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Tapped In

Tapped In: Rookie Krug finding Boston to his liking

Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / Tapped In

Kathryn Tappen - NHL.com Contributor

NHL fans may not have known the name Torey Krug prior to the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring, but they certainly do now. The Boston Bruins defenseman made his mark after being called up from their American Hockey League team, the Providence Bruins, in the 2013 postseason, when Krug became the first rookie defenseman in the history of the NHL to score four goals in his first five playoff games. Hoping to make another long postseason run, Krug shared what he’s thinking this year, how he endeared himself to his new teammates early on, and what his biggest role is in the locker room.

Kathryn Tappen: First off, happy birthday! April 12 is a good day.

Torey Krug: Thanks, 23. I’m getting old!

KT: What’s this I hear you are in charge of bringing magazines to the rink every month? What are the job requirements for that gig?

TK: [laughs] That’s a rookie duty. You got to make sure the guys are entertained. I bring magazines like Men’s Fitness, the fashion magazines. Guys are into the muscle cars, and any time you bring Golf Digest it will capture the guys’ attention.

Tapped In: Philanthropy among Hartnell's muses

Saturday, 04.05.2014 / 3:00 AM / Tapped In

Kathryn Tappen - NHL.com Contributor

He's one of the most recognizable figures in the NHL and not just because of his trademark reddish-orange curly locks typically flowing from under his Flyers helmet. But rather, Hartnell's uncanny ability to never take himself too seriously is what endears him to his teammates, the fans in Philly, and opponents alike. His off-ice philanthropic work is highlighted by the 2012 creation of his own #hartnelldown Foundation, the proudest achievement of his personal and professional life.

Kathryn Tappen: Did you really think you'd get away with throwing the glove at Ryan Malone while he was on a breakaway in 2008?

Sccott Hartnell: [laughs] I thought people forgot about that already. I don't really know what I was thinking. I know Ryan, and he kicked the stick away from me when he got that breakaway so I had no stick. I was mad that he did that, and obviously went clueless and it was a desperation thing. I didn't think about what might happen. He got awarded the penalty shot. I laugh when I think about it now, but it wasn't really funny at the time.

Tapped In: Ward on roundabout route to success

Saturday, 03.29.2014 / 1:30 AM / Tapped In

Kathryn Tappen - NHL.com Contributor

Born in Canada to immigrant parents from Barbados, Joel Ward wasn't sure his dream of becoming a hockey player would ever come true. That was, until a certain someone familiar to NHL and NHL Network fans introduced Ward to the game. Ward grew up in Scarborough, Ontario, close to Kevin Weekes, a goalie in the NHL for many years and now an analyst for NHL Network. Through that relationship, Ward learned quickly that indeed a hockey career could be possible. The Washington Capitals forward talks about his mentor, as well as his upbringing, charitable work, decision to attend Canadian college and other subjects in the latest installment of Tapped In.

Kathryn Tappen: I don't usually ask on-ice related questions, but you've been on fire lately! What has been working for you offensively?

Joel Ward: My linemates have been great. I've gotten a couple of good bounces and rebounds that have been lying around. I happen to just put them in. We've had a handful of good games, have played pretty solid getting the pucks out of our own zone, and getting up the ice. I've been an opportunist, at the right place at the right time.

Tapped In: Ryan on Ottawa and Olympic break fun

Saturday, 03.15.2014 / 12:47 AM / Tapped In

Kathryn Tappen - NHL.com Contributor

Drafted No. 2 by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2005 NHL Draft, Bobby Ryan played five seasons for the Anaheim Ducks before being traded this past summer to the Ottawa Senators. Ryan, 26, has endeared himself to his new teammates this season, totaling 22 goals and 45 points while playing solid defensively with a plus-9 rating. The New Jersey native talks about how he learned to play the game, his involvement in helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy and why proposing at the top of the Eiffel Tower was a necessity.

Kathryn Tappen: I heard you were quite busy during the Olympic break. Congratulations on your proposal to longtime girlfriend Danielle Rhodes.

Bobby Ryan: We did; we got engaged in Paris. It was pretty cool, so thank you.

KT: You do realize you’ve set the bar incredibly high for men everywhere by proposing atop the Eiffel Tower?

BR: I waited so long to propose I had to go all in, so that was my only choice.

Tapped In: Modano looks back at legacy

Saturday, 03.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / Tapped In

Kathryn Tappen - NHL.com Contributor

Mike Modano needs no introduction in the hockey world. He is the all-time goal-scoring and points leader among American-born players in the NHL. Modano, the third child and only son of Michael Sr. and Karen Modano, was born and raised in Michigan. His records speak for themselves, most notably his 1999 Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars, and his silver in the 2002 Winter Olympics and championship at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. Off the ice and away from hockey, Modano is an ambassador in the community and is about to take on the biggest role of his life.

Kathryn Tappen: Congratulations! You and your wife Allison (professional golfer Allison Micheletti, daughter of former NHL player and MSG TV analyst Joe Micheletti) are expecting twins in July! How are preparations going?

Mike Modano: It's a work in progress. Trying to get prepared, get the rooms ready. We still have some time before the end of July to get everything ready. We will be real fine-tuned by then. It's exciting. It's another chapter to look forward to for myself and us. We can't wait to meet them.

Tapped In: Sharp embraces life in Windy City

Saturday, 02.01.2014 / 3:00 AM / Tapped In

Kathryn Tappen - NHL.com Contributor

He may be considered one of Chicago's sexiest athletes as voted by publications on multiple occasions, but Patrick Sharp is all about hockey. The father of two baby girls, Sharp has two Stanley Cups, will represent Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and serves as a radio host. Yet, somehow the Chicago Blackhawks star still has time to give back to the community where he grew up. There's not much Sharp hasn't accomplished.

Kathryn Tappan: What is the best part about playing hockey in Chicago?

Patrick Sharp: The fans. The city is great, there's so much to do. But the way the fans respond to the players, especially for guys like Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and I that were here in 2005 when things weren't so good in Chicago. We really appreciate how the fans take care of us now.

KT: Two Stanley Cups for you in that city. Do you ever pinch yourself with what you've already accomplished in your career?

Tapped In: Nystrom continues family's hockey legacy

Saturday, 01.25.2014 / 3:00 AM / Tapped In

Kathryn Tappen - NHL.com Contributor

The name on the back of his jersey is very familiar to hockey fans, but Eric Nystrom has paved his own path in the NHL. Son of legendary New York Islanders forward Bob Nystrom, Eric grew up in a hockey world, but never knew if his fate would also offer the opportunity to make a living playing the game he loves. More than 450 games later, the forward for the Nashville Predators is still at it.

Kathryn Tappen: Your dad played his entire career with the New York Islanders and is affectionately known as “Mr. Islander.” He won four consecutive Cups while there. What was it like growing up as the son of a hockey legend?

Eric Nystrom: I grew up learning hockey at a young age. Watching all the old video tapes and seeing the incredible memorabilia around the house is pretty special. I don’t think it will ever happen again where one player plays 900 games with the same team and wins four consecutive Stanley Cups. That’s incredible. To know that my dad accomplished that is pretty amazing.

Tapped In: Coyle embraces role-model status

Saturday, 01.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / Tapped In

Kathryn Tappen - NHL.com Contributor

Charlie Coyle quickly is making a name for himself in the NHL. Drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the first round (No. 28) of the 2010 NHL Draft, Coyle, 21, has managed the pressures and expectations of being a first-round pick by providing depth at center in Minnesota. And as talented as he is on the ice, Coyle takes time to pay it forward by embracing his persona as a role model to young children.

Kathryn Tappen: You became an instant heartthrob when cameras caught you waving to 5-year old Wild fan Henry during pregame warmups. The clip has more than 2.6 million views on YouTube as the video went viral. Were you surprised at this response?

Charlie Coyle: I didn't expect it to go past just me waving to Henry. I didn't think anyone even saw it. Different guys in the League do that every night, waving to young fans, throwing pucks at the kids. A lot of guys do things like that, which is a nice gesture. I remember being a young kid wanting to wave to an NHL player. So I just tried to do a little something for him and apparently the cameras were rolling. It was such a simple thing and now everyone's talking about it. It was pretty crazy to see.

KT: There’s no question you made Henry's day. His facial expression after you waved was priceless.

CC: A week or two later he came to one of our practices and I got to do a meet-and-greet with Henry and his sister Madeline. It was awesome to meet him. He's a pretty talkative kid. At first he was a little star-struck, but after I sat down with him he talked non-stop and it was a really good time.

Tapped In: Kopitar on blazing a path to NHL

Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 3:00 AM / Tapped In

Kathryn Tappen - NHL.com Contributor

Anze Kopitar helped bring the city of Los Angles and the Kings franchise its first Stanley Cup in 2012. Widely considered to be the Kings' best offensive weapon, Kopitar is one of the most dynamic players in the world. To add to his already impressive resume, Kopi, as he's affectionately called, looks to make history with his father in Sochi next month.

Kathryn Tappen: Describe what growing up in Slovenia is like.

Anze Kopitar: My hometown was a big steel factory town. It was also a hockey town. Other towns nearby were known for soccer, basketball and handball, and my town was known for hockey. My dad played, so it wasn't really hard for me to start playing either. It's not a big town, only about 12,000 people. We lived in the suburbs of it so there was no hassle to drive in every day. [Note: Anze's father, Matjaz Kopitar, played for HK Acroni Jesenice in Yugoslavia and later Slovenia and won championship in the 1980s and 1990s, and competed in three World Championships.]

Tapped In: Wings' Miller talks outdoors, hockey family

Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 3:00 AM / Tapped In

Kathryn Tappen - NHL.com Contributor

The game of hockey has a long tradition in the Miller family. For Michigan native and Detroit Red Wings forward Drew Miller, learning the family trait meant continuing a rich tradition at Michigan State, long car rides in the family van, and listening from his wise older brother, Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller. After winning the Stanley Cup in his first year as a pro, Miller has grown to become an asset with his current team, Detroit, in a city he feels has a lot more to give both on and off the ice.

Kathryn Tappen: Big game coming up for you! The stage is set for New Year's Day at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor for the [2014 Bridgestone NHL] Winter Classic. How much are you looking forward to that game?

Drew Miller: It's going to be an exciting game. To think that over 100,000 fans will be watching is completely overwhelming to even think about. We skated at Comerica Park last week for practice and it's a bit different skating outside. The rink seems so small, to think that the football stadium is way bigger than that is going to be quite an adjustment. The game itself will be such an incredible experience to be a part of. Seeing that it's Michigan, that will be an adjustment for me as a Michigan State guy. That's foreign territory for me. Me and [Red Wings teammate Justin] Abdelkader haven't quite figured out what we're going to do yet. We may have to wear something Michigan State underneath our gear for morning skate.

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