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NHL, NHLPA bolster concussion-evaluation process

Tuesday, 09.15.2015 / 2:20 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The NHL and NHL Players' Association have amended the spotter program in the NHL Concussion Evaluation and Management Protocol to guarantee the inclusion of concussion spotters employed and trained by the League at every game in an attempt to further strengthen the program.

"The spotter program is not new, it has been in existence as part of our Concussion Protocol for some time now; the thing that is changing is how we are allowing clubs to deal with the responsibility," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. "By introducing League-employed-and-trained spotters, we are simply providing our clubs with another alternative to adequately and properly execute the spotter responsibility."

As has been the case under the protocol, each team maintains the right to designate its own concussion spotter for each game. In such cases, the team's concussion spotter will be considered the on-duty spotter for that game. However, the NHL has designated a network of people, two at each arena, to serve as League-designated spotters.

Simon Gagne retires following 14-season NHL career

Tuesday, 09.15.2015 / 2:12 PM / News


Simon Gagne, who scored 601 points and won the Stanley Cup during a 14-season NHL career, announced his retirement Tuesday.

Gagne was the 22nd pick in the 1998 NHL Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers and played 691 of his 822 regular-season games with them. The left wing helped the Flyers to the Eastern Conference Final in 2000 and 2004, and to the Stanley Cup Final in 2010.

Gagne, who later won the Cup with the Kings to add to the Olympic gold he won with Canada at Salt Lake City in 2002, said the 2010 run with Philadelphia was among his fondest memories in hockey. The Flyers rallied from a 3-0 series deficit against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, with Gagne returning from injury to win Game 4 with an overtime goal and score the series-clinching goal in the third period of Game 7, which the Flyers had trailed 3-0 in the first period.

"I have so many good memories with the Flyers, it's tough to remember all of them," Gagne said, "but definitely the playoffs in 2010, the way things happened, breaking my foot, coming back in Game 4 and scoring the OT goal and then after that slowly coming back in that series … it was a team effort."

National Hockey League, adidas announce partnership

adidas, NHL Players' Association and NHL also to partner on 2016 World Cup of Hockey

Tuesday, 09.15.2015 / 2:00 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK/TORONTO – The National Hockey League (NHL®) and adidas today announced a seven-year partnership in which adidas will become the authentic outfitter of on-ice uniforms as well as an official supplier of licensed apparel and headwear for the League starting with the 2017-18 season. adidas Group-owned CCM will remain an official on-ice equipment supplier, delivering world-class product for NHL players, including sticks, skates, helmets, gloves and goaltending gear.

The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), NHL and adidas today also announced a partnership for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in which adidas becomes the exclusive outfitter of both authentic and replica jerseys for the eight-team tournament next September. The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will be played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, 2016 and be comprised of eight teams – Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Sweden, Team USA, Team Europe and Team North America. More than 150 NHL players will compete in a best-on-best international hockey championship.

Fantasy top 60 defensemen: Preseason rankings

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

As part of NHL.com's preseason fantasy hockey draft coverage, NHL.com will preview each of the three positions this week, with Pete Jensen on forwards, Brian Metzer on defensemen and David Satriano on goalies. These positional outlooks will include the writer's individual standard-league rankings, offseason reaction and all the strategy and advice you'll need on draft day.


Year in and year out, defense is the most overlooked position in fantasy hockey, and that is a head-scratcher.

Yes, the focus is and should be on forwards and goalies, but it is folly to punt on a position that makes up one-third of your starting lineup in standard Yahoo leagues.

Last season, 27 defensemen had 40 or more points; of those, 11 had 50 or more and three had 60 or more. That highest tier is led by our top-ranked defenseman, Erik Karlsson. The Ottawa Senators captain is a rare breed in that he is capable of outscoring most of the second-tier forwards in the NHL. He had 21 goals and 66 points last season, with 30 coming on the power play. His 292 shots were first among defensemen and fourth in the League, and these numbers should be replicated with a young and hungry team around him.

Mantha looks to show Red Wings drive, consistency

Tuesday, 09.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- There was a time when Detroit Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha was being considered as a potential fit alongside Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

It all changed Sept. 15, 2014, when Mantha, a first-round pick (No. 20) in the 2013 NHL Draft, sustained a fractured right tibia at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament. At the time of his injury, which sidelined him all of training camp in 2014, he was leading Red Wings prospects in goals, points and shots on goal.

Mantha missed two months before finally making his professional debut with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League on Nov. 14, 2014. He struggled upon his return, scoring 15 goals and 33 points in 62 games. The lack of offensive production didn't sit well with Red Wings senior vice president Jimmy Devellano, who expressed with the local media his disappointment in Mantha's performance.

Five Questions: Nugent-Hopkins on maturity, McDavid

Tuesday, 09.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins:

TORONTO -- Four years ago, Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was preparing for his first NHL training camp. He was a lean, 175-pound, 18-year-old with a baby face and a lot of hype as the No. 1 pick of the 2011 NHL Draft.

This week, Nugent-Hopkins is in Edmonton preparing for his fifth NHL training camp. He has played 258 games in four seasons. He has 65 goals and 188 points. He is 22 years old. He still has his baby face, but after adding 20 pounds of muscle, he's up to 195.

The difference Nugent-Hopkins feels as a result of his experience and strength fuels his confidence and has him believing big things are coming for himself and the Oilers.

Oates works with Wild's Parise, Suter on power play

Monday, 09.14.2015 / 11:58 PM / 2015-2016 Season Preview


Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter spent a portion of Monday working on ways to improve a power play that was ranked 27th in the NHL last season.

They had the help of Adam Oates, who was Parise's assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils from 2010-12. Oates, a Hall of Fame center who had 1,420 points in 1,337 games, watched the Wild's informal practice in Edina, Minn., and afterward worked privately with Parise and Suter for more than an hour.

"Everything he says just makes sense," Parise told the Star Tribune. "I've known him since I've played for him in New Jersey and we've kept in touch and he watches our games and our power plays, so we communicate during the season. He's probably the smartest hockey guy that I've ever been around."

Sabres' Eichel scores game-winner in prospects finale

Monday, 09.14.2015 / 11:33 PM / Prospects

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO – Buffalo Sabres rookie forward Jack Eichel gave the fans at First Niagara Center a lot to think about heading into training camp with his performance against the Boston Bruins on Monday.

Eichel, the second pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, scored the game-winning goal with 37 seconds left in overtime that gave the Sabres a 3-2 win in the finale of the Sabres' Prospect Challenge.

Eichel took the puck up the right wing side and skated past Bruins forward Anton Blidh before he took a wrist shot that got past Bruins goalie Zane McIntyre on the far side of the net.

"We're on the bench after a long shift in our own zone and the coach [Randy Cunneyworth] asked if I had anything left and I figured I could go out there and see what I could do," Eichel said. "It's nice having [Sam Reinhart] and [Brendan Guhle] out there too; two guys you can trust. [Guhle] and [Reinhart] make a good play on the 2-on-1 coming back our way and [goalie C.J. Motte] deflects the puck into the corner. I just tried to protect it down the ice and I was able to get a shot off and luckily it went in."

News, notes from Traverse City Tournament - Sept. 14

Monday, 09.14.2015 / 11:10 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- The Chicago Blackhawks have been very successful reloading each season with general manager Stan Bowman working within the NHL's salary-cap system.

The Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup in six seasons in 2014-15, and there's no reason to think they won't be in the running for another despite losing some key players from that championship lineup.

After winning the Cup in six games against the Tampa Bay Lightning in June, Bowman traded forwards Brandon Saad (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Patrick Sharp (Dallas Stars), and forwards Brad Richards (Detroit Red Wings) and Antoine Vermette (Arizona Coyotes) and defenseman Johnny Oduya (Stars) left as free agents.

The Blackhawks acquired some good young talent and some savvy veterans during the offseason, but they will also rely on their top prospects for added support at some point in 2015-16.

One player closing in on making the jump to Chicago is left wing Ryan Hartman, a first-round pick (No. 30) in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Modin, Ruutu added to Blue Jackets' staff

Monday, 09.14.2015 / 9:09 PM / News


COLUMBUS, OHIO — The Columbus Blue Jackets have added four individuals to the club's hockey operations staff, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. Former Blue Jackets forward Fredrik Modin has been named a special assistant to hockey operations and longtime NHL player Jarkko Ruutu has been hired as the club's first European development coach, while Blake Geoffrion and Rick Knickle have joined the club's scouting staff.

Modin registered 232 goals and 230 assists for 462 points with 453 penalty minutes in 898 career NHL games over 14 seasons from 1996-2011, including 39-46-85 and 110 penalty minutes in 176 games as a Blue Jacket from 2006-10. He added 14-12-26 and 42 penalty minutes in 57 career playoff games and helped the Tampa Bay Lightning capture the 2004 Stanley Cup championship. A native of Sundsvall, Sweden, he was selected by Toronto in the third round of the 1994 NHL Draft and is a member of the exclusive “Triple Gold Club” comprised of players who have won the three most prestigious championships in world hockey – Stanley Cup, Olympic gold medal and World Championships gold medal.

To read more from the Blue Jackets website, CLICK HERE.

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