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Modano grew Texas hockey on way to Hall of Fame

Wednesday, 11.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

When Mike Modano retired in 2011 after playing 1,499 regular-season games, the Dallas Stars great had to have known he had a strong chance to one day be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

But truth be told, there was never any doubt.

Modano, the all-time leader in goals (561) and points (1,374) among players born in the United States, will enter the Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Toronto on Nov. 17. He received the call in June while driving in his car and when he saw who was on the other end, he knew he had to stop.

"Just a little disbelief. You just don't feel like there's a part of you that buys you're going in with the greats to ever play the game," Modano told NHL.com. "You feel like you, in some weird way, you don't belong in there with those guys. But it was quite a call. I just had to pull over to the curb to take that one."

Modano is one of four players who will enter the Hall this year, joining Dominik Hasek, Peter Forsberg and Rob Blake. Former referee Bill McCreary will also be enshrined, along with former coach Pat Burns, who was posthumously elected. Modano's thrilled to be a part of such a tremendous class; he played against Hasek when the Stars defeated the Buffalo Sabres in the 1999 Stanley Cup Final.

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Analysis: Canadiens not ready to go young on 'D'

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 11:26 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- When the Montreal Canadiens entered training camp, the big question facing them was which of their two young, first-round draft picks on defense would be able to claim the final roster spot.

Two months later, it appears neither Nathan Beaulieu nor Jarred Tinordi has been able to convince Canadiens brass he is ready to seize the job.

General manager Marc Bergevin added some veteran help on defense Tuesday when he acquired Sergei Gonchar from the Dallas Stars in exchange for forward Travis Moen.

And the help doesn't get much more "veteran" than Gonchar; at 40, he is the oldest defenseman in the NHL by 22 months.

Gonchar is not likely to be asked to play much more than the 13:01 of ice time averaged in the three games he played with the Stars since returning from a broken foot that kept him out of the first 11 games of the season.

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NHL teams pay tribute to military service

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 8:38 PM / News

NHL.com

St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott wore a special mask Tuesday for the game against the Buffalo Sabres at Scottrade Center, one of many tributes to the military being performed by teams and players across the NHL this week.

The mask, adorned with images of soldiers, the stars and stripes of the American flag, and the maple leaf of the Canadian flag, was given to Elliott after practice Monday by Charles Rohde, 92, a World War II veteran. Rohde participated in the pregame ceremony, next to Elliott.

"It's definitely an honor getting [the mask] from Mr. Rohde, someone that's been through something that we've only read [about] in books," Elliott told the Blues website. "He's a hero. It's an honor to be in his presence, for sure."

Tuesday is Veterans Day in America and Remembrance Day in Canada. Like the Blues, teams across the NHL have been and will be paying tribute with Military Appreciation nights.

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Stars trade Gonchar to Canadiens for Moen

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 6:54 PM / News

NHL.com

The Dallas Stars traded defenseman Sergei Gonchar to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday for forward Travis Moen, a transaction involving two veteran players whose roles had diminished with their previous team.

Gonchar, who turns 41 in April, appeared in three games for the Stars this season and averaged slightly more than 13 minutes of ice time per game. He is in the final year of a contract with an average annual value of $5 million.

The trade frees up a significant amount of NHL salary-cap space in 2014-15 for the Stars, who could look to ease the burden being placed on their top-four defensemen by acquiring outside help.

"We're open to [another move]," Stars general manager Jim Nill said. "But my first thought process here, and [coach] Lindy [Ruff], sitting down with him and our management and coaching staff, is that we have to find out internally what we have first. That's what this trade allows us to do now. … We have some young defensemen coming up and they've earned the right for the opportunity. These are guys that have been playing the last two or three years, they won the Calder Cup. I needed to start opening up some doors and some opportunities for them."

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Kings sign defenseman McBain to one-year contract

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 5:45 PM / News

LAKings.com

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Jamie McBain to a one-year contract, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.

The 26-year-old McBain (born on Feb. 25, 1988) is a 6-1, 181-pound native of Edina, Minnesota who has appeared in 275 career NHL regular season games with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Buffalo Sabres over five seasons, totaling 92 points (25-67=92) and 62 penalty minutes. McBain was originally selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round (63rd overall) at the 2006 NHL Draft. He will wear number five for the Kings; he becomes the 19th player to wear the number (last King to wear number five was Keaton Ellerby; 2/13-11/14).

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AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs to honor Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 4:44 PM / News

NHL.com

The Hamilton Bulldogs, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, will honor the late Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and those who serve in the Canadian Armed Forces on Military Appreciation night Dec. 5 in support of the Marcus Cirillo Trust prior to their game against the Toronto Marlies, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Bulldogs will wear a special commemorative jersey designed in conjunction with representatives of the Cirillo family and SP Apparel that will pay tribute to Cpl. Cirillo's ceremonial attire. The cap and badge of his regiment will be on the shoulder and pant shell, and above the Bulldogs logo will be a patch that reads, "In Memory of Cpl. Cirillo."

Cirillo was killed Oct. 22 in a shooting at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa while standing honor guard.

"We're looking to bring together the Hamilton community to help raise money for Cpl. Cirillo's son, Marcus," Hamilton Bulldogs president Stephen Ostaszewicz said in a statement. "This falls in line with our annual Military Appreciation Night where we honor those that serve in the Canadian Armed Forces."

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Ducks' Perry, Beauchemin out with viral infections

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 2:20 PM / News

NHL.com

Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry and defenseman Francois Beauchemin are out with viral gland infections, the team announced Tuesday.

Perry and Beauchemin are undergoing testing and results are pending.

Perry is tied for the NHL lead with 11 goals despite missing the past three games. Beauchemin played in the Ducks first 15 games before coming out of the lineup Sunday and has four assists.

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Penguins' Maatta on ice seven days after surgery

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 1:52 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Nobody around the Pittsburgh Penguins seemed shocked to see defenseman Olli Maatta in full practice gear going onto the ice at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, exactly seven days since he had surgery to remove a potentially cancerous tumor from his thyroid gland.

"I think this is what they expected, but obviously with Olli you feel it's going to be earlier with him," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "That's what we've gotten used to with the way he works and the way he heals."

Maatta skated on his own following the morning skate. At the time of his surgery it was expected he would miss four weeks. Penguins coach Mike Johnston did not deviate from that timeline when he spoke about Maatta Tuesday morning.

"We'll see what happens as far as a timeline goes for him participating with the whole team, but it really is amazing how he handles things," Johnston said. "I just think for a young kid it's more the mental side of things, how mature he is and how he's able to deal with issues like that."

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Flyers' Voracek sustainable

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek was taken on average with the 94th pick in Yahoo fantasy hockey drafts.

The upside was clear: the 25-year-old was fresh off a career season in terms of goals, assists, shots on goal and power-play points. He was a lock to play with top-tier fantasy asset Claude Giroux again, so getting a taste of that pie was only logical for fantasy owners.

That said, Voracek didn't have the pedigree to suggest such elevated consistency and offensive balance through 14 games in 2014-15.

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Five Questions: Bylsma enjoying studying the game

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma:

With time on his hands this season, former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has gone back to being a student of the game. His classroom is his living room. His desk is his couch. His teachers are the coaches and players in the NHL.

"I have done a scout on 27 teams to this point," Bylsma said. "I haven't gotten every team yet, but I'm coaching my son's team and I've been other places where it's just not possible to sit down and watch all of the games that are going on for that two days or three days. So I haven't watched every game, but I usually record two games a night and watch a game so I can watch the other games the next morning at some point in time to see what's happening."

Bylsma is studying to stay up to date on what's happening in the NHL in case his phone rings with his next job offer. He's ready for that to happen. But he's also studying as a way to learn more about nuances of the game that he never had time to dissect when he was coaching.

"There are some analytic aspects of the game that I'm looking at and delving into what the numbers mean, what the analytics mean," Bylsma said. "There are certain aspects of how some teams play that I want to dissect and breakdown."

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Quote of the Day

This team has been a real treat to say you've been the head coach of them. I'm extremely proud of this group ... after the disappointment of (the Game 6 loss) is digested, it's always a lot easier as a coach when your team has emptied its tank, and that team emptied its tank for me for three months.

— Senators coach Dave Cameron after getting eliminated in the first round by the Canadiens