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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
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Dubas explains value of hockey analytics at Sloan

Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 5:50 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Kyle Dubas was putting the finishing touches on his list of prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft when he noticed a troubling trend.

The ones who played in the IIHF World Junior Championship were, relatively speaking, ranked higher than similar prospects who did not. Dubas found this to be a form of bias, something he was desperately trying to weed out of his rankings.

"Does playing in the world juniors at 17 make you a better prospect than someone that doesn't?" Dubas said during his presentation of "How Analytics has Limited the Impact of Cognitive Bias on Personnel Decisions" at the 2015 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. "I don't think so. I think we know that from years of going through and measuring at different points."

Dubas, whose hire as an assistant general manager by the Toronto Maple Leafs was the highlight of the NHL's "Summer of Analytics" in 2014, spoke for more than 20 minutes Saturday about his experiences as general manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

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Panthers trade Fleischmann to Ducks for Heatley, pick

Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 4:50 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

NHL.com

The Anaheim Ducks acquired forward Tomas Fleischmann from the Florida Panthers on Saturday in a trade for forward Dany Heatley and a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

"It has been pretty obvious that we aren't skilled enough," Ducks general manager Bob Murray said, according to the Orange County Register. "He brings skill and smarts."

Fleischmann, 30, has seven goals and 21 points in 50 games this season. He had career highs of 27 goals and 61 points in 2011-12, his first season with the Panthers.

"We did what we had to do, for our case and for Fleischmann,'' Panthers GM Dale Tallon said, according to the Miami Herald. "[Fleischmann] is a real pro, a real good guy. It was all about performance.''

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Red Wings forward Helm sustains upper-body injury

Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 3:50 PM / News

NHL.com

Detroit Red Wings forward Darren Helm left the game Saturday against the Nashville Predators in the first period with an upper-body injury and will not return, according to the team.

Helm, who has 13 goals and 29 points, played five shifts for 2:41 of ice time.

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Capitals acquire Gleason from Hurricanes for Hillen

Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 3:44 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

NHL.com

The Washington Capitals acquired defenseman Tim Gleason from the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday in a trade for defenseman Jack Hillen and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

"I'm pretty excited, obviously," Gleason said. "It's a playoff team … so this is real exciting to be in the race. I'm really looking forward to moving along here."

Washington hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday. Gleason played against the Capitals for the Hurricanes on Friday in Carolina.

"It's funny how things work, you play these guys last night," Gleason said. "You have some battles on the ice, and words said, and this and that, and low and behold you're playing with those guys the next day.

"I'll be shaking hands with those guys."

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NHL pioneer O'Ree continues to command respect

Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 3:18 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds has met Willie O'Ree before, but said he hasn't earned the right to address O'Ree on a first-name basis.

"It's Mr. O'Ree," Simmonds said before talking to O'Ree and posing for pictures with him in the Flyers' locker room Saturday. "He's my elder; treat him with respect. … My parents taught me who he was at an early age. I've looked up to him for so long. Going to be a great opportunity to talk to him again."

O'Ree became the first black man to play in the NHL when he made his debut with the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 18, 1958. O'Ree said he's proud to be called a pioneer and the Jackie Robinson of professional hockey.

"I never get tired," O'Ree said. "It's the thing that I experienced. When I broke the color barrier in 1958 it seemed to stick with me. The media called me the Jackie Robinson of hockey and I'm very happy to be in the same category of Mr. Robinson. I met Mr. Robinson on two occasions; I met him in 1949 in Brooklyn and I met him again in 1962 when he was the keynote speaker at a luncheon in Los Angeles. … He made a big impact with me. I'm just happy when they say there's Willie O'Ree, he's the Jackie Robinson of hockey."

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Maple Leafs start trip as deadline uncertainty looms

Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 1:58 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Toronto Maple Leafs left home Friday for a four-game road trip.

None of the players can feel absolutely certain they will be coming back to Toronto anytime soon.

The Maple Leafs play Saturday at the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports) and Sunday at the Washington Capitals before getting a day off in Florida on Monday, the day of the NHL Trade Deadline.

When the clock strikes 3 p.m. ET on Monday, a lot of the speculation and anxiousness will be gone. Until then, it hovers like a black cloud.

"I have a big bag," Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul quipped Saturday when asked if he packed for this trip any differently.

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Ekman-Larsson is Coyotes' foundation moving ahead

Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- It's not totally out of the realm of possibility because nothing is when it comes to trades at this time of the season, but the Arizona Coyotes might have a better chance of storming back into the Stanley Cup Playoff race in the Western Conference than general manager Don Maloney has of trading all-star defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

The Coyotes are 24 points out of a playoff spot and in seller's mode heading into the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline on Monday at 3 p.m. ET. Their hope is to secure some assets and get a good position for the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery in order to enhance their rebuild.

Ekman-Larsson, 23, is the foundation for Arizona's rebuild.

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Rangers' Boyle finally adjusting to new role

Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- A broken hand opening night, multiple illnesses that he never before had to deal with, inconsistent play that hadn't existed previously, and a reduced role that hurt his confidence. Dan Boyle didn't expect his first season with the New York Rangers to be as frustrating on a personal level as it has been.

At 38 years old, Boyle knew his days as a No. 1 defenseman were done, particularly because he signed with a team that already featured Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal. But Boyle didn't think he'd have to deal with as much change and adversity as he's had to this season.

"That's been the most frustrating thing about this year for me, just trying to stay steady with that confidence level," Boyle said. "It's hard when you're not used to this."

It looks like it's finally getting easier for Boyle; he at least feels it is. So does McDonagh. So does Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, who said Boyle had one of his best games of the season Thursday in a 4-3 win against the Arizona Coyotes.

Though it might have taken until late February, it appears the Rangers finally are seeing the skilled, slick-skating, puck-rushing defenseman they thought they were getting when they signed Boyle to a two-year, $9 million contract July 1.

New York carries a 10-game point streak (8-0-2) into its game Saturday at the Philadelphia Flyers (8 p.m. ET; NBC, City). Boyle has been in the lineup and contributing in various ways every game.

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Around the League notebook for Friday, Feb. 27

Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 1:33 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

WARD HONORED IN RALEIGH

The Carolina Hurricanes honored goaltender Cam Ward in a pregame ceremony for playing in the 500th game of his NHL career, on Feb. 24 against the Philadelphia Flyers. Ward’s family, NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Jim Gregory and Hurricanes General Manager Ron Francis participated in the ceremony honoring Ward, who became the 64th goaltender in NHL history to play at least 500 games and just the fourth active netminder to appear in 500 with one team. Ward is the franchise’s all-time leader in games played (500), wins (240), shutouts (22) and saves (13,156) among Carolina and Hartford goaltenders.

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Kimmo Timonen traded to Blackhawks by Flyers

Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 12:12 AM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

Defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who has not played this season, was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks by the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday.

Timonen, who will turn 40 on March 18, was diagnosed with blood clots in his leg and lungs in August. He's been skating on his own Feb. 6 and had been practicing with the Flyers since Feb. 17.

"My only goal is to win the [Stanley] Cup," Timonen said after the trade. "This isn't about money or anything else. I had a good seven years with the Flyers; I always thought I would retire here but this is the right move."

Philadelphia receives a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft. If the Blackhawks win two playoff rounds and Timonen plays in at least 50 percent of the games, the fourth-round pick becomes a third-round pick in 2016.

"We've been working on this one for a while," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "He was the defenseman we really wanted. He's been a high-level defenseman for a long time."

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Quote of the Day

It's not always going to be pretty, especially against a great goalie [Lundqvist] like that. My goals are never how you draw them up. It's just a matter of grinding it out and trying to create havoc in front and good things happen.

— Capitals forward Jay Beagle on scoring in their Game 3 victory against the Rangers on Monday