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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.

Red Wings expect Franzen ready for camp: report

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 8:22 AM / News

The Detroit Red Wings are hopeful forward Johan Franzen will be able to participate in training camp after sustaining a concussion last season.

"My expectations and hopes are he's going to be cleared when he takes his physical at camp," general manager Ken Holland told on Monday. "Ultimately, it's in the hands of [the doctor]."

Holland told the website he spoke to Franzen two weeks ago. Franzen has been working out at Joe Louis Arena for more than a week, the report said.

Oilers' Ference believes he'll remain their captain

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 8:13 AM / News

As far as Andrew Ference knows, he'll be the Edmonton Oilers captain again this season. If he's not, he knows who it should be, but he's not saying.

"It's not like I'm going to give you a list, but I definitely know who I'd pick," Ference told the Edmonton Journal on Monday. "It's not my anointment.

"Some guys are rounding into that. You need multiple guys in a leadership role, though, with or without the letter, to where they can take the reins. You can't just have one guy carrying the flag. You need a mob mentality to be successful."

Lindbohm, Fabbri among Blues' top five prospects

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Louie Korac - Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues have built themselves into a perennial top-echelon NHL team based on their ability to develop from within while allowing their prospects to grow without rushing them.

They waited patiently for Alex Pietrangelo, David Backes, Jaden Schwartz and Dmitrij Jaskin to get acclimated in the American Hockey League before bringing them to the NHL. Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera got their experience playing in the Kontinental Hockey League.

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

Starting goalie, Brouwer pose questions for Blues

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Louie Korac - Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues are looking for Stanley Cup Playoff success, and will look to a familiar source.

Citing the styles of the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks and Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said that playing with pace and speed is the way games are won in the NHL.

"What's happened here in quick order, this League has sped up," Hitchcock said. "This League has pace like never before. ... I think internally, we can really quicken our team and make our pace a lot higher, and we're going to have to, to keep up to where the League's at right now."

Here are three questions facing the Blues entering this season:

Tarasenko, Stastny give Blues reasons for optimism

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Louie Korac - Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Despite Stanley Cup Playoff failure in each of the past four seasons, the St. Louis Blues don't feel they've taken steps backward.

It likely will be more difficult to qualify from the Western Conference this season, so getting off to a quick start will be pivotal to remaining at or near the top of the standings. St. Louis started last season 9-3-1, including a seven-game winning streak.

After opening at home Oct. 8 against the Edmonton Oilers, the Blues head out for their longest road trip of the season: six games, including five to Canadian cities.

"The players themselves feel like we underperformed in the playoffs from what we did in the regular season," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "There's real disappointment, and I think we're going to see a higher level of focus than we've ever seen here before from the people that this really, really matters to. I think you're going to see a whole other gear get performed by some people who don't want this to ever happen again."

Here are four reasons for the Blues to be optimistic:

Blues hope minor changes lead to playoff wins

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Louie Korac - Correspondent continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

ST. LOUIS -- When the St. Louis Blues were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the first round for the third consecutive season, there wasn't a doubt there would be change. The question was, when would it happen?

Blues fans were expecting a massive overhaul after losing to the Minnesota Wild in six games, with questions about the core leadership group and how many of them would return. Coach Ken Hitchcock's contract expired June 30, and there was question whether he would return for a fifth season.

The reigning Central Division champions shuffled the deck to an extent, with the most notable offseason move coming in a trade. The Blues traded popular forward T.J. Oshie to the Washington Capitals for a package that included right wing Troy Brouwer.

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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
World Cup of Hockey 2016