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Price, Subban, Pacioretty keep Canadiens optimistic

Wednesday, 08.26.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien likes to talk about his young veterans, the core players they are built around.

Any optimism surrounding the Canadiens begins with that group.

"Our young leaders have gained a lot of experience thanks to playing in big games, playoff games, and having a certain degree of success in the playoffs," Therrien said. "I think those young leaders have progressed over the past three years, and that's encouraging."

Here are four reasons for the Canadiens to be optimistic:

De La Rose, Hudon among Canadiens' top 5 prospects

Wednesday, 08.26.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens' prospect pool has decent depth but lacks top-end talent.

The main reason is the Canadiens have not picked earlier than 25th in each of the past three NHL Drafts, and they did not have a second-round pick in either of the past two.

As a result, the Canadiens lack an elite prospect, but they have several players who have the potential to become solid NHL contributors.

They were lacking in quality defensemen, and that's why the Canadiens used the No. 26 pick at the 2015 NHL Draft on Noah Juulsen of Everett of the Western Hockey League. He was the first defenseman Montreal selected in the first round since Nathan Beaulieu was picked 17th in 2011.

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

Montreal Canadiens fantasy hockey outlook

Wednesday, 08.26.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

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: Carey Price, Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban

The Montreal Canadiens are well-balanced with an elite player at each fantasy position and are one of two teams to have three players within my top 25 (Pittsburgh Penguins). Price leads the group and has to be the first goalie off the draft board following an outstanding 2014-15 season. I have Price No. 9 in my offseason rankings with Pacioretty at No. 17 and Subban at No. 23. Price had a historic season in 2014-15, becoming the first goalie since save percentage was added as an NHL stat in 1982-83 to have at least 40 wins, a goals-against average below 2.00 and a save percentage higher than .930 (44 wins, 1.96 GAA, .933 SV%). He's the only goalie worth selecting in the first round of fantasy drafts this season.

Hurricanes' Staal doesn't expect extension by camp

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 10:46 PM / News

Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal said Monday he is likely to begin training camp entering the final year of his contract.

"[I'm] kind of waiting to see how it's going to play out here in the next while," Staal told the News & Observer. "I haven't given it a ton of thought, or time, as of right now. I'm focused on having a good finish to training for the summer and getting ready for the start of camp."

Staal, 31 on Oct. 29, will make $9.5 million this season, with an NHL salary-cap charge of $8.25 million, in the final year of a seven-year, $57.7 million contract he signed prior to the 2009 season, according to

Chico Maki, longtime Blackhawks forward, dies at 76

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 10:00 PM / News

Longtime Chicago Blackhawks forward Ron "Chico" Maki died Monday. He was 76.

Maki spent 15 seasons with the Blackhawks, from 1961-62 to 1975-76. He won the Stanley Cup in 1961 and played in three NHL All-Star Games.

Flames sign defenseman Giordano to six-year contract

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 9:44 PM / News

Mike Battaglino - Staff Writer

Mark Giordano got the long-term contract he and the Calgary Flames were seeking. But there was something missing.

"In my opinion, if he didn't unfortunately go down with an injury, he's sitting here with a Norris Trophy," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said Tuesday after Giordano signed a six-year contract extension reportedly worth $40.5 million, an average annual value of $6.75 million.

Giordano, the Flames captain, was leading NHL defensemen with 48 points (11 goals, 37 assists) when he sustained a torn biceps tendon Feb. 25 in a game against the New Jersey Devils. He did not play again.

After surgery, Giordano said he would be ready for training camp in September.

“I'm looking forward to getting into an exhibition game," Giordano told the Calgary Sun. "Hopefully I'll get into a nice home game with the feeling of the crowd and all that. It'll be cool.

“I want to get my timing and that feeling you miss because I haven't had that experience in quite a while.”

Ramsay joins Canadiens' staff as coaching consultant

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 2:38 PM / News

MONTREAL Montreal Canadiens general manager, Marc Bergevin, announced on Tuesday the appointment of Craig Ramsay as coaching consultant with the Club.

"We are very pleased to welcome Craig Ramsay as coaching consultant. He has an impressive hockey background, having worked as an NHL coach for over 20 years, following a playing career that included over 1,000 games played. On a consulting basis, he will be called upon regularly during the season to share his knowledge with our coaching group. Our players will also benefit from his expertise", said Bergevin.

Red Wings encouraged by Datsyuk's progress

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 2:13 PM / News

Paul Harris - Correspondent

DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk is on schedule in his rehab from ankle surgery, general manger Ken Holland said.

Datsyuk, 37, had surgery to repair ruptured tendons June 26 in Charlotte, N.C.

Holland said Red Wings trainer Piet Van Zant visited Datsyuk last week.

"All in all, we're encouraged by his progress," Holland said.

Penguins' Kessel to start camp playing with Crosby

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 1:41 PM / News

Right wing Phil Kessel will start his first Pittsburgh Penguins training camp with Sidney Crosby as his center, coach Mike Johnston said Tuesday.

The Penguins acquired Kessel, a five-time 30-goal scorer, in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1. The subject of who Kessel would play with to start the season, Crosby or center Evgeni Malkin, has been a topic of debate and conversation.

"You'd probably find him starting on the right side with Sid to begin with," Johnston told the Penguins website.

Lidstrom, Alfredsson, Sundin to advise Sweden

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 9:35 AM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Former NHL players Nicklas Lidstrom, Daniel Alfredsson and Mats Sundin have been named to Sweden's advisory board for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Lidstrom, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 9 in Toronto, won the Norris Trophy seven times. He was a First-Team All-Star 10 times and played in the NHL All-Star Game 11 times. He had 264 goals and 1,142 points, all with the Detroit Red Wings. In 20 NHL seasons, he never missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs and won four championships and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs in 2002. He became the first European captain to hoist the Stanley Cup in 2008.

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Quote of the Day

It's a big milestone for me and I'm happy to help my team with lots of good teammates. It's fun.

— Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, who on Wednesday became the ninth Russian-born player, and ninth Red Wings player, to score 300 NHL goals
World Cup of Hockey 2016