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Five from 2015 draft class looking to stick in NHL

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 4:43 PM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The beginning of the NHL season marks the start for several players chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft hoping to make a big first impression.

All eyes will be on the first two picks, center Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and center Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres, respectively.

McDavid and Eichel are expected to be with their teams the entire season, but that doesn't mean they won't experience some adversity along the way.

"There's no question both players are game-ready for NHL play and will be able to contribute," said Dan Marr, NHL Director of Central Scouting. "Each player has handled pressure and adversity remarkably well in the past and there's no doubt that they can handle playing in the NHL as 18- and 19-year-olds.

"As rookies they have yet to experience the physical grind that accompanies playing in the NHL and the learning curve of finding out exactly what it takes to maintain a consistent NHL level of play to stay in a lineup. Their development, support and approach have them well placed to succeed."

Oilers name four alternate captains for 2015-16 season

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 3:31 PM / News

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday named forwards Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and defenseman Andrew Ference, alternate captains for the 2015-16 season.

It's the first time the Oilers are starting an NHL season without a designated captain. Ference had been the captain the previous two seasons.

Forward Matt Hendricks will be an alternate captain in place of Eberle, who will miss 4-6 weeks because of a shoulder injury sustained in a preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes on Sept. 29.

The Oilers will open the season Thursday at the St. Louis Blues (8 p.m. ET; SN360).

Banner raising closes door on Blackhawks' latest title

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 2:45 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- The vacancy that currently exists in the rafters at United Center, an empty space between the Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup championship banners from 2010 and 2013, was hard to miss if you simply looked up Wednesday morning.

"Yeah, I noticed," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "These things don't slip by me."

He'll notice the banner that will fill the empty space Wednesday night for the rest of his life. It's part of his legacy and part of Blackhawks' lore.

"It's pretty amazing to think we've been able to put three banners up there so far," Toews said. "That is what you play for."

The 2015 championship banner that will be raised here represents the latest great accomplishment by the Blackhawks, winners of the Stanley Cup in three of the past six seasons (2010, 2013 and 2015), making them arguably the NHL's newest dynasty, depending on how one defines a dynasty.

It also represents a last hurrah.

The players received their lavish, diamond-studded rings Sunday night and will bring the Stanley Cup on the ice as part of the banner-raising ceremony prior to their season-opener against the New York Rangers (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

Babcock's goal to make Maple Leafs better every day

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 2:16 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Mike Babcock was asked a simple question: How much difference can a coach make on a hockey team?

"I have no idea," Babcock said. "What I would tell you is everywhere I have gone I have just tried to get better each and every day and be process-oriented, love the guys and try to make them as good a player as they possibly can be. I want to make the player accountable and make the organization proud of us. I like to be proud when I leave the rink."

Babcock signed an eight-year contract worth a reported $50 million to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 20. The belief is that in time he will bring a winning attitude and positive results.

Eichel eyes NHL debut, Sabres to help him adjust

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 2:13 PM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- When the Buffalo Sabres host the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, it will mark the official start of Jack Eichel's NHL career.

Eichel will play his first regular-season NHL game, and after a long summer of sorting through being the second pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, Sabres development camp, the Sabres Prospects Challenge and his first NHL training camp, his dream will become a reality.

"I'm really excited about it. I have a lot of family and friends coming in so it's going to be a special moment for me," Eichel said Tuesday. "It's something I've dreamed of my whole life; stepping foot on that ice and making the NHL. I'm trying to soak it all in right now with everything that's going on in my life. I think it's all happened really quickly, but I'm trying to soak it all in. It's kind of been a whirlwind, but you're finally playing hockey for a living and everything you've done your whole life is to get to this point. It's pretty special."

Eichel skated on a line with veterans Matt Moulson and Brian Gionta on Tuesday, but Gionta missed practice Wednesday because of an injury. At practice Wednesday Eichel skated with Evander Kane and Sam Reinhart, the second pick of the 2014 draft.

2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off free attractions, events schedule at Fort Calgary, Oct. 7

Follow NHL on Twitter, Instagram with #NHLFaceOff for news and updates

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 1:30 PM / 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK/TORONTO -- The NHL® is inviting fans of all ages to a free festival at the historic Fort Calgary to celebrate the launch of the 2015-16 NHL season with the 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off™.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 7

3:00 p.m.    2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off™ Opens to the Public

See below for list of attractions.

7:20 p.m.    Fitz & The Tantrums' performance on Molson Canadian Main Stage

Portions of this performance will be featured in the night's game broadcasts.

1st intermission   Reuben and the Dark performance on Molson Canadian Main Stage

This performance will take place during the 1st intermission of the Flames-Canucks game broadcast.

2nd intermission   Jocelyn Alice performance on Molson Canadian Main Stage

This performance will take place during the 2nd intermission of the Flames-Canucks game broadcast.

Fitz & The Tantrums to headline 2015 NHL Face-Off

Musical lineup to include Calgary's own Reuben and the Dark, singer/songwriter Jocelyn Alice and popular DJ duo Boogie Hill Faders

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 1:25 PM / 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK / TORONTO – The 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face Off, the official NHL season-opening celebration on Oct. 7 at historic Fort Calgary in Alberta, will feature live performances from neo soul/indie pop band Fitz & The Tantrums, alternative rock band Reuben and the Dark, Canadian singer/songwriter Jocelyn Alice and Calgary DJ duo Boogie Hill Faders, the National Hockey League announced today. The free hockey and music festival will begin at 3:00 p.m. local time at Fort Calgary and will culminate with a live viewing party featuring the Calgary Flames' home opener against the Vancouver Canucks (8:00 p.m. MT/10:00 p.m. ET, Sportsnet, TVA2).

Fitz & The Tantrums will take the main stage at Fort Calgary at 7:20 p.m. MT, with portions of their performance featured in the night's game broadcasts. Reuben and the Dark and Jocelyn Alice will perform their sets during the first and second intermissions, respectively, of the Flames-Canucks game. The Boogie Hill Faders, a crowd favorite at Flames games, will spin for fans at Fort Calgary throughout the day.

NHL fan reminders for Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 1:20 PM / 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK / TORONTO -- The National Hockey League would like to remind fans attending the 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off™, the official NHL® season-opening celebration on Oct. 7 at historic Fort Calgary in Alberta, about parking, transit and security matters:

• The 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off will happen RAIN OR SHINE.

• Gates at Fort Calgary will open at 3 p.m, and the event will run through the conclusion of the Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames game shown on giant outdoor video screens. We encourage all fans to arrive early to allow enough time to proceed through security checks.

Blackhawks-Rangers starts Wednesday Night Rivalry

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 12:36 PM / Tale of the Tape

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

The Chicago Blackhawks begin their defense of the Stanley Cup when they host the New York Rangers in the first Wednesday Night Rivalry game of the 2015-16 season (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

Chicago is coming off its third championship in six seasons after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Final in six games. The Rangers, who won the Presidents' Trophy as the best regular-season team in 2014-15, were one victory away from playing the Blackhawks but lost to the Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

The Blackhawks made several changes from their Cup-winning team but still have their championship core, including center Jonathan Toews, defenseman Duncan Keith and goaltender Corey Crawford. The Rangers made fewer alterations; the biggest change was the retirement of forward Martin St. Louis, whose 52 points were fourth on the team in 2014-15.

Jagr still going strong on 25th anniversary of first goal

Wednesday, 10.07.2015 / 12:17 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

At 18 years old and playing his second NHL game, Jaromir Jagr scored his first NHL goal when the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New Jersey Devils 7-4 at Pittsburgh Civic Arena 25 years ago today.

A quarter-century later, Jagr, 43, is entering his second season with the Florida Panthers, and 22nd in the NHL.

Parked in front of the Devils net on Oct. 7, 1990, Jagr scored off the rebound of defenseman Jim Johnson's shot from the point. In goal for the Devils was Chris Terreri, currently the Devils' goaltending coach.

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