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NHL Insider

Phaneuf could return to Leafs on Thursday

Wednesday, 12.08.2010 / 1:15 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PITTSBURGH -- Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf could be ready to return to the Maple Leafs' lineup as early as Thursday's home game against Philadelphia.

"He could play tomorrow," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said after Wednesday's morning skate here at Consol Energy Center. "We haven't decided yet."

Phaneuf has been out since Nov. 2, when Ottawa forward Peter Regin's skate inadvertently sliced a deep gash into his left leg. He underwent emergency surgery to repair the damage and just this past weekend started skating with the club. He participated in his fourth straight hard practice Wednesday morning.


Guerin weighing options for second career

Wednesday, 12.08.2010 / 9:33 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

"I want to stay in the game, but No. 1 right now is I'm going to spend some time with my family. My wife and kids, when you're in the middle of the grind you don't realize how much time you miss at home. So right now they're No. 1 and then I will be involved in the game in some way, shape or form in the future." -- Bill Guerin

Bill Guerin is at a crossroads for the first time since he was old enough to cut the ice with his skate blades and hold a stick in his hands.

"For my whole life I knew what I was going to do -- I was going to play, and now that is not going to be the case any more," Guerin, 40, told NHL.com Tuesday, one day after announcing his retirement after 18 successful NHL seasons. "I guess I am zeroed in on one industry, though, so that's good. I don't know. It's definitely different."

Different, yet fascinating.

Guerin isn't slumming it. He's got at a plethora of options, but it's up to him to choose his next path.

Does he want to do TV work? Does he want to work in hockey operations? Does he simply want to be a stay-at-home dad?

Hawks looking forward to seeing, hearing Burish

Tuesday, 12.07.2010 / 4:34 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

"Sharp hasn't gone after anybody in his whole career. Who's he going to hurt? I'm not scared of Sharpie. He's not going to hurt anyone. He's good-looking and he's got the nice hair and smile, but that's all he's got going. I'm not scared of him." -- Adam Burish, on Patrick Sharp

CHICAGO -- The new "Mouth of the South" is back at the Madhouse on Madison, but Adam Burish will be wearing the visiting uniform of the Dallas Stars instead of the home jersey of the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
That, combined with the fact Burish was one of the most popular players among teammates and fans in Chicago, has his former teammates already anticipating Wednesday's game at the United Center. The scene likely will rekindle some fond memories for Burish, who spent four seasons in Chicago earning a reputation as a scrapper on the ice and amateur comedian off it.

Hawks forward Patrick Sharp and Burish, who used to be road roommates, regularly trash talked each other as TV cameras rolled -- and Burish always had something to say if asked. That much hasn't changed, according to Sharp, who stays in touch with Burish through texts and phone calls.

In fact, Sharp said after Tuesday's practice that Burish has ramped up the banter this week. 

Davidson: League has lots to be excited about

Tuesday, 12.07.2010 / 4:09 PM / NHL Insider

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

"What's different is we're a much more significant player in the media landscape than we've been for a whole host of reasons. It's the game on the ice, the competitive balance, variety of thing we're doing to engage our fans, the presence of digital media. Our ratings are stronger. We had a terrific year last year, including during the playoffs where we set all sorts of records for us."
-- Gary Bettman

PALM BEACH, FLA. -- John Davidson has spent the better portion of four decades involved in the NHL, joining the League as a player and now serving as president of the St. Louis Blues after a distinguished broadcasting career.

Since he arrived in St. Louis as a rookie goalie in 1973, Davidson has been among the vanguard of those trying to raise the sport's profile in the United States. For Davidson, who was born in hockey-mad Ottawa, Ont., the struggle to grow the game in the U.S. has not always been easy, but he believes all the hard work by pioneers like himself is starting to pay off in spades.

"It's nice to see the NHL evolve over the last few seasons to where people genuinely want us," Davidson said Tuesday at the Board of Governors Meetings.


Positive vibe as Board of Governors meeting ends

Tuesday, 12.07.2010 / 3:42 PM / NHL Insider

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

"I don't think the game has ever been better. I can go look at tapes from 15 and 20 years ago and the game is faster, it's more physical, (there are) more blocked shots, more commitment. There's fewer dud games because with parity there is more competition from day one of the season all the way through. Just about every game is so much more important to everybody. "
-- John Davidson

PALM BEACH, FLA. -- After two days of presentation at the Board of Governors meeting here, which wrapped Tuesday afternoon, many of the NHL power brokers walked away from the information-gathering summit believing the game is making significant gains in a variety of areas.

"I don't think the game has ever been better," said John Davidson, president of hockey operations for the St. Louis Blues. "I can go look at tapes from 15 and 20 years ago and the game is faster, it's more physical, (there are) more blocked shots, more commitment. There's fewer dud games because with parity there is more competition from day one of the season all the way through. Just about every game is so much more important to everybody."

The governors spent much of their time here reviewing the recent advances the game has made and looking for even more ways to grow the game in the future.


Sens need to get their offensive stars going

Tuesday, 12.07.2010 / 2:46 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

"I think the last two games have definitely been steps in the right direction, something to build on. We need to continue that." -- Senators captain, Daniel Alfredsson

MONTREAL -- The Ottawa Senators are in Montreal on Tuesday to face the Canadiens for the fourth of six meetings this season, with a lot of their top players struggling on the offensive end.

Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Sergei Gonchar have no points in their last seven games, with Alfredsson's drought matching a career high set in his rookie season.

Milan Michalek, Mike Fisher and Alex Kovalev have gone four games without a point.

Jones making most of Hemsky's absence

Tuesday, 12.07.2010 / 2:32 PM / NHL Insider

Robin Brownlee - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- With Ales Hemsky out for a month with a strained groin, the window of opportunity has swung wide open for Edmonton Oilers journeyman forward Ryan Jones.

Jones, 26, who began the season on Edmonton's bottom two lines, will play right wing alongside Sam Gagner and rookie Magnus Paajarvi when the Oilers host the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday (9:30 p.m. ET, TSN).

"You never wish injury upon anybody, especially guys on your team and a guy like Ales who is a huge part of our team," Jones said. "But injuries do happen in hockey and you have to be ready to fill in for guys."

With Hemsky sitting out five of the previous six games because of the injury, Jones has seen his ice time increased. He lined up with Gagner and Paajarvi against St. Louis last Saturday and scored the game's first goal in a 2-1 overtime win against the Blues.


Around the East: Leighton expected back soon

Tuesday, 12.07.2010 / 9:23 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Philadelphia goalies Sergei Bobrovsky and Brian Boucher should expect some company soon.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said Monday the team will carry three goalies when Michael Leighton is activated off the Long Term Injured Reserve list. Leighton, who had back surgery on Oct. 11, is working out the kinks with the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League and could be activated by the end of the coming weekend.
He played two games for the Phantoms this past weekend and gave up seven goals on 56 shots in a pair of losses.
"No, I would not be opposed to carrying three goalies, for the short term anyway," Holmgren said. "I'm a little leery about where (Leighton) is at physically still and I might be a little leery of not having the insurance policy of the other goalies."

Shanahan excited about All-Star Game buzz

Monday, 12.06.2010 / 8:38 PM / NHL Insider

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Excitement about the wrinkles to the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover is starting to build despite the fact that the game, in Raleigh, N.C., is more than six weeks away.

Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's Vice President of Hockey and Business Operations loves the buzz he is hearing about the revamped All-Star Game, which will played Jan. 30 at the RBC Center. Shanahan was at the forefront of a group of NHL executives that tweaked the game significantly for 2011 and, on Tuesday, gets to share his vision with the League's governors at the final day of the two-day Board of Governors meetings here.

"Just an overview and update on All-Star," Shanahan said of his allotted time on Tuesday's agenda, which will also feature a presentation from NHL Senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell on the impact of Rule 48, which penalizes blind-shot hits to the head.

Devils, Pens mean awful lot to Guerin

Monday, 12.06.2010 / 8:12 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Bill Guerin thought it was only appropriate that the New Jersey Devils were in town for his farewell at the CONSOL Energy Center on Monday night.

Guerin, who announced his retirement on Monday, was New Jersey's first-round draft pick (No. 5) in 1989 and played for the Devils from 1992-98.

"That's why I chose this date -- because they were here," Guerin admitted during the first intermission of Pittsburgh's showdown against New Jersey in the Steel City. "I talked to (Devils GM) Lou (Lamoriello) earlier this week and thanked him for having faith in a crazy, 18-year-old kid. I hope I made him proud. He gave me my start in the NHL. I'm eternally grateful for that."
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Quote of the Day

I think you always have to look internally before you look externally to see, 'Do we have these players within our organization?' And I think we do.

— Ottawa Senators assistant general manager Pierre Dorion on the Binghamton Senators (AHL affiliate)