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NHL Insider

Oilers to honor Sather for role in building dynasty

Thursday, 12.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Glen Sather could have chosen his first Stanley Cup championship with the Edmonton Oilers in 1984. He also could have gone with his second, third, fourth, or his fifth. Heck, he could have even chosen the first time the Oilers appeared in the Stanley Cup Final in 1983.

He didn't go anywhere near the championships and all the winning he did with the Oilers when asked during a phone interview for his favorite memory of the near quarter-century he spent in Edmonton.

"One of the best memories, and the one that really stands out to me, is the night I benched Wayne Gretzky when we were playing in Cincinnati in the 1978-79 season, our last in the WHA," Sather told NHL.com. "Wayne came out and scored three goals in the third period and won the game for us after I benched him for a whole period. After that I could see this guy is the star he eventually became."

Thirty-seven years after Sather benched him, Gretzky will join a party of legends in Edmonton on Friday to honor the architect of the great Oilers dynasty of the 1980s.

Prior to the Oilers' game against the New York Rangers, Sather will have his name on a banner go up into the rafters at Rexall Place to fly alongside the names and numbers of those he molded into Hockey Hall of Fame players, including Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, Glenn Anderson and Grant Fuhr.

Prior to raising banner, former Oilers praise Sather

Wednesday, 12.09.2015 / 7:30 PM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON — As president, general manager and coach of the Edmonton Oilers, Glen Sather had one steadfast rule for his players.

"If you ever got into any situation, any questionable situation, make sure he was the first guy you called," Craig MacTavish, the Oilers captain from 1992-94, said. "If you did that, you had an ally, and if you didn't do that and he found out about something, then you had a real enemy. He was very loyal to his players."

Sather was the architect of five Stanley Cup championships with the Oilers (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990) and will be honored with a banner-raising celebration at Rexall Place on Friday prior to the game against the New York Rangers (9:30 p.m. ET; SNW, MSG).

Avalanche coach played key role in Duchene rebound

Wednesday, 12.09.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

At a time when Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene needed a voice of reason, coach Patrick Roy was there to help rekindle his confidence.

Duchene has probably stopped counting the number of times he's been asked what NHL life has been like having Roy as coach the past three seasons. He never tires of answering the question, however, because it was Roy who provided a lifeline following a tumultuous start to 2015-16.

"I was struggling and after coming off a bad game in which I was robbed (by the goaltender) during my first shift earlier this season, I kind of shut down," said Duchene, whose Avalanche host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, ROOT). "I didn't play great the rest of the game and was pretty down. [Roy] pulled me aside and we watched video; he's very perceptive in terms of the visual sense and he helped me return to that foundation to what makes me go and what makes me, me."

Condon defies odds to emerge as Canadiens starter

Wednesday, 12.09.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec – Mike Condon is the starting goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens.

By now, that is old news. The lower-body injury expected to keep Carey Price out of action until at least mid-January has thrust Condon into this role, and he has handled it as well as could be expected of an undrafted, 25-year-old NHL rookie.

But Condon's performance is made that much more remarkable when you look at how he has reached this point as the starting goaltender for one of the iconic franchises of the NHL that also happens to be near the top of the League standings this season.

When Condon leads the Canadiens onto the ice for this week's Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Boston Bruins at Bell Centre (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, RDS) he will be playing his 18th career NHL game.

The odds of him playing even one were practically nonexistent.

Oilers coach McLellan to face Sharks for first time

Wednesday, 12.09.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers coach Todd McLellan said he owes a lot to the San Jose Sharks.

McLellan, 48, spent seven seasons in San Jose before he was hired by Edmonton this offseason and will coach against his former team for the first time Wednesday when the Oilers host the Sharks (9:30 p.m., ET; CSN-CA, SNOL) at Rexall Place.

"San Jose was a long period for myself and my family and we absolutely loved it, the organization, the ownership, the management," McLellan said Tuesday after practice. "[Sharks general manager] Doug Wilson and his team treated me tremendously well. He gave me an opportunity to enter the league as a young coach, they gave me a tremendous team to work with. I have a tremendous amount of respect for them. It'll be nice to see [familiar] faces, but when the puck is dropped, it'll be our job to go out and win a game and that's what we'll try and do."

Maple Leafs' Lamoriello made lasting impact on Devils

Monday, 12.07.2015 / 3:00 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias had always thought of Lou Lamoriello as a father-figure ever since being selected in the second round of the 1994 NHL Draft.

It was a recurring theme among many of the veteran players when asked for their feelings about going up against the former Devils general manager for the first time since he resigned and joined the Toronto Maple Leafs in the same capacity on July 23 when New Jersey visits the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; MSG, TSN4).

Lamoriello, 72, relinquished his position as GM of the Devils on May 4 and hired Ray Shero to replace him. He remained as president but resigned from that position and was named general manager of the Maple Leafs. He served as Devils GM for 28 years.

Elias, 39, is currently the longest serving player in the Devils organization.

Kane finds support from Hull on verge of record

Saturday, 12.05.2015 / 7:45 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Bobby Hull had a message for Patrick Kane when they saw each other at an event for Chicago Blackhawks season-ticket holders on Friday.

Kane, whose 21-game point streak is tied with Hull for longest in Blackhawks history, said "The Golden Jet" hopes he sets the bar even higher when Chicago plays the Winnipeg Jets at United Center on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; TSN3, WGN).

"If it's meant to be, it's meant to be," Kane said after practice Saturday. "I think it's been a pretty good run. I saw Bobby Hull [Friday] night and he seems very supportive of where I'm at right now. It seems like he wants me to get it done too. His words of encouragement are, 'Get it done early ... then you can enjoy it.' It's been a pretty cool run and whatever happens from here happens."

Points remain to be proven for Capitals, Canadiens

Friday, 12.04.2015 / 9:48 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Each team felt it had something to prove, and it can be argued neither of them succeeded.

When the Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens, the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, played for the first time this season at Bell Centre on Thursday, there were question marks following each of them in spite of their lofty positions in the standings.

For the Capitals, their five regulation losses entering the game had come against what many would consider the stiffest competition on their schedule to date. Losses to the San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars almost overshadowed their 17 wins.

Flames' Hamilton starting to find way as Bruins visit

Friday, 12.04.2015 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- A stunning trade to the Calgary Flames hours before the 2015 NHL Draft quickly sent expectations sky high for defenseman Dougie Hamilton.

His early-season struggles to adapt to a new system, new teammates, and a new city have tempered them equally as fast.

But Hamilton is trying to improve upon his slow start.

"It's a little bit frustrating," Hamilton said. "It's not the start I wanted and maybe it's more of an adjustment than I thought it would be. With how we're doing as a team, it's frustrating as well.

Bure: Alex Ovechkin 'best pure goal-scorer' in NHL

Thursday, 12.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Retired Russian forward Pavel Bure says that Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin is the best pure goal scorer in the NHL and that Chicago Blackhawks rookie forward Artemi Panarin reminds Bure of himself at a young age, Bure writes in his debut blog for NHL.com/ru, the League's Russian language website.

Bure, who scored 437 goals and 779 points during a 12-year NHL career with the Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers and New York Rangers, will make regular contributions to NHL.com/ru.

"I believe, at this point, Ovechkin is the best pure goal scorer in the game," Bure said in the article. "Year after year, he continues to cement his name as one of the best of all time. What makes him unique is the unbelievable precision of his shot. Very often, goalies would have absolutely no clue where the puck would go after his shot."

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