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Maple Leafs defenseman Brennan loaned to AHL

Friday, 03.20.2015 / 11:01 AM / News

TorontoMapleLeafs.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the club has loaned defenseman TJ Brennan to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).

Brennan, 25, has played in three games with the Maple Leafs this season. He recorded one assist in five regular season games with the Marlies this year after being acquired in a trade with Chicago on February 25. In 54 games with the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago's AHL affiliate, Brennan registered 36 points (nine goals, 27 assists).

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Around the League notebook for Thursday, March 19

Friday, 03.20.2015 / 9:50 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

PRICE PERFECT AS CANADIENS REGAIN LEAGUE LEAD

Carey Price denied all 31 shots he faced, including 27 during the final two periods, and Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist to guide the Montreal Canadiens to their second straight win and a sweep of their season series against the Carolina Hurricanes.

* The Canadiens (45-20-7, 97 points) pulled ahead of the idle Anaheim Ducks (45-20-7, 97 points) for top spot in the NHL by virtue of holding the regulation/overtime wins tiebreaker (Montreal 39, Anaheim 37). The League's top eight teams remain separated by seven points.

* The Canadiens outscored the Hurricanes 11-2 in their three wins this season. They have earned at least one point in 10 straight games, dating to April 5, 2012 (8-0-2), including five straight wins at Bell Centre.

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Lightning D-man Stralman effective in many roles

Friday, 03.20.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- When defenseman Anton Stralman signed a five-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning on the opening day of NHL free agency last July, he did so with the hopes of becoming a top-pair defenseman.

Nine months later, Stralman has exceeded expectations in many ways. He has played in all 71 games and held the Lightning blue line together when it was dealing with injuries to Victor Hedman, Matthew Carle and recently acquired Braydon Coburn.

It's the opportunity that Stralman, a 28-year-old native of Tibro, Sweden, has embraced. He has remained a steady presence on defense and become a valuable part of the power play. He has matched a career high with 34 points (six goals) and is plus-20 averaging about 22 minutes a game.

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Barrie improving his defensive game for Avalanche

Friday, 03.20.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Like most young defensemen, Tyson Barrie struggles at times in his end. But he's improved so much since the beginning of the season that Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy no longer considers him to be a defensive liability.

"It can be tough," Barrie said. "Earlier, I was having some problems with it. It's something you work on, watching video and working with the coaches. The offensive instincts, you don't want to mess with those too much. You learn, try not to be reckless. It's something I'll need to focus on my whole career."

Barrie, 23, has the offensive part down. A fluid skater and puck-handler, he has five goals and 10 assists in his past 14 games and is among the NHL's top-scoring defensemen with 11 goals and 35 assists (46 points) in 68 games.

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Super 16: Second place in '15 draft not bad place to be

Friday, 03.20.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Connor McDavid's credentials to be the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft are beyond reproach. The sensational center for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League is one of the most-hyped prospects of the past 25 years, reaching a level only Eric Lindros, Sidney Crosby and maybe John Tavares have.

Jack Eichel's resume is also pretty great. The freshman forward at Boston University is also one of the best prospects to enter the draft of the past quarter century. He'd have a chance to go No. 1 in any of the seasons since Tavares was picked in 2009, but he's likely destined to be the second half of the "McEichel" sweepstakes.

Craig Custance from ESPN.com recently wrote about the astronomical price another team would have to pay if whoever gets the No. 1 pick would consider moving it and passing on the chance to add McDavid. One general manager, Tim Murray of the Buffalo Sabres, told Custance on the record he'd try to trade for the No. 1 pick if the Sabres end up in the No. 2 spot.

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Hammond's streak for Senators ended by Bruins

Thursday, 03.19.2015 / 11:22 PM / News

NHL.com

Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond’s streak of consecutive games having allowed two or fewer goals ended Thursday at 12 straight games to start his NHL career.

Hammond allowed his third goal of the game to Boston Bruins forward Ryan Spooner at 11:42 of the second period.

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Panthers' Jagr passes Esposito with 718th NHL goal

Thursday, 03.19.2015 / 11:21 PM / News

NHL.com

Florida Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr passed Phil Esposito on Thursday for fifth on the NHL all-time goals list when he scored his 718th against the Detroit Red Wings at BB&T Center.

Jagr beat Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle to put the Panthers up 1-0 at 10:55 of the second period.

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Flames sign NCAA defenseman Kenney Morrison

Thursday, 03.19.2015 / 9:33 PM / News

CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed defenceman Kenney Morrison from Western Michigan University.

Morrison, a native of Lloydminster, Alberta, played three seasons with WMU Broncos between the NCHC and the CCHA. In 37 games during the 2014-15 season, the 6’3”, 208 pound defenceman netted five goals, 10 assists for 15 points and 36 penalty minutes. His career college numbers were 54 points (16G, 38A) and 151 penalty minutes in 115 games.

To read more from the Flames' website, CLICK HERE.

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Jets agree to terms with defenseman Jan Kostalek

Thursday, 03.19.2015 / 5:26 PM / News

WinnipegJets.com

The Winnipeg Jets are pleased to announce they have agreed to terms with defenceman Jan Kostalek on a three-year, two-way, entry level contract with an average annual value of $850,000.

Kostalek, 20, is in his third QMJHL season with the Rimouski Oceanic and currently has 43 points (7G, 36A) and 35 penalty minutes in 55 games. In his junior career, he’s amassed 88 points (17G, 71A) and 128 penalty minutes over 158 games with Rimouski. A highlight of Kostalek’s 2014-15 season is earning the QMJHL’s third star of the week honour on Feb. 9.

He was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the fourth round, 114th overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.

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Islanders' Halak, Leddy could play Saturday vs. Devils

Thursday, 03.19.2015 / 3:08 PM / News

NHL.com Staff

The New York Islanders could have goaltender Jaroslav Halak and defenseman Nick Leddy in the lineup Saturday against the New Jersey Devils, according to the Islanders website.

Halak and Leddy practiced Thursday, with coach Jack Capuano telling the website Halak is able to play.

"There's no question we miss some of those guys," Capuano said. "They are an integral part of our team. You win with goaltending and defense in this League."

Halak, who is 34-15-1 with a 2.46 goals-against average, four shutouts and a .912 save percentage in 50 games, missed the past two games because of a lower-body injury.

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Quote of the Day

I look forward to the process, the battle, the pain, the fun, the journey.  It's going to be a long one but it's going to be a lot of fun. If you think there is no pain coming, there is pain coming.

— Mike Babcock, introduced as coach of the Toronto on Thursday, had a warning for fans