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Chico Resch announces he'll retire as Devils analyst

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 8:48 PM / News

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Glenn "Chico" Resch announced Friday he is retiring as New Jersey Devils television analyst on MSG Networks after 18 seasons.

Resch, 65, acknowledged during the first intermission of the game against the New York Islanders that his sister-in-law being ill in Minnesota prompted his decision to be with his wife, Diane. His final telecast will be Sunday afternoon when the Devils host the Boston Bruins.

"I never thought of this as a profession because at the end of the day I'm talking about hockey, a sport that I love and have a tremendous amount of respect for," Resch said. "That's why I've always had a special relationship with the people watching on TV and cheering in the arena; I'm an extension of them. I've been lucky to do this for 18 years and I've enjoyed every handshake and conversation I've ever had with Devils fans."

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BC's Gaudreau wins Hobey Baker, signs with Flames

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 7:02 PM / News

Bob Snow - NHL.com Correspondent

PHILADELPHIA -- Boston College junior forward Johnny Gaudreau didn't have to go far from home to pick up the 2014 Hobey Baker Award, and he won't be back to try for another one.

The native of nearby Carneys Point, N.J., on Friday became the first BC player since defenseman Mike Mottau in 2000 to receive the award, given to the top player in NCAA hockey. It's named in honor of Baker, a former Princeton star who was killed in a flight-training accident in World War I after a stellar college career.

Gaudreau was a fourth-round pick by the Calgary Flames in the 2011 NHL Draft and signed with the team moments after picking up the trophy.

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Oilers' Smyth, 'Captain Canada,' to retire

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 6:35 PM / News

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Ryan Smyth will play one final game with the Edmonton Oilers before calling it a career.

Smyth announced during a press conference Friday afternoon that the Oilers' game against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night will be his last.

Smyth is in his 19th NHL season, 15 of which were spent with the Oilers. He was selected by Edmonton with the sixth choice in the 1994 NHL Draft and played 11 seasons with the Oilers before being traded to the New York Islanders in 2007. After two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche and another two with the Los Angeles Kings, Smyth requested a trade back to Edmonton prior to the 2011-12 season.

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Rupp suspended four games for illegal check to head

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 3:30 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Minnesota Wild forward Mike Rupp has been suspended for four games, without pay, for a late illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie during NHL Game No. 1201 in Minnesota on Thursday, April 10, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The suspension includes the Wild's final regular-season game and first three Stanley Cup Playoff games.

The incident occurred at 10:30 of the second period. Rupp was assessed a match penalty for attempt to injure.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Rupp will forfeit $7,692.31. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Union, Minnesota set to play for NCAA title

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 2:52 PM / On Campus

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- After one of the more dramatic nights in NCAA hockey history, the Union College and University of Minnesota hockey teams were back at work Friday, trying to put the celebrations and memories behind them.

"I think when you wake up this morning, you realize that you're playing for a national title and you better get your mind ready to go," said Minnesota center Kyle Rau, a Florida Panthers prospect who assisted on both Gophers goals in their 2-1 win against the University of North Dakota on Thursday. "Because if you're not, you're going to lay an egg."

Union started Thursday with a 5-4 win against Boston College in the first national semifinal, and Minnesota closed the night by scoring the winning goal with 0.6 seconds left against UND.

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Commissioner Bettman statement on Shanahan

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 1:08 PM / News

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman issued a statement Friday regarding the departure of Brendan Shanahan, who was named president and alternate governor of the Toronto Maple Leafs:

"Whether it was behind the scenes or under the glare of hockey's harshest spotlight, Brendan was as much of an 'impact player' at the League as he was on the ice. Brendan brought commitment, clarity and impeccable credibility to his difficult and thankless duties here, and while we are sad to see him go, we knew his unique skill-set and body of work in the sport would make him a valued leader for any Club. Brendan has helped to change the culture of the game, has made it safer on a variety of levels, and his influence will be felt for years. We send him to his new role with our best wishes and our deep appreciation for his many contributions to the game."

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Maple Leafs name Shanahan as new team president

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 1:04 PM / News

NHL.com

Brendan Shanahan is the new president and alternate governor of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team announced Friday morning. He will assume his new duties immediately and will be formally introduced during a press conference Monday in Toronto.

He joins the Maple Leafs to oversee all team operations, according to a release from the club.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs clinching scenarios: April 11

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 12:41 PM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

The Colorado Avalanche can clinch the Central Division Friday, while the Dallas Stars can secure the last remaining Stanley Cup Playoffs berth. Here are the scenarios:

COLORADO AVALANCHE

The Avalanche would clinch the Central Division title if they defeat the San Jose Sharks in any fashion AND the St. Louis Blues lose to the Dallas Stars in regulation.

DALLAS STARS

The Stars would clinch a Stanley Cup Playoff berth if they defeat the Blues in any fashion.

Two first-round matchups have been determined through games played April 10. The Sharks will face the Los Angeles Kings in the first round with San Jose having home-ice advantage. The Canadiens will face the Lightning in the first round with home-ice advantage to be determined.

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Puempel rounding out his game in Binghamton

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 12:30 PM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to NHL.com

As left wing Matt Puempel of the American Hockey League's Binghamton Senators continues to evolve as a hockey player, one thing has remained constant: his natural ability to create offense.

"He's been a goal scorer wherever he's gone, and that has definitely followed him here," said Senators coach Luke Richardson. "His ability to look for openings offensively and his shot -- it's a heavy, major-league shot -- those are just God-given talents that aren't teachable to some people."

The 21-year-old Puempel, selected by Ottawa at No. 24 in the 2011 NHL Draft, spent four years in the Ontario Hockey League with Peterborough and Kitchener from 2009-13. In his first season with Peterborough, he was named the Canadian Major Junior Rookie of the Year after recording 64 points in 69 games.

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UMass-Lowell's Hellebuyck wins Mike Richter Award

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 12:23 PM / On Campus

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- UMass-Lowell sophomore Connor Hellebuyck won the inaugural Mike Richter Award on Friday as the best goaltender in NCAA hockey.

Hellebuyck, a 2012 fifth-round pick (No. 130) of the Winnipeg Jets, led all college goalies with a 1.79 goals-against average and .941 save percentage, and his six shutouts were tied for second. He went 18-9-2 in 29 games.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound native of Commerence, Mich., signed a three-year, two-way entry-level contract with the Jets on April 5. The contract has an average annual value of $925,000.

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Quote of the Day

When we started our journey we made a commitment to our fans to be relevant and to see the Chicago Blackhawks become the best professional hockey organization. There are not two finer symbols of that than Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The commitment we have made to these incredible young men is equal to the commitment they have made to our team, our fans, our entire organization and the city of Chicago.

— Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz on signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to contract extensions