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2014 NHL Draft
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Stamkos close to being cleared to play

Friday, 02.21.2014 / 2:50 AM / News


Steven Stamkos practiced with the Tampa Bay Lightning again Thursday and said he is "definitely very close" to be cleared to play.

"It felt great out there," Stamkos told the Tampa Bay Times. "The best it's felt."

Stamkos attempted to return from a broken right tibia sustained Nov. 11 in time to play for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics but could not. He said the extra time off has been a great benefit.

"It did feel good, but it feels even better now," Stamkos said. "Maybe I wasn't as far along as I thought, knowing how much better it has felt now that I have kept working on it and taking a couple of days off. It's just going to continually get better, and that's positive knowing it's doing that."

Tampa Bay plays Thursday at the Nashville Predators. Stamkos will have an X-ray Monday, the newspaper said.


Practices moved to let players see U.S.-Canada game

Friday, 02.21.2014 / 2:06 AM / 2014 Olympics


Taylor Hall would much rather stay in bed. But the Edmonton Oilers forward will get up early for a good reason.

The Oilers are one of many NHL teams to move up their practice time Friday morning so their players can watch the semifinal game between Canada and the United States at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Edmonton will practice at 8 a.m. MT prior to the 10 a.m. faceoff (noon ET; NBCSN, CBC).


Forward Hanowski recalled by Flames

Friday, 02.21.2014 / 12:20 AM / News


The Calgary Flames have recalled forward Ben Hanowski from the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League.

Acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins with Kenny Agostino and the Penguins' first-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft in a trade for Jarome Iginla on March 27, 2013, Hanowski has 12 goals and 14 assists (26 points) with Abbotsford in his first full season as a professional.


Avalanche's Tanguay to have season-ending surgery

Thursday, 02.20.2014 / 7:00 PM / News


Colorado Avalanche forward Alex Tanguay will undergo hip surgery Friday, a procedure that will force him to miss the remainder of the season, the team announced via its Twitter account.

Tanguay missed 36 games with hip and knee injuries which were sustained Nov. 2 against the Montreal Canadiens. After having his recovery closely monitored, Tanguay returned to Colorado's lineup for three games in late January. After playing 18:31 against the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 30, Tanguay was held out of the lineup for Colorado's final five games before the NHL break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"He's going to have surgery tomorrow on his hip, but the reason why he is out is for the knee," coach Patrick Roy said after practice Thursday. "The knee isn't doing better. I guess it's a mix of the hip and the knee."


Poulin rallies Canada women to overtime win, gold

Thursday, 02.20.2014 / 6:51 PM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- For the fourth consecutive Winter Olympics, the Canada women's hockey team celebrated while the United States was forced to watch.

This one proved to be more incredible, or perhaps more painful, than the rest.

Marie-Philip Poulin scored a power-play goal 8:10 into overtime, her second goal of the game, to give Canada a 3-2 overtime victory against the archrival United States and the gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in front of 10,639 fans at Bolshoy Ice Dome.

"It's an amazing moment," Poulin said. "We all know it was a team effort. We never gave up. I'm so happy we got it back. It was a great journey."


Senators hold outdoor practice for Heritage Classic


Considering the Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at BC Place in Vancouver is just around the corner, the Ottawa Senators took some time Thursday to acclimate themselves to the outdoor ice. Before their game against the Vancouver Canucks on March 2, the Senators practiced outdoors at Jules Morin Park before an excited crowd of locals.

The outdoor skate may have been a great way to prepare for their upcoming game against the Canucks, but it was also a fun way to get back into the rhythm of the NHL season as the League-wide break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics comes to a close.

"It's fun for us, we got good weather today which makes it nicer," captain Jason Spezza told the Senators' website. "It kind of brings you back to your roots a little bit and we played a lot as kids on the outdoor rinks. Not this nice of a rink, but on the outdoor rink."


Koivu resting as Finland preps for Olympic semifinal

Thursday, 02.20.2014 / 5:49 PM / 2014 Olympics

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Saku Koivu won't be setting his alarm for the Finland-Sweden semifinal matchup in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The game will be shown Friday at 4 a.m. PT (TSN, NBCSN), at which time the Anaheim Ducks veteran forward plans on remaining tucked under the covers in his Orange County home.

"I'll probably tape it," Koivu said. "I won't get up at 4 a.m., but maybe a little later on."

Koivu may have withdrawn from consideration for the Finnish team, but the former Olympic captain retains a lot of pride for his countrymen. At age 39, he opted not to play in what would have been his fifth Olympics, a decision he called among the most difficult of his career. He has captained the national team in every international tournament he has played in since 1994, but felt he needed the time to prepare for the rest of the NHL season with the Ducks.


Islanders ready to move on without captain Tavares

Thursday, 02.20.2014 / 4:47 PM / News


With the 2014 Sochi Olympics winding down, and players and staff returning to NHL practice this week, the New York Islanders were greeted by the news Thursday that captain and leading scorer John Tavares is out for the season after tearing the MCL and meniscus in his left knee during Canada's 2-1 quarterfinal win against Latvia on Wednesday.

Preliminary reports are that Tavares will be back in time for training camp next season, but for the time being the Islanders are facing the reality of finishing a difficult 2013-14 season without their franchise player.

"It's an opportunity right now. You saw our practice. We don't have Matt Martin, we don't have Frans Nielsen, we don't have Tavares. We're pretty banged up right now," coach Jack Capuano said Thursday. "Moving forward, it's going to be tough, but other guys are going to get an opportunity earlier than expected. Hopefully they can make the best of it."


Three keys for Finland, Sweden in Olympic semifinal

Thursday, 02.20.2014 / 3:18 PM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

SOCHI -- The rivalry between Finland and Sweden is commonly compared to one between a younger and older brother.

Except now, the younger brother has come of age.

No country can match the three Olympic medals Finland has won since NHL players were first included at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

One of those medals came at the 2006 Turin Olympics when Finland lost the gold-medal game 3-2 to big brother Sweden, but the Finns have grown up considerably since then.

"You know, I played them my first time in the World Championships in '95 in Sweden, and they ended up winning their first World Championship," Sweden forward Daniel Alfredsson said. "They've had tremendous success here in the Olympics, we've met them pretty much every time, and I don't think it's so much big brother, little brother any more. It's more healthy rivals that are very proud of their hockey team, and also really happy to represent their country. They know how much it means."


Three keys for Canada, U.S. in Olympic semifinal

Thursday, 02.20.2014 / 2:40 PM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SOCHI -- The bragging rights at stake Friday when Canada and the United States renew their rivalry in the semifinals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics (Noon ET, NBCSN, CBC) extend far beyond the ice and the gold medal they hope to be wearing when they land in North America early Monday morning.

They extend into dressing rooms from Los Angeles to New York, from Vancouver to Montreal. They extend to teammates in the NHL who have become rivals in the Olympics only to become teammates once again next week.

Nine NHL teams will have players from both sides in the game Friday, including five players from the St. Louis Blues and four from the Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins. The New York Rangers would have four as well, but Derek Stepan is expected to be a healthy scratch for the United States.

"You want those bragging rights," Canada and Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "For the rest of the season, for the rest of your life, really.

"I want to beat them so badly."

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Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie