) skated with the team, while injured forward Marian Hossa (lower body) did off-ice exercises after skating on his own Monday and Tuesday. None will play against the Avs, but it was encouraging for the Hawks to see a couple of them back in practice mode.

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Well-rested Habs ready for League-leading Flyers

Wednesday, 12.15.2010 / 2:35 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Que. -- The Montreal Canadiens will be at full strength Wednesday when they face the League's top team, the Philadelphia Flyers (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS).

The Flyers had to travel last night after an emotional 3-2 home win against their cross-state rival Pittsburgh Penguins -- one that allowed Philadelphia not only to end Pittsburgh's 12-game win streak, but also leapfrog the Penguins into first in the League standings.

The Canadiens have been sitting at home for three days waiting for this game, and the time off has allowed a couple of injured key players to heal. Coach Jacques Martin, however, has no illusions that this will be an easy game in spite of that advantage.

"It's a big challenge," Martin said after Wednesday's morning skate. "They have a very well-balanced team and some of the best offensive production in the NHL. They have three lines that can score and their defense is much improved."
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Council vote met with smiles among Coyotes

Wednesday, 12.15.2010 / 1:34 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- While it's always a great day for hockey, the players on the Phoenix Coyotes exhibited a little extra jump Wednesday in preparation for their contest with the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.
 
Less than 24 hours earlier, the Glendale City Council voted 5-2 to approve a $197-million deal that will keep the team in the city.

A crowd of about 300 packed the chamber and roared their approval when the decision was finally rendered after four hours of deliberation, clearing the way for the sale of the team by the NHL to Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer, who would become the fourth owner of the franchise since it moved to Phoenix from Winnipeg in 1996.
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Malkin in, Kunitz out for Penguins

Tuesday, 12.14.2010 / 7:30 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The Pittsburgh Penguins got a boost to their lineup when forward Evgeni Malkin returned to the lineup Tuesday night after being sidelined for four games due to a knee injury.

Malkin was in the starting lineup playing on a line with Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis. He took the place of Chris Kunitz, who was scratched after both players took part in the morning skate. Coach Dan Bylsma said Kunitz got banged up during Saturday's 5-2 victory at Buffalo.

The Penguins are seeking their 13th consecutive victory as they face the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center.
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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp