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Player Profiles

Maturity helps Predators' Jones navigate life as rookie

Monday, 11.11.2013 / 10:29 AM / Player Profiles

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Rookie defenseman Seth Jones has had his share of ups and downs this season.

That's expected of a 19-year-old player not accustomed to the wear and tear of a full season in the National Hockey League. Make no mistake, there have been more positive moments than forgettable ones for Jones, but even he felt his demotion to the third defensive pair in a loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday was deserved.

"I didn't have a very good game, and it's been a couple of games now where I made some mistakes that I can't make. … That's the way it is," Jones told NHL.com. "When you're not playing well, you get moved down. I'm trying to be consistent, and we'll see where that goes. I made some mistakes, and that can't happen."

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Jones leaving little doubt he belongs with Predators

Monday, 10.21.2013 / 12:39 AM / Player Profiles

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

When Seth Jones arrived at Nashville Predators training camp last month, he didn't want his family to make the move with him until he was assured he would be starting the season with the team.

Predators general manager David Poile and coach Barry Trotz made no effort to hide that the No. 4 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft would be doing just that, but Jones still didn't want to take any chances.

So Jones lived with Predators captain Shea Weber, the present and future of the franchise under one roof, playing video games together and getting to know each other.

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Rask feeling right at home with Boston Bruins

Tuesday, 09.03.2013 / 11:00 AM / Player Profiles

Risto Pakarinen - NHL.com Correspondent

Eight years ago, a young Finnish goalie name Tuukka Rask was excited because he had just been drafted into the NHL by the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was only 18 years old, but his career plan was right on schedule. He had won the Finnish junior championship, recording six shutouts in 10 playoff games, and he had played in the IIHF World Junior Championship.

Today, Rask is the Boston Bruins' starting goaltender. His name is on the Stanley Cup as a member of the Bruins' championship team in 2011, and he might well have won the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP had the Bruins beaten the Chicago Blackhawks in the Final in June.

And eight years from now? Rask hopes he's still wearing a Bruins sweater. Right after the Stanley Cup Final he said he wanted to play in Boston "forever," and in July he got his wish, "forever" with an asterisk, as he signed an eight-year, $56 million contract.

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Pregame ceremony sparks Callahan, Rangers

Friday, 04.19.2013 / 12:00 PM / Player Profiles

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Shortly after being named winner of the New York Rangers' Steven McDonald Extra Effort award, captain Ryan Callahan showed why he has earned the distinction in four of the past five seasons.

Following a riveting speech from the trophy's namesake, the New York police officer who was paralyzed in the line of duty in 1988, the Rangers got a lift early in their game Thursday. And it was Callahan who led the way, contributing two first-period assists as the Rangers topped the Florida Panthers 6-1 at Madison Square Garden.

Before the game, a moment of silence was held for victims of Monday's tragic bombing in Boston. Moments later, McDonald came out onto the ice with his wife and son, who also is an NYPD officer. Confined to a wheelchair, McDonald gave a stirring speech in which he implored the Rangers to contribute "one more shift, one more goal." He also suggested the Rangers dedicate the remainder of their season to Martin Richard, the 8-year-old Bruins fan who was killed in Monday's attack.

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Islanders' Tavares returns home as MVP candidate

Thursday, 04.18.2013 / 2:31 PM / Player Profiles

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- John Tavares sat in his stall Thursday morning inside the visitors dressing room at Air Canada Centre answering question after question about his rise to prominence and the New York Islanders' potential to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

That's the way it is when a player is a blossoming superstar who has been in the public eye since he was a teenager. And that's the way it is when that player returns home as a legitimate Hart Trophy candidate.

For Tavares, 22, playing in Toronto has always been special. Having grown up Oakville, Ontario, just a few miles west of the city, he welcomes the opportunity to play in front of friends and family -- the people who helped him in his journey to make it to the NHL. This game, though, has special meaning because for the first time in his young professional career, he is playing on a team that appears destined to make the playoffs.

"I think it's always fun playing here, but the fact we're in a playoff race and I'm playing in front of so many people that have helped me along the way gives this game special meaning," Tavares admitted. "The first couple of games I played in Toronto earlier in my career were a little nutty. There were so many people who wanted to see me. Now we're in a bit of a routine, and to be truthful, my parents look after getting tickets to people more than me."

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SoCal native Etem earning his place with Ducks

Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 12:58 PM / Player Profiles

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM – The most embarrassing moment for a first-year player at any team's rookie party usually comes when the youngster has to stand up in front of the team and entertain the group.

Emerson Etem
Right Wing - ANA
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 6 | PTS: 9
SOG: 38 | +/-: 6
For Emerson Etem, it happened when he broke bread with teammates at said dinner in cuisine-friendly Chicago and it was time to order.

"The guys were giving it to me because I ordered a club sandwich at a fancy steakhouse," Etem said. "They were giving it to me."

Etem did have to get up and tell a story, but he is hesitant to divulge details. His own story is good enough.

Etem, 20, is living a local-boy-makes-good existence with the Anaheim Ducks, who play their penultimate home game of the regular season Wednesday at Honda Center against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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Lundqvist hitting elite level as postseason approaches

Tuesday, 04.16.2013 / 3:39 PM / Player Profiles

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- The New York Rangers are gearing up for the stretch run to a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their best player, though, is hitting midseason form -- and that should be just what they want.

Henrik Lundqvist enters the Rangers' game Tuesday at the Philadelphia Flyers (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) playing his best hockey of the season. In his most recent start, he stopped all 29 shots Saturday in a 1-0 overtime win against the New York Islanders, registering his first shutout of the season. And since the calendar flipped to April, Lundqvist is 5-1-1 with a 1.53 goals-against average and .948 save percentage. Because of Lundqvist's strong play, the Rangers enter Tuesday eighth in the Eastern Conference, but two points behind the sixth-place Ottawa Senators.

While time on the regular season is ticking down, Lundqvist's goaltending partner said he believes his teammate is just getting warmed up.

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Morrow finding his groove with Penguins

Monday, 04.15.2013 / 4:09 PM / Player Profiles

Chris Adamski - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- There still are times, Brenden Morrow said, that he'll have to ask a teammate where he's supposed to line up for a particular faceoff in a certain situation or part of the ice.

"I haven't totally grasped everything systems-wise just yet," Morrow said.

But as he prepares to play the 10th game into his Pittsburgh Penguins career, Morrow is feeling increasingly comfortable. It's showing in his play -- and in his offensive production.

After going without a point in his first four games upon being acquired in a trade, Morrow has three goals and three assists in his past five as he settles in with the Penguins after spending the entirety of his previous 12 NHL seasons with the Dallas Stars.

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Ducks' search for second center leads to Lombardi

Wednesday, 04.10.2013 / 12:43 PM / Player Profiles

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- When rumors surfaced last summer that the Anaheim Ducks sought to trade Bobby Ryan, most of the attention focused on where the four-time 30-goal scorer would land.

What wasn't talked about as much was what Anaheim was looking for in return: a second-line center to play with Teemu Selanne. The organization was looking to transition Saku Koivu into a third-line role, a natural evolution but also reflective that the chemistry between Selanne and Koivu never completely developed as much as the club wanted.

Anaheim has experimented this season with Peter Holland and Nick Bonino, who haven't quite fit the role.

Is Matthew Lombardi the answer?

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Carpenter's play adding to family legacy

Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 2:00 PM / Player Profiles

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Barely two weeks into April, it has already been a pretty good month for Alex Carpenter.

Just days after leading Boston College to the 2013 Frozen Four and being named a Second Team All-American, the sophomore forward was named the New England Division I Player of the Year by the American Hockey Coaches Association.

That same day, she made her debut at the IIHF Women's World Championship as she suited up for the U.S. national team. In Tuesday's gold-medal game at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Carpenter can earn another honor with a win over Canada.

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Quote of the Day

Obviously a lot happened in a short period of time. At the end of the day, considering everything I went through, I really felt close to my teammates and I really feel like what we accomplished, I know we didn't win it all. ... I'm really proud of how we got there and what we did once we got there.

— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis to Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com