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Breaking down the top 50 fantasy hockey players

Tuesday, 09.02.2014 / 11:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Yahoo's fantasy hockey registration is officially open. You're building your league and inviting your friends to join. You're figuring out when and where to have the draft. Then the research begins. You're debating who to take in what round and who you can grab late in the draft. Who can help you in the penalty minutes category and who will help with power-play points?

From now until the puck drops on Oct. 8, all of these decisions come into play as the NHL and fantasy hockey seasons officially begin.

The most important thing for your fantasy draft is to remember that the more you read and take in, the better prepared you'll be.

With that, hopefully you've seen NHL.com's top 275 overall fantasy hockey rankings. That's a good start in getting ready for your draft. We've also released our sets of sleeper stories (Cubeta, Jensen, Sitkoff) as well as plenty of other helpful fantasy features. Take it all in.

Now it's time to find out the reasons behind our top 50 fantasy player rankings.

Why is Evgeni Malkin ranked higher than last season's MVP nominees Ryan Getzlaf and Claude Giroux? Why is Jamie Benn the highest-ranked left wing? Why did we choose P.K. Subban ahead of Erik Karlsson among defensemen? These are just a few of the many questions you might have asked when you first viewed our consensus rankings. Now you get to understand why these select few are considered the 50 best fantasy players in the game, according to NHL.com.

The overall ranking order is based on NHL.com's composite rankings determined by fantasy insiders Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen and Matt Sitkoff (average of each expert's selections).

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Top 14 centers can lead to Cup championship

Tuesday, 09.02.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's Top 14 in '14-15

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Who are the best 14 players in the NHL at each position as teams prepare for the start of the 2014-15 season? Arpon Basu, Brian Compton, Corey Masisak and Dan Rosen have cast their votes and the result is NHL.com's "Top 14 for '14-15" project. Each first-place vote is worth 14 points, each second-place vote is worth 13, continuing in descending order to each 14th-place vote being worth one. There are two tiebreakers. First, which player appeared on more ballots? Second, which player had the highest individual ranking? If the voting was exactly the same for each player, it was declared a tie. Does NHL.com's list match your rankings for the best players in the League entering the 2014-15 campaign?

The old adage in hockey is "teams can't win without great goaltending."

The new adage in hockey should be "teams can't win without great centers."

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2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Ticket Refund Policy

NHL.com

The 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® (the "Event") will be held on January 1, 2015 at Nationals Park Washington, D.C. The Event may be delayed or postponed for any reason. If delayed or postponed, the Event will be held at the same location on January 1, 2015 or January 2, 2015. Event tickets issued for January 1, 2015 will be honored for the postponed Event on January 2, 2015. Please note refunds will not be issued for a delay or postponement.

The Event may be cancelled at the discretion of the National Hockey League for any reason, including, but not limited to, weather. Except as described below, all ticket sales are final and no refunds or exchanges are permitted. If the Event is cancelled, the primary ticket purchaser is entitled to a ticket refund, subject to the following terms and conditions:


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Panthers' top pick Ekblad welcomes father's guidance

Monday, 09.01.2014 / 1:49 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

In the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft, several young players added to their respective families' considerable hockey legacies. But there was no bigger name than Aaron Ekblad, the top pick by the Florida Panthers who credits his father, David, with helping him get to the NHL.

So in a draft filled with sons, brothers and nephews of NHL players, how did an accountant from Southwestern Ontario raise one of the world's top defensive prospects?

"He seemed to thrive on his own and didn't really need any push from me. I certainly don't want to get in the way of the coaches. You see how that goes sometimes," David Ekblad said. "I never really worried about it and just enjoyed the ride."

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NHL.com's top 275 overall fantasy hockey rankings

Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen, Matt Sitkoff identify most valuable players

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

The 2014-15 NHL season is drawing closer by the day, so NHL.com has you covered with a full positional breakdown of all the players around the League worth owning in fantasy hockey.

NHL.com fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen, and Matt Sitkoff have constructed a pool of players who they believe are the top 275 in standard Yahoo leagues. The writers then went their separate ways and individually ranked those assets based on a number of factors, including but not limited to offseason moves, position eligibility, line combinations, category coverage or lack thereof, contract situations, and statistical performance from previous seasons.

These rankings should be viewed as our experts' opinionated projections of the NHL's most valuable fantasy players based on expectations entering this season. They should be used as a basis of reference when making your educated selections on draft day.

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Six-time all-star defenseman Vadnais dies

Sunday, 08.31.2014 / 1:31 PM / News

Carol Vadnais, a six-time all-star who more played more than 1,000 NHL games, died Sunday. He was 68 years old.

Vadnais had 169 goals and 587 points in 1,087 games. The defenseman, who broke into the NHL in 1966-67 with his hometown Montreal Canadiens, had a career spanning 17 seasons.

He played for Montreal, the California Golden Seals, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils before retiring after the 1982-83 season. Vadnais played the most for the Rangers, from 1975-82.

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Young talent in Ducks lineup ready for breakthrough

Saturday, 08.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Anaheim Ducks had a great regular season in Bruce Boudreau’s second full year in charge, winning the Western Conference and coming within a point of the Presidents’ Trophy.

Taking the eventual Stanley Cup champions to seven games in a Western Conference Second Round series is no shameful exit, but the end (a 6-2 loss in Game 7 to the rival Los Angeles Kings in the inaugural "Freeway Series") was a painful one.

It also meant the end for Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, two of the best players in the history of their country and great ambassadors for the sport. Ducks fans will certainly miss them, but this franchise has a bushel of young forwards ready for bigger roles.

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Kesler, goaltending among Ducks' five questions

Saturday, 08.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

The search for a second-line center has been a long-term project for the Anaheim Ducks. Since trading Andy McDonald in 2007, the Ducks have largely struggled to slot someone behind captain Ryan Getzlaf.

Anaheim was able to run through the regular season with Saku Koivu and Mathieu Perreault, but their lack of size eventually hurt them against the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Second Round series, won by the Kings in seven games.

General manager Bob Murray responded by trading for Ryan Kesler, giving the Ducks as good a one-two pairing at center as any team in the NHL. Kesler's contribution in a conference that only got tougher in the offseason is one of five prominent questions facing Anaheim.

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Ducks fixing issues that doomed playoff run

Saturday, 08.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

For a team that led the Western Conference with 116 points, the Anaheim Ducks had a lot of issues that came back to bite them in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their power play was unacceptable, their lack of depth at center was exposed by the rival Los Angeles Kings, and defense and goaltending that had held up most of the season finally cracked.

General manager Bob Murray, who long had tried to upgrade the center position, landed Ryan Kesler in an offseason trade with the Vancouver Canucks to give Anaheim a 1-2 punch down the middle with Kesler and captain Ryan Getzlaf. Murray was willing to part with center and 22-goal scorer Nick Bonino to get Kesler, and he declined to re-sign veterans Saku Koivu and Mathieu Perreault.

Murray also signed Nate Thompson, who likely will center the third line.

Coach Bruce Boudreau is excited at the possibilities, but also sounded caution.

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Ducks hope Heatley fills revolving door at left wing

Saturday, 08.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

The audition to find a left wing to play with captain Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry lasted all last season for the Anaheim Ducks.

Dustin Penner rebooted his career there before he was traded. There was Patrick Maroon. Matt Beleskey. Kyle Palmieri. Jakob Silfverberg. Devante Smith-Pelly. Coach Bruce Boudreau estimated he tried at least 10 players there.

Anaheim certainly would like Dany Heatley to end the tryout.

The Ducks signed the veteran left wing to a low-risk, one-year, $1 million contract July 9 in the hopes that Heatley can channel the sniper capability that has defined most of his 12-year career.

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