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Stanley Cup Final
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NHL Insider

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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Seguin scoring, having fun with Canada in Prague

Friday, 05.15.2015 / 8:06 PM / NHL Insider

Michael Langr - NHL.com Correspondent

PRAGUE -- Tyler Seguin loves to play here.

He scored his first NHL goal at Prague's O2 Arena against the Phoenix Coyotes as a Boston Bruins rookie in the beginning of the 2010-11 season, and he has eight goals in eight games in the building at the 2015 IIHF World Championship, including a hat trick that helped Canada win 9-0 against Belarus on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

"Someone's blessing me here in this arena," said Seguin, the Dallas Stars forward who is tied with Sweden's Filip Forsberg (Nashville Predators) for the tournament lead in goals. "For me personally, I started this tournament not getting the bounces and I'm obviously more happy when they go in. I like scoring goals, that's one of my jobs. And when they're going in, you feel better."

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Lighter Jagr helps Czechs reach semifinals at Worlds

Thursday, 05.14.2015 / 6:10 PM / NHL Insider

Michael Langr - NHL.com Correspondent

PRAGUE -- Jaromir Jagr has benefited from his size throughout his career. When he turns his back to the play to shield the puck, it's very difficult for defenders to get around his big body to his long stick.

Jagr decided to give up some of that advantage during the 2014-15 NHL season. In an effort to keep pace with his young Florida Panthers linemates, the 43-year-old lost more than 20 pounds, trading size for speed.

"I'm still somewhere around 105 kilograms (230 pounds) and I used to have 115 (253)," he said. "It's hard to skate with so much weight, when other players have 80 (176). I'd be happy to see them moving with a 30-kilogram vest."

The benefits of Jagr's weight loss were obvious at the end of the NHL regular season, and they've been evident at the IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic, where Jagr has adjusted to the larger international rink and had no problem skating past much younger defensemen while leading the host country to the semifinals.

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New GM Shero recognizes Devils need more offense

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 7:30 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

New general manager Ray Shero has every intention of making the New Jersey Devils the perennial Stanley Cup contenders they were for so long under Lou Lamoriello.

He plans to get there by adding more firepower.

"[Creating more offense] is going to be a goal," Shero said Monday after he was named to his position. "We would like to augment our defense with a little more offense."

Shero, who was GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins for eight seasons before he was fired last May, realizes there's work to be done in New Jersey. The Devils have failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past three seasons.

One of Shero's top priorities will be to hire a coach.

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Lamoriello timeline highlighted by three Cup wins

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 6:37 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com 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 Monday and hired Ray Shero to replace him. Lamoriello, 72, will remain as president of the Devils.

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 as GM of the Devils:

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Canucks' aim: Get better while getting younger

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 12:03 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks' management team is committed to making the team younger during its second offseason in charge, but only if it makes the club better as well.

And even if it means a second straight summer of asking veterans to waive no-trade clauses.

Speaking for the first time being eliminated by the Calgary Flames in the Western Conference First Round on Saturday, general manager Jim Benning and director of hockey operations Trevor Linden reiterated their plan to supplement an aging core with younger players without sacrificing the goal of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We don't plan on taking any steps backwards," said Linden, who was hired last April and brought in Benning a month later. "We are trying to win. We are trying to make the playoffs, and we are going to do everything we can to do that. Having said that, we have to keep a firm eye on the future and we need to develop players. But we can't put players in the lineup that aren't ready to play."

Linden and Benning answered questions about the sustainability of an aging core that is 3-12 in the playoffs since reaching Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2011. There was plenty of talk about turning over a roster that has eight key players who are 31 or older and two more who will turn 30 next season, but Benning and Linden made it clear that the youth movement will be a gradual process.

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Quote of the Day

We have no doubt how he can play. You don't, with four teams that are left, you're not getting here without good goaltending. All great goalies left, and [Bishop] is a top-tier goaltender in this league and he's shown it.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper on goalie Ben Bishop, who shut out the Rangers in Game 5