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Wild's Parise has more than hockey on his mind

Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer'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 Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise:

Zach Parise always figured moving home to Minnesota would have benefits that extend beyond the obvious, such as the 13-year, $98 million contract he signed July 4, 2012. He never imagined one of those benefits would be being close to his father as he fights the toughest battle of his life.

Jean-Paul Parise, Zach's father and a former NHL forward and assistant coach, has lung cancer. He was diagnosed in February, when Zach was playing for the United States in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. J.P. Parise, 72, was told he has two years to live.

The story of J.P.'s illness and how Zach is dealing with it was documented in great and grave detail by Wild beat reporter Michael Russo in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune this past Sunday. Zach spoke of his shock and J.P. talked about being positive and staying upbeat as he attacks the disease.

"I am not complaining," J.P. Parise told Russo. "At the end of the day I am still alive. I am still alive, and tomorrow I will still be alive. I am not dying tomorrow."

Zach isn't complaining either. He's coping as best he can.


Power play, young players are keys for Ducks

Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

It's a new era for the Anaheim Ducks. Teemu Selanne retired, and in January will be the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.

By then the Ducks would like to have a lot of their questions answered, but they are always teeming with drama, not to mention flashes of excellent hockey. A little less of the former and more of the latter come the Stanley Cup Playoffs has been a theme during training camp.

"I think we've done the divisional stuff," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We've [been] the Western Conference champions. The big thing now -- and it's a long ways away -- is to get further in the playoffs. But you can't just sit there and say, 'Let's wait until the playoffs' and go from there. If you look at the division and the conference, it's 82 games of tough sledding to get there."

Here are three keys to how the Ducks can get there:

Kesler enjoying lifestyle, transition with Ducks

Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Ryan Kesler finished a media session with reporters after a morning skate and the conversation turned toward the weather.

Kesler has been in Southern California for about a month, and the daytime temperature rarely dipped below 85 degrees. On a day off, he rode bikes with his family around the postcard Orange County beach cities of Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar.

"It's a beautiful spot," Kesler said. "Does it ever rain here? It's amazing. No complaints. The family loves it."

Told that the locals consider 55 degrees to be seriously cold, Kesler was almost dumbfounded.

"Fifty-five? That's shorts weather," he said.


Ducks integrating new faces in pursuit of Cup

Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray isn't interested in bringing in more new faces, at least not to start the 2014-15 season. Murray acquired a half-dozen players in the offseason who will play significant roles, and they need to be integrated quickly.

That's why Murray declared on the first day of training camp that he's not inclined to, say, beef up his defense more even though Anaheim has about $9.3 million worth of space under the salary cap, according to

"I want to get to the 20-25 game mark, where we've played enough home and road games and we've had hopefully, healthy people, and I can evaluate where this hockey team is at," Murray said.

"Obviously we have good cap space left. Obviously we have some pretty good assets if I feel a need for a change in the hockey team. But let's get to that point. Let's see what we have. There's seven new bodies in that dressing room. There's some jobs up for grabs this year. We've got some great competition for certain jobs here. You can figure out who they are and I hope the players have got it figured out."


Bruins' keys include power play, replacing Iginla

Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Matt Kalman - Correspondent continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Peter Chiarelli has traded away some big-name players during his eight seasons as general manager of the Boston Bruins and allowed others, like forward Jarome Iginla this summer, to leave as unrestricted free agents.

But regardless of how the Bruins' season ended, Chiarelli has kept the core intact.

Despite winning the Presidents' Trophy and then losing in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Montreal Canadiens last season, Chiarelli did it again. The core and most of the supporting cast is back for 2014-15. And Chiarelli has made sure the core that starts with center Patrice Bergeron, defenseman Zdeno Chara and goaltender Tuukka Rask will include center David Krejci for the foreseeable future. Krejci signed a contract extension this fall that kicks in after this season for six more years.

"It's awesome that they believe in you, that they trust you, that means a lot," Krejci said. "You just go out there and you play the game, you don't think about anything else. To have Peter, [president] Cam [Neely], the whole organization behind me, that's awesome, that's perfect. … So hopefully we can make a run, and that's why I signed here. I want to win another Cup, and this is the team that can do it and I'm happy to be here."

The Bruins thought they had enough to win the Cup last season. Chiarelli has bet the early playoff exit was an aberration. Only Iginla, forward Shawn Thornton, and goaltender Chad Johnson are gone. What holes there are in the lineup project to be filled by veterans who have been waiting for a bigger role, or prospects.

The Bruins have gone to the Stanley Cup Final the past two odd-numbered years. Here are the three keys for them to do it again in 2014-15:


Bruins shrug off disappointment, reset sights on Cup

Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Matt Kalman - Correspondent continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

The question came from a perturbed fan in the stands at TD Garden for the Boston Bruins' annual State of the Bruins town hall meeting just before the start of training camp.

The fan alluded to the notion the Boston Celtics only hang banners for their world championships because that's their only goal, but the Bruins have banners commemorating their division and conference titles, in addition to their Stanley Cup championships, because they're not as committed to winning world titles.

It didn't take Bruins president Cam Neely a breath to grab the microphone and respond to the disgruntled customer by flatly denying the person's premise was accurate. After the event, Neely expanded on what the Bruins' biggest target is every season.


Bruins found winning ticket with Bergeron linemates

Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Entering his 11th NHL season, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has had dozens of linemates. He's worked well with some, better with others. One thing he's learned is that line chemistry is as easy to predict as the lottery.

But when the right numbers come up, the jackpot can be big.

The Bruins hit the lottery last season when the line of Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith combined for 75 goals and 91 assists, had the Corsi-for percentage of any line that played at least 300 minutes together at even strength according to, and helped Boston win the Presidents' Trophy. Bergeron had his second 30-goal season and was second on the Bruins with 62 points; Marchand's 25 goals were the second-most he's had in a season; and Smith, in his first full NHL season, had 20 goals and 51 points.


Preseason Roundup: Kids help Rangers rout Flyers

Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 12:04 AM / News

The New York Rangers' kids had their way with the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.

Rookies Jesper Fast and Ryan Haggerty each scored twice to lead the Rangers to a 6-3 victory against the Flyers at Madison Square Garden in the opener of a home-and-home series. Anthony Duclair, a 19-year-old forward, had his second goal in as many games and added an assist, and rookie forward Kevin Hayes had two assists.

The only goal scored by a player older than 22 was 28-year-old Chris Mueller's power-play goal in the second period.

Duclair, Haggerty and Fast scored in a span of less than four minutes to put the Rangers up 3-0 before the game was 10 minutes old, and the Flyers never got closer than two goals the rest of the way.


Coyotes add pair to executive management team

Monday, 09.29.2014 / 7:49 PM / News

Arizona Coyotes Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc announced today that the Coyotes have hired Gregg Olson as the team’s Chief Financial Officer and John Pierce as the club’s Chief Marketing Officer.

“We are very pleased to add Gregg and John to our executive management team,” said LeBlanc. “Both individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our organization that will help drive our future success.” 

Olson joins the Coyotes from SMG, the worldwide leader in venue management where he served as one of the organization’s Regional Vice Presidents to its Stadium and Arena Division for the past year. Prior to that, Olson served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the Portland Trail Blazers (NBA) organization.


Eakin signs two-year contract with Stars

Monday, 09.29.2014 / 5:43 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Restricted free agent forward Cody Eakin signed a two-year contract with the Dallas Stars, the team said Monday. Financial terms were not disclosed, but TSN Insider Bob McKenzie reported the contract is worth $3.8 million, for a $1.9 million salary-cap charge

Eakin, 23, had 16 goals and 19 assists in 81 regular-season games last season, and two goals and three assists in six Stanley Cup Playoff games. He has 27 goals and 67 points in 159 regular-season games with the Stars and Washington Capitals, who traded him to Dallas on June 22, 2012.

"Cody is a two-way, young forward who competes hard and has the ability to make plays offensively," Stars general manager Jim Nill said. "He has just scratched the surface in terms of his development at this level and we are confident that over these next two years we'll see him mature into an even more dependable and productive player."

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Quote of the Day

It's something that you don't really envision starting this way, but when you put the work in you don't feel like it's unwarranted. You definitely don't envision it unfolding it, but you do think you can be successful at this level.

— Rookie Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who defeated the Jets on Wednesday to improve to 6-0-1 in his NHL career