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Daily Primer Nov. 27: Lecavalier returns to Tampa

Tuesday, 11.26.2013 / 11:25 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Vincent Lecavalier circled Wednesday night on his schedule right after he signed with the Philadelphia Flyers during the summer.

The Flyers visit the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first time this season on Thanksgiving Eve, and for Lecavalier, it will be his first game at the Tampa Bay Times Forum as a visitor. He spent 14 seasons with the Lightning before being bought out last summer and quickly snapped up by the Flyers.

"It's obviously going to be a special day," Lecavalier said. "I'll be excited about it -- going back into the building, a different entranceway, different locker room. But I'm excited about it. I'm excited to play against my ex-teammates, friends, play in front of family. It's going to be a lot of fun."

Lecavalier will be honored as the Lightning's community hero and a video tribute will be shown on the scoreboard.


Hockey Night in Canada to continue on CBC

Tuesday, 11.26.2013 / 4:02 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

TORONTO -- Hockey Night in Canada will continue its 61-year run on CBC as part of the landmark agreement for Canadian national broadcast and multimedia rights jointly announced by the National Hockey League and Rogers Communications on Tuesday.

CBC will also air the Stanley Cup Final as part of a four-year sub-licensing agreement with Rogers.

However, CBC will no longer control production, editorial content or on-air talent associated with Hockey Night in Canada telecasts. CBC will also not receive any of the revenue generated from HNIC broadcasts, but will no longer pay production costs either. Revenue generated by HNIC broadcasts will go to Rogers.

"We all grew up with certain institutions and brands that come to mind," said Nadir Mohamed, Rogers Communications president and chief executive officer. "We reached out and worked with the CBC to ensure Canadians will get access to Hockey Night in Canada the way they have before. I think that's great. It's great for, I believe, the CBC. It's great for all of us as Canadians."


NHL, Rogers announce landmark 12-year deal

Tuesday, 11.26.2013 / 3:48 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

TORONTO -- The National Hockey League's new Canadian broadcast and multimedia rights agreement with Rogers Communications announced Tuesday will change the way Canadians view and consume professional hockey for years to come.

"This is a deal that we think is transformational," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "Nobody has ever done a deal quite like this in terms of its structure, its length or its magnitude. It's focused on delivering NHL hockey to the most passionate hockey fans in the world on a country-wide basis in a way that we think will give them the greatest connectivity to the game."

The 12-year agreement, announced jointly by the NHL and Rogers in a Tuesday morning press conference, is for $5.232 billion (Canadian). It's the largest media rights deal in NHL history and one of the largest media rights deals in Canadian history. It is also Canada's largest sports-media rights agreement.


Oilers to give Bryzgalov first start Thursday

Tuesday, 11.26.2013 / 3:30 PM / News


Ilya Bryzgalov will make his first start of the 2013-14 NHL season when the Edmonton Oilers visit the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Bryzgalov stopped 12 of 13 shots Monday night in relief of Devan Dubnyk in the Oilers' 5-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks and played the final 34:08 of the game.

"It wasn't the best way for us to throw him into the fire," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "I thought he went in and played very well."

Bryzgalov was signed earlier this month after the Philadelphia Flyers bought out his contract over the summer.

The 33-year-old, who has also played for the Anaheim Ducks and Phoenix Coyotes, has a career record of 208-149-45 in 426 appearances with a 2.55 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and 30 shutouts.


Red Wings won't have Datsyuk, Bertuzzi vs. Bruins

Tuesday, 11.26.2013 / 2:42 PM / News

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Injuries continue to challenge the Detroit Red Wings in the first half of the season and the latest news isn't any better for the short-term.

Already without defenseman Danny DeKeyser (upper body), the Red Wings will also miss top center Pavel Datsyuk and power forward Todd Bertuzzi when they face the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena in a "Wednesday Night Rivalry" game (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

It will be the second straight game without Datsyuk, who is going through concussion protocols after catching an elbow to the chin from Jared Cowen in 4-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators this past Saturday.

"He'll go through the process," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said after a practice Tuesday. "He’s not playing [Wednesday] and then we'll talk to him after that. I think he had a light [bike] ride or something today. I don't remember exactly what all the protocol is, but we'll go through it and see what happens."


Maple Leafs forward Lupul out with groin strain

Tuesday, 11.26.2013 / 2:35 PM / News


Toronto Maple Leafs wing Joffrey Lupul will miss at least three games with a groin injury and will not travel with the team to Pittsburgh, where they start a three-game road trip Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"The diagnosis is he's got a Grade 2 groin strain," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said.

Lupul exited Toronto's 6-0 loss Monday to the Columbus Blue Jackets late in the second period and did not return. His 11:57 of ice time for the game was well below his season average of 18:18.

In 22 games this season, Lupul has eight goals and 15 points. His 68 shots rank second on the Maple Leafs behind leading scorer Phil Kessel.


Westgarth suspended two games for boarding

Tuesday, 11.26.2013 / 2:05 PM / Department of Player Safety News


NEW YORK -- Carolina Hurricanes forward Kevin Westgarth has been suspended for two games, without pay, for boarding Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki during NHL Game No. 354 in Raleigh on Sunday, Nov. 24, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 7:55 of the first period. Westgarth received a minor penalty for boarding.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Westgarth will forfeit $7,435.90. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

For a full explanation of the decision, complete with video, please click on the following link: http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=60&id=495276&lang=en.


Penguins lose Martin, Glass to injuries

Tuesday, 11.26.2013 / 1:12 PM / News


Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Paul Martin and forward Tanner Glass will both be out of the lineup with injuries, coach Dan Bylsma announced Tuesday.

Glass broke his hand blocking a shot by P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens in a 3-2 loss Saturday. He will miss 3-4 weeks with the injury.

Martin sustained a lower-body injury during Pittsburgh's 4-3 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins Monday night. Bylsma did not reveal exactly when Martin sustained the injury, only that he is out and his status will be updated in the coming days.


ECHL approves expansion team in Indianapolis

Tuesday, 11.26.2013 / 12:09 PM / News


The ECHL announced on Tuesday that the Board of Governors has approved the Expansion Membership application of the Indianapolis Fuel for admission to the league.

Indianapolis will begin play in October, 2014 when the ECHL opens its 27th season, making it the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.

"We are proud to welcome Indianapolis as the newest Member of the ECHL," Commissioner Brian McKenna said. "The city has a rich hockey tradition and is an ideal addition to our mid-west geography. I would like to thank the Indiana State Fairgrounds Commission and [Fuel owner] Jim Hallett and his team for their tireless efforts to make this a reality."

With the addition of Indianapolis, the ECHL will welcome 23 teams for the 2014-15 season.


The Front Line: Giving thanks in fantasy hockey

Tuesday, 11.26.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

To say we should be thankful for the play of Alexander Steen is an understatement. After all, on average he was selected with the 163rd pick in Yahoo leagues during draft season and right now he's ranked fifth among all players. I mean, the guy's second in points (29), is second in goals (19) and is tied for second among forwards with a plus-15 rating. This coming from a player that I ranked 154th coming into the season.

Steen is the obvious forward to be most thankful for this season. But what about the rest of the bunch? So, in honor of Thanksgiving, from the forwards that have performed as expected to the guys that have surprised everyone, let's have a look at what fantasy owners should be thankful for at this point of the season.

Bryan Little, Winnipeg Jets -- For being one of the most complete fantasy players in the game. I ranked Little 192nd among all players at the start of the season and right now he's 40th in Yahoo leagues. Only three players in the NHL have more than 10 goals, 10 assists, 20 penalty minutes and a plus rating: Corey Perry (no surprise), David Backes (not a huge surprise) and, you guessed it, Bryan Little.

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins -- For not missing any games this season. To no one's surprise, Crosby is my No. 1 overall fantasy player right now, and as long as he can stay healthy, he should remain there.

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For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory