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NHL Insider

History helps Shanahan, Maple Leafs land Lamoriello

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 5:25 PM / NHL Insider

Chris Stevenson - Correspondent

TORONTO -- Brendan Shanahan has received credit for his dogged pursuit of the people he wants helping him rebuild the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Coach Mike Babcock, wooed and won in May, and now general manager Lou Lamoriello, introduced on Thursday, mentioned how determined and convincing the Maple Leafs president can be.

"When you're the youngest of four Irish boys at the dinner table your whole life," Shanahan said, "you learn how to fight for the last potato."

The reunion of Shanahan and Lamoriello with the Maple Leafs continues a close personal relationship that started 28 years ago. Lamoriello was in his first year as general manager of the New Jersey Devils when they selected Shanahan with the second pick of the 1987 NHL Draft.

Kane recalls Taylor Swift nearly costing Blackhawks

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 5:20 PM / NHL Insider

Taylor Swift once caused Patrick Kane to almost give up a goal -- and got him in hot water -- when the Chicago Blackhawks played the Nashville Predators during Kane's rookie season.

Former Blackhawks coach Denis Savard relayed what happened on Feb. 14, 2008 at Bridgestone Arena at last weekend's fan convention.

"I've got a story for you guys about backchecking and not covering your man in your own zone," Savard started off in a video posted by CSN Chicago. "You ready for this one. ...

Lamoriello timeline highlighted by three Cup wins

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 10:24 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

The banners that hang from the ceiling of Prudential Center are there in part because of how Lou Lamoriello ran the New Jersey Devils for 28 years as general manager.

Lamoriello, the longest-serving GM in the NHL, relinquished that position May 4 and hired Ray Shero to replace him. Lamoriello, 72, remained as president of the Devils, but he resigned that position as well Thursday and was named general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Under Lamoriello's leadership the Devils went to the Stanley Cup Playoffs 21 times, won nine division titles, went to the Stanley Cup Final five times and won the Cup in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

Here are some highlights from Lamoriello's tenure with the Devils:

With contract resolved, Predators' Smith raring to go

Wednesday, 07.22.2015 / 11:15 AM / NHL Insider

Craig Smith is armed with a long-term contract and a desire to build off one of the best seasons in Nashville Predators history.

The 25-year-old center followed up career highs of 24 goals and 52 points two seasons ago with 23 goals and 44 points in 2014-15, and Nashville rewarded him Monday with a five-year, $21.25 million contract shortly after a salary arbitration hearing.

"The Preds wanting to do a five-year [contract] is a testament to their confidence in my ability," Smith told the Predators website Tuesday. "Once you have that as a player, and you know you're wanted, it feels good to hear they think you can produce, but it's also a lot of responsibility. I believe I'm ready to take that on, and I'm excited to go into next year and score goals and win a lot."

New Maple Leafs goalie coach latest Korn disciple

Tuesday, 07.21.2015 / 12:00 PM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Steve Briere knew when he was named the Toronto Maple Leafs new goaltending coach Monday that a lot of people would wonder who he was, and why incoming coach Mike Babcock thought he was ready to make the jump from tier-2 junior to the NHL.

The answers can't be found by looking up Briere's career and noting where or how well he played during eight professional seasons as a goalie. Nor can it be found by scanning the teams Briere has worked for since trading his goalie pads for a coach's whistle.

To better gauge Briere's work the past eight years, you need to scan his rosters in the NCAA, United States Hockey League and North American Hockey League and a list of pupils that includes new Edmonton Oilers No. 1 Cam Talbot and NHL prospects like Zane MacIntyre (Boston Bruins), Rasmus Tirronen (Carolina Hurricanes) and Matej Tomek (Philadelphia Flyers).

Capitals D-man Bowey draws comparisons to Carlson

Sunday, 07.19.2015 / 12:00 AM / NHL Insider

Katie Brown - Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- All the comparisons prospect Madison Bowey has drawn to Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson don't bother him. He gets that a lot.

The 20-year-old defenseman lists Carlson and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings among the NHL players he's trying to emulate.

"Those two D-men are the new mold of defensemen now in the NHL and that's kind of like how I like to play," Bowey said. "Both those guys are tremendous players and guys that I look up to. It's kind of funny; I've always liked watching John Carlson play even when he was younger. It's pretty cool now just being in the same organization as him."

Up against cap, more moves ahead for Blackhawks

Friday, 07.17.2015 / 8:45 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks are not quite done with the latest remake of their roster.

Despite trading Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad, and letting Johnny Oduya, Brad Richards and Antoine Vermette leave as free agents since winning the Stanley Cup on June 15, Chicago is up against the $71.4 million NHL salary cap with the 21 players they've signed who are most likely to make the opening night roster.

More regulars could be on the move before the start of training camp in September, and there's the possibility the Blackhawks could do what they did last year, when they traded defenseman Nick Leddy a few days before the first game.

Blackhawks 'strive to keep winning' amid turnover

Friday, 07.17.2015 / 8:14 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks have made a habit of having the Stanley Cup at their annual fan convention, and they don't have plans to stop just because of their yearly roster retooling.

Friday at the Hilton Chicago, the Blackhawks used the silver trophy to begin the weekend for the third time since 2010, celebrating their latest championship while keeping an eye on the future.

The NHL's $71.4 million salary cap has forced the departure of some key players, including Patrick Sharp, Brandon Saad and Johnny Oduya, but the organizational mantra of "One Goal" remains intact.

"It's not going to be easy, but without disrespect to those guys [who aren't here] … we still have a lot of talent, a lot of character on this team, and we can find ways to let other players come in and assume more responsibility, and that culture's not going to change," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "We're going to strive to keep winning."

Hamilton, Frolik expect to win with Flames

Friday, 07.17.2015 / 5:46 PM / NHL Insider

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

CALGARY -- Dougie Hamilton and Michael Frolik share one goal moving to the Calgary Flames: Win.

"I think there's obviously an expectation to win," Hamilton said Friday when the players were introduced by the Flames. "I think I'm used to that being in Boston, but I think it's exciting here with moving upwards and a team that maybe struggled in the past and really improved. Hopefully we can keep improving and I think that's an exciting piece to be a part of."

The 22-year-old defenseman was acquired in a trade with the Boston Bruins hours before the 2015 NHL Draft on June 26. Four days later, he signed a contract extension reportedly worth $34.5 million over six years.

Frolik, a 27-year-old forward, signed a five-year contract reportedly worth $21.5 million when free agency opened July 1.

"When I look at last year, I was pretty impressed with what this team did," said Frolik, who played the past two seasons with the Winnipeg Jets. "They have a really young, talented team with a great future.

"I think we added me and Dougie and the expectations are going to be higher and higher. When the young guys get older, the expectations get higher. The goal is to make the [Stanley Cup Playoffs], but you don't want to think too far ahead. The start of the season is going to be huge and we'll see how it goes."

Raanta excited for fresh start with Rangers

Friday, 07.17.2015 / 11:09 AM / NHL Insider

Kristen Nelson - Staff Writer

Antti Raanta has had a busy summer, but the New York Rangers goalie is excited for his opportunity with his new team.

Raanta won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks last season and was traded to the Rangers 12 days later. He also recently got married earlier this month.

"It was a pretty amazing stretch, so many great things going on, but now life is back to normal," Raanta told on Thursday. "To get that phone call, to get traded in the middle of all that, it's just all pretty amazing. I think the honeymoon was the first time I had the chance to relax and realize what has happened the last few weeks. Now it's time to focus on hockey, and I am so excited to be a part of the New York Rangers organization."

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He plays the way that we want to play and he's a leader on the ice. It's those components we feel were the dynamic of what we wanted in our captain.

— Devils coach John Hynes on defenseman Andy Greene, who was named captain Thursday
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