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Sunday Long Read: Discovering joys of outdoors

Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

A fresh sheet of ice covering a lake. The powdery snow shoveled off to the sides. A sharp chill hanging in the air. If you're lucky, a warm drink waiting for you at the end of the day.

These are the elements that made outdoor hockey so special for a generation of players. As the game began to move indoors, they became symbols of a bygone era. But with a little help from the massive annual spectacle that is the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, many modern players are discovering the joy of the outdoor game.

And a generation of Hockey Hall of Fame members who grew up playing on the local pond couldn't be happier.


Spots remain up for grabs on Czech Olympic team

Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Though Czech Republic coach Alois Hadamczik informed the local media of his intentions to reveal the country's Olympic roster no later than Jan. 7, many spots remain up for grabs at this juncture.

Hadamczik received some bad news this month when it was learned that Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek and San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl each would miss significant time, making their availability for the Olympics a major question mark. In fact, Hadamczik told a Czech media outlet that Hertl will not participate in the 2014 Sochi Games.

Hertl, who needs surgery to repair a right knee injury, is expected to miss at least a month. His absence will be a big blow for the Czech offense considering he leads NHL rookies with 15 goals and 25 points in 35 games.

Andy Murray savors WMU's GLI championship

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

DETROIT -- Andy Murray has played and coached hockey all over the world, so being behind the bench for Western Michigan at the 2013 Great Lakes Invitational was not his first outdoor experience.

It has been a while though.

Murray participated in games outdoors as a player in Europe. But the games Friday and Saturday at Comerica Park were his first outdoor games as a coach in more than two decades. His Broncos needed overtime before beating Michigan Tech 1-0 in the championship game on a goal by junior forward Justin Kovacs 2:01 into the extra period.


Western Michigan wins Great Lakes final


DETROIT -- Justin Kovacs scored at 2:01 of overtime to give Western Michigan a 1-0 victory against Michigan Tech on Saturday night to claim the 2013 Great Lakes Invitational championship at Comerica Park.

It is the first GLI title since 1986 for the Broncos, who are coached by former Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues bench boss Andy Murray.

This season, the Great Lakes Invitational is part of the SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival, a five-day celebration of the sport leading up to the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1.

Viewers get inside look outdoors in Part 3 of '24/7'

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The overriding theme of two struggling teams battling adversity and trying to find some solid ground to get their seasons going in the right direction was again ever-present in the latest episode of HBO's "24/7: Red Wings-Maple Leafs: Road to the NHL Winter Classic" that debuted Saturday night in the United States.

However, Part Three of the four-part series also served as foreshadowing to the one major event that binds the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs this season.

The 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be played Wednesday at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. HBO brought the viewer outside at the end of the near-hour long episode.

Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg was filmed skating on his frozen backyard pond with narrator Liev Schreiber providing the information that it was the first time he had ever skated there.


Wild keeping Parise off ice as he recovers from injury

Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 6:48 PM / News


Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise has been placed on injured reserve and will stay off the ice as he tries to recover from a recurring foot injury, the Star Tribune reported Saturday.

Parise has missed two games since reaggravating an injury he sustained Nov. 25.

"He wants to be in the lineup. Hopefully every day he gets his rest is a day we get closer to him coming back," coach Mike Yeo told the newspaper. "He wants to get on the ice and he wants to help the team. He's a huge part of our team. We can't wait to have him back."


Michigan State wins Great Lakes consolation game


Michigan State scored once in the first period and twice in the third to defeat Michigan 3-0 in the consolation game of the Great Lakes Invitational on Saturday at Comerica Park in Detroit.

The championship game between Michigan Tech and Western Michigan was to be played outdoors later Saturday.

This season, the Great Lakes Invitational is part of the SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival, a five-day celebration of the sport leading up to the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1.

Canucks sign Fox, OHL's second-leading scorer

Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 5:13 PM / News


The Vancouver Canucks on Saturday signed center Dane Fox, the second-leading scorer in the Ontario Hockey League. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Fox, 20, has 41 goals and 67 points in 35 games with the Erie Otters, where the Canucks have assigned him.


Oilers, 2012 pick Moroz agree to terms

Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 4:42 PM / News


The Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms with forward Mitchell Moroz on a three-year entry-level contract.

Moroz, 19, is a second-round pick (No. 32) of the Oilers in the 2012 NHL Draft. He leads the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League with 21 goals this season to go with 34 points, 87 penalty minutes and a plus-14 rating in 34 games.

"Truly honoured today," Moroz tweeted after the news was announced. "Thanks to everyone who made this possible!"


Sweden must fill void on blue line with Edler injury

Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 4:22 PM / 2014 Olympics

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The rosters for the 2014 Sochi Olympics will be announced shortly, but Sweden still has time to make adjustments in an attempt to improve off its fifth-place finish in 2010.

While it's unlikely there will be anything surprising or drastic, injuries could force unforeseen changes.

For instance, Sweden received some bad news earlier this month when Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler sustained an undisclosed injury that will keep him out indefinitely. Edler, who was projected to be in Sweden's top six, has not played since Dec. 3.

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I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game