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2014 NHL Draft
(Page 190 of 254)
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Over the Boards: Kuemper fighting for No. 1 job

Wednesday, 03.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- When Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher traded Matt Hackett at the NHL Trade Deadline last season, he was sending a signal to Darcy Kuemper that he would be the marquee goalie in the organization's developmental system and featured between the pipes with the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League.

It's fair to say things have changed since then.

Less than a year after Fletcher dealt Hackett to the Buffalo Sabres, Kuemper is Minnesota's No. 1 goalie, facing the challenge of giving the team a chance to win every game he starts as they creep closer to a second straight trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Over the last few seasons, Matt Hackett played more games than Darcy in the American League, and Darcy had to go to the ECHL and play overage as a junior," Fletcher told NHL.com. "He had never been our marquee guy in the developmental system. We really felt he needed that. He needed a year where he'd be a 40-50 game guy for his development, knowing fairly soon he'd challenge in Minnesota. Now, of course, the future came very quickly."


Daily Primer March 12: Blackhawks out for revenge

Wednesday, 03.12.2014 / 12:06 AM / NHL Insider


The Colorado Avalanche came to United Center eight days ago and left with a 4-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks, their third in four games this season against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

The Blackhawks will seek revenge Wednesday night when they visit Pepsi Center for a game that will leave the winner in second place in the Central Division. Colorado and Chicago are chasing the St. Louis Blues, who lead the NHL with 95 points.

Here's a look at all of the action Wednesday.


Tale of the Tape: Canadiens host Bruins

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 10:56 PM / Tale of the Tape

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will face off for the 624th time in the regular season when they meet at Bell Centre in this week's Wednesday Night Rivalry game (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN-Habs). They've also played 170 times in 33 series during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, by far the most of any two teams in the NHL.


New role for Vanek in first Canadiens home game

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 10:07 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

Thomas Vanek
Left Wing - MTL
GOALS: 21 | ASST: 32 | PTS: 53
SOG: 191 | +/-: -2
MONTREAL -- When Thomas Vanek was traded by the New York Islanders minutes before the NHL Trade Deadline on March 5, he became the most prolific scorer acquired in a trade by the Montreal Canadiens in decades.

Since the start of the 2006-07 season, three players have scored more goals in the NHL than Vanek's 246: Alex Ovechkin, Jarome Iginla and Ilya Kovalchuk.

However, when Vanek plays his first home game for the Canadiens on Wednesday against the Boston Bruins (7:30 ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN-HABS), he will line up on what has traditionally been Montreal's top defensive line.

Through Vanek's first two games with the Canadiens, he has played on the left side with center Tomas Plekanec and captain Brian Gionta, two of coach Michel Therrien's most trusted two-way forwards who are often given the mandate of shutting down the opposing team's top line.


Body found of Saginaw player Terry Trafford, 20

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 9:03 PM / News


The body of Terry Trafford, a player with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League, has been found, the team said Tuesday night.

Trafford was last seen March 3 when he was disciplined by the Spirit for a violation of team rules. Tuesday, a truck matching the description of one owned by Trafford was found in the parking lot of a store in Saginaw, Mich., with a deceased male inside. Police confirmed it was Trafford, 20.

"It is with very heavy hearts that we announce that late this afternoon we were informed by the Michigan State Police that the body of Terry Trafford has been found," the team said in a statement.

"Our deepest condolences are with Terry's family and his friends both in Ontario and Michigan. Terry played on our team and was a member of the Spirit family for the last four years and he will be missed. We have reached out to Terry's parents and will look to provide them with support over the coming days."


Rivalry Night Faceoff: Krejci vs. Plekanec

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 8:32 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

To help celebrate NBC Rivalry Night, NHL.com will look at a rivalry within the rivalry of the featured game on Wednesday nights. For this week, we are trying to determine which Czech Republic countryman is the better center, David Krejci of the Boston Bruins or Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens.

In each of the past four seasons, the top-scoring Czech centers in the NHL have been David Krejci of the Boston Bruins and Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens.

Martin Hanzal of the Phoenix Coyotes is ahead of Plekanec for a top-two spot among Czech centers in 2013-14, but Plekanec and Krejci clearly have been the country's top two centers for nearly a decade. Krejci leads all Czech centers in points since he joined the Bruins for his first (mostly) full season in 2007-08, with Plekanec not far behind and Hanzal in third, significantly off the pace.

Krejci and Plekanec also have worked together as the Czech Republic's top two centers in four major international competitions, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, 2014 Sochi Olympics and IIHF World Championships in 2008 and 2012. They helped the Czechs win a bronze medal in 2012.

Plekanec helped his country win bronze in 2011 at the World Championship while Krejci was helping the Bruins return the Stanley Cup to Boston for the first time in 39 years.

Which of these talented Czech centers deserves the title of best countryman at his position?


Day-by-day approach pays off for Bruins

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 8:07 PM / NHL Insider

MONTREAL -- The Boston Bruins bring a five-game winning streak into this week's Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN-Habs).

The Bruins are cruising to the Atlantic Division title and battling the Pittsburgh Penguins for the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings. But neither the Bruins nor coach Claude Julien appear very excited about their success.

That even-keeled approach has been a Bruins trademark since Julien took over for the 2007-08 season. It's a major reason they won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and have been among the NHL elite during the past five seasons. The Bruins' core players have been through plenty of highs and lows, and they know they're still a month away from having to be in playoff mode.


Peverley incident validates NHL's player safety work

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 7:08 PM / News

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The incident Monday night involving Dallas Stars center Rich Peverley was not easy to hear about for NHL general managers, who were gathered together for a dinner while at the annual March GMs' meeting. But as difficult as it was to process, the incident validated the work the League has done in the past decade or so to address player safety.

Several attendees left the dinner and were updated on the proceedings in Dallas on a step-by-step basis, according to NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

"I think we're much more prepared now than ever to handle serious incidents like that," Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray said after the general managers concluded their meeting Tuesday. "I think last night the little bit I saw on replay was that it was very quick to get him in position for the doctor to treat him."


GMs discuss adjustments to faceoff procedures

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 5:58 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Though the NHL's general managers are against proposing any major rule changes at present, they agree that some minor tweaks to the overtime format and faceoff procedures could make for a better on-ice product as early as next season.

The general managers came out of the Tuesday session at the Boca Beach Club with the consensus to make three formal recommendations to the Competition Committee, which next meets in June.

The managers will recommend that the hash marks on the faceoff circle be separated by two additional feet, from three feet to five feet. They would also like to change the penalty for a faceoff violation. Instead of removing a player that commits a faceoff foul from the draw, the player will be forced to move 12-18 inches back. Finally, the GMs are expected to propose that teams should switch ends for overtime, creating the "long-change" factor.

Any rule changes have to be approved by the GMs, the Competition Committee and the NHL's Board of Governors before they can be implemented.


Islanders sign Czuczman to entry-level contract

Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 4:13 PM / News


The New York Islanders on Tuesday signed defenseman Kevin Czuczman to a two-year, entry-level contract. He will report directly to the Islanders.

Czuczman, 23, had career highs in goals (10) and points (21) in 36 games as a junior at Lake Superior State University, and his 10 goals led Western Collegiate Hockey Association defensemen.

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Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp