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NHL Insider

Injuries, suspension limit Devils to 15 skaters

Monday, 10.11.2010 / 3:10 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"My hands aren't tied. We'll have guys ready to go and we'll play. There's no excuses here … we'll have everyone contributing." -- John MacLean

NEWARK, N.J. -- If the New Jersey Devils are to avoid their longest season-opening losing streak since 2001-02, they'll have to do it shorthanded from the opening drop of the puck on Monday afternoon when they play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Prudential Center.
 
Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello informed the media about an hour-and-a-half before faceoff that defenseman Anton Volchenkov (broken nose) and forward Brian Rolston (lower body) would be sidelined. Also, wing Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, who received a one-game suspension after instigating a fight with less than five minutes to play in Saturday's game against the Washington Capitals, was placed on waivers.

Preds saw Weber's captaincy as foregone conclusion

Sunday, 10.10.2010 / 6:44 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- As the Nashville Predators introduced their team during pregame ceremonies for their home opener Saturday, the sold-out crowd at Bridgestone Arena thundered when the public address announcer intoned the name of the player saved for last: The Predators' captain, No. 6, Shea Weber.
 
Asked about it after the game, Weber acknowledged the reaction.
 
"Yeah, definitely," Weber said. "I've always noticed the people in Nashville are great people, and just to get a reception like that is a special feeling."
 
Weber returned the thanks by picking up two assists and going plus-1 in 25:40 of ice time as the Predators won the season opener over Anaheim, 4-1.

Fellow rookies happy for Eberle's fast start

Sunday, 10.10.2010 / 1:49 PM / NHL Insider

Robin Brownlee - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi of the Edmonton Oilers are looking to get on the score sheet against the Florida Panthers tonight after being blanked in Thursday's 4-0 win over the Calgary Flames.

Fellow rookie Jordan Eberle one-upped Hall and Paajarvi with his first NHL goal, and he set the bar high with a brilliant shorthanded effort -- a toe-drag around a sprawling defenseman and a forehand-to-backhand tuck over Miikka Kiprusoff.

"We're definitely pulling for each other," Hall said. "When he scores a goal like that, not only is it good for him but it's good for us. It makes us think, 'We can go out and do that, too."

Canucks name Henrik Sedin as captain

Saturday, 10.09.2010 / 10:32 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The Vancouver Canucks named center Henrik Sedin, last season's NHL scoring leader and MVP, as the 13th captain in team history. The announcement camp just before Saturday night's season-opener against the Los Angeles Kings.

"Henrik Sedin embodies the principles of this organization and all of the qualities of a leader through his honesty, integrity and discipline," GM Mike Gillis said. "Henrik is an exemplary leader who inspires teammates with a work ethic and desire to continually evolve his game. We are proud to name him as team Captain."

Sedin will be supported by Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa and Manny Malhotra in their roles as alternate captains.

Previous Canucks captains include Orland Kurtenbach, Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden, Mark Messier, Markus Naslund -- and goaltender Roberto Luongo, who gave up the "C" during the summer.

Lehtonen leads Stars to win after shaky start

Friday, 10.08.2010 / 10:55 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEWARK, N.J. -- Kari Lehtonen turned some early opening-night jitters into late heroics at the Prudential Center on Friday night.

After allowing two goals in the first 7:13, the Dallas Stars goaltender rebounded and finished with 27 saves as his team rallied for a 4-3 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils.

Things didn't look good early for Lehtonen, who allowed Travis Zajac's wrister from the right circle to squeak between his skates and into the net at 2:45 of the opening period. Zach Parise made it 2-0 on a wrister from the left circle as Dallas fell into an early hole. 

Five years later, Sid, Ovi have changed the game

Tuesday, 10.05.2010 / 10:56 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"I was fortunate to be around Steve Yzerman when we had the run from the mid-1990s until his retirement in 2006. You look for your leader to be your best player in the biggest games and Steve did that for us. Crosby and Ovechkin have done that for their teams. ... This battle is going to go on for a lot of years."
-- Red Wings GM Ken Holland

When the NHL returned to play for the 2005-06 season, it was the dawning of a new era in the League. A tighter interpretation of the rulebook was the mandate, with the hope that offensive players would be able to shine more like they had in the past.

Leading that charge was an 18-year-old wunderkind from Nova Scotia and a 20-year-old rifleman from Moscow.

Five years ago today -- Oct. 5, 2005 -- Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin made their NHL debuts, and the League forever has been changed by their presence.

And since that night, the two have been indelibly linked in what has become the best individual rivalry in the League.

Several Hawks still vying for roster spots

Monday, 10.04.2010 / 2:19 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

"It was a good experience, the first time with the Blackhawks, and I think it went well. I had a pretty good preseason and we'll see what happens in the future. It's their decision, but I left it all on the table. That's all I can do."
-- Jeremy Morin

CHICAGO -- Now they wait.

After making their cases for being included on the Chicago Blackhawks' roster to start the season, several players are now riding the bubble following the team's preseason finale at home on Sunday night.

Defenseman Brian Campbell's recent knee injury, which will keep him out 4-5 weeks, all but settled the defense picture -- but there are still too many forwards for the salary-cap squeezed Hawks to carry. The battle to stay appears to be down to 24-year old forward Viktor Stalberg, 19-year old rookie Jeremy Morin and veteran center Ryan Potulny -- a free agent pick-up from Edmonton.

Colorado prospects finally split up

Monday, 10.04.2010 / 2:01 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- They are close friends and were defense partners at Boston University for most of their three years there. They were drafted with Colorado's first two selections in the 2007 Entry Draft, left school as juniors to sign entry-level contracts with the Avalanche on the same day last April and shared a hotel room in training camp.

Not only that, Colby Cohen and Kevin Shattenkirk were competing for what appears to be just one opening on the Avalanche blue line.

That competition ended Wednesday when the Avalanche assigned Shattenkirk, the team's first pick (No. 14) in that 2007 Entry Draft, to the Lake Erie Monsters in the American Hockey League.

Cohen, the Avalanche's second pick (No. 45) in the same draft, still can't breathe easy. He still has to beat out Jonas Holos, who played on Norway's 2010 Olympic team, for that last spot.

Parenteau hopes to follow in Moulson's footsteps

Monday, 10.04.2010 / 1:32 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Nobody in the hockey world -- the New York Islanders included -- knew Matt Moulson would explode onto the NHL scene the way he did last season, when he made the team out of training camp and led the club with 30 goals.
 
When it comes to P.A. Parenteau, the Isles are hoping lightning strikes twice.
 
Parenteau, who signed a one-way deal with the club this summer, has been a prolific AHL goal-scorer since 2006, when he scored 30 goals in 68 games between Portland and Norfolk. Over the following three seasons with the Hartford Wolf Pack, the 27-year-old racked up 204 points over 184 AHL contests.
 
The former ninth-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks (No. 264 in 2001) had a cup of coffee with the New York Rangers last season and had 3 goals and 5 assists in 22 games. But on this side of the East River, Parenteau is being presented with a golden opportunity.

Mottau ready to make new memories with Isles

Friday, 10.01.2010 / 3:27 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"I think I can go up and down. It's really where (Scott Gordon) sees I fit best. It's going to take a group effort to fill the void of a Mark Streit. Not just one guy can come in and take his minutes."
-- Mike Mottau

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- When Mike Mottau arrived at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, one of his newest teammates was waiting for him.
 
It was Frans Nielsen.
 
Nielsen, you may recall, was on the receiving end of Mottau's controversial hit at the Prudential Center on Nov. 21, 2008, which sidelined the Isles' center until mid-January due to multiple injuries to his right leg.
 
But that's ancient history now, especially since Mottau signed a two-year deal with the Islanders earlier this week after it was announced defenseman Mark Streit will miss six months with a shoulder injury.
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