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2014 NHL Draft
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Daily Primer Jan. 16: Kings start trip with tough test

Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Two of the more physical teams in the Western Conference will clash Thursday.

The Los Angeles Kings, who have won three of their past 10 games, open a five-game road trip against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2). The Blues have won five in a row on home ice and enter Thursday two points behind the Chicago Blackhawks for the Central Division lead.

"I think every time a team plays us, I think because we have a bigger, physical team, that they try to play the same way and St. Louis has that team that can play that same way," Kings forward Mike Richards told LA Kings Insider on Wednesday. "They have some big guys, some skilled forwards and solid defense."

Here's a closer look at all the action Thursday:

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Tarasenko to skate alongside idols at Olympics

Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

Vladimir Tarasenko
Right Wing - STL
GOALS: 15 | ASST: 13 | PTS: 28
SOG: 92 | +/-: 9
ST. LOUIS -- Vladimir Tarasenko watched first-hand the creative way the United States unveiled its roster for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He saw the names of St. Louis Blues teammates David Backes, T.J. Oshie and Kevin Shattenkirk and was more than happy.

But happiness soon turned to angst. Tarasenko waited out the final days for his native Russia to reveal its roster.

Russia was more simplistic.

"I was at breakfast in Edmonton," Tarasenko said. "My agent [Alexei Dementiev] texted me that I made it and to go on the Internet page of the Russian Federation of Hockey and there was the roster.

"I called my girlfriend first, and right after my parents. Everybody was happy. It was pressure. When you know the date, the seventh of January, it was a nervous time."

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Team Orr edges Team Cherry in Top Prospects game

Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 1:26 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

CALGARY -- Jared McCann called it the biggest goal of his career. It occurred in the most important game of his life to this point.

McCann, a center for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, scored with 3:29 left in regulation to give Team Orr a 4-3 victory against Team Cherry in the 19th BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night.

"I definitely haven't scored a bigger goal," McCann said. "It's amazing."

McCann took a pass from Joshua Ho-Sang (Windsor Spitfires) between the circles and ripped a high shot that beat goalie Alex Nedeljkovic (Plymouth Whalers) just inside the left post. McCann, who has 20 goals and 43 points in 42 games for Sault Ste. Marie, is No. 11 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top draft-eligible skaters in North America. He was named the player of the game for Team Orr.

"All the credit goes to Josh on that goal," McCann said. "He made an unbelievable pass and I just tried to get it to the net."

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Oilers deal Dubnyk, get Scrivens in separate trades

Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 7:04 PM / News

Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish spent a busy Wednesday trading away a goalie the organization once thought would be its No. 1, only to later acquire a goalie that will likely be given the opportunity to be its next No. 1.

In separate deals announced less than an hour apart, the Oilers sent Devan Dubnyk to the Nashville Predators in exchange for veteran forward Matt Hendricks and acquired Ben Scrivens from the Los Angeles Kings for a third-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Dubnyk and Scrivens are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents after the season. Hendricks is signed for three more seasons with an annual salary-cap charge of $1.85 million.

Ben Scrivens
Goalie - EDM
RECORD: 7-5-4
GAA: 1.97 | SVP: 0.931
The Oilers now have Ilya Bryzgalov and Scrivens as their goaltenders, with each player on an expiring contract. Edmonton will carry $1.75 million of Dubnyk's $3.5 million salary-cap charge as part of the trade with Nashville, according to CapGeek.com.

The deal reunites Scrivens with Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins, who was his coach in the American Hockey League with the Toronto Marlies for parts of the past two seasons.

"He played very well for Dallas and he's got a shot to come in here and really establish himself in the National Hockey League," MacTavish said. "It was important that Dallas gave him the thumbs up in terms of his relationship with Ben."\

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Stars' Stephane Robidas back on skates

Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 6:45 PM / News

NHL.com

Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas took a step forward this week in his recovery from a broken right leg when he took the ice to begin skating on his own.

Robidas, who was injured in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 29, skated for the first time since the injury on Monday and was on the ice again Tuesday at the Stars' practice facility in Frisco, Texas.

"It's pretty good. It's better than I expected, to be honest," Robidas told the Stars website when asked about his first couple of skating sessions. "A little bit of it is pain, a lot of it is mental. You've got to trust it. We just did a little skating, no stop and start, no pivoting. Obviously the stride is not the same, but I try to keep it as close as possible. Monday I couldn't do any crossover to one side, but by the end of today I was able to do some. Progress.

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Prospector Files: Inside the midterm meetings

Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 5:31 PM / Prospector Files

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Center Samuel Bennett is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft, but that doesn't mean he's the favorite to be in that spot when the final rankings are released in April.

At least that's what Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr has said since the group's first numerical list was released Monday.

"The meetings weren't easy, but once we got the discussion flowing with what everyone was saying and what everyone saw in the players and within the games, it wasn't tough," Marr said. "Some might have had an idea what the list might turn out to be prior to walking into the meetings, but once everyone saw it up on the board and you took everything into consideration, everyone was good with the order."

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Parise practices with Wild, no timetable for return

Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 4:48 PM / News

NHL.com

Zach Parise returned to practice with the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday for the first time since playing against the New York Rangers on Dec. 22. Parise, who skated on his own Tuesday, reportedly was diagnosed with a fractured foot and has been on injured reserve since Dec. 28.

Parise has missed 11 straight games and there remains no timetable for his return. He wore a yellow non-contact jersey Wednesday.

"It felt pretty good," Parise told the Wild website. "It was nice to play a little bit. I mean, [Tuesday] we didn't do too much, just kind of touched the puck a little bit and a couple of tight turns, things like that. Today was a better test to see how it felt. It was OK. It felt good."

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Stadium Series crew begins preparation for NY games

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- The anticipation already is building for the pair of games that will be hosted at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 26 and 29 as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. But the countdown toward the doubleheader in the Bronx officially started Wednesday with the arrival of the ice truck responsible for turning the home of the New York Yankees into an outdoor hockey haven.

"[Wednesday] they're building the roadways and the staging around the stadium," said Michael Craig, NHL senior manager of facilities operations. "Starting [Thursday] we'll start laying out our piping and our ice pans, that's the refrigeration that takes place underneath. From that point we'll be filling the system with our refrigerant, building the dasher boards and hopefully making the ice by the 18th. So in the next few days we should be ready to go."

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Olympics-bound Barkov doesn't act his age

Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 2:50 PM / 2014 Olympics

Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- In his usual quiet, low-key style, Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov called being named to Finland's Olympic team a big dream. Just as quietly, he said it wasn't his biggest goal for this hockey season.

"My first main goal for this season was to play here and get a big role on this team and play as good as I can," Barkov said. "But I'm very happy to be there on the Olympic team and it'll be fun. I was so excited I was called on the Olympic team. It will be very fun to be there and play with guys like Teemu Selanne."

At 43, Selanne is the oldest player in the NHL. Barkov is the youngest, having turned 18 on Sept. 2.

The rookie is meeting his NHL goals so far this season, and then some. Barkov leads the Panthers in scoring with 23 points and is second among forwards in average ice time at 17:09.

Though Barkov looks every bit the teenager outside the rink, he looks like a 30-something veteran on the ice. He has since his first NHL game Oct. 4 when the Panthers beat the Dallas Stars 4-2.

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Two-time Cup champion Langenbrunner retires

Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 1:51 PM / News

NHL.com

Two-time Stanley Cup champion Jamie Langenbrunner announced his retirement Wednesday, the National Hockey League Players' Association announced in a press release.

Langenbrunner, 38, spent 16 full seasons in the NHL and parts of two others. He won the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999 and the New Jersey Devils in 2003. He represented the United States twice in the Olympics and took home a silver medal from Vancouver in 2010.

In 1,109 games he had 243 goals and 420 assists for 663 points. He also had 34 goals and 87 points in 146 Stanley Cup Playoff games. Langenbrunner had 10 goals and 17 points during the Stars' Cup run in 1999; he had 11 goals and 18 points in the Devils' Cup run in 2003.

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Quote of the Day

When we started our journey we made a commitment to our fans to be relevant and to see the Chicago Blackhawks become the best professional hockey organization. There are not two finer symbols of that than Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The commitment we have made to these incredible young men is equal to the commitment they have made to our team, our fans, our entire organization and the city of Chicago.

— Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz on signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to contract extensions