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Hurricanes goalie Ward putting team ahead of contract

Friday, 08.28.2015 / 8:14 AM / NHL Insider

Sean McCullen - Staff Writer

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward said Thursday he wants a new contract, but the top priority for the 31-year-old entering training camp is helping his team win as many games as possible this season.

"I'm just kind of going about my business and making sure that I'm ready to go," said Ward, who is entering the final season of the six-year, $37.8 million contract he signed in September 2009. "Obviously it's no secret that I love playing here and this is where I want to be. Yeah, in a perfect world it'd be great to have something done. But there's no pressure. Obviously I need to prepare myself and go out there and have a great year, not only for myself but for the Hurricanes. It's about the team first."

Ward is 246-191-58 in 512 regular-season games in10 NHL seasons, all with the Hurricanes.

New York Rangers fantasy hockey outlook

Matt Cubeta - Fantasy Insider

As part of's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Henrik Lundqvist and Rick Nash

In my offseason rankings, I have Lundqvist ranked 16th among all players (second among goalies behind Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens) and Nash right behind him at No. 18. Lundqvist, who missed nearly two months last season because of a neck injury, had 30 wins in 46 starts with five shutouts, a 2.25 goals against average and .922 save percentage. Those numbers line right up with his career marks (2.26 GAA and .921 save percentage), but what was even more impressive was Lundqvist's performance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 19 games against tougher competition, he posted a 2.11 GAA and .928 save percentage. Over the past five seasons, Lundqvist is fourth in wins (162), second in GAA (2.19) and save percentage (.924) and first in shutouts (31) among goalies with at least 200 starts. He plays behind an excellent defense and a similar season in 2015-16 should be expected from arguably the most consistent and reliable goaltender in the game.

Nash's scoring, Hayes' role questions facing Rangers

Friday, 08.28.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers should be capable of competing for the Presidents' Trophy again this season after they won it last season with 53 wins and 113 points. But that doesn't mean they don't have their share of questions.

Here are three of the big ones for the Rangers:

Long reign of Lundqvist keeps Rangers optimistic

Friday, 08.28.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers were three wins shy of winning the Stanley Cup in 2014 and one win from going back to the Stanley Cup Final last season. Though that may look like regression, the fact is the Rangers remain one of the elite teams in the NHL and a championship contender.

Here are four reasons the Rangers should be optimistic about their chances:

Skjei, Buchnevich among Rangers' top five prospects

Friday, 08.28.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers are trying to pull off the difficult task of winning now while maintaining a strong prospect pool. The Rangers haven't had a first-round draft pick for the past three seasons and don't have one in the 2016 NHL Draft.

They do have a handful of prospects who might be ready to make an impact in the NHL.

Here is a look at the Rangers' top five prospects, according to

With deep core, Rangers believe window stays open

Friday, 08.28.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault knows how quickly the window can close for a team with championship potential. He experienced it with the Vancouver Canucks.

Vancouver reached the Western Conference Semifinals in 2009 and 2010 before going to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011, when it lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games. The Canucks didn't win another playoff round under Vigneault, who was fired after the 2012-13 season.

Vigneault has since coached the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final last season after finishing atop the NHL standings with 113 points. Those resulted in two banners for Madison Square Garden, neither of which represent a Stanley Cup championship. Instead they're for an Eastern Conference championship and a Presidents' Trophy, better known as consolation prizes.

Senators forward Stone says wrist is fully healed

Thursday, 08.27.2015 / 11:18 PM / News

Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone said Thursday the wrist he fractured during the Stanley Cup Playoffs is fully healed.

"It's felt great out there the last couple of skates," Stone told the Ottawa Sun at Bell Sensplex in Ottawa. "The shot feels good. The hands feel good. My legs are starting to come along. I feel good and I feel like I'm 100 percent."

Stone's 64 points (26 goals, 38 assists) last season were tied with the Calgary Flames' Johnny Gaudreau for most among NHL rookies. He finished second in Calder Trophy voting to Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers.

Hurricanes, Lindholm agree on two-year contract

Thursday, 08.27.2015 / 5:03 PM / News

RALEIGH, NCRon Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with forward Elias Lindholm on a two-year contract extension. The deal will pay Lindholm $2.5 million in 2016-17 and $2.9 million in 2017-18.

"Elias played well last season, nearly doubling his offensive numbers from his rookie year," said Francis. "We expect he will be a very important part of the Hurricanes as he continues to develop as a professional."

American Hockey League unveils 2015-16 schedule

Thursday, 08.27.2015 / 4:50 PM / News

The American Hockey League will open its 80th season with five games Oct. 9 as the league unveiled its schedule for the 2015-16 season Thursday.

Teams will play 76 games, with the exception of five teams that joined the league in January. The Bakersfield Condors (Edmonton Oilers), Ontario Reign (Los Angeles Kings), San Diego Gulls (Anaheim Ducks), San Jose Barracuda (San Jose Sharks) and Stockton Fire (Calgary Flames) will play 68 games. Because of the unbalanced schedule, teams will qualify for the Calder Cup Playoffs based on points percentage.

Blues forward Berglund to have shoulder surgery

Thursday, 08.27.2015 / 3:23 PM / News

Louie Korac - Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues forward Patrik Berglund will have surgery on his right shoulder Friday and will be re-evaluated in four months.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong confirmed Thursday that Berglund, who initially dislocated the shoulder at the end of the 2013-14 regular season, re-aggravated the injury while training during the summer. He also said veteran center Scott Gomez has accepted an invitation to attend training camp on a professional tryout contract.

Berglund, 27, had 12 goals and 27 points in 77 games with the Blues last season and two goals and two assists in six games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Berglund has 118 goals and 247 points in 513 regular-season games and six goals and 13 points in 29 playoff games.

"It's an injury we hoped we were past," Armstrong told "It happened a couple years ago entering the playoffs and he did a great job of rehabbing and getting the strength back. We were hoping it was behind us, but he was training this summer [and] he aggravated the shoulder again. He came right to St. Louis when that happened and our trainers and [Berglund] worked on it and it certainly wasn't going to get any better. So the surgery was necessary."

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