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2014 NHL Draft
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NHL Insider

For Burke, helping USA Hockey is equally important

Monday, 11.01.2010 / 9:40 AM / NHL Insider

Harry Thompson - USA Hockey Magazine

"Sometimes my work schedule can get in the way of my hunting. But to put it into the proper context, you have to remember that I have the greatest job in the world as the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs." -- Brian Burke

Cruising down a dirt road in eastern South Dakota, Brian Burke surveys the dashboard digital clock that reads "5:41."
"We should be just taking the ice for pregame warm-ups," said Burke, who has just concluded a grueling, seven-hour day of pheasant hunting as part of the Pro Hockey Celebrity Hunt in Mitchell, S.D.
For the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, missing a home game against the New York Rangers is akin to skipping a child's birthday party for a business trip.

Five from Class of 2010 stay with NHL teams

Sunday, 10.31.2010 / 5:28 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Seven games into his NHL career, Taylor Hall had just 1 point and sparked heated talk about whether the first pick of the 2010 Entry Draft was ready to play in the League.

Two games later, Hall has put an affirmative end to the debate.

The Edmonton Oilers left wing scored his first NHL goal and added an assist Thursday in Columbus, and repeated the feat a night later in Chicago.

Hall's performance has earned him a full-time NHL spot, and four players from his draft class will join him as 18-year-olds in the NHL this season.

Bruins center Tyler Seguin (No. 2 pick), Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner (No. 7) and Thrashers center Alexander Burmistrov (No. 8) all have been told to find permanent housing. Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler (No. 12) is recovering from a broken nose and sore neck suffered Oct. 17, but likely did enough in his six games to earn a permanent spot.

First month has all five Central teams in playoffs

Sunday, 10.31.2010 / 5:21 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Seeing as Halloween loomed just a few days away, Predators coach Barry Trotz's use of metaphor could not have been any more appropriate.

Trotz was discussing how his team had gotten off to a hot start and how useful that would be in trying to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs, especially since, in his words, "I mean, the Central Division's going to be a horror show in terms of the number of tough teams."

Trotz's words could not have proved more prophetic. The Predators went from having the best record in the NHL entering Thursday's game against divisional foe St. Louis to ranking fourth in the division following the completion of Saturday's games.

"If you have a bad week in the West, especially in the Central Division," Trotz said, "you could fall right out."

Flyers head into November playing best hockey of season

Sunday, 10.31.2010 / 12:29 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Philadelphia Flyers would prefer not to have their playoff hopes tied to a shootout on the final game of the regular season this season.

Not that they don't have the experience -- see Game 82 against Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers last season. But having matters settled a few games earlier would relieve some of the built-up tension within the locker room.

One month into the 2010-11 campaign, the defending Eastern Conference champion is making that wish a reality.

Pens' Letestu a surprise at top of rookie scoring race

Sunday, 10.31.2010 / 12:15 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

It's a pretty easy assumption to make that any list of preseason Calder candidates did not include Pittsburgh Penguins forward Mark Letestu.

But one month into the season, the 25-year-old is No.2 in the rookie scoring list with 4 goals and 7 points. Only Edmonton's hot-shot youngster, Jordan Eberle (8 points) is better. It's a spot even Letestu can't even believe he's in.

"No. Never. Ever," said Letestu when NHL.com asked him if he expected to have this much of an early offensive impact.

Letestu didn't expect a whole lot going into the season, but he got a chance when Jordan Staal's surgically repaired foot wasn't ready to go when training camp opened.

Liles, Parenteau, Morrison top first-month surprises

Sunday, 10.31.2010 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every season, we are reminded with the force of a Deryk Engelland overhand right that no one knows anything about hockey. Players who are so far off the map that Tom Hanks could've spent four years living on them appear out of nowhere to have sensational seasons to the surprise of everyone.

The following is a list of seven skaters who had the most surprising Octobers of anyone in the League. A lot of these players on this list were cast away (Is the Tom Hanks reference starting to make sense now?) by other teams as recently as last season and are showing a potential breakout season could be in the making.

Quick holding tight to Kings' No. 1 goalie job

Sunday, 10.31.2010 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- For years, Jonathan Bernier has been touted as the goaltender of the future for the Los Angeles Kings. The 22-year-old was the team's first-round pick in the 2006 Entry Draft and was dominant the last two seasons in the AHL with Manchester, only increasing speculation that his time was approaching.

But with all due respect to Bernier, who has played well in his handful of appearances with the Kings, Jonathan Quick is showing he might be both the goaltender of the present and the future in Los Angeles.

The 24-year-old Quick didn't arrive on the scene with any of the hype of Bernier. He was a third-round pick in 2005 and after splitting time with Erik Ersberg and Jason LaBarbera in 2008-09, Quick became the undisputed No. 1 goaltender last season. He played in 72 games, won 39 of them, and backstopped the Kings to their first postseason berth since 2002 with his 2.54 goals-against average and .907 save percentage.

A look at the busiest night of the NHL season

Sunday, 10.31.2010 / 1:50 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Fourteen games in just over six hours -- what more could a hockey fan ask for? (Multiple TVs? An unending supply of snacks and beverages? A DVR, perhaps?) Saturday night was the busiest evening of the season, with hockey from coast to coast to coast. In all, 28 of the NHL's 30 teams suited up on Saturday, with only the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers getting the evening off. Happily for everyone, Sunday is a day of rest -- the only one on the schedule that's not related to the Christmas holiday or the All-Star break.

Here's a look at some of Saturday's highlights:

By the Numbers -- Visiting teams came out slightly ahead. Home teams were 7-7-0; the visitors visiting teams went 7-6-1. The home team won the only shootout.

Laperriere not close to returning

Saturday, 10.30.2010 / 11:58 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Ian Laperriere, who was at Staples Center on Saturday night as part of a pregame ceremony to honor Mattias Norstrom, said he's still not feeling close to 100 percent after experiencing post-concussion symptoms in training camp with the Philadelphia Flyers.

"I'm all right. Not that great if I'm standing right here in front of you," Laperriere said. "It's part of the injury I have and I have to deal with it."

Kings have no regrets over losing Kovy courtship

Saturday, 10.30.2010 / 3:59 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Kings coach Terry Murray wasn't going to lie Saturday morning. He'd love to have Ilya Kovalchuk on his roster. But he has just one regret about the courtship of Kovalchuk this summer that saw the free agent choose the New Jersey Devils.

"I had a coffee with him. I had to buy it," Murray said. "I'd like to get my 5 bucks back. He had a latte."

It's easier to joke about losing out on an elite player with the Kings off to a 7-3-0 start and sitting atop the Western Conference.

Kovalchuk and the Devils, meanwhile, are 3-7-1 and searching for the chemistry and cohesion that has been a big part of the Kings' success this season. The two teams meet Saturday night at the Staples Center.

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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