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2015 NHL Draft
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Lightning's Gudlevskis reflects on storybook night

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

A year ago this week, the 2014 Sochi Olympics entered the knockout round. To celebrate, NHL.com looks at three players who used one of hockey's biggest stages to grab the spotlight and parlay their celebrity into the 2014-15 NHL season.

Today, we look at Latvia goalie Kristers Gudlevskis, who went from unheralded backup to Olympic star with his performance against Canada in the quarterfinals.

Not long after upsetting Switzerland in the qualification round of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Latvia coach Ted Nolan made up his mind.

On tap in the quarterfinals was Canada, the favorite to win the gold medal for the second consecutive Olympic Games. Nolan turned to an unknown goalie named Kristers Gudlevskis, who in his Olympic debut allowed five goals to eventual silver-medal winner Sweden.

Latvia's top goalie was Edgars Masalskis, who made 32 saves in the win that eliminated Switzerland, but Nolan's instincts led him to Gudlevskis. Nolan's reasoning suggested not playing Masalskis in consecutive games of the grueling tournament. His gut told him plainly that it was Gudlevskis' time.

"I told him there would be a big moment for you coming up in the Olympics," said Nolan, coach of the Buffalo Sabres. "We knew we would play him in that game [against Canada] because of his size and athleticism, and youthful enthusiasm. Youthful enthusiasm sometimes overcomes that lack of experience sometimes."

American hockey has grown up since Miracle on Ice

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 3:00 AM / Hockey Weekend Across America

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Mike Eruzione and Mark Johnson were quick to mention it, and each continued to stress the point: The Miracle on Ice -- the United States' win against the heavily favored Soviet Union at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics -- may be the defining moment in American hockey history, but without a number of other big moments, the story would be incomplete.

"As great as the Soviet victory was, I think sometimes what gets lost in the shuffle is how important that game was against Sweden, and the game against Czechoslovakia," Eruzione said Monday. "Sometimes a lot of the success of our team gets lost in one game.

"I want people to remember it was a series of events and a series of games."

Super 16: Maple Leafs have advantages if they rebuild

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Toronto Maple Leafs made a significant trade this week, sending defenseman Cody Franson and forward Mike Santorelli to the Nashville Predators.

There has been plenty of speculation about the direction of the Maple Leafs in the wake of that trade. Although not yet eliminated, Toronto is likely going to miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons. For the second consecutive season, a collapse has derailed a campaign that began with success in the standings despite analytics suggesting it was unsustainable.

Toronto has a new team president, Brendan Shanahan, and a new, much-publicized analytics department headed by Kyle Dubas. What's unclear is, are the Maple Leafs ready to commence a legitimate, full-scale rebuilding project?

The Maple Leafs do have young talent, and they have been close (again, in the standings) to a playoff spot in recent years. They also have little salary-cap space and a roster that is not a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

Ice surface at Levi's Stadium ready for big test

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Dan Craig's ice is ready for its test day.

"It's good that it's time to skate," said Craig, the NHL's Senior Director of Facilities Operations and the person in charge of the rink build for the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game Saturday at Levi's Stadium between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2).

Craig gave his ice a small test Thursday when he was the first person to skate on it around 6 p.m. PT. The media in attendance chipped in for an hour after that when the NHL opened the ice for a media skate. But the real test comes Friday, when the Sharks and Kings each practice.

Shark Head moves to Levi's Stadium for Sharks-Kings

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The famous Shark Head has arrived at Levi's Stadium. Now it's really a San Jose Sharks home game.

Even though there is no roof at Levi's Stadium, meaning there is no way to drop the Shark Head to the ice to make the famous entry way for the home team as they have at SAP Center, the Sharks still decided the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2) couldn't go on without their most recognizable symbol on site.

The Shark Head was transported from SAP Center to Levi's Stadium on Thursday.

Desjardins inducted into Flyers Hall of Fame

Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 7:42 PM / News

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Eric Desjardins won the Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens, but he'll always consider himself a part of the Philadelphia Flyers family.

And the Flyers will always remember Desjardins' contributions during his 11 seasons in Philadelphia. On Thursday, he was inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame.

Desjardins played 738 games with Philadelphia, eighth overall and third among defensemen in Flyers history. His 93 goals, 303 assists and 396 points are second among Flyers defensemen to Hockey Hall of Fame member Mark Howe.

More than the numbers, his arrival in Philadelphia in a trade with the Canadiens on Feb. 9, 1995, along with forward John LeClair, remade the Flyers. LeClair was the power forward who could play with star center Eric Lindros, and Desjardins was a No. 1 defenseman who could play in all situations.

"When that trade was made, it was just a great fit for what they were trying to do in Philadelphia at the time," said Shjon Podein, who was Desjardins' teammate with the Flyers. "It just catapulted this organization to that next level."


Bruins place Miller on IR, recall Ferlin from AHL

Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 4:05 PM / News

BostonBruins.com

BOSTON - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today, Thursday, February 19, that the club has placed defenseman Kevan Miller on injured reserve and recalled forward Brian Ferlin from Providence.  Ferlin will join the team in St. Louis Thursday evening and be eligible for Friday's game against the Blues.

This is the first NHL recall of Ferlin's career.

In his first full season at the American Hockey League level, the 22-year-old Ferlin has appeared in 46 games for Providence, notching nine goals (third on the team) and seven assists for 16 points with 36 penalty minutes.

The winger competed in 92 collegiate games in three years at Cornell (2011-14) where the 22-year-old racked up 31 goals and 41 assists for 72 points with a plus-25 rating. In his final season at Cornell in 2013-14, Ferlin led the team in goals (13) and points (27), and was named All-Ivy League First team and to the All-ECAC Hockey Third team.

Maple Leafs recall MacWilliam on emergency basis

Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 1:13 PM / News

TorontoMapleLeafs.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Thursday that the club has recalled defenceman Andrew MacWilliam from the Toronto Marlies (AHL) on an emergency basis.

MacWilliam, 24, has skated in 45 regular season games with the Marlies this season, collecting four points (one goal, three assists) and 34 penalty minutes. The Calgary, Alberta native was originally drafted by the Maple Leafs in the seventh round (188th overall) during the 2008 NHL Draft. MacWilliam has yet to make his NHL debut.

Flames recall Granlund, reassign Wolf to AHL

Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 12:42 PM / News

CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames announced today that they have recalled centre Markus Granlund from the Adirondack Flames of the American Hockey League. The Flames also announced that forward David Wolf has been assigned to Adirondack.

Granlund, a Finnish-born centre, has played 33 games for Calgary this season recording five goals and eight assists. Granlund has also played 14 games for Adirondack this season netting six goals and six assists.

Fantasy top 30 goalies: Don't doubt Bruins' Rask

Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 12:15 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.

For Tuukka Rask, it was a matter of when, not if.

There are many factors out of a goaltender's control that affect his play. A lot needs to happen before a team can generate a scoring chance, and for the most part none of that has to do with a goaltender, down to which of his teammates are on the ice.

It's part of what makes goaltending a bit unpredictable, but as far as repeatability goes Rask has been one of the more consistent and one of the best goalies in all of hockey recently. Rask is quite good at his job, but thanks to some missing co-workers, and a bit of un-Rask-like play, many fantasy owners were scratching their heads when it came to the Boston Bruins goalie early this season.

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Quote of the Day

There's standards that this team is going to play to and there are expectations. We're going to hold these guys accountable to high standards.

— Coach Dave Lowry on Canada's junior team, the defending IIHF World Junior champions