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Former coach Maurice recalls fun of outdoor practice

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- There are two reasons why Paul Maurice will never forget the outdoor hockey practice he held as Toronto Maple Leafs coach in 2008.

The frigid conditions that featured wind whipping sideways and a temperature that Maurice said dropped to minus-25 degrees Celsius, and the sincere joy he saw on his players' faces as they practiced in front of kids who got out of school early to come to the refurbished Withrow Park Rink just east of downtown Toronto.

Maurice is talking about those memories now because he's in town to serve as an NHL Network analyst at the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Wednesday between the Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings (1 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC). It will be Maurice's first time attending a Winter Classic game.

"It is just brutal and after about 15 minutes I could see it in the players, they're starting to get worried because it's that cold," Maurice told NHL.com, recalling the outdoor practice nearly six years ago. "I said, 'Listen, this is what we'll do, we'll drop the puck and you guys scrimmage for five minutes and we'll get out of here.' Twenty minutes later they don't want to come off the ice. It went from being a freezing cold practice to a shinny game with a bunch of grown men acting as kids.


Jets sign Petan to entry-level contract

Monday, 12.30.2013 / 5:45 PM / News


Monday was a day to remember for Nicolas Petan.

Hours after scoring a pair of goals, including the game-winner when Canada defeated Slovakia 5-3 at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, the Winnipeg Jets announced they agreed to terms with the 18-year-old on a three-year, two-way entry-level contract with an average annual value of $925,000.

Petan has played in 32 games with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League this season, scoring 20 goals with 46 assists. His 66 points place him second in league scoring. The Delta, British Columbia, native has played 167 career WHL games, all with Portland, and has 80 goals and 222 points along with 95 penalty minutes.

A second-round pick (No. 43) of the Jets in the 2013 NHL Draft, Petan has three goals and one assist in three games for Canada at the World Juniors.


Avalanche's Parenteau out six weeks with knee injury

Monday, 12.30.2013 / 5:03 PM / News

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The Colorado Avalanche will have to make do without right wing PA Parenteau for about six weeks. Parenteau sustained a second-degree MCL sprain in his left knee Sunday in the Avalanche's 2-1 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

"It's part of the season," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said after practice Monday. "We've been pretty lucky, I think, so far. We haven't been hit too much by injuries. From my standpoint, I think we've been more lucky than anything else. It's part of a season and it give opportunities for others to show us what they have."

Parenteau was injured at 16:20 of the second period when he and Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba clipped skates at center ice. Parenteau twisted his knee while falling and needed help into the trainer's room.

Parenteau, 30, underwent an MRI on Monday morning and Dr. Andrew Parker, the team's orthopedic specialist, relayed the results to Roy. Parenteau, who had no goals and six assists in the past 11 games, has nine goals and 15 assists in 38 games this season.


NBC Sports crew prepared to call another Classic

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

One month after the NHL unveiled the Winter Classic on New Year's Day 2008, Mike "Doc" Emrick, who called the game for NBC Sports, revisited the experience with Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney. The Penguins defeated the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in a shootout at Ralph Wilson Stadium, but Whitney fondly shared his emotions from before the game, when the teams came down the ramps and entered the stadium.

Fire was shot off, bagpipes played and there was the roar of 70,000 people. Whitney motioned toward teammate Colby Armstrong, ahead of him in line, and told him, "Take a look at this, Armie, and listen. This is a lifetime memory here."

The atmosphere at Heinz Field two years later still resonates with Pierre McGuire. A longtime League scout and assistant coach who won Stanley Cups with the Penguins in 1991 and '92, and current "Inside the Glass" analyst for NBC, McGuire wore his ice skates during the Jan. 1, 2011 telecast and after the first period approached Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby for an interview. Before heading to the locker room, Crosby told McGuire it was one of the coolest interviews he's ever done.


Rangers' Staal says he's ready to return

Monday, 12.30.2013 / 1:49 PM / News


New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said following practice Monday that he's ready to return to the lineup after missing the past three weeks with a concussion.

The Rangers continue a road trip Tuesday against the Florida Panthers.

Staal, who was injured on a hit by New Jersey Devils forward Reid Boucher in a Dec. 7 game, skated at practice on a pairing with rookie Conor Allen, who made his NHL debut Sunday in a 4-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"I had a talk there with Marc at the end of practice today and he said he was ready to go," coach Alain Vigneault said. "He's been working real hard for a couple of weeks, skated during the Christmas break, and he feels he's in good condition. So I told him if he feels good to go we're going to play him."


Sharp, Miller, Neal named 'Three Stars' of week

Monday, 12.30.2013 / 12:20 PM / News


NEW YORK – Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp, Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller and Pittsburgh Penguins left wing James Neal have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Dec. 29.


Sharp led the NHL with six goals and tied for second with seven points as the Blackhawks (27-7-7, 61 points) earned five out of a possible six points to maintain first place in the Central Division. He began the week by scoring two goals in a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils Dec. 23.


Jets prospect Copp proving mature beyond years

Monday, 12.30.2013 / 12:15 PM / On Campus

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

Speaking with Andrew Copp, you would be forgiven for assuming he's a grizzled NHL veteran or at the very least a longtime coach. He speaks with a confidence and assuredness well beyond his 19 years, tossing out hard-won aphorisms -- "Consistency will come if your effort where it needs to be" -- as if they were afterthoughts.

With this maturity in mind, it's easy to see why University of Michigan coach Red Berenson named Copp, a sophomore, an alternate captain over the summer. Berenson described his sophomore center as a "gamer," a "team player" and, appropriately, someone with a "coach-type mentality."

Copp (6-foot-1, 201 pounds) has spent the fall earning his 'A' with nine goals and five assists on a Wolverines team that is 10-4-2 and ranked third in the nation. Copp also has two overtime winners, and his leadership has helped Michigan prevail in seven of nine one-goal games despite playing eight freshmen on a regular basis.


Olympic Stock Report: Ice size in Sochi a factor

Monday, 12.30.2013 / 9:39 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The big ice is making for some big decisions for the Canadian and American executives because the style of play in the 2014 Sochi Olympics will be different than what they're used to in North America.

The rink in Sochi will be the international standard 200-feet long by 100-feet wide. That's 15-feet wider than the NHL-size rink, which means there will be an extra 3,000 square feet of ice to cover.

"Size isn't as relevant as it would be in a small game," Canada associate coach Ken Hitchcock told NHL.com. "We're going to play against quicker players than we ever have played against before. We're going to play against players that have great agility, great one-on-one skills. We're going to see lineups that are different than we would play in North America.


Daily Primer Dec. 30: Last tune-up for Red Wings

Monday, 12.30.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider


The Detroit Red Wings are looking forward to playing in the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day. But there's still the matter of one more indoor game to deal with first.

The Red Wings play their final game of 2013 when they visit the Nashville Predators on Monday night. Detroit is 1-6-0 this month at home, but the Red Wings have earned at least a point in all six of their December road games, and their 4-0-2 record includes a 4-3 win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

The Predators are coming off a 3-2 home victory against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

Here's a look at all of the games Monday:


Windsor tops Saginaw in first OHL outdoor game

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

DETROIT -- Montreal Canadiens prospect Brady Vail and 2014 NHL Draft top prospect Josh Ho-Sang helped the Windsor Spitfires defeat the Saginaw Spirit in a wild 6-5 victory at Comerica Park on Sunday in the first outdoor regular-season game in Ontario Hockey League history.

Vail had assists on three straight Windsor goals, and Ho-Sang added two assists during a four-goal period as the Spitfires roared back from a two-goal deficit early in the second, but then needed a late shorthanded winner from Steven Janes after taking five consecutive penalties, including a pair of double-minors, in the final period.

The game was the first of an OHL doubleheader as part of the SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival, a five-day showcase in Detroit as part of the lead-up to the Bridgestone 2014 NHL Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium.

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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