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Wings' Nyquist fined $2,000 for diving/embellishment

Wednesday, 01.07.2015 / 4:30 PM / News

NHL.com

NEW YORKDetroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist has been fined $2,000 as supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64 (Diving/Embellishment), the National Hockey League announced today.

Revised for the 2014-15 season following offseason approval by the League's Board of Governors and the National Hockey League Players' Association, NHL Rule 64 is designed to bring attention to and more seriously penalize players (and teams) who repeatedly dive and embellish in an attempt to draw penalties.

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Wild coach Yeo laces into players for practice effort

Wednesday, 01.07.2015 / 3:42 PM / News

NHL.com

One day after the Minnesota Wild lost for the 13th time in their past 20 games, coach Mike Yeo reached his boiling point.

Yeo laced into his team Wednesday with a tirade that, according to the Minneapolis-Star Tribune, demanded more effort and execution, detailed how poorly the Wild have been playing and lambasted the players for having the "audacity to show up and practice like this!" After screaming for about a minute, Yeo skated toward the visiting bench, slammed his stick into the glass, skated toward the Wild bench and left the ice.

"We weren't good enough," Yeo told the Wild website. "And we're not in a position where we can come in and be let alone decent in practice, bad at practice. I'm not going to accept that. I think I made my point at that time and that was enough.

"We lost [Tuesday to the San Jose Sharks]. We come to the rink today and what are we going to have a practice like that? That's not good enough. I know one thing, we can hang our heads, we can feel sorry for ourselves, we can point fingers, we can do whatever we want. But those types of things are not the types of things that winners do and those types of things do not help you get out of something like this. I know what I'm going to control and I'm going to make sure that I bring it."

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Maple Leafs' Kessel aware critics 'expect more'

Wednesday, 01.07.2015 / 1:26 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- With the Toronto Maple Leafs having made a coaching change, forward Phil Kessel, already their top scorer, is feeling additional heat to improve his play.

Kessel, who ranks 10th in NHL scoring with 18 goals and 41 points in 40 games, has one goal in his past nine games and three in his past 12.

"Obviously we haven't been winning and that's what happens; they're going to come after you," Kessel said. "It's never fun, but it's part of the business."

Former Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson suggested Tuesday during a radio interview that the core group of players on the Maple Leafs, which includes Kessel, may be uncoachable. Kessel was asked about his former coach’s statement and said, "I don't really care, to be honest with you. I didn't see it, so it doesn't really faze me."

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Barrie a bright spot for Avalanche

Wednesday, 01.07.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

UPDATED TOP 60 DEFENSEMEN RANKINGS

Patrick Roy returned to the Colorado Avalanche last season and coached them to the third-best record in the NHL and their first berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in three seasons. Many players contributed to that success, including Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon, but defensemen Tyson Barrie might have been an even bigger surprise.

Barrie, selected in the third round (No. 64) of the 2009 NHL Draft, took a few years to develop, making his debut on Feb. 7, 2012. He played 42 games over his first two seasons in the League, scoring 13 points (two goals).

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Horachek named interim Maple Leafs coach

Wednesday, 01.07.2015 / 10:47 AM / News

TorontoMapleLeafs.com

David Nonis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs announced Wednesday that Peter Horachek has been named the club's interim head coach while Steve Staios, the Leafs' Manager of Player Development, will also support the coaching staff on the bench and in practice.

Horachek, 54, was originally named an assistant coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 11, 2014. The Stoney Creek, Ontario native served as head coach of the American Hockey League's San Antonio Rampage at the beginning of the 2013-14 season before being appointed head coach of the Florida Panthers with 66 games remaining in the regular season (going 26-36-4 in the process). Prior to joining the Panthers organization, Horachek spent nine seasons as an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators (2003-2013), serving his last two years as associate coach. Over his coaching career, Horachek has also served as head coach for the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL, 2002-03), Trenton Titans (ECHL, 2001-02) and Orlando Solar Bears (IHL, 1999-2001), where he led the Bears to the 2001 Turner Cup.

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Panthers' Luongo back in Vancouver to face Canucks

Wednesday, 01.07.2015 / 9:20 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo isn't sure what to expect from Vancouver Canucks fans when he returns for the first time to play his old team on Thursday.

With Luongo, it's often hard to tell the cheers from jeers anyway.

"Loos and boos all sound the same, so I won't be able to tell the difference," Luongo said. "Hopefully it's good, but that's not up to me."

Neither was his departure from Vancouver, at least not entirely.

Despite requesting a trade after losing the No. 1 job to Cory Schneider late in the 2011-12 season and enduring a two-year soap opera that followed, Luongo had come around on staying in Vancouver, maybe even finishing his career with the Canucks after Schneider was traded to the New Jersey Devils at the 2013 NHL Draft. He was the No. 1 again, but after returning from the 2014 Sochi Olympics he watched Eddie Lack play three straight games, including the Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at BC Place.

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Around the League notebook for Tuesday, Jan. 6

Wednesday, 01.07.2015 / 9:00 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

STRONG THIRD PERIOD HELPS PREDATORS KEEP DIVISION LEAD

The Nashville Predators scored three goals in the third period, including two in the final 9:31, to defeat the erase a 2-1 deficit and defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2, extending their point streak to six games (4-0-2 since Dec. 27).

* With the victory, the Predators (26-9-4, 56 points) pulled two points ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks (26-12-2, 54 points) for first place in the Central Division and within two points of the idle Anaheim Ducks (26-9-6, 58 points) for top spot in the entire NHL.

* The Predators improved to 8-2-0 all-time at home vs. CAR. Overall, Nashville has won four straight games at Bridgestone Arena; they share the NHL lead with 15 home wins and are tied for second with 31 home points this season.

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Quote of the Day

Obviously there's a lot of expectations around me but it's something I try not to focus on. I'm just trying to go out there, be myself on the ice every day, try to get better, be myself around the guys in the locker room. I think that's what's made me successful and the person that I am.

— Sabres forward Jack Eichel on transitioning from college hockey to the NHL