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2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off offers live music, alumni appearances and hockey interactives

Country Music star Tim Hicks joins The Tragically Hip for NHL season-opening event at Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto; Autograph and Q&A sessions featuring NHL legends Wendel Clark, Darryl Sittler and Joe Nieuwendyk

Thursday, 10.02.2014 / 9:00 AM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

TORONTO/NEW YORK -- Canadian country music star and two-time Juno Award nominee Tim Hicks will treat hockey fans in Toronto to his good time anthems when he takes the stage at the 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off™ hockey and music festival on October 8, the National Hockey League announced today. Hicks joins fellow Canadians and headline performer, The Tragically Hip, in a free outdoor celebration kicking off the start of the 2014-15 season at Yonge-Dundas Square. The fun begins at 12 p.m. with the day's event hosted by Rachel Bonnetta (currently a reporter for Toronto FC; YTV's The Zone; and KICK TV), and Juno nominated Canadian musician and actor Shawn Singleton (Four Brothers; Get Rich or Die Tryin').


Key questions facing Western Conference teams

Thursday, 10.02.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

John Kreiser - Managing Editor continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which begins Wednesday, Oct. 8.

With the start of the season a week away, NHL teams are working feverishly to figure out how to patch holes and put the right faces in the right places.

It's not easy. Even the best teams have questions that have to be answered, hopefully before the season opens.

Here's a look at a key question facing each team in the Western Conference:


Who's on the hot seat in the Western Conference

Thursday, 10.02.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

John Kreiser - Managing Editor continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which begins Wednesday, Oct. 8.

With the start of the regular season a week away, the pressure is starting to build for some players who know they'll have to be big-time producers for their teams to improve or contend.

Here's a look at a player from each of the 14 teams in the Western Conference who'll be under pressure to perform as soon as the puck drops:


How West's playoff outsiders get back in this season

Thursday, 10.02.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which begins Wednesday, Oct. 8.

Summer may be the most enjoyable season for many people, but when it comes to NHL teams, they want to put off the start to their summers as long as possible.

But for the six Western Conference teams that missed out on the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoff party, their goal since the second week of April has been figuring out how to extend their seasons into May -- or even June, like the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.

So how can the teams that missed the fun turn into postseason hits? As training camps open this month, today examines why fans of the unlucky six can hold onto their playoff hopes:


Preseason roundup: Penguins win Crosby's debut

Wednesday, 10.01.2014 / 11:40 PM / News

Sidney Crosby made his preseason debut, and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots for the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 2-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday.

Blake Comeau and Oskar Sundqvist scored for Pittsburgh; Nick Spaling had two assists.

Crosby played 18:47 with seven shots on goal after missing the start of the preseason with a minor injury then two games while attending his grandmother's funeral. It was his first game since May 13.

"It felt like, for not playing in some games, it felt pretty good throughout the game," Crosby told the Penguins website. "I got the one under my belt; we'll get ready for the season now."


Hilary Knight to practice with Anaheim Ducks

Wednesday, 10.01.2014 / 10:22 PM / News

U.S. Olympic women's ice hockey player Hilary Knight will practice with the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, the team announced.

Knight, a forward, is believed to be the first female non-goalie to practice with an NHL team, the Ducks said. Her participation is part of World Girls' Ice Hockey Weekend.

Knight, 25, won a silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2014 Sochi Olympics. She had seven assists in 2010, and three goals and three assists in 2014.


Emrick: Devils without Brodeur will 'seem strange'

Wednesday, 10.01.2014 / 6:32 PM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

NBC broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick admitted it's going to be odd not seeing goaltender Martin Brodeur in a New Jersey Devils jersey for the first time in 23 seasons.

"It will seem strange, but there's always that handoff," Emrick said. "The same question was raised when Steve Yzerman wouldn't be in Detroit anymore. Who takes over? As it turns out, it was Nicklas Lidstrom, not only as captain but as the face of the franchise.

"So that will be the intriguing thing; who will be the new face in New Jersey?"


NBC crew sees obstacles in Kings' quest to repeat

Wednesday, 10.01.2014 / 6:30 PM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

A new NHL season begins in seven days and inquiring minds would like to know whether or not the Los Angeles Kings have what it takes to become the first team in almost two decades to deliver back-to-back Stanley Cup titles.

The question was posed to NBC Sports Group's lead NHL broadcast team of veteran play-by-play man Mike "Doc" Emrick, analyst Eddie Olczyk and "Inside the Glass" analyst Pierre McGuire during a conference call Wednesday previewing the 2014-15 season.

"The Kings won't win because the numbers say we haven't had a repeat winner in a long time," Olczyk said. "You need a lot of things to go right and have some luck, and look at the hole they dug themselves out of last year."


Coyotes' King to coach in Russia

Wednesday, 10.01.2014 / 3:01 PM / News

Dave King, who served as senior adviser to the coaching staff with the Arizona Coyotes for three seasons, has been released from his contract to coach in Russia, according to general manager Don Maloney.

According to the KHL website, King will coach Lokomotiv. King finished last season as the coach there, leading it to the Western Conference final.

"We anticipate [King] will rejoin us once his KHL season has ended," Maloney said via the Coyotes' Twitter account.


Babcock to start season without new contract: report

Wednesday, 10.01.2014 / 12:58 PM / News

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock likely will enter the season without a contract extension, general manager Ken Holland told the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday. The newspaper reported that Holland and Babcock held contract negotiations Tuesday.

Babcock, who is entering the final season of his contract, repeatedly has said he is not interested in negotiating an extension during the season because of the distraction that it creates.

However, Holland said the key is that neither he nor Babcock wants to negotiate publicly. He told the newspaper that there is a good chance they will talk privately about the situation.

The Red Wings open the season Oct. 9 against the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena.

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