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Oilers see Pouliot starting to realize his potential

Sunday, 08.24.2014 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Derek Van Diest - Correspondent

The No. 4 pick in the 2005 NHL Draft, Benoit Pouliot will be playing for his sixth team in six seasons as a member of the Edmonton Oilers.

Despite Pouliot's travels, the Oilers saw enough in the right wing to offer a five-year, $20-million contract this offseason, hoping he can fill a void in their lineup.

Pouliot, 27, comes off a strong run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the New York Rangers, making him an attractive free agent candidate for the Oilers, who were looking to add size up front.

"It's the work ethic really for me," Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish said. "He's an excellent skater who closes gaps and is able to get quickly to forechecks, and it's something that was sorely lacking in our game throughout our lineup. We think that Benoit is going to provide that, and he's got some ability to finish as well."


Setoguchi signs one-year contract with Flames

Saturday, 08.23.2014 / 9:33 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Forward Devin Setoguchi signed a one-year contract with the Calgary Flames, the team announced Saturday.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Bob McKenzie of TSN reports it is worth $750,000.

"I think he's a player who, in a lot of ways, is at the crossroads of his career and has realized that he needs to really try to dig in here and re-establish his career," general manager Brad Treliving told the Calgary Sun. "We think it's a good fit, and ultimately the way the contract is structured, it’s a mitigated risk and there's some upside here. ... Just talking to him and spending some time with him, I think he's a motivated player."


Games honoring Demitra conclude in Bratislava

Saturday, 08.23.2014 / 6:34 PM / News

The series of games paying tribute to Pavol Demitra ended Saturday in Bratislava.

Kelly Chase scored four goals for the St. Louis Blues Alumni, who lost to the Slovak Stars 18-17 in the third game.

"It was different kind of hockey; we wanted to entertain the fans," Miroslav Satan said. "The [Blues Alumni] Team brought many attractive stars which helped fill the stadiums.

"But the most important was to pay tribute to Palo and to get financial support for his school. His performance will remain in memories of our hockey fans."


Sissons, Leipsic know chance awaits with Predators

Saturday, 08.23.2014 / 1:59 PM / Prospects

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

TORONTO -- With the Nashville Predators in transition, forward prospects Colton Sissons and Brandon Leipsic are hoping to get a long look at training camp.

"They always want the young guys to get stronger and keep developing. That's the standard for us younger guys in the organization," Sissons said Saturday at the 2014 NHLPA Rookie Showcase. "Times are changing there and there's a new coach and a little bit of turnover, so I think they're looking for younger guys like us to make a push at camp to make the roster this year. I think they'll give us a pretty good opportunity for that."


Panthers prospect Ekblad will be recovered for camp

Saturday, 08.23.2014 / 1:09 PM / Prospects

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Slightly more than two weeks after sustaining a concussion that briefly halted an eventful summer, Florida Panthers prospect Aaron Ekblad said he is close to being fully recovered and ready for training camp.

"The concussion is almost perfectly, completely gone. I feel great," Ekblad said Saturday at the 2014 NHLPA Rookie Showcase. "I've been skating all this week and I feel good."

The No. 1 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, the defenseman was injured playing for the Canada World Junior team in an exhibition game against the Czech Republic. The 18-year-old said he has been symptom free for five days.

"The work I'm doing is just getting back to normal paces. Getting game ready on the ice and just doing little things off the ice to get back up to what I was doing before," Ekblad said. "[Florida's] team docs wanted to talk to me and see how I was feeling. I kept in touch with them."


Family ties help prospects acclimate to NHL level

Saturday, 08.23.2014 / 11:30 AM / Prospects

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

TORONTO – Family is an integral part of hockey success for most NHL hopefuls. For top prospects boasting NHL bloodlines, however, family can provide a few additional benefits, including a slightly greater appreciation for exactly what goes into making the NHL and, ultimately, staying there.

Among the 33 prospects at the NHLPA Rookie Showcase, few could attest to the finer details of life in the NHL quite like Sam Reinhart.

The No. 2 pick, by the Buffalo Sabres, at the 2014 NHL Draft is the son of longtime NHL player Paul Reinhart. Sam's brother, Max, was the Calgary Flames' third-round pick (No. 64) in the 2010 draft and another brother, Griffin, was selected No. 4 by the New York Islanders in 2012.


Gaudreau, Bennett excited about futures with Flames

Saturday, 08.23.2014 / 10:26 AM / Prospects

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

TORONTO – Sam Bennett and Johnny Gaudreau followed alternate paths to the NHL. But when the two Calgary Flames prospects report for training camp in September, they'll be the focal point of an organization looking for a return to glory after missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the past five seasons.

The excitement which can accompany a rebuilding process often serves as motivation for those tasked with making the transformation happen.

"I definitely feel that all the time. There are younger guys in the organization that I think are going to help the organization become better," Gaudreau said at the NHLPA's annual Rookie Showcase. "It's exciting to be a part of that since you're a young guy and around a whole bunch of other younger guys."


Replacing Iginla tops Bruins' five questions

Saturday, 08.23.2014 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

They don't give players a summer day with the Presidents' Trophy.

There are no parades associated with the award given to the team with the best regular-season record in the NHL.

No, those privileges only come with the Stanley Cup, a fact the Boston Bruins know all too well after they followed a 117-point regular season with a seven-game loss in the Eastern Conference Second Round to the Montreal Canadiens.

Boston is going to have to find a way to improve in 2014-15. However, even after losing top goal-scorer Jarome Iginla to the Colorado Avalanche as an unrestricted free agent, the Bruins didn't have enough salary-cap space to make changes to their roster.


Bruins sorely need bounce-back year from Eriksson

Saturday, 08.23.2014 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson, who was traded from the Dallas Stars on July 4, 2013, had a lot to adjust to last season.

After seven seasons in Dallas, he had to move to a new city and learn a new system.

Then the left-shooting wing had to live up to expectations. He was the centerpiece of Boston's package that was acquired in exchange for rising star center Tyler Seguin, who wound up fourth in the NHL scoring race with 84 points.

Eriksson, two seasons removed from a 71-point season with the Stars, came up well short in his bid to make people forget about Seguin.


Bruins not panicking after early ouster from playoffs

Saturday, 08.23.2014 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

The Boston Bruins failed to defend their Eastern Conference title last season, when they lost a seven-game series in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Their early ouster was doubly painful because they had won the Presidents' Trophy to earn home-ice advantage for the entire postseason, and because the team that prevailed in that seventh game was the archrival Montreal Canadiens.

In some outposts of the NHL, a loss like the one that ended the Bruins' season well short of their ultimate goal would be cause for reconstructing a roster. However, that's not how Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli operates.

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Quote of the Day

It's always a little bit weird, but it moves on. They've got a good team, and they played well tonight. I think that's just part of it.

— Peter Laviolette on facing his former team (Flyers) for the first time since his departure