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Five Questions With…

Five questions: Blues' Armstrong on deadline moves

Tuesday, 03.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong:

St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong was on his way home from a long day -- more accurately a long couple of weeks -- when he was reached by phone Monday afternoon.

Armstrong seemed relaxed and satisfied, calm and measured. He also was very willing to put his feet up and let other people dissect what he and his fellow general managers did before the NHL Trade Deadline.

"Now you guys have got to make sense of it all," Armstrong said to NHL.com. "This is the fun time of the year now. My experience shows that when the players have their first practice after the deadline there is more heightened awareness. This is their team. This is what it is. Let's get our game in order now. You're past the dog days and you're into really why we played the game as kids and why we follow the game. You're into the most enjoyable time."

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Five Questions: Wild GM Fletcher willing to deal

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher is heading into the final days before the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline on March 2 at 3 p.m. ET with an eye on adding to the depth of the hottest team in the League.

"If we can add a piece, whether it's up front or on the blue line, we'll do that," Fletcher told NHL.com.

The Wild are 13-2-2 in 17 games since Fletcher acquired goalie Devan Dubnyk from the Arizona Coyotes for a third-round draft pick; they were 18-19-5 through 42 games.

Dubnyk has won each of those 13 games in 16 starts with a 1.64 goals-against average, a .946 save percentage and five shutouts. The Wild have climbed into the second wild-card position in the Western Conference after being eight points out and last in the Central Division after a 7-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 13. Their 6-1 win against the Dallas Stars on Sunday put them inside the top-eight for the first time since Nov. 24.

The Wild's hot stretch has changed Fletcher's mindset. If the deadline was a month ago Minnesota would have been a seller; now it hopes to be a buyer.

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Five Questions: Babcock talks Red Wings' depth

Tuesday, 02.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock:

Mike Babcock has a trusted, old-school way of telling if the season is going as planned.

"You wake up every day, you look at the standings, and if you don't have to turn the paper upside down to be happy it's a positive thing," Babcock told NHL.com.

The standings look good right-side up to the Detroit Red Wings nowadays.

Detroit currently sits third in the Atlantic Division with 71 points. The Red Wings are two points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning and a notch below the Montreal Canadiens because of the head-to-head tiebreaker (Detroit is 0-1-1 against Montreal this season).

There is no team hotter in the NHL than the Red Wings, who are 9-1-0 in their past 10 games, all played without No. 1 goalie Jimmy Howard. Howard has been out with a groin injury, but he's scheduled to return Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets.

"I think we're a pretty good team," Babcock said. "Are we a great team? We're going to find out."

Babcock is right; the Red Wings are about to be tested.

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Five Questions: Flames' Giordano on road to the top

Tuesday, 02.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Mark Giordano's path to NHL stardom can be seen as either the blueprint for all fledgling professional defensemen or the envy of everyone who is or once was in his shoes.

Giordano, now a Norris Trophy candidate and an all-star, started as an undrafted defenseman out of the Ontario Hockey League and spent a year playing professionally in Russia. He has been a full-time NHL player since the 2008-09 season. He was a first-time all-star this season.

Along the way Giordano has figured things out about himself, his game, and about what makes the great ones in the NHL great. He has learned to play a two-way game without sacrificing what he does best, which is join the rush and provide offense. He has become a leader.

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Five Questions: Laviolette on Predators' start, Ribeiro

Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette:

COLUMBUS -- Peter Laviolette got to know the Eastern Conference during his 12 years working in the conference with the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers. He's now getting a taste of what life is like in the Western Conference as the coach of the Nashville Predators. He summed up his experience so far in two words:

"It's different," Laviolette told NHL.com.

He stressed that he doesn't mean different in that the hockey being played in the West is so much different than in the East, but what he got to know well simply isn't the same.

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Five Questions: Hamonic on Islanders' resurgence

Tuesday, 01.20.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Travis Hamonic could have chosen to go almost anywhere for a vacation during the upcoming 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend.

Bahamas, Bermuda, Miami? Nope. Hamonic is going home to Winnipeg, where the high temperature Wednesday is expected to be 16 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Weather.com.

He can't wait.

"That's what I know," Hamonic told NHL.com. "I've got a cabin about two hours away, so I'll get away and do some ice fishing."

Sun or snow, Hamonic has earned a mini-vacation like the rest of his teammates, except for John Tavares and Jaroslav Halak, who will represent the Islanders in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Islanders will enter 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend with 63 points, the most in the Metropolitan Division. They currently have the most points in the Eastern Conference, one more than the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Before heading west and into hiding for a few days on the ice on top of one of Manitoba's many lakes, Hamonic spoke about the Islanders success this season, including his thoughts on their attitude and mentality, in the following Q&A with NHL.com:

Here are Five Questions with … Travis Hamonic:


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Five Questions: Sabres GM Murray on rebuilding

Tuesday, 01.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray:

Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray is no different than most GMs in that he looks around the NHL and sees examples of what he wants his team to become, most notably the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings.

To get there, Murray has taken on an unorthodox approach to managing a team in the middle of a season. He doesn't worry about wins and losses, points gained and lost. The Sabres are rebuilding and it's hard to find anyone who has embraced the process more than Murray.

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Five Questions: Voracek developing into elite scorer

Tuesday, 01.06.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek:

Bring up his spot atop the League leaders in points this season and Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek will smile and laugh as he delivers a one-word retort.

"Lucky."

Voracek says lucky, but does he feel he belongs in the discussion for the top players in the NHL now that he has 48 points in 39 games, one more point in one more game than Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin?

"It's [39] games," Voracek said before he had an assist in the Flyers' 5-2 loss Saturday against the New Jersey Devils. "I mean, listen, the guys that are on top, they do that for 10 years. Right now I'm focused on trying to get on a winning streak as a team because the team makes the player."

But how has this particular player all of a sudden become one of the best scorers in the NHL? Voracek, always affable and engaging, tried to provide some reasons.

Here are Five Questions with…Jakub Voracek:

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Five Questions: Emrick on his love of Winter Classic

Tuesday, 12.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features NBC broadcaster Mike Emrick.

WASHINGTON -- NBC broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick lists his top-two events to call each year as the NHL Winter Classic and the Stanley Cup Final, in no particular order. He was on his way to the first one when he spoke to NHL.com on Monday night.

Emrick likes to get into the host city for major events such as the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic (Thursday, 1 p.m. ET, NBC) early in order to walk around the venue and talk to some of the people who work there about their city's sports culture. He never knows what kind of nuggets of information he'll be able to gather and potentially use during the broadcast.

For instance, Emrick said he went inside the famed Fenway Park scoreboard to see all the signatures on the wall the day before the 2010 NHL Winter Classic. He wound up meeting the guys who were going to operate the scoreboard for the game between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers.

"I said, 'If the Bruins score a goal, are you going to do like the Red Sox when they get a run and put up a yellow "1" until the period is over?'" Emrick said. "They said, 'No, we thought about it, but we only have one of them, and what happens if the Flyers score too?' So instead of doing that they just put up a total, but they didn't put up a yellow number and change it to a white number when the period ended."

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Five Questions: Blackhawks CEO on Winter Classic

Tuesday, 12.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Chicago Blackhawks president and CEO John McDonough:

John McDonough walked through the doors at United Center as president of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007 with big dreams, big aspirations. He wanted to not just turn around the Blackhawks from their moribund days, he wanted to turn them into a well-recognized and highly respected global brand.

McDonough has seen his dreams become reality.

The Blackhawks hosted the 2009 NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field. That was their welcome back, their return to relevance. They won the Stanley Cup in 2010; it was their first championship since 1961. They won it again in 2013, and they're favored to do so again in 2015. They hosted a Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Soldier Field last season.

On New Year's Day their brand will be back on the national stage in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Nationals Park. The Blackhawks will be the visitors against the Washington Capitals.

McDonough spoke to NHL.com on Monday about Chicago's involvement in the Winter Classic, what it gains, tangible or intangible, from being in the game, and how the organization can continue to build the Blackhawks brand based on being involved in yet another major NHL event.

Here are Five Questions with … John McDonough:

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Quote of the Day

I don't have a crystal ball. Predicting is a real complicated thing. If we stay healthy, have enough depth and get the good goaltending we think we're going to have, you can go all the way. But a lot of things have to happen. There's going to be a lot of teams that think the same thing. Everyone made deals. We're all are optimistic about where we'll end up.

— Rangers general manager Glen Sather after being asked if he's constructed a team that can win the Stanley Cup before their 4-1 win against the Predators on Monday
2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series GigaPixel