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Sabres' Hodgson remains buyout candidate: report

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 3:20 PM / News

Buffalo Sabres center Cody Hodgson is a candidate for a contract buyout, Sabres general manager Tim Murray said Thursday, according to Buffalo radio station WGR-550.

Murray said Hodgson is in Sweden working with a skating coach, and said Hodgson had to improve his skating and conditioning. Murray said Hodgson would like to stay with the Sabres, but a buyout is a possibility.

USA Hockey names Jim Smith as new president

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 2:56 PM / News

Jim Smith was unanimously elected the fifth president of USA Hockey during the organization's Board of Directors four-day annual congress in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Smith, who has served as part of USA Hockey's executive committee the past 20 years, succeeds Ron DeGregorio, who retired last week after 12 years as president.

"I'm honored and humbled for the opportunity to serve as president of such a wonderful organization," Smith told "To follow in the footsteps of Walter Bush and Ron DeGregorio is a difficult task, but with the help of our board and everyone involved, I look forward to continuing to build on the solid foundation that is currently in place."

Desjardins: Blackhawks must keep focus on checking

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 12:54 PM / Player's Blog with the Blackhawks' Andrew Desjardins

Andrew Desjardins - Special to

Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Desjardins will be blogging for periodically throughout the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In this edition, he explains the Blackhawks' focus on playing well defensively and how that helped protect their lead in Game 4.

CHICAGO -- We're halfway through the series now and it's down to a best-of-3.

We didn't know much about the Lightning when the series began other than what we saw on video and the few times we get to play them in the [regular season], but we're starting to learn a lot about them.

First of all, we've realized how good of a checking team they can be and how we have to be good with the puck. We have to out-battle them. They battle hard along the walls and they're good in the gritty areas. They're not a super-big team, but they're gritty in those areas.

I can't say we're really that surprised about that. Maybe we didn't know exactly how good they were at checking, but I think the perception everyone had that this would be a big offensive series was wrong. That checking game is really important in the playoffs, and you're seeing that.

Stars place goalie Rynnas on unconditional waivers

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 12:05 PM / News

Dallas Stars goaltender Jussi Rynnas was placed on unconditional waivers Thursday, the Stars announced.

Rynnas, 28, played two games with the Stars this season, including one start, a 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 4. In 39 games with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League, he was 22-6-8 with a 2.53 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.

Blackhawks survive late Lightning surge to tie series

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 11:30 AM / "Obvious Choice" Moments

With each game of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final ending in a one-goal differential, the outcome has hung in the balance until the final seconds of play.

Game 4 Wednesday in Chicago was no exception.

The Chicago Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead thanks to a lucky goal, as forward Brandon Saad described it, 6:20 into the third period. The Tampa Bay Lightning pulled goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy for an extra attacker in the final minutes to try and create a bit of their own luck.

With a little more than a minute left in the game, Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya blocked a shot in front of his goalie Corey Crawford and the puck bounced to Lightning forward Alex Killorn. He settled the puck and passed to forward Steven Stamkos in the slot. Stamkos one-timed it with Crawford sprawling above his crease, leaving the net wide open. Stamkos' shot looked as though it would even the score, but Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook waved his stick in the lane just in time to deflect the puck and send it left of the goal post.

Blues parting with Jackman after 13 seasons: report

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 10:00 AM / News

Barret Jackman will not return to the St. Louis Blues next season, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday.

The 34-year-old defenseman has played his entire 13-season NHL career with the Blues. He will be an unrestricted free agent July 1, and the Blues told him they will not attempt to sign him, the newspaper said.

Cup Final reunites Maine alumni Bishop, Darling

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 9:20 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

TAMPA -- Ben Bishop was a junior goaltender at the University of Maine, the starter for a highly ranked team with national championship aspirations, when he spent a weekend as the host for a potential recruit, a tall kid like himself who also hailed from a non-traditional source of amateur talent.

Bishop, a 6-foot-7 goaltender from just outside St. Louis, connected pretty quickly with Scott Darling, a 6-foot-6 goalie from just outside Chicago. Darling enjoyed the recruiting trip and eventually committed.

Seven years later, they are on opposite sides of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks, which is tied 2-2 heading into Game 5 at Amalie Arena on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). Bishop started the first three games for Tampa Bay before missing Game 4 with an unspecified injury; Darling has not seen action in the series for Chicago.

"[Bishop] really took care of me," Darling said. "I was really nervous. He took me out for some food, showed me kind of the ins and outs of campus. [The hockey players] were the big guys on campus, so it was fun to hang out with them. I watched them play that weekend, and he had two great games. I experienced the college life a little, and it made me excited to go there."

Konecny used hockey to develop socially, physically

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

There was a time when the anxiety of meeting new people outweighed the joy of playing hockey for Ottawa 67's forward Travis Konecny.

"I didn't really want to play hockey," he said. "When I was a little kid I was afraid of the people in the locker room. So my parents told me playing hockey would help alleviate that fear.

"I'm so glad I stuck with it because now I'm more outgoing and I couldn't imagine hockey not being a part of my life."

It's certainly worked well for Konecny. In two seasons with the 67's, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound right wing/center had 55 goals and 138 points in 123 regular-season Ontario Hockey League games.

Lightning look on bright side despite Game 4 loss

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 1:35 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO -- There is rarely solace in a loss, especially when the stakes are as high as they are in the Stanley Cup Final.

But the Tampa Bay Lightning were looking at the bright side of life after a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday in Game 4 evened the best-of-7 series at two victories each.

"We could have won every game so far," Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman said.

Garrison: Lightning can build on Game 4 loss

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 1:34 AM / Player's Blog with the Lightning's Jason Garrison

Jason Garrison - Special to

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison will be blogging for periodically throughout the Stanley Cup Final. In this edition, he talks about the Lightning's 2-1 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4.

-- No one thought it was going to be easy.

That's the way the game goes. You can feel like you played really well and still come up short in the end. That's how we feel right now. But that's also why it's not the first to two wins, it's the first to four.

We need to make sure that we're sticking to the same game plan, come out the same way we came out tonight and continue to build on what gave us success and learn from some things that we maybe could do better.

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Quote of the Day

It's obviously not fun to not know, but on the other hand, I'm not in a rush. I'm going to be back to 100 percent before I start playing. I'm not going to play on 90 percent.

— Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom in an interview with Washington Post about whether he will be able to play in 2015-16 opener