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Rangers' McDonagh endorses using tennis to exercise

Monday, 09.07.2015 / 11:52 AM / NHL Insider

David Satriano - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- A few weeks before NHL training camps open, New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh was at the U.S. Open on Monday for a youth tennis exhibition, where he discussed the importance of participating in multiple sports as a kid to stay healthy and active.

As a child, McDonagh played hockey, football and baseball.

"It's refreshing as a young kid to be able to put the baseball bat away and get the cleats out for football, and get the hockey gear out when the winter comes around," McDonagh said.

McDonagh has also become a tennis fan over the years.

"It's not a sport I played as a kid, but as I get older, you want to experience new sports and get a workout in if you can, and tennis is a great way to do that," McDonagh said. gives 2015-16 schedule advice for fantasy

David Satriano - Staff Writer

Though much about fantasy hockey is unpredictable -- who will be this season's Devan Dubnyk, and who will come out of nowhere to score 30 goals? -- it's always good to know as much as possible about each team's schedule before drafting.

For example, knowing how many back-to-back sets a team has is key when drafting a goalie. So is knowing a skater’s home and road splits so you know who to draft and which weeks to start them.

And you can't forget to look at game loads the final two weeks of the NHL regular season, usually reserved for fantasy championships. How many games your players have over those two weeks is critical to your chances of winning your league.

Here are five schedule-related notes to keep in mind when drafting:

Larkin sees opportunity to make Red Wings as teen

Monday, 09.07.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Detroit Red Wings are known for taking their time and developing their prospects in the minors.

But that didn't discourage center Dylan Larkin, 19, from leaving the University of Michigan after one season to sign with the Red Wings on May 21.

Rather, Larkin looked at the Red Wings roster and thought, with a coaching change from Mike Babcock to Jeff Blashill, there might be a chance he could crack the roster as a teenager.

"That is one of the reasons I decided to sign and leave college," Larkin said. "There is a new coach and there seems to be some older players who might be on their way out. I think it is a great opportunity for me to learn from them. Growing up in Detroit you hear so much about those guys. I have watched Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk my whole life, so to be in the same room as them would be an incredible experience."

Brian Burke, Flames march in Calgary Pride Parade

Sunday, 09.06.2015 / 7:30 PM / News

Sean McCullen - Staff Writer

Brian Burke, Calgary Flames president of hockey operations, served as grand marshal of the 25th annual Calgary Pride Parade on Sunday.

"This is your chance if you live in Calgary to say that this community is important to Calgary," Burke told the Herald before the 12-block parade celebrating Calgary's LGBTQ community began. "It's an important part of what we do, and I think we'll get a great turnout and it will be an enthusiastic response -- it always is."

Burke was joined in the parade, the largest in the event's 25-year history, by three Flames -- captain Mark Giordano, center Matt Stajan and forward Mason Raymond.

Blackhawks' Darling throws first pitch at Cubs game

Sunday, 09.06.2015 / 5:23 PM / News

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Chicago Cubs played the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field on Sunday.

A Cubs fan growing up in the Chicago suburb of Lemont, Ill., Darling made his second trip to Wrigley Field since Chicago won the Stanley Cup for the third time in six seasons. One day after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games, Darling and the Blackhawks brought the Cup to Wrigley, where captain Jonathan Toews threw out the first pitch.

Babcock scared, excited to coach Maple Leafs

Sunday, 09.06.2015 / 4:47 PM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Mike Babcock admits leaving the Detroit Red Wings following a successful 10-season run was a frightening proposition, but the challenge of coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs, who finished 15th in the Eastern Conference (30-44-8) last season and haven't won the Stanley Cup since 1967, is one he's thrilled to accept.

"New is exciting," Babcock said in an article in the Toronto Sun on Sunday. "It scares the crap out of you, to be honest with you. And so, that gets you on your toes and gets you dialed in."

Babcock agreed to a reported eight-year, $50 million contract May 20 to coach the Maple Leafs. He led the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his 10 seasons, winning the Stanley Cup in 2008 and losing the Stanley Cup Final to the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games the next year.

Oilers coach McLellan in no hurry to decide captain

Sunday, 09.06.2015 / 10:26 AM / News

Sean McCullen - Staff Writer

Todd McLellan, entering his first season as Edmonton Oilers coach, isn't in a rush to decide whether to keep veteran defenseman Andrew Ference as captain or go with a younger player who will get more ice time.

"It's virtually impossible for me as an individual to make a call on the leadership group and tactics that are in play here right now because I have not experienced the team as a whole," McLellan said Thursday on CHED-AM 630. "I haven't experienced a lot of the individuals, the way they carry themselves, the way they react in certain situations. Are they verbal leaders? Are they physical leaders? Are they both? How do they react in successful situations? How do they react to failure? How do they interact with their teammates? I can't answer any of those questions as a coach right now."

Ference has been captain each of his two seasons in Edmonton. The 36-year-old averaged 18:52 of ice time in 70 games last season, 10th on the Oilers, but likely will be a third-pair defenseman in 2015-16.

Dylan Strome eager to be part of Coyotes' rebuild

Sunday, 09.06.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- For Dylan Strome, the 2015 NHL Draft got really interesting at pick No. 3.

Strome, like most, conceded that center Connor McDavid, his teammate with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, would be chosen first by the Edmonton Oilers and center Jack Eichel of Boston University would be selected second by the Buffalo Sabres.

The question of who would be picked third was Strome's focus. The odds were it would be either him, college defenseman Noah Hanifin or skilled center Mitchell Marner. In the end, Strome went No. 3 to the Arizona Coyotes.

"It was definitely an uplifting thing when I was chosen behind [McDavid and Eichel]," Strome said. "Arizona saw something in me, and I hope to prove they made the right choice. That's all I can do. I was extremely happy to be picked third and to be the first pick in that second wave of the draft. It was cool."

McQuaid back with Bruins, seeking leadership role

Saturday, 09.05.2015 / 12:28 PM / NHL Insider

Armed with a new four-year contract and with six NHL seasons now on his resume, Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid said his sights are set on taking on more of a leadership role.

"I've been here for a little while now, and I do want to take that next step," McQuaid told the Bruins website Friday after a captains' practice at Ristuccia Arena. "I want to try and bring more to the table, hopefully play a little bit more in a top-four role, but at the end of the day, it's all about what works within the team and the system, and whatever brings success."

Jets' playoff atmosphere motivates prospect Ehlers

Saturday, 09.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

Nikolaj Ehlers got a taste of what it's like to be part of the Winnipeg Jets during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

All it did was leave him wanting more.

Ehlers, the No. 9 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, was at MTS Centre last April when the Jets played Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Anaheim Ducks. The night before, Ehlers was in uniform with the Halifax Mooseheads as they lost Game 7 of their second round series in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs to the Moncton Wildcats.

Ehlers arrived in Winnipeg the afternoon of the game on April 22, went to his hotel in Winnipeg, got changed and headed for the rink.

He had no idea what he was about to see.

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Quote of the Day

It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
World Cup of Hockey 2016