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Canada opts for older roster at World Junior camp

Monday, 12.01.2014 / 4:47 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- The last time Canada won the gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship was 2009, and with the tournament on home soil for the 2015 WJC, the host nation is doing everything possible to put an end to that drought.

One of the most striking aspects of the roster announced Monday by Hockey Canada for the Canadian National Junior Team selection camp was how heavy it was on 19-year-olds, with 19 of the 29 players invited born in 1995.

The 2015 WJC will be held Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, with games at Bell Centre in Montreal and Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Hockey Canada believes relying on experience in what should be a pressure-packed environment in Montreal and Toronto gives it the best chance to end a long run of disappointment at a tournament it used to dominate.

"There's a lot of other good players in different age groups. There's a great groups of [players born in 1997] this year. You look throughout the [Canadian Hockey League], a lot of them are leading their leagues in scoring, and there are some good '96-born players,” Hockey Canada director of player personnel Ryan Jankowski said after the roster was announced Monday at Bell Centre. "But with the group of '95s, we feel really strongly that the older age group, it's going to help us have success."


Brodeur could sign Tuesday with Blues, play on trip

Monday, 12.01.2014 / 4:26 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Martin Brodeur took part in his first full-scale practice with the St. Louis Blues on Monday at their training facility at St. Louis Outlet Mall's Ice Zone.

Brodeur said he felt good after skating every day since Friday. He was on the ice Sunday by himself and if all goes well Tuesday, he could sign a contract in the afternoon and be in goal for one of the upcoming three games the Blues will play on the road.

"It felt different, more hockey-like," Brodeur said. "It went really well for me anyway. … I think I'm fine now. If they ask me, I think I would be OK to go out and play. For my first game, that's when I'll really know. Hopefully, we'll make a decision by [Tuesday].

"… I'm happy to get this opportunity and maybe stay on the team. I'm working hard, I'm enjoying it. For me, it's to gauge about how I feel coming back into the NHL. So far, so good. I'm happy about what's going on the last few days."


Kings' Voynov pleads not guilty at arraignment

Monday, 12.01.2014 / 3:04 PM / News

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov pleaded not guilty Monday to a felony domestic violence charge.

Voynov entered his plea during an arraignment in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The NHL suspended Voynov with pay immediately after his arrest on Oct. 20. The NHL and the National Hockey league Players' Association agreed to allow the Kings to replace Voynov's salary and bonuses in regard to the salary cap in a Nov. 21 statement.


Giordano, Tarasenko, Rinne named stars of November

Monday, 12.01.2014 / 3:00 PM / News

NEW YORK - Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano, St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko and Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the month of November.


Giordano led all defensemen and tied for sixth in the NHL with 16 points in 13 games to power the Flames (15-8-2, 32 points) to a 9-4-0 November record and third place in the Pacific Division. He also paced the League with a +12 rating, led all blueliners and ranked third in the NHL with 12 assists, and posted one game-winning goal (Nov. 13 vs. ARI). Giordano opened the month with points in seven straight contests, extending his overall point streak to nine games (5-9—14) and matching the longest such stretch of his NHL career (Jan. 14 – Feb. 1, 2014: 4-6—10). He also recorded his 20th point in his 18th outing of the season, becoming the fastest Flames defenseman to reach the milestone since Al MacInnis in 1993-94 (6-14—20 in 18 GP). Overall, Giordano found the scoresheet in 11 of 13 November games. The 31-year-old Toronto, Ont., native leads all defensemen with 19 assists and 25 points in 25 outings this season. He also is tied for second among blueliners with a +14 rating.


Devils sign veteran center Gomez, place Zajac on IR

Monday, 12.01.2014 / 2:18 PM / News

The New Jersey Devils signed forward Scott Gomez to a contract Monday. Terms of the contract were not released but Sportsnet reported it is a two-way contract that will pay Gomez $550,000 at the NHL level.

Gomez was with the Devils in training camp on a tryout agreement and had been skating with the team when it was at home. He had two goals and 10 assists in 46 games with the Florida Panthers last season.

"I'm ready," Gomez said. "Ready to help out, ready to come back. I'm excited."

Forwards Travis Zajac and Martin Havlat will not travel with the Devils for their game Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, creating a need for an extra forward. The Devils placed Zajac on injured reserve Monday, retroactive to Nov. 28.


Predators' Forsberg named NHL Rookie of Month

Monday, 12.01.2014 / 2:00 PM / News

NEW YORK – Nashville Predators center Filip Forsberg, who led all rookies with nine goals, 15 points and a +9 rating in 13 games, has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for November.

Forsberg edged Winnipeg Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson (4-0-2, 1.22 GAA, .958 SV%, 1 SO in 6 GP), Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (2-7—9 in 13 GP), Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (2-9—11 in 13 GP), Ottawa Senators left wing Mike Hoffman (6-2—8 in 14 GP) and Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (3-5—8 in 10 GP) for the honor.

Forsberg, the 11th overall selection by the Washington Capitals in the 2012 NHL Draft, opened the month on a six-game goal/point streak (7-5—12). He became the first rookie to score in six straight games since Feb. 5-15, 2011, when Michael Grabner did so with the New York Islanders (10-3—13). Forsberg also became just the fourth active player to record a goal streak of at least six games during his rookie season, joining Alex Ovechkin (2x in 2005-06), Evgeni Malkin (2006-07) and Grabner (2010-11).


Red Wings' Abdelkader out vs. Panthers: report

Monday, 12.01.2014 / 1:18 PM / News

Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader will miss a game Tuesday against the Florida Panthers because of a shoulder injury, reported Monday. The report cited that Abdelkader is considered day-to-day.

Abdelkader was injured late in the second period of the Red Wings' game Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks when he was checked by the Canucks' Luca Sbisa. Abdelkader did not play in the third period.


McDavid expected to be ready for start of WJC

Monday, 12.01.2014 / 12:40 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- Injured Erie Otters center Connor McDavid is on schedule to start the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship on time, Hockey Canada director of player personnel Ryan Jankowski said Monday.

McDavid was one of 29 players named Monday to Canada's National Junior Team selection camp, which begins Dec. 11 in Toronto.

Considered one of the top two players available for the 2015 NHL Draft, McDavid sustained a fractured bone in his right hand in a game against the Mississauga Steelheads on Nov. 11 and was expected to miss up to six weeks.

"Everything's coming along real well with Connor. I think we're real happy and Connor's real happy with the recovery," Jankowski said. "He has another doctor's appointment on Dec. 9 when we'll learn a little bit more. But everything is on time for him to be back for the start of the tournament. Hopefully we have no setbacks with that along the way."


Fantasy All-Access: Get Lightning's Killorn if you can

Matt Sitkoff - Contributor

Every Monday, contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.


Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay Lightning (owned in 9 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- Playing on a line with Steven Stamkos, the third-year forward has points in seven straight games; he has five goals, three assists, 16 shots on goal and is a plus-4 in that span. Last season he had career-highs of 17 goals and 41 points, and he has a career average of 0.53 points per game. The Lightning have four games scheduled this week (at the New York Rangers, a home and home with the Buffalo Sabres, home for the Columbus Blue Jackets). With three games against teams that entered the week ranked near the bottom of goals-against per game, now is a perfect time to pick up Killorn.


Halak, Callahan and Ramo named stars of the week

Monday, 12.01.2014 / 12:00 PM / News

NEW YORKNew York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak, Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan and Calgary Flames goaltender Karri Ramo have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Nov. 30.


Halak posted a 3-0-0 record with a 0.95 goals-against average, .964 save percentage and one shutout to help the Islanders (17-7-0, 34 points) win three of four starts and complete their best November in 34 years. He opened the week by earning his 33rd career shutout, stopping all 21 shots he faced through overtime – plus another two in the shootout – in a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Nov. 24. Halak then made 25 saves in a 3-2 overtime win against the Washington Capitals Nov. 26 and closed the week with 34 saves in a 3-1 triumph over the New Jersey Devils Nov. 29. With the victory, Halak extended his personal winning streak to a career-long nine games (1.18 GAA, .956 SV%, 3 SO); only Billy Smith has posted a longer such streak in Islanders history (Jan. 23 – Feb. 25, 1982: 10-0-0). The 29-year-old Bratislava, Slovakia, native is 12-4-0 in 16 appearances this season, ranking in the top 10 in the NHL in wins, goals-against average (2.13), save percentage (.926) and shutouts (3).

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Quote of the Day

We have no doubt how he can play. You don't, with four teams that are left, you're not getting here without good goaltending. All great goalies left, and [Bishop] is a top-tier goaltender in this league and he's shown it.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper on goalie Ben Bishop, who shut out the Rangers in Game 5