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2014 NHL Draft
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2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic to feature salute to Canada's gold medal-winning women's team

Team captain Caroline Ouellette, eight teammates will take part in pre-game festivities

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ game between the Vancouver Canucks™ and Ottawa Senators™ at BC Place on Sunday, March 2 (1:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. ET on CBC and RDS in Canada; NBCSN in the U.S.) will feature a salute to Canada's 2014 Olympic gold medal-winning National Women's Team. Team captain Caroline Ouellette and teammates Hayley Wickenheiser, Meghan Agosta-Marciano, Laura Fortino, Rebecca Johnston, Meaghan Mikkelson, Lauriane Rougeau, Natalie Spooner and Shannon Szabados will be honoured before the game.

Prior to puck drop at BC Place, Canada's National Women's Team players will take part in a Q&A on the main stage and an autograph session at the Molson Beer Garden inside the Canadian Tire NHL Spectator Plaza, the free outdoor hockey and entertainment festival from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the parking lot outside the Plaza of Nations.

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Canucks' Diaz recalls playing outdoors in Switzerland

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Raphael Diaz didn't just get traded to the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 3.

Diaz got dealt back to his youth.

The trade that sent the 28-year-old defenseman from the Montreal Canadiens also put Diaz into the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic on Sunday (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). It brought back memories of playing outside in his native Switzerland, as a child and a professional.

"When I was younger we played a lot outside, tournaments and stuff," Diaz said. "When the sun was shining you put on zinc -- what do you call it here? Eye black? The team manager was waiting at the door before you went out and everybody got a swipe under the eyes. If it was snowing or even raining, as a kid you just played and had fun."

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NHLPA and NHL agree to multi-year exclusive trading card licenses with the Upper Deck Company

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 3:28 PM / News

NHL.com

TORONTO, ON – The National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) announced today that each have agreed to terms with The Upper Deck Company on multi-year agreements to be the exclusive licensed manufacturer of NHL Trading Cards, beginning with the 2014-15 season.

Upper Deck had been the exclusive trading card partner from 2004 through 2009-10, and is currently one of two licensed manufacturers through the 2013-14 season. Upper Deck has held NHL and NHLPA trading card licenses since the 1990-91 season, and will release the 25th edition of Upper Deck Series One Hockey this coming fall.

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Avalanche sign Cliche to two-year extension

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 2:30 PM / News

NHL.com

The Colorado Avalanche on Thursday signed forward Marc-Andre Cliche to a two-year contract extension through the 2015-16 season. Terms were not disclosed.

Cliche, who was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings prior to the 2013-14 season, has one goal and six points in 53 games. He leads the Avalanche in shorthanded ice time per game, averaging 2:35 on the penalty kill.

"Marc-Andre has been a solid addition to our hockey club," Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic said. "He has done a tremendous job on the penalty kill, has a great work ethic and we're excited to have him under contract for the next two years."

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NHL Green, TeamSnap partner to 'recycle the game'

Fans encouraged to donate used equipment at Canadian Tire NHL Spectator Plaza

NHL.com

VANCOUVER – NHL Green has partnered with TeamSnap (www.teamsnap.com) to collect used hockey equipment from fans prior to the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic.

Before the puck drops between the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, March 2, the parking lot outside the Plaza of Nations will transform into the 2014 Canadian Tire NHL Spectator Plaza. All fans are encouraged to visit the NHL Green presented by TeamSnap activation at Spectator Plaza and drop-off their used hockey gear in the one-of-a-kind equipment donation net.

Donated items will be delivered by the NHL to HEROS Hockey in Vancouver, a charitable organization dedicated to empowering children through ice hockey. HEROS is a member of the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone program, which uses hockey as a way to support education, build self-esteem, and develop life skills.

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Penguins' Letang addresses stroke; return uncertain

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 1:24 PM / News

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is not sure if he will return this season after sustaining a stroke in January.

Letang, who has missed Pittsburgh's past five games, said he is not targeting a specific date for his return and is instead "targeting day-by-day." The 2013 Norris Trophy finalist is training but has not returned to his normal workout regimen.

He said he started using light weights and is gradually building toward his usual routine.

"I have some good days, some bad days [physically]," Letang said. "I think the most difficult thing is around family, everybody is really careful. I can't even lift their luggage without having them try to help me out."

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In the Cage: Six key goalie trade deadline topics

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy goaltenders in NHL.com's weekly segment: "In the Cage." From updated goalie rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

With less than one week until the NHL Trade Deadline (Wednesday, March 5 at 3 p.m.), the window of opportunity to upgrade your goaltending before the fantasy playoff push is quickly closing.

The 2014 Sochi Olympics was a nice break from the grueling NHL schedule, but it also gave us a rare glimpse of some key fantasy goalies playing behind different defensive systems.

But now, with a few other goalies rumored to be on the move next week, we're focused in on six key goaltending storylines leading up to next Wednesday and the trade deadline.

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Spezza, Smith could be trade deadline steals

Fantasy Hockey Trade Deadline Decisions - Part 2

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

The NHL Trade Deadline is at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 5. The standard fantasy hockey league trade deadline is the very next day.

In order to have you fully prepared, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with a three-part "Fantasy Hockey Trade Deadline Decisions" series. Each part will feature a different list of players. Part 1: A list of players who could be traded before the NHL Trade Deadline and how it would affect their fantasy value (Wednesday). Part 2: A list of players Cubeta believes you should be trying to acquire before your deadline -- also known as buy-low candidates (Thursday). Part 3: A list of players you should be trying to trade away before your deadline -- also known as sell-high candidates (Friday).

Remember, when you're trying to make a trade, don't be afraid to start your negotiation off a little higher than what you're hoping to eventually land. You can always lower your asking price, but you won't be able to raise it if the other person you're trading with already accepts the deal.

Buy-low: Players to acquire before your trade deadline

Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators -- 54 games: 15 G, 30 A, minus-23, 34 PIMs, 16 PPP, 160 SOG

Take away Spezza's minus-23 and you're looking at an elite fantasy player, like many of us expected back when we drafted him. That rating is killing his value -- so much so that he is actually ranked all the way at 99 in Yahoo leagues. But it's only one category and the Senators are still a talented team. A little more luck and some better goaltending could go a long way in boosting Spezza's value. Right now Spezza's shooting percentage sits at 9.4 percent. His career mark is 14.0 percent. That's quite a difference. Throughout this story, I'm going to give you a bunch of players whose shooting percentages are well below their career averages and it's a good gauge for expecting a player to revert back to the norm for the final 20-25 games of the season. Of course, sometimes a player ends up getting a bit lucky for an entire season, but shooting percentage is one of the few statistics where we can spot whether someone has been lucky or unlucky. Either way, you should expect a few more of Spezza's shots to start finding the back of the net and both his goal production and plus/minus will improve.

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Daily Primer Feb. 27: Blackhawks take Manhattan

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The Stanley Cup champions are ready for Broadway.

With the NHL back in full swing following the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the Chicago Blackhawks will visit the New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CSN-CH, MSG) as part of a 12-game schedule Thursday.

It marks the first game for the Blackhawks and Rangers since the NHL schedule officially resumed Tuesday.

Here's a closer look at all the action Thursday:


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Prospector Files: Sarnia's DeAngelo looks to move on

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / Prospector Files

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Sarnia Sting defenseman Anthony DeAngelo realizes he made a mistake at a time when emotions were high. Now he's determined to learn from it and help his team close out the season on a positive note.

The offensive-minded DeAngelo, No. 10 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft, was suspended eight games by the Ontario Hockey League earlier this month for violation of the league's harassment and abuse/diversity policy.

He was eligible to return to the lineup Saturday and had two goals, one assist and a plus-3 rating to help the Sting snap an 11-game losing streak with a 6-1 victory against the Ottawa 67's at RBC Centre in Sarnia.

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Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals