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(Page 4 of 274)
NHL Insider

Alfredsson embodied Senators' rise, beloved by city

Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 10:15 AM / NHL Insider

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- In his time with the Ottawa Senators, Daniel Alfredsson was as much a part of the landscape here as snow in winter, the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill, and a chant about the archrival Toronto Maple Leafs that rhymes with make believe luck.

That Alfredsson, a central figure when the Battle of Ontario was at its peak, was so reviled by Maple Leafs fans only served to endear him even more to Senators supporters.

Through the ebbs and flows of Ottawa's return to the NHL, Alfredsson was the Senators' constant, rising to become their leader in just about every offensive category and its longest-serving captain.

He became active in the community, opening up about his family and mental health issues faced by his sister, Cecilia, and becoming the spokesman for the Royal Ottawa Hospital's campaign to remove the stigma from mental illness.

He was always there with a consistent effort on the ice and to answer for his and the Senators performances off it.

Alfredsson returned to Ottawa one more time Thursday, to announce his retirement after 18 NHL seasons, 17 of which were spent with the Senators.

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Alfredsson's timeline traveled from Sweden to Ottawa

Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 10:15 AM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Daniel Alfredsson was the face of the Ottawa Senators for almost two decades. The Gothenburg, Sweden native holds countless Senators records set during his 17 seasons playing for Ottawa and has a decorated international career.

Alfredsson on Thursday announced his retirement from professional hockey.

Here are some key dates as we look back at No. 11:

June 29, 1994 -- Selected in the sixth round (No. 133) of the NHL Draft by the Ottawa Senators.

Oct. 7, 1995 -- Made his NHL debut, getting his first point (an assist) in a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

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Numbers show Alfredsson's status among peers

Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 10:15 AM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Longtime Ottawa Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson, who retired Thursday, compiled numbers that rank him at or near the top of players of his generation.

Here are a few that particularly stand out:

1 -- Alfredsson is the only player selected in the 1994 NHL Draft to reach 1,000 points; Patrik Elias (993 for the New Jersey Devils) could become the second.

2 -- Alfredsson finished with the second-most points from a Swedish born skater in NHL history, trailing Mats Sundin (1,349-1,157).

4 -- From when Alfredsson made his NHL debut to today, he ranks fourth in assists with 713. The players ahead of him are Joe Thornton, Jaromir Jagr and fellow countryman Nicklas Lidstrom.

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Canadiens owner saddened by Beliveau's passing

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 7:12 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Geoff Molson walked up to address the gathered media Wednesday, having had hours to emotionally absorb the horrible news that was delivered late the previous night.

The Montreal Canadiens president and principal owner began with a general comment on the passing of Jean Beliveau.

And the emotions came flowing back.

Following a comment in French, Molson said, "Before I get started I just wanted to say that our thoughts and prayers are with the Beliveau family today …"

Molson paused. He needed to compose himself.

He was speaking about the death of a man he said he considered to be a giant as a child, a man who had a relationship with his family that runs three generations deep.

As emotionally prepared as Molson might have been to face the public to speak of this sad event, it would have been impossible for him to be totally prepared.

This was hard.

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Flyers' Lecavalier discusses Jean Beliveau's impact

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 6:32 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- The picture has a timeless quality to it, even if Jean Beliveau's brown suit and green-and-red tie harken back to another era. There is Beliveau sitting on the boards, holding a young Vincent Lecavalier against a dark background of a hockey rink. Both are smiling.

The photo was taken at a hockey tournament Lecavalier's older brother was playing in, and it was the first time Lecavalier met Beliveau.

"I was very young, so I don't remember the moment exactly, but that picture's in my house back in Montreal signed by him," Lecavalier said. "It was a great honor to meet him. Obviously when I made it to the NHL, I met him a few times after that. [He's] just a nice person. He has a lot of respect for everybody, the way he treats people."

Lecavalier had a unique bond with Beliveau, the beloved Montreal Canadiens legend who died Tuesday at 83. He wore Beliveau's No. 4 since he was about 3 years old until he joined the Philadelphia Flyers -- the Flyers retired the number in honor of Barry Ashbee -- because Beliveau was his grandfather's favorite player. Lecavalier also played Beliveau in 2005 film "The Rocket: The Maurice Richard Story," which is about Beliveau's former Canadiens teammate.


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Beliveau has lasting impact with current Canadiens

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 1:55 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- None of the players on the Montreal Canadiens roster are old enough to have seen Jean Beliveau play, but the death Tuesday of the hockey legend hit them hard.

Even goaltender Carey Price and defenseman P.K. Subban, who normally don't talk after the morning skate on a game day, were eager to share their thoughts on Beliveau, who won the Stanley Cup 10 times as a player and seven times as a Canadiens executive.

"We lost a family member," Price said Wednesday ahead of their game against the Minnesota Wild. "He's an outstanding citizen and a great ambassador for our hockey team and we're sad to see him go. He's the bar for being a Montreal Canadien. He set the standard for everyone else to follow and he'll always be remembered."

Subban tweeted Tuesday night that he met Beliveau when he was 10. It was then, he said, he knew he wanted to play for the Canadiens.

"What he means to hockey and the Montreal Canadiens, I don't know if words can describe it," Subban said. "We understand, especially the guys from Canada, fans of the Montreal Canadiens especially, and growing up a fan, we understand what he means to the Canadiens."

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'Pope of Hockey' Beliveau was in class of his own

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 12:35 PM / NHL Insider

Serge Touchette  - Special to NHL.com

It was in 2002 at a hotel in Los Angeles, the day before the NHL All-Star Game, and some of the game's legends were taking their turn entering a reception hall.

I was speaking to Ted Lindsay, the Detroit Red Wings great, when Jean Beliveau, dressed to the nines, made his appearance.

All of a sudden the room went silent and everyone, without exception, turned their attention toward him.

It was as if time had stopped.

"For me," Lindsay said that day, "Jean Beliveau is, and always will be, the Pope of Hockey."

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Blues' American line bringing out their best

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- They never got the opportunity to play together as a trio at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but when center Paul Stastny signed as an unrestricted free agent this past summer with the St. Louis Blues, the opportunity presented itself for an all-American line with United States teammates David Backes and T.J. Oshie.

Uniting the three wasn't immediately in the cards for coach Ken Hitchcock, who wanted to take a look at them in different fashions and with different linemates. Injuries also derailed any potential connection. Stastny sustained a shoulder injury the fourth game of the season against the Arizona Coyotes and missed eight games; Backes and Oshie each sustained concussions Oct. 28 against the Dallas Stars, with Backes missing one game and Oshie seven.

But in recent games, Hitchcock implemented the unit in order to get a boost for all three. The move seemed to spark each player's respective game.

The Blues (16-6-2) will need their American line and everyone else when they go up against the Chicago Blackhawks (15-8-1) in the Wednesday Night Rivalry Game (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

"I wanted to look at it at practice first," Hitchcock said. "I put a Swedish line out there; I had four guys from Sweden in one line. That's an American line, I got a Euro line because [Jaden Schwartz] plays like a Euro. I'm not sure … then I got a hound dog line [the fourth line]. I'm not sure what I got going, but I wanted to look at it. It was a good day."

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Five things to watch when Blackhawks host Blues

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The fact the Chicago Blackhawks are still chasing the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues in the Central Division doesn't seem as alarming as it did three weeks ago because they've found their stride and are playing their best hockey of the still-young season.

The Blackhawks return home Wednesday for NBCSN's Rivalry Night game against the Blues (8 p.m. ET) for the first time since beating the Dallas Stars 6-2 on Nov. 16. They have won three straight, six of seven, and eight of 10 since losing six of nine games from Oct. 23-Nov. 7.

The Blackhawks, propelled by the win against Dallas, won five of six games during their annual "Circus Trip." They closed the trip with back-to-back 4-1 wins against the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings this past weekend.

"We're much better," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said during a phone interview Tuesday. "We've got something to build off. We're heading in the right direction. The past road trip or seven games I'd say they were strong games discounting one game in Vancouver. There's a lot of good things going on right now, but I don't think it's anything we should be too excited about. We feel we still have to get better."

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Richards gets boost from Blackhawks' new line

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Brad Richards stood next to his wife and newborn son on the ice at United Center while a video montage of his highlights played overhead.

The reason for the pregame ceremony was the 999 games he played prior to the one that was about to start, fittingly against one of his former teams, the Dallas Stars. Seventeen of those games were in a Chicago Blackhawks uniform, but Richards got the royal treatment from his new team.

It was a reminder of Richards' elite talent. He didn't score in Chicago's 6-2 win, but he was all over the ice. He set up third-period goals by left wing Kris Versteeg and right wing Patrick Kane in the first game coach Joel Quenneville used them as his second line, and Richards seemed like a different player.

"It might be a coincidence, I don't know," Richards told NHL.com after practice Tuesday, a day before the Blackhawks play the St. Louis Blues in the Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m.; NBCSN). "I felt like for two weeks leading up to that, I was starting to figure things out here and getting more confident. The role was not big yet, but all I could do was go out and try to get my game going. I felt like things were coming along."

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic