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Blues sign Reaves to four-year extension

Friday, 01.10.2014 / 8:02 PM / News

NHL.com

The St. Louis Blues on Friday signed forward Ryan Reaves to a four-year contract extension worth $4.5 million.

Reaves, 26, has played in 26 games this season, scoring two goals and five points. He has a plus-7 rating and 65 penalty minutes.

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Ducks recall goaltender Gibson

Friday, 01.10.2014 / 3:44 PM / News

NHL.com

The Anaheim Ducks on Friday recalled goaltender John Gibson from their American Hockey League affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals.

Gibson, a 2011 second-round pick (No. 39), is 11-9-3 with a 2.61 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in 26 games in his first full professional season.

Last season Gibson helped the United States to the bronze medal at the 2013 IIHF World Championship, posting a 1.56 GAA and .951 save percentage in five games.

That came a few months after he backstopped the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. Gibson had a tournament-leading 1.36 GAA and .955 save percentage en route to being named the tournament's best goaltender and most valuable player.


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Predators' Rinne progressing in rehabilitation

Friday, 01.10.2014 / 1:21 PM / News

NHL.com

The Nashville Predators announced Friday that goaltender Pekka Rinne, limited to nine games this season due to a hip infection, has been cleared to begin weight-bearing exercises under a doctor's supervision.

"We are encouraged and pleased to report that Pekka is moving on to the next stage in his recovery and rehabilitation," the Predators said in a statement released Friday. "He has been cleared to begin weight-bearing exercises under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Byrd. There is no timetable for this stage as that will be evaluated by Dr. Byrd and our medical team on a daily basis. Our primary objective is to insure Pekka's full recovery and return to the ice by taking every possible precaution throughout the process. We will provide further updates when available."

Rinne hasn't played since Oct. 22. In his absence the Predators have used a tandem of Carter Hutton, who had one game of NHL experience prior to this season, and Marek Mazanec, in his first season playing in North America.

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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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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