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Sabres GM says Nolan to lose interim tag soon

Friday, 01.10.2014 / 12:51 PM / News

NHL.com

New Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray said Friday that coach Ted Nolan will have the interim tag removed from his title soon.

Speaking on Sportsnet's "Hockey Central," Murray said Nolan's title will change in the next few weeks.

The Sabres are 8-11-4 since Nolan was named interim coach Nov. 13. The Sabres started the season 4-15-1 under coach Ron Rolston.

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Canucks still developing mindset to finish games

Friday, 01.10.2014 / 12:42 PM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- John Tortorella isn't worrying so much about Xs and Os after watching his Vancouver Canucks give up a goal and blow a lead with the opposing goalie pulled for the fifth time this season.

The first-year Canucks coach dismissed the shootout as a "gimmick" when asked about his team's 4-for-32 futility in the tiebreaker. And he isn't wondering if he has the personnel to beat top teams after giving up 98 shots in weekend losses to the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings that left Vancouver with four wins in 13 games against teams above them in the Western Conference standings.

For Tortorella it's all about a mindset, and in his estimation so far the Canucks haven't developed the right one to beat the best.

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Rafalski to play for Everblades in ECHL

Friday, 01.10.2014 / 3:03 AM / News

NHL.com

Former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski is returning to pro hockey after agreeing to terms on a contract with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL on Thursday.

Rafalski, 40, had 515 points in 830 regular-season games during 11 NHL seasons, split between the New Jersey Devils and the Detroit Red Wings. The Dearborn, Mich., native won the Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 2000 and 2003, and a third in 2008 with the Red Wings. He won a silver medal in 2002 and 2010 as a member of the United States Olympic Team.

"I'm just excited to get back on the ice again and see where God takes me on this journey," Rafalski said in a statement issued by the Everblades.

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Daily Primer Jan. 10: March of the Penguins

Friday, 01.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Pittsburgh Penguins are perfect in 2014. They'll try to stay that way Friday night.

The runaway leaders in the Metropolitan Division will try to go 4-for-4 in the new year when they visit the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night. The Penguins started 2014 with home victories against the New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets, then opened a Western Canada trip by beating the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 in a shootout Tuesday. The Penguins rallied for two sixth-attacker goals in that game to force overtime after they were unable to hold an early 2-0 lead.


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Lightning's Cooper is Adams leader at halfway mark

Friday, 01.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com's midseason edition of Trophy Trackers attempts to project winners of the major individual awards. Today we predict the winner of the Jack Adams Award, an annual award presented by the National Hockey League Broadcasters' Association to the NHL coach judged to have contributed the most to his team's success.

When superstar forward Steven Stamkos broke his tibia in a game against the Boston Bruins on Nov. 11, one had to think the Tampa Bay Lightning were in a whole heap of trouble.

After all, Stamkos had 14 goals in 16 games, helping Tampa Bay race out to an impressive 12-4-0 start after finishing in fourth place in the Southeast Division last season with 18 wins in 48 games.

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Super 16: Goalie depth can be top teams' biggest key

Friday, 01.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The goaltender is often seen as not only the most important position in hockey but maybe in all of professional sports. If a team doesn't have a solid or better goaltender, it is probably losing a lot of games and in the process of trying to find an upgrade at the position.

Another position in the discussion is the NFL quarterback. There is no question having an elite goalie or an elite quarterback gives a franchise an advantage and a piece around which to build.

Where the two positions diverge is in overall depth. There are 32 NFL teams, and not only is the group of elite quarterbacks relatively small, there aren't enough who can provide consistent, competent play for every team to have one, let alone two or three.

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Defending NCAA champion Yale set for MSG matchup

Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 9:03 PM / News

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Yale went from tournament upstart to NCAA champions last spring, upsetting top-seeded Quinnipiac in the final of the Frozen Four to win the first national title in school history.

As defending champions, the Bulldogs have spent the season in the spotlight, one that will intensify Saturday night when they face archrival Harvard at Madison Square Garden in a matchup that will be aired nationally on NBCSN.

Coach Keith Allain sees the visit to the Garden as a unique opportunity for his players.

"We like to provide our guys with different experiences and the opportunity to play in New York City in Madison Square Garden, hopefully in front of a packed building," Allain said. "That's something that they'll remember. It allows our alums to get together. Most importantly, it should be a special experience for our guys."


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Ice issue causes Lightning, Capitals to swap ends

Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 8:55 PM / News

NHL.com

The Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning changed ends at the first whistle after the 10:00 mark of the first period to accommodate an issue with the ice in the visitors goal crease at Tampa Bay Times Forum on Thursday.

The NHL said the decision was reached during a conversation between the on-ice officials and the coach and general manager of each team.

The teams switched again in the second and third periods.

Washington led 2-1 when the switch was made after Mikhail Grabovski scored for the Capitals at 10:37.

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Alumni look forward to Yankee Stadium games

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- One of the highlights of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic was a spirited pair of alumni games at Comerica Park in Detroit. More than 30,000 spectators paid tribute to some of the greatest players ever to compete for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. Former players for the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils won't get to enjoy a similar exhibition, but that doesn't mean they aren't anticipating the upcoming pair of games at Yankee Stadium.

At a private event hosted by the NHL Powered by Reebok Store in Manhattan for York Heating and Air Conditioning, three prominent former players expressed their excitement about the upcoming contests, in which the Rangers will play the Devils on Jan. 26 and then the Islanders on Jan. 29 as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.

"I know they're excited and enthusiastic. I don't think you can be anything other than that," Islanders great Mike Bossy said of the current Islanders team. "Just after watching every outdoor game that has been played so far, it's kind of cool, and I'm sure they're extremely excited to be a part of it."


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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