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Maple Leafs claim Panik off waivers from Lightning

Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 3:14 PM / News

NHL.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Thursday they have claimed forward Richard Panik off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Panik, 23, has eight goals and 22 points in 75 games over parts of two seasons with the Lightning, who selected him in the second round (No. 52) of the 2009 NHL Draft.

"It's going to be a great motivation for me to play in front of those fans and just bring my A-game every night," Panik said Thursday, according to Canadian Press. "There's a lot more pressure going there because it's Canada and especially Toronto. I'm just going to focus on my game, and my next step is getting into the lineup and go from there."

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Hurricanes goalie Ward to start season opener

Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 1:54 PM / News

NHL.com Staff

Goalie Cam Ward will start for the Carolina Hurricanes in their season opener Friday against the New York Islanders, coach Bill Peters told the Hurricanes website Thursday.

Ward, 30, went 10-12-6 with a 3.06 goals-against average and .898 save percentage. The GAA and save percentage were Ward's worst since 2005-06, his rookie season.

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Hurricanes name Sekera, two others alternate captains

Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 1:15 PM / News

CarolinaHurricanes.com

On the eve of opening night, the letter "A" has been sewed onto select sweaters inside the Carolina Hurricanes locker room.

Andrej Sekera will be a full-time alternate captain, and the second "A," which will belong to Jordan Staal when he returns from his injury, will rotate between Jay Harrison and Ron Hainsey.

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Kessel leads fantasy fast-starting performers

Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 11:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Getting off to a good start in fantasy hockey always is important, especially in rotisserie leagues where it's harder to make up ground as the season progresses. It doesn't hurt to have a strong beginning in head-to-head leagues either, but in this format there is a lot more luck involved and you typically see larger swings in the standings on a week-to-week basis.

Having a strong start won't just help you in the standings; it also could lead to you making trades that improve your roster. Last October St. Louis Blues forward Alexander Steen was one of the best fantasy players in the game, posting an NHL-best 11 goals, as well as five assists, a plus-7 rating and five power-play points in 10 games. He then had 22 goals and 46 points in his next 58 games; still very productive but not nearly as dominant as his October was. Steen could've fallen into the well-known "sell high" group after his fast start and you probably could've gotten a lot in return via trade if you sold him at the right moment.

Heading into this season let's see if we can find the next Steen for you. Here's a look at some interesting October stats and some players that have been known to be dominant forces during the early parts of an NHL season.

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Kings blame loss on poor preparation, not ceremony

Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 2:36 AM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES – Darryl Sutter walked to the podium, looked at the assembled media and broke the ice with a one-liner.

“Welcome back,” the Los Angeles Kings coach said.

It was the one light moment in a disappointing night for Sutter and the Kings, who, for the second time in three seasons, came out flat in their Stanley Cup banner-raising opener. This time, Los Angeles suffered a 4-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks in front of 18,514 at Staples Center.


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Kings celebrate second Cup in three seasons

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 11:43 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES – The Stanley Cup descended from the scoreboard Wednesday and the Los Angeles Kings raised their second Cup banner in three seasons.

In an impressive surprise prelude to the Kings’ season-opener at Staples Center, the Cup was lowered from inside the massive scoreboard, in a glass case, to center ice before captain Dustin Brown raised it to the cheers of a packed house.

It was a twist to the ceremony from two years ago. Kings players were concerned about the long wait between the ceremony and the start of the game; this time, it was shortened because the Kings did not have the rings presented to them as they did in 2012, nor did they take turns holding the Cup.

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Bad bounce ruins opener for Percy, Maple Leafs

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 11:23 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- It was all going smoothly for Toronto Maple Leafs rookie defenseman Stuart Percy in his NHL debut, and then kaboom!

Just like that, a pass by Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec intended for Alex Galchenyuk hit Percy's skate and deflected past Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier, giving the Canadiens a 4-3 win in the 2014-15 season opener. The goal came with 43 seconds left.

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Oilers' 1984 Cup team set for 30-year reunion

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 10:30 PM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON — If the media availability with the 1984 Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday was any indication, there will be plenty of great stories shared during the next three days.

The group that started the Oilers' dynasty is back together, 30 years after winning the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship.

"I never finished high school, so this is my first actual reunion," center Mark Messier said. "It's great to be here. I think the first thing that comes to my mind is what a great time we had back in the '80s and leading up to the Stanley Cup. We had a little bit of heartbreak until we finally won the championship in '84. And the collective group of people that are on the stage right now were all responsible for that Cup and many of the other ones."

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Sharks give former captain Thornton an 'A'

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 10:03 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

LOS ANGELES -- San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton had the captaincy taken away from him during the offseason after wearing the "C" on a full-time basis for four seasons, but he'll still wear a letter on his sweater in 2014-15.

The Sharks on Wednesday named four alternate captains -- Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Marleau is also a former Sharks captain; he had the "C" taken off his sweater in 2009 after wearing it for six years. Marleau is the only incumbent alternate captain.

Thornton, Pavelski and Marleau were the alternates for the Sharks' season-opener against the Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks announced Vlasic will rotate in with an "A."

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Bettman on outdoor games, expansion, more

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 9:45 PM / News

NHL.com

LOS ANGELES -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the media Wednesday in a 20-minute press conference at Staples Center prior to the game between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks.

Here are his opening remarks and a transcript of the question and answer session:

"I'm not here to break any news. I'm here to watch the Kings and their fans celebrate their well-deserved honor and hard-fought championship. It seems like we were just here. The offseason I guess goes quickly when you're in a place that's won the Cup and had a long, long playoff run.


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Quote of the Day

For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday
AMP No Bull Moment of the Week