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NHL Insider

Lidstrom says Blashill's 'new voice' will help Detroit

Tuesday, 06.09.2015 / 4:47 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Nicklas Lidstrom's final season in the NHL was Jeff Blashill's first.

It was 2011-12, and Blashill started the season as a 37-year-old first-time NHL assistant coach to Mike Babcock tasked with working with the Detroit Red Wings forwards. Blashill finished it as a 38-year-old ready to coach his own team in the American Hockey League.

"He did have some ideas on the power play and looking at different things we can work at, but he came in kind of on the learning curve as well, trying to get familiarized with the team and the NHL, what it's like to be part of the NHL," said Lidstrom, the former Red Wings captain.

"It was a good learning experience for him to get that one year in before being in charge at Grand Rapids."

Blashill on Tuesday became Babcock's successor as coach of the Red Wings.

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Senators GM Murray inducted into Ottawa Sports HOF

Friday, 06.05.2015 / 2:42 PM / NHL Insider

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- As a teenager from the Ottawa Valley town of Shawville, west of Canada's capital and across the Ottawa River in Quebec, Bryan Murray would travel into the city to play hockey.

Murray, 15 at the time, played for the Shawville Pontiacs in a Senior A hockey league, competing against and playing with men 20 years older. They played at the Auditorium when they visited Ottawa, a building long gone.

Almost 57 years later and a few blocks away from where the Auditorium used to stand, Murray will be inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame on Friday.

"Obviously, very proud of that," said the 72-year-old Ottawa Senators general manager, who will be honored for his career in hockey, which includes 34 years in the NHL as a coach and manager.

"I'm a Valley boy from Shawville. Coming to Ottawa was a big event. We didn't come that often. We were the country bumpkins, I guess, at that point, but when we came we usually beat them in hockey."

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DeGregorio to step down as president of USA Hockey

Friday, 06.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

Ron DeGregorio will step down as president of USA Hockey after 12 years and four terms on Saturday with a legacy of excellence as one of the architects of the United States National Team Development Program.

Founded in 1996, the USNTDP is a two-year residency program for the top 16 and 17-year-old players in the United States. DeGregorio's vision was to build teams that can compete with the big boys of the world. Winning Olympic gold twice in 20 years (1960, 1980) wasn't enough. DeGregorio's mission was turning a miracle into a model.

"We wanted to have a program of excellence that set standards and something that people would have to compete against in terms of the most high-performance players to attract them," DeGregorio said. "I believe right now it's not a miracle when we win. Frankly it's a great disappointment when we don't win gold, let alone participate and contend very well. Our goal is to [win the gold medal] each and every tournament now. That's the perspective that I think is it a bit changed since the last two decades."

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Devils will be fast, attacking, supportive, Shero says

Tuesday, 06.02.2015 / 2:22 PM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Before New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero introduced coach John Hynes at Prudential Center on Tuesday, he spelled out the blueprint for what the Devils will look like under his leadership.

"Since this is really the first time I've had a chance to address everybody here, I think it's important for me to establish and say what I think exactly the identity of this hockey team is going forward," said Shero, who was hired May 4. "There are three things that I think you can identify the New Jersey Devils with moving forward, and that's going to be fast, that's going to be attacking, and that's going to be supportive."

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Rangers confident they can contend with core group

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 5:26 PM / NHL Insider

David Satriano - NHL.com Staff Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers have competed in the Eastern Conference Final in three of the past four seasons, but have yet to achieve the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.

Despite being older next season, most of the players feel their chance of winning the Cup with the current group is still very high.

"We have the same core guys here for the last six or seven years and built the team around that," defenseman Dan Girardi said Monday. "Just kind of brought guys in the last 3-4 years. It just seems this team jells. We get a couple of guys at the deadline and they just fit right in. … Hopefully we will be able to get a lot of guys back for next year and have another good run."

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Babcock intends to change culture of Maple Leafs

Thursday, 05.21.2015 / 3:59 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Mike Babcock, introduced as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, warned Maple Leafs fans to be ready for some pain.

Babcock was hired Wednesday after 10 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. Terms of his contract were not released but Sportsnet and TSN reported it to be an eight-year contract worth about $50 million.

"I look forward to the process, the battle, the pain, the fun, the journey," Babcock said. "It's going to be a long one but it's going to be a lot of fun. If you think there is no pain coming, there is pain coming."

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Analysis: Babcock to face uphill battle with Toronto

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 5:55 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

In deciding to accept the contract offer to become coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, Mike Babcock also accepted the offer to take on the greatest challenge of his career in the NHL.

"I think it is," NHL Network and TSN analyst Craig Button said.

It is because coaching the Maple Leafs at this time is unlike anything he has taken on in his career with the Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, or Canadian Olympic teams.

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Talbot: Bruins can compete for Cup under Sweeney

Wednesday, 05.20.2015 / 3:51 PM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- When Don Sweeney was named general manager of the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, CEO Charlie Jacobs called it a new era in Bruins hockey during a press conference announcing the move.

Bruins forward Max Talbot knows what it's like to be on a team when a new general manager is hired. He was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins when Ray Shero was named GM in 2006. Acquired by Boston prior to the 2015 Trade Deadline, Talbot said the Bruins are ready to compete for the Stanley Cup and it's an exciting time to be a Bruin with Sweeney at the helm.

"The situation I was in with Pittsburgh is a little different than the situation now because it was a GM from the outside," Talbot said. "Ray came and brought a totally new mentality. He rebuilt everything and he was from the outside so he really changed a lot of things.

"Now, Sweeney has been with the organization as a player and in management, so he's seen things and he knows the team. He knows the culture and stuff."

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Analysis: Hakstol can develop Flyers' young talent

Monday, 05.18.2015 / 5:36 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The idea that general manager Ron Hextall went off the board and stunned the hockey world Monday by hiring Dave Hakstol to be coach of the Philadelphia Flyers is true only because of how rare it is for teams to go outside of the NHL's insular network of coaches.

Sixteen coaches in the NHL are in at least their second stop in the League, including four who are coaching with their fourth organization. Six of the nine coaches who haven't been coaches elsewhere were at least assistants in the NHL at one point.

The three who weren't are Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche, Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and now Haksol. Roy won the Jack Adams Award last season. Cooper has the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final and was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award last season.

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'Peanuts' creator's museum to host Stanley Cup

Saturday, 05.16.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Peanuts creator Charles Schulz was a lifetime hockey fan who devoted elements of his comic strip and his life to the sport. On Saturday, the Stanley Cup will be hosted at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, Calif., in conjunction with the opening of a new exhibit, "Peanuts in the Penalty Box."

The exhibit will feature 60 original Peanuts strips having to do with hockey, according to his widow, Jeannie Schulz.

The museum is across the street from the Redwood Empire Ice Arena, commonly known as "Snoopy's Home Ice," which was owned by the famed cartoonist when it opened in 1969 and where he shared his love of hockey until his death in 2000 from complications arising from colon cancer. The arena hosts the annual Snoopy's Senior World Hockey Tournament.

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Quote of the Day

I love you. I think we [climbed] as high as we possibly can.

— Sergei Fedorov to former Red Wings teammate Nicklas Lidstrom after each was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2015 on Monday
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