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USA Hockey encouraging cross-ice youth games

Saturday, 03.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

"From the eyes of an 8-year-old, a full-sized hockey rink looks a lot bigger."

Those words opened a USA Hockey video designed to educate and deliver a reality check. The game is hard enough for grown men and women on an NHL-size 200-by-85 foot rink. For children 8 years old and under, it's akin to skating from New York to Los Angeles and guarding a net the size of One World Trade Center.

The goal of USA Hockey's American Development Model is to encourage cross-ice games at the 8-and-under level nationwide in lieu of competing on full-size rinks. Those who played a pick-up game recently on Dollar Lake in Eagle River, Wis., were provided a harsh perspective as to why.


Daily Primer March 8: Central Division showdown

Saturday, 03.08.2014 / 12:52 AM / Features


The Colorado Avalanche have quietly moved into the race for the Central Division title. They can make a loud statement with a win on Saturday.

The Avalanche have the fifth-best record in the NHL, but they're only third in their division. A big reason is that they've lost both of their games against the first-place St. Louis Blues. Colorado has a chance to get some revenge and move within a point of the first-place Blues when St. Louis comes to Pepsi Center on Saturday.

Here's a look at all of the action on Saturday:

Ottawa Senators at Winnipeg Jets -- The Senators flew to Winnipeg on Friday after an intense 81-minute practice in Calgary that included a fight between teammates Chris Neil and Jared Cowen. Coach Paul MacLean worked his team hard because he said he wasn't pleased by the effort he saw in a 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. The Jets are trying to avoid being swept on a three-game homestand that has seen them lose to the New York Islanders in overtime and the Los Angeles Kings in regulation.


Fans help Del Zotto reunite with young friend

Friday, 03.07.2014 / 8:22 PM / NHL Insider

James Murphy - NHL.com Correspondent

Sometimes it's easy to forget how a trade often uproots a player from his family and the friends he has made in the city he has called home for an extended period of time.

That was the case Jan. 22 when the New York Rangers traded 23-year old defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Kevin Klein. Single, Del Zotto didn't have to move his family, but he was going to have to leave behind someone who in his four years in New York had become not only his biggest fan but one of his best friends.


MacLean puts Senators through tough practice

Friday, 03.07.2014 / 7:14 PM / News


Two days after Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean said he wasn't happy with the effort in a 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames, his players paid the price.

The Senators spent more than 80 minutes Friday at an intense practice in Calgary that included special-teams work, breakouts and one battle drill that led to a fight between defenseman Jared Cowen and forward Chris Neil. The Ottawa Citizen reported they dropped the gloves and got in a few punches before teammates broke it up.

"We need more of it, preferably when the games are on, but we need more, I don't know, just be harder," MacLean told the Senators website afterward. "That's playing harder. If you're playing harder in practice that stuff is going to practice. Boys are going to be boys, men are going to be men, and we need more of it."


Lightning prospect Koekkoek out for season: report

Friday, 03.07.2014 / 5:36 PM / News


Defenseman Slater Koekkoek, taken by the Tampa Bay Lightning with the 10th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, will miss the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury, according to the Windsor Star.

Koekkoek, who plays for the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, was injured Thursday in a fight during a game against the Saginaw Spirit.


Senators forward MacArthur out with hand injury

Friday, 03.07.2014 / 5:24 PM / News


Ottawa Senators forward Clarke MacArthur will sit out their game Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets with a hand injury and is doubtful for Monday against the Nashville Predators, coach Paul MacLean said after practice Friday.

"It might be longer, who knows?" MacLean said. "We just want to make sure we had our people look at it and make sure what it would be."


Canucks' Kassian suspended three games for boarding

Friday, 03.07.2014 / 4:31 PM / Department of Player Safety News


NEW YORK - Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian has been suspended for three games, without pay, for boarding Dallas Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon during NHL Game No. 944 in Dallas on Thursday, March 6, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

Kassian is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $32,103.66. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

The incident occurred at 18:30 of the first period. Kassian was assessed a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct.


'Forever a Flame,' Nieuwendyk to receive honor

Friday, 03.07.2014 / 4:24 PM / NHL Insider

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Twenty-five years after No. 25 helped bring the franchise its only Stanley Cup, the Calgary Flames on Friday will honor Joe Nieuwendyk.

Nieuwendyk, who starred for the Flames for eight seasons and was an integral piece of Calgary's Cup run in 1989, will receive the "Forever a Flame" celebration for his contributions to the organization.

"It feels great," said Nieuwendyk, who played the first 577 games of his career with Calgary, totaling 314 goals, 302 assists and 616 points. "I have so much of the early part of my history, my start here with this organization. I'm very grateful. A lot of memories; a lot of former teammates that live in this area still obviously. It's just a classy organization that's rolling out the red carpet and it's a little overwhelming."


Canada goalie Shannon Szabados to join SPHL team

Friday, 03.07.2014 / 4:12 PM / News


Goaltender Shannon Szabados, who helped the Canada women's hockey team win a gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, agreed Friday to join to the Columbus Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League.

Szabados wrote on her Twitter account that she will join the team March 12 and be available for the final five games of the regular season. The Cottonmouths announced a press conference for March 13 to introduce her.

The 27-year-old goaltender allowed three goals (one even-strength) in three games at the Olympics, and led the tournament with an 0.96 goals-against average and .954 save percentage. She stopped 27 of 29 shots in Canada's 3-2 overtime win against the United States in the gold-medal game. It was her second gold medal, having helped Canada win at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

She will be the first woman to play in the SPHL.

"I am very excited to get a world-class athlete that has competed and has faced high-pressured situations," Columbus coach Jerome Bechard said. "Shannon has won at every level she has played, in women's hockey or men's hockey."


Panthers' Trocheck ready for next level

Friday, 03.07.2014 / 12:20 PM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to NHL.com

It's been a whirlwind week for 20-year-old Vincent Trocheck. The rookie forward with the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League received his first call-up to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday, just after the NHL Trade Deadline passed. He's expected to make his NHL debut for the Panthers on Friday against the visiting Buffalo Sabres.

"It's been crazy," Trocheck said. "It's obviously what I've been working for my whole life. Getting the call was surreal and I couldn't be more excited to be here."

Trocheck began his path to professional hockey long before arriving in the Sunshine State. A Pittsburgh native, he was born in 1993, right after the Pittsburgh Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992.

"Growing up in Pittsburgh was a great influence," Trocheck said. "The Penguins were doing really well whenever I was young so that kind of got me into hockey and it all started there."

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Quote of the Day

Your team is going to want to recapture the feeling. What they're going to have to figure out is they're going to have to rewrite the story. Because you're going to rewrite the story doesn't mean you want a different end. It's just that you're going to have to learn that there's different challenges to get there, and if you're going to try and tap the same feeling, it ain't going to happen.

— Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi on maintaining their success from last season