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2013-2014 Season Preview

Revamped Panthers ready to compete right away

Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- All of a sudden, the young Florida Panthers aren't so young anymore.

It wasn't that long ago that the Panthers were expected to start the 2013-14 NHL season with a lineup heavy with the blue-chip prospects they've accumulated over the past few years. But the roster has undergone a bit of a face lift in the past week with the signing of four veterans, all of them at least 30 years old.

Defenseman Ryan Whitney, 30, was the latest arrival, joining goalie Tim Thomas, defenseman Tom Gilbert and forward Brad Boyes in South Florida.

Ducks plan to pace Selanne in final season

Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- If practice lasts long enough, a Teemu Selanne signature moment will happen.

On this day it came at the end of coach Bruce Boudreau's dreaded two-hour skate, when Boudreau lined up the Anaheim Ducks and ran them through "Herbies," or conditioning drills. Selanne grabbed his helmet and flung it to the side to let his head breathe, like a motorcyclist feeling the wind.

"He's always done that, ever since I've been here," Corey Perry said with a laugh. "Every time there's a skate at the end of practice, off comes the helmet. That thing is probably a little heavy for him, anyways. Who knows how old that helmet is?"

MacKinnon ready to make NHL debut for Avalanche

Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 1:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Help your team win the Memorial Cup championship, earn Most Valuable Player honors along the way and become the first player selected in the 2013 NHL Draft. Pretty impressive for a teenager.

Yet Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, who makes his NHL debut Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks at Pepsi Center, has no illusions about taking the League by storm as an 18-year-old rookie.

"I'm not going to have any expectations," he told NHL.com. "This is my first year in the League, and I really don't know what to expect. I don't want to put any numbers out there or anything. If I'm not quite there, it might be discouraging. For me, I'm just excited to be here and I want to try and be a difference maker every time possible. I want to play the best hockey I can play every night and generate as many chances as I can get. For me, pressure's kind of an illusion. It's not really a real thing. People have their own expectations for me, but I'm still adjusting and I'm very excited to get going."

NHL 14 picks Blues to win Stanley Cup

Tuesday, 10.01.2013 / 11:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview


Led by Conn Smythe Trophy winner Alex Pietrangelo, the St. Louis Blues will win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

That's the result of a simulation run by EA Sports NHL 14, which predicts the Blues will defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.

"The St. Louis Blues are the personification of NHL 14," NHL 14 producer Sean Ramjagsingh said. "They're tough, fast and have one of the deepest lineups in the League, making them a favorite to finish on top this season."

2013-2014 NHL Network and NHL.com staff predictions

Monday, 09.30.2013 / 5:10 PM / 2013-2014 Season Preview


Only twice in the past 44 years has a team lost in the Stanley Cup Final and returned the following season to win the Stanley Cup.

If a roster of NHL experts is correct, the Boston Bruins will join the 1984 Edmonton Oilers and 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins on that exclusive list.

The Bruins, who lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2013 Cup Final, earned the most votes in a poll of 19 NHL.com writers and NHL Network broadcasters.

Seven teams received votes, but none earned more than the five received by the Bruins. The defending champion Blackhawks got one vote.

Blackhawks focused on starting next Cup chase

Monday, 09.30.2013 / 5:05 PM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- As thrilled as Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith is to have another gaudy, weighty, diamond-crusted Stanley Cup championship ring, it's still just an expensive piece of jewelry that represents what he calls "old news now."

"I don't care anymore about what happened last year," Keith told NHL.com. "We've moved on. We're happy to get rings and banners, that's the goal and we want to do it more. We haven't done anything this year. It starts Tuesday."

That's when the Washington Capitals come to town for an opening-night game (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN) that will have all the bells and whistles any championship team deserves, including a gala red carpet event outside United Center on Madison Avenue.

30 in 15: Hayes aims to emulate Bickell's success

Monday, 09.30.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Jimmy Hayes saw Bryan Bickell become an overnight sensation during the Chicago Blackhawks' run to the Stanley Cup last spring. It gave him an idea of what his future in the NHL could be like as a threatening presence up front, one with skill to match his brawn and speed to match his power.

"[Bickell] has evolved into a power forward," Hayes told NHL.com. "He's a big guy who has a ton of skill. I know the way he played throughout the playoffs, finishing his checks and just being hard to play against it made him effective and successful, it triggered me to try to develop that game for myself."

Hayes will be given the chance early this season to show he's done it. He gave himself the tools to earn that chance during the summer by training hard on his lower body and working on his skating to become leaner, more powerful and ultimately faster and more dangerous.

30 in 15: Handzus, Leddy lead Blackhawks' minor concerns

Monday, 09.30.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Another Stanley Cup championship banner will go up to the rafters inside United Center on Tuesday night. That makes two in the past four Octobers. There could be more to come.

The Chicago Blackhawks have all the ingredients to become the first team since the Edmonton Oilers (1987-90) to win the Stanley Cup at least three times in five seasons. They have the offense, defense, goaltending and experience to become the first NHL team since the Detroit Red Wings (1997-98 to repeat as champions.

Sixteen of the 19 guys who played in Chicago's Stanley Cup-clinching Game 6 victory in Boston on June 24 are back. Everybody from the Blackhawks' group of top-six forwards has returned. All six of their regular defensemen are back. Their starting goalie is back.

30 in 15: Blackhawks confident they can repeat

Monday, 09.30.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

They were on the ropes, one loss from being wiped out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, from erasing all the goodwill they built up in a record-setting regular season.

The Detroit Red Wings had a 3-1 series lead against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Semifinals in May. They also had Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews frustrated, boiling over like a pot of water that's been on the stove too long.

Things were ugly for the Blackhawks; but only two nights later they managed to stay alive, and two nights after that they found themselves needing one win to pull off what once seemed like an improbable comeback.

30 in 15: Jokinen provides versatility for Penguins

Monday, 09.30.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

Jussi Jokinen's role within the Pittsburgh Penguins' lineup remains undetermined with just a few days remaining until they open their regular season.

And that is just how the Penguins want it.

The vagueness surrounding Jokinen's position makes Pittsburgh's opening-day line combinations, past that of Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis on the top line, difficult to predict. He will most likely spend the season cycling through several spots on three of Pittsburgh's lines, keeping opponents guessing entering each contest.

Jokinen, an eight-year veteran, has consistently adapted to his surroundings. That continued this preseason, as he played wing on two lines, while competing with second-year forward Beau Bennett for a spot next to Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.

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