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Maple Leafs' top prospects hope to accelerate rebuild

Tuesday, 09.01.2015 / 6:52 PM / Prospects

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- Some of the Toronto Maple Leafs' top prospects are hoping the changes made this summer will increase their chances of making the team this season.

Mitchell Marner, Connor Brown and Kasperi Kapanen, who were in Toronto on Monday at the NHL Players' Association Rookie Showcase, believe the additions of general manager Lou Lamoriello and coach Mike Babcock will create opportunities for them to play in the NHL sooner rather than later.

Toronto went 30-44-8 last season and finished 27th in the League standings with 68 points.

"It has been a big offseason for the city and the team," Marner said. "A lot of guys came in who have winning records and that's what this city needs, someone to come in and put their foot down and show what it's like to be a playoff team and a contender."

Blues invite forward Upshall to training camp

Tuesday, 09.01.2015 / 5:45 PM / News

ST. LOUISSt. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has invited forward Scottie Upshall to training camp on a professional tryout basis.

Upshall, 31, dressed in 63 regular season games with the Florida Panthers last season, posting 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) and 28 penalty minutes.

Ice ready for Islanders' first season in Brooklyn

Tuesday, 09.01.2015 / 5:24 PM / News

David Satriano - Staff Writer

The ice is down at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the new home of the New York Islanders.

A time-lapse video posted on the Islanders Twitter account Tuesday showed the ice being placed in the arena, followed by the traditional logo being added at center ice. The Islanders previously said they would not change their logo or jerseys upon moving to Brooklyn.

The jerseys will include a commemorative patch for the inaugural season in Brooklyn, Newsday reported in June.

Bruins' Marchand had elbow surgery during offseason

Tuesday, 09.01.2015 / 1:50 PM / News

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- There were few positives for the Boston Bruins to take out of missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season for first time in eight seasons.

Forward Brad Marchand took advantage of Boston's extended time off over the summer to have surgery to repair torn tendons in his right elbow that had been bothering him since before the start of the 2014 postseason.

Marchand, who is taking part in informal workouts with teammates here at Ristuccia Arena, said he expects to be at full strength when training camp opens Sept. 17.

"It just started feeling better around the start of August," Marchand told on Tuesday. "So it was tough. I couldn't do a whole lot of upper-body workouts for the first three months off. The last month has been good though. It's come around and it's feeling pretty good. But I'm still in the rehab process. So I'm trying to get my strength back up. It's tough to train on one side of your body. You don't want to get too out of whack when you do that, so now I'm just trying to get my strength back up and hopefully feel good for the season."

Sabres' Eichel talks training, confidence with

Tuesday, 09.01.2015 / 9:20 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

TORONTO -- Jack Eichel, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, was among a group of prospects at the NHL Players' Association Rookie Showcase on Monday.

Eichel spoke with about his offseason training, the challenge of cracking the Buffalo Sabres lineup and being linked with No. 1 pick Connor McDavid:

Kings' Lucic can see himself playing for Canucks

Monday, 08.31.2015 / 11:24 PM / News

Mike Battaglino - Staff Writer

Los Angeles Kings forward Milan Lucic, entering the final year of his contract, said Monday he's always dreamed of playing for his hometown Vancouver Canucks.

"I honestly don't know what's going to happen moving on," Lucic told TSN 1410 Radio in response to a direct question on the topic. "I mean I have one year left on my contract, and there's a possibility that I can hit the [unrestricted free agent] market. ...

"It's obviously something that's been a dream of mine since I've been a kid, is to play in your hometown and play for the Canucks, but right now the main focus is going down to L.A. and trying to make the most of that."

Flyers goalie Neuvirth puts 'Rocky' on mask

Monday, 08.31.2015 / 6:09 PM / News

Mike Battaglino - Staff Writer

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth has a knockout new mask.

Neuvirth chose a design centered on the "Rocky" movies for his move to Philadelphia.

Neuvirth signed a two-year contract July 1 after playing last season for the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders.

"After a few trades and some moves, there were no more spots open for a No. 1 [goalie]," Neuvirth told CSN Philadelphia on Monday. "I had to change my mindset. I was hoping for the best fit. When I got the offer from the Flyers, I felt they were the right fit for me.

"They were one of the first teams that called me. There were a couple more teams, but Philly had the best offer and I felt this was best fit for me."

Showcase rookies eager to compete for NHL jobs

Monday, 08.31.2015 / 5:32 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

TORONTO -- It's been a long summer for the prospects looking to fulfill a lifelong dream and reach the NHL this fall.

But that wait came to an end Monday. At least it felt that way.

The National Hockey League Players' Association invited 39 NHL prospects and rookies here for the two-day NHLPA Rookie Showcase.

"It definitely felt more like summer yesterday than it did today," Columbus Blue Jackets forward prospect Sonny Milano said. "Now it feels like the season's kind of starting up."

The event included prospects from 26 of the NHL's 30 teams, including the top two picks in the 2015 NHL Draft, No. 1 Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and No. 2 Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres.

"It's starting," Montreal Canadiens goaltending prospect Zachary Fucale said. "These things like this, it's good to be around some old teammates and some of the guys I played with at the World Juniors, and I played against a lot of the guys here. So it's good to talk to some of the guys about that."

Oilers' McDavid talks expectations with

Monday, 08.31.2015 / 4:30 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- Connor McDavid, the top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and the most celebrated player to enter the League since Sidney Crosby in 2005, was among a group of prospects that gathered at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto for the NHL Players Association Rookie Showcase on Monday.

McDavid spoke with about what to expect in his first season with the Edmonton Oilers and the role confidence plays in his game:

NBA star Stephen Curry to be Sharks bobblehead

Monday, 08.31.2015 / 3:25 PM / News

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors won the NBA's most valuable player award last season, but he'll open this season in a San Jose Sharks jersey -- sort of.

Curry and the Warriors, who won the NBA championship last season, will play their preseason opener Oct. 5 against the Toronto Raptors at the Sharks' home, SAP Center. To commemorate the occasion, the first 10,000 fans will receive a bobblehead figure of Curry in a Sharks jersey.
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Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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