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Alumni look forward to Yankee Stadium games

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- One of the highlights of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic was a spirited pair of alumni games at Comerica Park in Detroit. More than 30,000 spectators paid tribute to some of the greatest players ever to compete for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. Former players for the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils won't get to enjoy a similar exhibition, but that doesn't mean they aren't anticipating the upcoming pair of games at Yankee Stadium.

At a private event hosted by the NHL Powered by Reebok Store in Manhattan for York Heating and Air Conditioning, three prominent former players expressed their excitement about the upcoming contests, in which the Rangers will play the Devils on Jan. 26 and then the Islanders on Jan. 29 as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.

"I know they're excited and enthusiastic. I don't think you can be anything other than that," Islanders great Mike Bossy said of the current Islanders team. "Just after watching every outdoor game that has been played so far, it's kind of cool, and I'm sure they're extremely excited to be a part of it."


Roster announced for 2014 AHL All-Star Classic

Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 5:26 PM / News


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The American Hockey League announced today its roster for the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Assante Wealth Management, scheduled for next month at Mile One Centre in St. John's, N.L.

Taking place just prior to the start of the men's Olympic hockey tournament, the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic will see a team of American Hockey League All-Stars face off against Färjestad BK, one of the top professional teams in the Swedish Hockey League, in an internationally televised two-day event including a Skills Competition on Tuesday, Feb. 11 and the All-Star Game on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

The AHL All-Star team comprises 20 players – 12 forwards, six defensemen and two goaltenders – and was selected by a committee of AHL coaches and general managers. The AHL All-Stars will be led in St. John's by Jeff Blashill, head coach of the 2013 Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins, and Rob Zettler, head coach of the defending Eastern Conference champion Syracuse Crunch.


Reinhart, Ekblad named captains of Top Prospects

Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 4:03 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Forward Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice and defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts on Thursday were named captains for the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Jan. 15 in Calgary.

The Top Prospects Game will showcase the Canadian Hockey League's top 40 NHL draft-eligible players for the 2014 NHL Draft, featuring talent from the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

"I don't think you will find one scout say this game will dramatically influence their position on a specific player, but a good performance always bodes well," NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr said via a conference call on Thursday. "The players in this game were voted in by the NHL teams, so now those teams will get an opportunity to see them play."


Sabres name Tim Murray new general manager

Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 3:30 PM / News

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres took their time, but they've found the man they believe will help them rebuild.

The Sabres on Thursday hired former Ottawa Senators assistant general manager Tim Murray to be their general manager. In Ottawa, he worked under GM Bryan Murray, his uncle, but the opportunity to help build a team virtually from the ground up appealed to him.

"When Bryan came to me this time and said, 'They've called and asked permission, should I grant it?' it didn't take me long to say yes," Tim Murray said. "I came from a comfortable situation. I'm from the Ottawa area, my wife and kids are there. Everybody was speculating I might be the next guy there. I don't know whether I was going to be or not, but I'm sure I would've been a candidate, and when this came, [it’s like] a blank slate. [There's] money to spend when it's the right time here to be a [salary cap] team. This was just an attractive, attractive time for me to branch out on my own and put my stamp on the game of hockey."


Fourteen second-half storylines that bear watching

Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 2:41 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

With the first half of the 2013-14 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of its biggest storylines and award contenders.

There's 96 days left until the start of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 16 and an infinite number of storylines that could come to fruition between now and then.

The first half of the season saw all sorts of interesting and entertaining moments, capped by the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and the unveiling of the rosters for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

What will the second half of the season have in store for us? Here are 14 storylines for the 2014 portion of the schedule that all hockey fans should be watching.


Veteran defenseman Redden retires

Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 2:38 PM / News


Veteran NHL defenseman Wade Redden announced his retirement Thursday.

Redden, 36, split last season between the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins after the New York Rangers bought out his contract. Redden spent the prior two seasons playing for their American Hockey League affiliate, then the Connecticut Whale.

"I would first and foremost like to thank my family and friends for their unconditional love and support. I would also like to thank my teammates, coaches and staff for all the great memories created throughout the years. To the fans, I appreciate all your support throughout my career," Redden said in a statement released by the NHL Players' Association. "Playing in the National Hockey League has been a dream come true and I feel very proud and privileged to have played more than 1,000 games in 14 NHL seasons."


Carolina at Buffalo game rescheduled for Feb. 25

Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 12:15 PM / News


NEW YORK / TORONTO -- The postponed game between the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes from Tuesday night has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo. Face-off will be at 7 p.m., ET.

The game will be played on the final day of the 17-day break in the regular-season schedule (Feb. 9-25) allowing 150 of the NHL's top players to participate in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The appropriate date for the rescheduled game was identified in consultation with the two participating Clubs and the NHL Players' Association.

Broadcast information for the game, NHL Game No. 647, will be announced when available.


In the Cage: Hiller's fantasy value reaches new heights

Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy goaltenders in NHL.com's weekly segment: "In the Cage." From updated goalie rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

Over the past six weeks, Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller has produced one of the best stretches of fantasy value since he was signed as a free agent way back on May 25, 2007.

Currently riding a 12-game winning streak (14-game unbeaten streak), Hiller has not suffered a regulation loss since Nov. 26, when he allowed five goals on 32 shots to the Dallas Stars. Since that game, Hiller has allowed more than two goals in only three games. In each of those games, he allowed just three goals.


Rask over Bishop for midseason Vezina Trophy

Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com's midseason edition of Trophy Trackers attempts to project winners of the major individual awards. Today we predict the winner of the Vezina Trophy, an annual award given to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at this position as voted by the general managers of all NHL clubs.

The goaltending position can be a volatile one in any season, but as NHL.com Senior Writer Dan Rosen wrote, the 2013-14 campaign has been a particularly precarious one for "No. 1" goalies.

Not only have backups been pressed into duty or earned more playing time, goaltending depth beyond the two NHL guys has been critical in several cities. Standout work from breakout stars, combined with inconsistent play from more established ones, has brought new names into the conversation for the Vezina Trophy.

The goalie who won the award in 2013 (Sergei Bobrovsky) is tied for 28th in save percentage among qualified goalies and has missed time with an injury. The goalie who won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2012 (Jonathan Quick) is also tied for 28th in save percentage and has missed significant time with injury.


Year of the backup goalie shows growth at position

Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The pool of goalies capable of winning games on a consistent basis in the NHL has arguably never been as deep as it is now.

Proof of the goalie depth can be found in markets across the League this season. Backups and, perhaps more notable, backups to the backups, have been winning games and stealing headlines.

Among goalies that have made at least 10 appearances this season, eight of the top 10 in goals-against average either started the season as a backup or in the American Hockey League. The same holds true for six of the top 10 goalies in save percentage.

Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding was not the team's opening-night starter, but he has put himself into the Vezina Trophy discussion. The Los Angeles Kings withstood the groin injury that kept Jonathan Quick out for nearly two months by riding the red-hot pair of Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones, who has since been sent back to Manchester of the AHL.

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Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1