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Maple Leafs sign Finn to entry-level contract

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 5:18 PM / News


The Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday signed defenseman Matt Finn to a three-year entry-level contract.

Finn, selected in the second round (No. 35) of the 2012 NHL Draft, has five goals and 20 points in 21 games this season for the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League, tying him for fourth in scoring among defenseman in the league. Finn also has a plus-15 rating.


Panthers' Thomas still has Olympic aspirations

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 4:34 PM / 2014 Olympics

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Tim Thomas is back in Vancouver for the first time since hoisting the Stanley Cup here in 2011, but the Florida Panthers goaltender wasn't interested in reminiscing about his Conn Smythe-winning playoff performance with the Boston Bruins.

Asked about being back in the room where he celebrated winning both the Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP award two-and-a-half years ago, Thomas talked first about his skates that night, about how much they were hurting his feet, and how long he waited to take them off.

"You just won the Stanley Cup, you should want to celebrate, but all I could think was, 'I've got to get these skates off,' and I couldn't because there were so many people," Thomas said.


Aucoin announces retirement from NHL

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 2:26 PM / News


Defenseman Adrian Aucoin, who played 18 seasons in the NHL with seven teams, announced his retirement Tuesday.

In 1,108 games with the Vancouver Canucks, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, Phoenix Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets, Aucoin had 121 goals and 399 points.

He had four assists in 36 games with the Blue Jackets last season.

"Having the opportunity to realize my childhood dream of playing in the NHL and being able to have played professional hockey for 20 seasons has been an incredible experience," Aucoin said in a release issued by the NHL Players' Association. "I really enjoyed playing with and against some of the best players in the game and getting the chance to play in front of such great hockey fans. Thanks to my family, teammates, friends, fans and everyone in the hockey community who helped me in my career. I will look back on it with fondness and pride for the rest of my life."


Hurricanes forward Semin out with concussion

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:15 PM / News


Carolina Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin is out indefinitely with a concussion, according to Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller.

Semin was injured Saturday during the Hurricanes' 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on a hit by Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. Semin returned to the ice briefly after the hit, but left the game for good in the second period.


Panthers to dedicate press box to Roger Neilson

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 12:16 PM / News


The Florida Panthers will honor one of the NHL's most respected and innovative coaches on Monday with the unveiling of the Roger Neilson Memorial Press Box at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

Neilson, who died from cancer at the age of 69 on June 21, 2003, was named the first coach of the Panthers on June 2, 1993.

The dedication will take place at noon. The Panthers face the Philadelphia Flyers, another team Neilson coached, on Monday night.

Neilson led the Panthers to a 33-34-17 mark in their first season, establishing a League record for a first-year club with 33 wins, 83 points and a .493 points percentage. He would finish fourth in voting for the Jack Adams Award as the League's coach of the year.


The Front Line: Benn, Seguin form League's best duo

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Only two players this season have recorded five or more points in a single game, and both of those performances came on the same night.

On Nov. 14, teammates Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin combined for 11 points in the Dallas Stars' 7-3 victory against the Calgary Flames. Benn finished the evening with an NHL-best six points (one goal, five assists), while Seguin posted four goals and an assist (Tomas Hertl is the only other player to have scored four goals in a game this season).

It didn't take them long, but Benn and Seguin have quickly become one of, if not the best duo in the NHL. If you were fortunate enough to land either player on your fantasy roster, it has paid immense dividends through the first quarter of the season.

Avg. Pick
Avg. Round
Current Rank
Jamie Benn 52.4 5.3 19
Tyler Seguin 46.7 4.7 32
* based on Yahoo fantasy leagues

As you can see in the table to the right, both players currently have exceeded everyone's draft-day expectations. However, I was always extremely high on Benn -- prior to this season, I predicted he'd finish as a top-15 overall fantasy player, and I still believe he will.

Benn is the prototypical fantasy player -- he can contribute in every category. Seguin, no stranger to fantasy dominance, lacks the penalty minute presence Benn offers, which is why I rank Benn one spot higher than Seguin (21 and 22 respectively).


Daily Primer Nov. 19: Rangers host Bruins

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider


An Original Six matchup in New York City highlights what is primed to be an exciting night on the NHL schedule Tuesday.

The Boston Bruins, who earned a 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Monday night, finish up their three-game road trip Tuesday, when they'll face the New York Rangers in front of a nationally televised audience (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, NESN, MSG 2).

Here's a look at all the action Tuesday:


Bruins' Krug has early edge in Calder race

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

With the first quarter of the 2013-14 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines -- and award contenders -- that have developed through the first part of the season.

Torey Krug burst upon the NHL like a flaming arrow when, as an emergency call-up, helped power the Boston Bruins past the New York Rangers in five games of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He became the first rookie defenseman in League history to score four goals in his first five postseason games and the 10th player in Bruins history to score a playoff goal before scoring in the regular season.

There's been no letdown in Krug's first full season. In fact, he's near the top of the rookie leaderboard and in front of the race for the Calder Trophy, according to NHL.com. Krug has points in five of his past seven games (two goals, three assists); his six goals are tied for second among defensemen behind Ottawa Senators defenseman and former 2013 Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson's seven, and his 12 points are tied for third in rookie standings.


Hejda rejuvenating himself with Avalanche

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- As it turns out, it really is possible to teach an older defenseman new tricks.

Jan Hejda, 35, is a perfect example. The Colorado Avalanche defenseman, an eight-year NHL veteran, is having a rebirth of sorts under first-year coach Patrick Roy.

The Avalanche will take a three-game losing streak into their game against the Chicago Blackhawksat Pepsi Center on Tuesday night, but they still own a very respectable 14-5-0 record and have been one of the surprise stories of the season after finishing last in the Western Conference last season.

Hejda's solid all-around play has been a major factor in the Avalanche's revival. He has two goals, three assists, a plus-12 rating and is averaging a team-high 22:48 of ice time. He has 51 hits, 39 blocked shots and has played a pivotal sole in the team's improved penalty killing.


Wild defenseman Suter happy with ice time

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter could be considered a bit of a throwback.

Although coaches throughout the NHL are trying to reduce the workloads of their top defensemen, Suter's minutes continue to increase.

Science and technology have made sport-specific training a year-round exercise, but Suter enjoys good, old-fashioned manual labor.

With the days of the 30-minute defenseman seemingly a thing of the past, Suter appears poised to at least threaten the mark this season. Averaging 29:36 per game, Suter leads the NHL in time on ice by more than two minutes.

Ten times this season, Suter has accumulated more than 30 minutes of ice time. Three times, in three consecutive games from Nov. 7-13, Suter played more than 35 minutes (two of those three were 36 minutes). Over that stretch, Suter played 108:19, the most ever in a three-game stretch since the Elias Sports Bureau began tracking the stat in 2000.

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Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild