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2012-2013 Season Preview

Unique morning skate sets stage for Habs opener

Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 1:30 PM / 2012-2013 Season Preview

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL – Canadiens game day in Montreal -- particularly when the Toronto Maple Leafs are in town -- always has a special feeling to it.

The conversations you hear walking down the street and the sense of anticipation for that evening's game make it so the city is practically breathing hockey.

But Saturday's game day was just a little more special, as that feeling was transported inside the arena for the first time.

NHL Opening-Day rosters for 2012-13 season

Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 11:32 AM / 2012-2013 Season Preview


NEW YORK -- Following are NHL club rosters, as of 10 a.m., Eastern time today. Some players who recently have agreed to terms with their respective clubs but whose contracts had not yet been approved by the League are not included. The 2012-13 regular season begins today with 26 of the League's 30 clubs in action.

Final run proved to Brodeur he still has what it takes

Friday, 01.18.2013 / 11:47 AM / 2012-2013 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Martin Brodeur
Goalie - NJD
RECORD: 31-21-4
GAA: 2.41 | SVP: 0.908

NEWARK, N.J. -- Martin Brodeur had to do it himself for him to believe he should still be doing it at all.

Forget about the critics, the ones who looked at his age, 40, as a reason why he couldn't be a top-flight goalie in the National Hockey League anymore. This was about Brodeur seeing for himself and convincing himself that his instincts, his flexibility, reflexes, and his mental and physical stamina were still good enough to make him good enough.

"It's the reason why I'm back," Brodeur told NHL.com.

It's the reason why at 40 he's embracing a new NHL season, his 19th since becoming a No. 1 goalie, with the same vigor, enthusiasm, hope and drive that he had when he was a 21-year-old rookie.

Lightning look to shore up by adding in net, on 'D'

Friday, 01.18.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2012-2013 Season Preview

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

One season removed from battling all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Tampa Bay Lightning took a significant step backward in 2011-12 when they finished eight points back of the conference's final playoff spot.

Lightning coach Guy Boucher told reporters on breakup day that the unexpected success of the previous season may have created unrealistic expectations.

"The reality is we didn't have the same team and we had injuries to start the year, so you have to be scared a little bit of the results," Boucher told the team's website. "I felt we were overconfident at the start of the year as a group. We weren't arrogant, just a little too overconfident."

Jets look to soar to playoff heights this year

Friday, 01.18.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2012-2013 Season Preview

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Winnipeg Jets were a smashing success in their return to Canada -- everywhere but in the Eastern Conference playoff race, a situation they're hoping to remedy in Year Two.

The transplanted Atlanta Thrashers were beloved in their new home, which pined for NHL hockey since the original Jets left for Phoenix 15 years earlier. A crowd of 15,004 fans packed MTS Centre for each of the Jets' 41 home games, giving the franchise the kind of love and support it rarely enjoyed down South.

The Jets responded by going 23-13-5 in front of the home folks, up from 17-17-7 in the Thrashers' last season. MTS Centre quickly developed a reputation as one of the toughest places in the League for road teams -- and with another season of packed houses all but assured, visitors figure to have an even tougher time winning in Winnipeg.

Optimism in Carolina with Staal, Semin in fold

Friday, 01.18.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2012-2013 Season Preview

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

When Kirk Muller was hired as coach of the Carolina Hurricanes in November 2011, he acquired a team spiraling out of control and in need of direction.

The Hurricanes were not only next to last in the Eastern Conference, but stars Eric Staal and Cam Ward were in the midst of seasons to forget. It would take three months before Muller would ultimately right the ship -- the Hurricanes rebounded from a 14-23-7 mark at the All-Star break to finish the season 33-33-16.

After failing to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons, general manager Jim Rutherford knew something had to be done in an attempt to instill some sense of pride and optimism for fans and players.

The acquisitions of center Jordan Staal and left wing Alexander Semin did just that.

At the 2012 NHL Draft last summer, Rutherford dealt respected center Brandon Sutter, defensive prospect Brian Dumoulin and a first-round draft pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Staal. The veteran GM put the exclamation point on the deal when he signed Staal to a 10-year contract worth $60 million on July 1 that extends through the 2022-23 campaign.

Oates ready to lead new-look Capitals

Friday, 01.18.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2012-2013 Season Preview

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The ambition in Washington remains the same, but for the first time in several seasons when prognosticators compile a list of Stanley Cup contenders, the Capitals are not likely to be near the top.

There are enough questions about the Capitals that despite five straight postseason appearances, there are likely to be several NHL teams considered better bets to claim the Stanley Cup in 2013. But if Washington can find enough answers, the Capitals just might squeeze their way back into the League's elite.

One offseason ago Washington general manager George McPhee was feted for his alterations, adding Tomas Vokoun, Joel Ward, Roman Hamrlik and Jeff Halpern to a club that had just finished back-to-back regular seasons atop the Eastern Conference.

With playoff drought over, Panthers seek next step

Friday, 01.18.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2012-2013 Season Preview

Mike Battaglino - NHL.com Staff Writer

If the Florida Panthers improve this season the way they did in 2011-12, a Stanley Cup might not be far off.

Consider: The Panthers jumped 22 points, nine places and 12 seeds in the Eastern Conference, made the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2000, and won the only division title in franchise history.

Then, in the first round of the playoffs, they built a 3-2 series lead against the New Jersey Devils before losing Game 6 in overtime and Game 7 in double overtime.

What key questions face Southeast Division teams?

Friday, 01.18.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2012-2013 Season Preview

The wait for the 2012-13 season is nearly over. What questions do each NHL team need to answer to be successful, and do they have the resources to provide said responses? Well, let's take a division-by-division look at some of the key quandaries for each NHL franchise as the campaign beckons. Next up is the Southeast Division, which has a new defending champion and a couple of teams expected to make serious leaps forward.


After failing to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third straight year, Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford made several bold moves. He started by acquiring two-way center Jordan Staal from the Pittsburgh Penguins and followed with the signing of unrestricted free agent left wing Alexander Semin away from the Washington Capitals in an attempt to alter the landscape of the Eastern Conference.

1. How will coach Kirk Muller use Jordan Staal?

Don't be surprised to see Jordan join forces with Eric Staal. Jordan is embracing his new role with the Hurricanes as an opportunity to become one of the League's top performers.

Young defensemen could hold key to Southeast

Friday, 01.18.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2012-2013 Season Preview

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

With the 2012-13 NHL season ready to begin, teams will be scrambling on a nightly basis to earn points and clinch a spot in what is primed to be a wild 48-game race to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

A condensed schedule means more games in a short amount of time, and teams will be relying on every player on their roster to contribute. NHL.com takes a closer look at the players who will need to be major factors for Southeast Division squads:

Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes -- The 20-year-old defenseman led all NHL rookies last season by averaging 22:50 of ice time per game, and he certainly didn't look out of place doing so. He contributed offensively too -- Carolina's second-round pick (No. 37) from 2010 had eight goals and 14 assists in 66 games. Now the load gets even heavier as Faulk and the Hurricanes aim for a Stanley Cup Playoff spot after falling short in 2011-12.

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