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Over the Boards
(Page 5 of 5)
Over the Boards

Deadline experience tough for some players

Tuesday, 04.02.2013 / 11:23 PM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

As the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline approached, Minnesota Wild forward Nick Schultz was doing his job when Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher called him into the office and told him he would no longer be working in the only NHL market Schultz knew.

Fletcher traded Schultz to the Edmonton Oilers on deadline day, Feb. 27, 2012, in exchange for defenseman Tom Gilbert. Schultz had to be on a flight to Edmonton that night.

"I was in shock," Schultz told NHL.com as the 2013 deadline approached. "[Fletcher] thanked me for everything and that was it. I didn't really say anything to him. I was in shock and couldn't really believe it. I was there for 10 years and then, poof, I was packing my bags and moving on. It happens in a hurry."

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Buffalo GM Regier could shuffle deck before deadline

Wednesday, 03.27.2013 / 8:49 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Odds are the Buffalo Sabres' curve in the 2012-13 NHL season still goes from reeling to at least some dealing by April 3, but amid the early-season chaos and trade-deadline rumors, general manager Darcy Regier's up-and-down team has found a way back into the discussion for a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We have to climb, and it's going to take a lot of work," Sabres captain Jason Pominville told NHL.com Monday. "But if there is a group that can do it, we'd be it."

Confidence is good and it usually helps, but the Sabres hurt their chances Tuesday with a regulation loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning. Buffalo was 12th in the Eastern Conference, five points out of eighth with 16 games to play, so thinking about the playoffs may seem farfetched with one week to go before the April 3 trade deadline.

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Trading not focus of GM meeting

Tuesday, 03.19.2013 / 7:00 PM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Despite the fact all 30 of the NHL's general managers will be in Toronto on Wednesday, expectations of significant movement on the trade front this week should be tempered -- even though the NHL trade deadline looms two weeks away.

There is no denying that the seeds for future deals could be planted Wednesday, when the general managers get together for a one-day meeting in Toronto, but a number of GMs told NHL.com that the majority of trade hype coming out of the meeting won't carry much weight in the run-up to the April 3 deadline.

A lack of time to formally consummate a face-to-face deal, as well as the fact trade discussions rarely have to be conducted in person, are the main reasons cited by those GMs for their pessimism about the meeting setting in motion a trading frenzy.

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Over the Boards: Olympics, visors among hot topics

Saturday, 03.09.2013 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly will be among a group of League personnel leaving for Sochi, Russia on Sunday to conduct a site visit and participate in meetings regarding the potential participation of NHL players in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

"I would hope to be in a position where this is resolved one way or the other by the end of this month," Daly told NHL.com.

Daly said the League is on track to present the concept of Olympic participation to the Board of Governors "at an appropriate time." He stressed, however, that present discussions among the League, the National Hockey League Players' Association, the International Ice Hockey Federation and the International Olympic Committee have been on a conceptual level and haven't yet broached specifics.

"Maybe when we get down to the specific level we might come up with a problem that might be difficult to resolve, but, to this point, we've been moving forward," Daly said.

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Over the Boards: Schedule creates playoff atmosphere

Friday, 03.01.2013 / 11:00 PM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are arriving early for the Anaheim Ducks and Phoenix Coyotes, say their coaches.

Due to a scheduling quirk resulting from building issues and other factors involved in the compressed 48-game NHL season, the Ducks and Coyotes will play each other three times in five days, starting Saturday in Glendale, Ariz. They also play Monday in Glendale and finish the three-game set Wednesday in Anaheim.

The teams won't play again until the final day of the regular season, April 27.

"I don't think the first game is treated any differently, but after the first game, depending on the result, you figure out how you treat it," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau told NHL.com. "But I always liken [home-and-home series] to doubleheaders in baseball, and what you want to do is win the first game of the doubleheader, because if you don't, it makes it more paramount to win the second game. This is a tripleheader and the other team is right in your division. You can have an eight-point lead on them and that could be dwindled to two in a matter of five days."

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Murphy: Coach's challenge could be in NHL's future

Saturday, 02.23.2013 / 12:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Mike Murphy, the National Hockey League's senior vice president of Hockey Operations, isn't ruling out the possibility that one day -- possibly soon -- the concept of a coach's challenge could exist in the NHL.

However, Murphy also warns that the concept is not one that can be adopted without clearly defined criteria for what a coach would be allowed to challenge and what elements of the challenged play would be admissible in the review process.

"Sure, I think that there is a real possibility it could happen, but you'd have to sit down with a group of smart people and you'd have to go through just about every type of play you'd want to allow a challenge for," Murphy told NHL.com. "It can't be used as a tactic. That's a concern. It has to be a legitimate play that has been defined into the coach's challenge rule. Mainly, it's goals."

The concept of a coach's challenge was first brought up by Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon at the November 2010 general managers meeting in Toronto. Tallon proposed allowing coaches one challenge per game in order to contest a disputed goal.

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Conacher fights through obstacles to stick with Bolts

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 8:11 PM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The two drawbacks that could have easily prevented Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Cory Conacher from making it to the NHL are instead the two biggest reasons he is thriving and playing second-line minutes for the top team in the Southeast Division.

Cory Conacher
Center - TBL
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 7 | PTS: 12
SOG: 19 | +/-: 6
Conacher's diminutive size (5-foot-9, 179 pounds) and potentially debilitating disease (type 1 diabetes, diagnosed when he was 8 years old) never got in his way before he got to the League and certainly don't figure to be detrimental now that he's arrived with a fearlessness built on a foundation of always having to prove people wrong.

Through 12 games, Conacher had 12 points on five goals and seven assists (though he'd gone pointless in Tampa Bay's recent three-game losing streak). He's scored all of his goals from right around the blue paint, a testament to his fearlessness.

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Crosby admits Pens' PP should be better than it is

Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 1:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Sidney Crosby agrees with the sentiment that any power-play unit that includes him and Evgeni Malkin should be effective all the time.

"A hundred percent it should," Crosby told NHL.com. "We've proven it."

So why isn't it? Why is the Pittsburgh Penguins' power play -- one that in fact does have Crosby and Malkin on the same unit -- 2-for-20 during this five-game stretch?

Sidney Crosby agrees with the sentiment that any power-play unit that includes him and Evgeni Malkin should be effective all the time. (Photo: Getty Images)

Could it possibly be that the Penguins' skill is getting in the way of actually getting the puck to where it needs to go?

"We think sometimes we're in Game 40 and we can make those through-the-seam passes when sometimes we don't have to," Crosby told NHL.com. "I think it's just a matter of making sure we keep it simple and let those plays come to us.

"You see it. It's pretty clear," he added. "You know the traits that make a good power play successful and sometimes it's the simplest things that open up the really nice play that everyone wants to see. You can't forget that."

The Penguins have admittedly forgotten that in the early part of this season. Instead of just getting the puck to the net, they've been focused on working it around the zone then trying to get ill-advised passes through.

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Newest NHL referee learned to skate in Saudi Arabia

Saturday, 01.26.2013 / 10:30 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The NHL's newest referee is a 31-year-old native of Albuquerque, N.M., who learned to skate in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Say what?

Meet Mark Lemelin, who worked his first NHL game Monday at Nassau Coliseum alongside veteran official Dennis LaRue and linesmen Greg Devorski and Brian Mach.

The NHL's newest referee, 31-year-old Mark Lemelin, a native of Albuquerque, N.M., learned to skate in Saudi Arabia. (Photo: Getty Images)

"My dad was originally from Sherbrooke [Quebec] and we were hockey fans growing up," Lemelin told NHL.com before the game between the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning. "But I actually learned how to skate in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. [My dad] was over there in the military and then working for a U.S.-based communications company. I skated over in the king's rink in Riyadh."

Lemelin laughs as he retells the story because the reaction is always the same:

Huh, come again?

"That about covers it for now," he responds, smiling.

Lemelin started his professional career in the United States Hockey League. He jumped to the Central Hockey League in Texas before moving to Hartford to start working games in the American Hockey League three years ago.

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Quote of the Day

They said, 'You're going to love the city. It's smaller than Philadelphia, but you're going to love it. You're going to love the fans. Just watching the playoffs last year, the fans seemed louder there than they did anywhere. I'm really excited about that.

— Forward Scott Hartnell on his upcoming season with the Columbus Blue Jackets