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Five Questions With…

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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Five Questions: GM Nill preaches patience with Stars

Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill comes from the Detroit Red Wings' school of team-building, so patience in development is basically in his DNA. No team waits on prospects quite the way the Red Wings do, and it typically works out for them.

Nill, who worked alongside Detroit general manager Ken Holland for 19 years, has needed every bit of his patience this season because after overachieving to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, the Stars have struggled, particularly in their own end.

Dallas (11-13-5) is sixth in the Central Division with 27 points and last in the NHL in goals-against per game (3.52).

"We were fortunate to make some moves last season that probably put us ahead of what anybody really thought, and now it all has to come together," Nill told NHL.com. "That's what takes time. Other than [Jason] Spezza and a few others, it's a very young core, and that's why we have to be very patient, let it come together. It's easy to say, 'Well, it's not coming together, we need to make another change,' but you've gotta let things gel on their own a little bit too."

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Five Questions: Hartley on Giordano, Flames' success

Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley has fun joking around about his team giving him heart palpitations and gray hairs this season because of their slow starts and strong finishes in games. He doesn't joke about his expectations.

"We're on a mission here," Hartley told NHL.com.

The Flames' mission is to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They're carving out their path.

Calgary, picked by many to jostle with the Edmonton Oilers between sixth and seventh place in the Pacific Division, is third in the division with 36 points through 28 games entering their game Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.

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Five Questions: Stevens on TV gig, Brodeur and more

Tuesday, 12.02.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Scott Stevens isn't sure if he's starting down a new career path or biding time before his next opportunity with a team, but the Hall of Fame defenseman is looking forward to finding out how it works on the other side of the hockey business.

Stevens, who spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils following 22 seasons as a player, is getting his first taste of being a television analyst with NHL Network this week.

He appeared on NHL Live on Monday and will be back Tuesday. He will rejoin NHL Network to be part of its coverage of the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals at Nationals Park on New Year's Day.

"I love hockey and I watch hockey," Stevens said. "It's fun to talk about hockey. That's what I've been doing my whole life."

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Five Questions: Lidstrom discusses life after hockey

Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 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 former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom:

NEW YORK -- Barely noticed in the crowd, future Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom went to get a hot dog with his wife Annika after the first period of the Detroit Red Wings game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 5.

It's not often Lidstrom can walk around without being stopped for an autograph or picture, selfie or otherwise, but there he was with his wife, nobody getting in the way of them and their dinner.

Lidstrom, not surprisingly, was smiling as they walked around like any other couple at the Garden. Of course, they are not any other couple. He is not any other fan.

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Five Questions: Bylsma enjoying studying the game

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 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 former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma:

With time on his hands this season, former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has gone back to being a student of the game. His classroom is his living room. His desk is his couch. His teachers are the coaches and players in the NHL.

"I have done a scout on 27 teams to this point," Bylsma said. "I haven't gotten every team yet, but I'm coaching my son's team and I've been other places where it's just not possible to sit down and watch all of the games that are going on for that two days or three days. So I haven't watched every game, but I usually record two games a night and watch a game so I can watch the other games the next morning at some point in time to see what's happening."

Bylsma is studying to stay up to date on what's happening in the NHL in case his phone rings with his next job offer. He's ready for that to happen. But he's also studying as a way to learn more about nuances of the game that he never had time to dissect when he was coaching.

"There are some analytic aspects of the game that I'm looking at and delving into what the numbers mean, what the analytics mean," Bylsma said. "There are certain aspects of how some teams play that I want to dissect and breakdown."

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Five Questions: Hitchcock on special teams, goalies

Monday, 11.03.2014 / 11:55 PM / 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 coach Ken Hitchcock:

NEW YORK -- The St. Louis Blues carry a five-game winning streak into Prudential Center on Tuesday because they're finding ways to win the hard way despite a below-par penalty kill and injuries to some key forwards.

"That's what it's about," Blues captain David Backes said. "Plugging holes and getting guys to step up with bigger responsibilities. We're gutting it out and getting back to our roots in how we play and how we have success, and that's playing in their end, mucking and grinding, and finding ways to get dirty goals."

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Quote of the Day

That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4