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2015-16 picks: Capitals will be big winners

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview


NHL.com continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which begins Wednesday.

How will the 2015-16 season unfold? That's the question we asked several NHL.com staffers and the answers were surprising, to say the least.

If our collection of prognosticators are right, fans of the Washington Capitals will be very happy. The Capitals appeared as Stanley Cup champions on three of nine ballots, while Tampa Bay and Anaheim also received multiple votes. Washington star Alex Ovechkin was a near-unanimous choice to win the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy for the fourth straight season, while Braden Holtby received some serious consideration to claim his first Vezina Trophy.

In the heavily discussed battle for the Calder Memorial Trophy, it was Edmonton forward Connor McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, who earned the early nod, named as the winner on seven ballots. Buffalo forward Jack Eichel, The No. 2 pick in the 2015 Draft, was selected on the other two ballots.

For a snapshot on how the NHL.com prognosticators see the season playing out, check out the predictions below:

Lightning's Drouin gains confidence on Stamkos line

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- When Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin entered training camp last month, he wanted to put a rocky rookie season behind him.

Drouin, the No. 3 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, missed all of camp last season with a fractured thumb and started 2014-15 with a weekend's worth of rehab games for Syracuse of the American Hockey League before joining the Lightning in mid-October.

Despite playing 70 regular-season games and six in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Drouin didn't seem to fit in to the plans of coach Jon Cooper. Drouin had four goals and 28 assists but couldn't find a consistent line and was on the bench more times than not during the postseason.

Eight potential breakout players in 2015-16

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which begins Wednesday.

One year ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning were hoping forward Nikita Kucherov could have a breakout season, prove his skill could translate in the NHL, that he was worth the tough love he was shown during his rookie season of 2013-14.

At the same time, the Calgary Flames were hoping center Sean Monahan could build on his strong rookie season to bust out in a big way, and the Detroit Red Wings were banking on Tomas Tatar to become a go-to scorer in his second full season.

All three answered.

Sabres' Eichel preseason pick for Calder Trophy

Monday, 10.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, the first two players picked at the 2015 NHL Draft, are considered by many to be the frontrunners for the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.

McDavid, chosen No. 1 by the Edmonton Oilers, said having an impact each shift, regardless of whether it results in a goal or not, is most important to him.

"Numbers are one thing, but some of the best games I ever played have been games in which I didn't get a point or maybe had one point," he said. "You don't necessarily have to put up a lot of points to be impactful. There are lots of ways you can impact a game, and that's something I take a lot of pride in, trying to impact the game in any way possible."

Eichel, selected No. 2 by the Buffalo Sabres, believes team success will lead to individual success.

Blackhawks receive Stanley Cup championship rings

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 9:41 PM / 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off


The Chicago Blackhawks received their 2015 Stanley Cup championship rings during a private ceremony Sunday.

Each ring has 355 round, pear, marquise and princess-cut diamonds, totaling 10.8 carats, set in 14-karat white gold, the Blackhawks said. The top of the ring has "Stanley Cup Champions" around the Blackhawks logo; the left side commemorates their six Cup titles; and the right side features Chicago’s secondary logo and the player’s name and number.

The ring was created by Jostens.

The Blackhawks begin defense of their third championship in six seasons Wednesday when they host the New York Rangers (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

Sharks forward Torres to have Player Safety hearing

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 9:16 PM / Department of Player Safety News


San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres will have a hearing Monday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg during a preseason game Saturday.

Silfverberg was hit by Torres at 12:45 of the first period. He left the game and did not return. Torres received a match penalty for an illegal check to the head.

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: illegal check to the head/interference/charging.

Torres waived his right to an in-person hearing Sunday.

Blackhawks bring Stanley Cup to Soldier Field

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 6:09 PM / 2015 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off


Days before the Chicago Blackhawks begin their defense of the Stanley Cup, they brought it to Solider Field before the Chicago Bears played the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw, Corey Crawford, Marcus Kruger, Scott Darling, Andrew Desjardins and Trevor van Riemsdyk took part in a pregame ceremony when they were honored at midfield. Shaw also kicked a field goal with Kane as his holder.

The Bears defeated the Raiders 22-20 for their first victory of the NFL season.

Bruins sign goalie Gustavsson to one-year contract

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 5:21 PM / News


Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced today, October 4 that the club has signed goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to a one-year, one-way contract through the 2015-16 season worth a cap figure of $700,000.

Gustavsson played for the Detroit Red Wings from 2012 to 2015 appearing in 41 games, compiling a 21-10-6 record. Prior to Detroit, Gustavsson played for three seasons in the Maple Leafs organization from 2009 to 2012. In total, the 30-year-old goaltender has appeared in 148 NHL games, racking up a 60-55-21 record with a 2.89 goals against average and .901 save percentage.

Lightning forwards Johnson, Killorn day-to-day: report

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 1:08 PM / News


Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn are each day-to-day with undisclosed injuries, general manager Steve Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times on Sunday.

Johnson and Killorn were injured Saturday in the Lightning's 3-2 preseason win against the Florida Panthers.

Forward Nikita Kucherov (lower body) was held out of the game Saturday for precautionary reasons and forward Cedric Paquette (left foot) remains day-to-day. Each is expected to practice Monday.

Canadiens agree to terms with Fleischmann

Sunday, 10.04.2015 / 10:31 AM / NHL Free Agency 2015


Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, announced Sunday that the team has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent forward Tomas Fleischmann.

Fleischmann, 31, played 66 games with the Florida Panthers and Anaheim Ducks in 2014-15, recording 29 points (eight goals, 19 assists). The 6-foot-1 left wing served 12 penalty minutes and maintained a plus-12, while averaging 14:42 of ice time per game.

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