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Latest Headlines

Islanders' Martin energized by Rangers' success

Sunday, 06.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders were supposed to build off their run to the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, when they gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a scare in a six-game first-round series.

Instead, the Islanders took a step back; they went 34-37 11 and finished fifth from the bottom of the NHL standings. To make matters even more painful, the Islanders were forced to sit and watch their archrivals, the New York Rangers, go all the way to the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Los Angeles Kings in five games.

Islanders left wing Matt Martin admits the Rangers' run lit a fire under him. He wishes training camp started tomorrow.

"It's always hard to watch the playoffs. It's a little harder when you see them go as far as they did," Martin said Friday during the Islanders' draft party at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. "They earned it though. They played hard, they played like a team and ran into a powerful L.A. team. [It was] definitely hard to watch for a very long time, but I'm looking forward to getting back at it."


Alfredsson, Grabovski among UFA forwards

Sunday, 06.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The group of forwards eligible to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 is littered with potential difference makers, but only a select few merit star status.

Here are the top nine UFA forwards:

Note: The terms listed in their last contract are from


Countdown to talent-filled 2015 NHL Draft begins

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 8:55 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- The conclusion of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center signals the official opening of the Connor McDavid-Jack Eichel sweepstakes for the 2015 event at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

In a draft that looks to be loaded with talent across the board, McDavid of the Erie Otters in the Ontario Hockey League and Eichel, who will be a freshman at Boston University in Hockey East, will be the headliners.

Each is a center who possesses two qualities that are tough to teach: work ethic and big-game ability. Each represented his country at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Sweden; McDavid played for Canada and Eichel for the United States. They'll likely be going head-to-head at the 2015 World Juniors in Montreal and Toronto beginning Dec. 26.

"To get on the team again would be so exciting in Montreal and Toronto around Christmastime," Eichel told Saturday. "There are a great group of guys who could potentially make the team, and there's a great coaching staff, so it should be another great tournament."


Analysis: Neal trade shows Predators change course

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 5:26 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Get ready to see a different brand of hockey in Nashville. Some may say it's about time.

The Nashville Predators' acquisition of 40-goal scorer James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins for forwards Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling on Friday was the most recent sign of a metamorphosis into an up-tempo, offensive team, a necessary change after two disappointing seasons.

The Predators also selected high-end offensive players with their first two draft picks: Swiss center Kevin Fiala with the No. 11 pick and Russian left wing Vladislav Kamenev at No. 42.


Senators still seeking a new home for Jason Spezza

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 5:20 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA – Jason Spezza may be forced to decide how desperately he wants to be traded away from the Ottawa Senators.

General manager Bryan Murray left the 2014 NHL Draft on Saturday with his captain and star center still on the roster, unable to complete a trade that would accommodate Spezza’s request to leave his only NHL team.

Murray revealed Saturday he was close to an agreement with Nashville Predators general manager David Poile the night before; however, the Predators are one of the 10 teams to which Spezza has said he will not accept a trade and the proposed deal fell through as a result.

"“David talked to me and we couldn’t go there," Murray said after the draft was completed. “I told [Spezza’s agent] Rick Curran that today, I had a deal sitting there if I wanted to do it, but [Nashville] was on the list of no-gos.”


13 Russians selected in 2014 NHL Draft

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 5:00 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- The "Russian factor" wasn't much of a distraction for a dozen teams this weekend at the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center.

It refers to the consideration made by teams, when drafting a player of Russian decent, of the risk associated with that player deciding to sign and play in the Kontinental Hockey League instead of North America. A team drafting a Russian player who then decides to stay in the KHL effectively has wasted a pick.

But 12 NHL teams drafted a total of 13 Russian-born players in 2014, the most in eight years. The Montreal Canadiens kicked off the Russian resurgence with the selection of right wing Nikita Scherbak of the Saskatoon Blades in the Western Hockey League at No. 26 on Friday.


Rangers could struggle to keep team together

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 4:57 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather wanted to go for another run at the Stanley Cup with the same group that fell three wins short last season.

"We like everybody," Sather said Saturday at the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center.

What Sather wanted and what he knew he'd realistically be able to do this offseason never matched up.

Sather issued center Brad Richards a compliance buyout last week. Friday, the NHL and National Hockey League Players' Association jointly revealed the salary cap for next season will be $69 million.

Sather said he thought the figure would be higher. His shock couldn't have been too great, because hours before the cap was revealed Sather traded right wing Derek Dorsett to the Vancouver Canucks for a better chance of signing some of the Rangers' own free agents.

New York is approximately $23.3 million under the salary cap with 11 players signed, according to


Cup champion Kings add 10 players at NHL Draft

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 4:28 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup twice in the past three seasons with the help of a couple of former Philadelphia Flyers. They started the process of winning the Cup again this weekend at the Flyers' home, Wells Fargo Center.

The Kings picked 10 players at the 2014 NHL Draft over two days, including nine Saturday, with the goal of having those players become part of the foundation that keeps the Kings among the leading contenders to win the Cup again.

"I saw Jonathan Toews interviewed the other day and ... you see Toews lamenting about watching us celebrating on the ice and how close they were," Kings vice president of hockey operations and director of player personnel Michael Futa said. "These are the days that stuff gets sorted out. This is the next wave of Kings."


Canucks trade for Vey; Blue Jackets sign Prout

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 3:32 PM / News

The Vancouver Canucks acquired right wing Linden Vey from the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday in exchange for the 50th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Maple Leafs trade for Polak to change defense

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 3:27 PM / News

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- The Toronto Maple Leafs liked the pieces they had on the blue line last season, they just didn't think they fit together in the puzzle. General manager Dave Nonis said he feels the Maple Leafs addressed that issue Saturday during the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center.

The Maple Leafs acquired right-handed defenseman Roman Polak from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for left-handed defenseman Carl Gunnarsson and the No. 94 pick in the draft.

Prior to the trade, Cody Franson was Toronto's only right-shot veteran, but he's a restricted free agent. Rookie Petter Granberg is a right-shot defenseman but played one NHL game last season.

"If you look at how our [defense] was put together, we had a lot of the same, particularly down the left side with Gunnar, [Jake] Gardiner, [Morgan] Reilly … so we felt we could use a different look, a right shot, a guy that plays a little harder, more difficult to play against without giving up anything because we still have those other players," Nonis said. "We had an abundance of one thing and we were definitely lacking in the other."

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Quote of the Day

When I first became captain here, Monsieur Beliveau came to me and said, 'You're going to be fine. You don't have to change, you got selected because of who you are.'

— Saku Koivu on Thursday, recalling what he was told by the late Jean Beliveau when he was named Canadiens captain in 1999
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