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Key questions facing Eastern Conference teams

Wednesday, 10.01.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which begins Wednesday, Oct. 8.

The calendar has turned to October, and that means NHL teams already are brainstorming to figure out what they'll have to do to be successful when the regular season starts next week.

As they get ready for 2014-15, all 30 teams have questions. Will that big rookie make an impact right away? Will the free-agent signee fill the hole he was brought in to plug? Will the offense/defense/goaltending/special teams improve?

With that in mind, here's a look at a key question facing the 16 teams in the Eastern Conference:

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Who's on the hot seat in the Eastern Conference

Wednesday, 10.01.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which begins Wednesday, Oct. 8.

It's almost time for another NHL season, and the pressure is already starting to build for some players who know they'll have to be big-time producers for their teams to push for a Stanley Cup Playoff berth or contend for the Stanley Cup.

Here's a look at a player from each of the 16 teams in the Eastern Conference who'll be under pressure to perform as soon as the puck drops:

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Maple Leafs forward Clarkson eager to turn it around

Wednesday, 10.01.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

TORONTO -- As the story of his first season with the Toronto Maple Leafs rapidly unfolded like a tragicomedy, right wing David Clarkson could have started asking a lot of questions that begin with why.

As in why did I sign to play in Toronto, one of the most demanding markets in the NHL? Or the reflective why can't it be like it was with the New Jersey Devils, where my role was defined, the results were positive, and mistakes, slumps and errors in judgment never burn a player publicly the way they do here?

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How East's playoff outsiders get back in this season

Wednesday, 10.01.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com 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 eight Eastern 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 conference champion New York Rangers.

So how can the teams that missed the fun turn into postseason hits? As opening night of the regular season nears, NHL.com today examines why fans of the unlucky eight can hold onto their playoff hopes:

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Preseason roundup: Kings cruise past Sharks

Wednesday, 10.01.2014 / 1:03 AM / News

NHL.com

Justin Williams had a goal and two assists to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-1 win against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Tuesday.

Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown and Dwight King also scored for Los Angeles and Anze Kopitar had two assists. Jonathan Quick stopped 16 of 17 shots through the first two periods before being replaced by Martin Jones, who made seven saves.

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Board of Governors approves sale of Islanders

Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 6:32 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The sale of an escalating interest in the New York Islanders to Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin was approved by the NHL's Board of Governors on Tuesday.

Under the terms of the sale agreement, Ledecky and Malkin are purchasing a minority interest in the Islanders from Charles Wang that will transition into a majority interest in two years. Wang will maintain his status as majority owner until the interest transfers.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the sale is not final because it needs to close, but the hope is that it will be completed before the start of the regular season next week.

"It's not going to happen tomorrow because there is some work to do, but I think they're probably shooting to get it done before the start of the season next week," Commissioner Bettman said. "If they miss it, that doesn't mean anything bad."

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Johansen, Blue Jackets 'very civil' as talks resume

Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 6:26 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The Columbus Blue Jackets resumed negotiations with restricted free agent center Ryan Johansen on Monday and they were "very polite, well mannered," Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson said Tuesday after the NHL Board of Governors meeting.

Davidson said negotiations were expected to resume Tuesday between the Blue Jackets and Johansen's agent, Kurt Overhardt, but Davidson did not have an update because he was in meetings here. Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekelainen and assistant general manager Bill Zito were handling the negotiations from Columbus' side.

Johansen is training near his home in Vancouver. The Blue Jackets open the season Oct. 9 at the Buffalo Sabres.

"We had some discussions yesterday that were very civil," Davidson said. "We had some good discussions, talked about things, and then they were to continue today. Jarmo and Bill Zito do that for us, and when I get back to Columbus we'll figure it out."

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Predators sign forward Beck to one-year contract

Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 4:41 PM / News

NashvillePredators.com

Nashville Predators general manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed restricted free-agent forward Taylor Beck to a one-year, $550,000 contract.

Beck, 23, has 23 career NHL games with Nashville to his credit over the past two seasons, amassing seven points. The 6-2, 206-pound right wing led the 2013-14 Milwaukee Admirals in assists (32) and power-play points, ranked second on the team in points (49), and fourth in goals (17). The St. Catharines, Ontario native also paced the Admirals in points during the 2012-13 season despite appearing in only 50 of the team’s 76 games, and ranked among the Top 20 AHL rookies in goals and points in 2011-12.

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Ovechkin, Kopitar, Oshie featured on SI covers

Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 2:25 PM / News

NHL.com

Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar and St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie appear on covers of Sports Illustrated this week in conjunction with baseball standouts from the same regions, as the magazine notes the beginning of the 2014-15 NHL season with the start of the 2014 postseason in Major League Baseball.

With the headline "IT'S ON" across the cover, Ovechkin pairs with Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, Kopitar teams with Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, and Oshie is alongside St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright.

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Quote of the Day

The last time I did it was 1994 and surprise, 20 years later it’s still working. I don’t do it very much, though. I don’t think I had it. I’m kind of surprised. It was probably because I went to church before the game.

Panthers veteran forward Jaromir Jagr on the move that produced his second goal in a 4-2 victory against the Senators on Sunday
AMP No Bull Moment of the Week