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Finland's Rantanen put on show at World Juniors

Thursday, 01.29.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Finland didn't do much celebrating at the conclusion of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

After winning a gold medal at the 2014 WJC, Finland struggled to find any level of consistency at this year's tournament and finished seventh.

However, forward Mikko Rantanen made quite the impression as one of the youngest players on the team.

In the eyes of some scouts, the 18-year-old left-shot right wing was Finland's best player. He had four of Finland's eight goals at the WJC, and proved to be fast, energetic and reliable player at each end of the ice for Finland.

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Stars center Spezza glad to finally return to Ottawa

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 6:09 PM / NHL Insider

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- For the second time in less than two months, the Ottawa Senators will welcome back a former captain Thursday.

Jason Spezza, who asked to be traded last summer after one season as Senators captain, returns to Canadian Tire Centre with the Dallas Stars.

"It's a date that's been circled on my calendar, so it's kind of nice to have it here and get it over with (Thursday)," Spezza said. "This is a little bit of the closing of the book on the move. That's kind of how I'm looking at it."

Spezza will play Thursday after sustaining a broken nose and a cut that required stitches when he was checked into the boards by Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin on Tuesday.


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Islanders' Clutterbuck fined for diving/embellishment

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 1:30 PM / News

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- New York Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck 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. Fines are assessed to players and head coaches on a graduated scale outlined below:

Citation# Player Fine(s) * Head Coach Fine(s)
1 $2,000 N/A
2 $3,000 N/A
3 $4,000 N/A
4 $5,000 N/A
5 $5,000 $2,000
6 $5,000 $3,000
7 $5,000 $4,000
8 $5,000 $5,000
* For Head Coach, each FINE issued to a player on his Club counts toward total.

Citations are issued by the National Hockey League Hockey Operations Department, which tracks all games, logs all penalties for diving or embellishment and flags all plays not called on the ice that in its opinion were deserving of such a penalty. A Citation is issued once Hockey Operations, through its internal deliberations, is convinced that a player warrants sanction.

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Blue Jackets' Morin placed on injured reserve

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 1:22 PM / News

ColumbusBlueJackets.com

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed left wing Jeremy Morin on Injured Reserve, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. Morin will be sidelined indefinitely due to an upper body injury.

Morin, 23, has recorded a goal and two assists for three points and nine penalty minutes in 17 games with the Blue Jackets this season. Acquired in a trade from the Chicago Blackhawks on December 14, the Auburn, New York native has registered 1-2-3 with 24 penalty minutes in 32 games in 2014-15 and posted 9-10-19 and 65 penalty minutes in 71 career NHL games with the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets. He has also collected 81-77-158, 301 penalty minutes and a +21 plus/minus rating in 208 career American Hockey League games with the Rockford IceHogs.

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Stars' Jokipakka reassigned to AHL

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 12:11 PM / News

DallasStars.com

Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has reassigned defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka to the Texas Stars, Dallas' development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

Jokipakka, 23, has appeared in 19 games for Dallas this season, posting five assists (0-5=5) and 16 shots on goal. The defenseman has registered five points (3-2=5) in 17 games for Texas this season.

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Coyotes' Shinnimin recalled from AHL

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 12:02 PM / News

ArizonaCoyotes.com

GLENDALE, ARIZONAArizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have recalled forward Brendan Shinnimin from the Portland Pirates, the club's American Hockey League affiliate (AHL).

The 24-year-old Shinnimin has appeared in two games with the Coyotes this season. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound native of Winnipeg, Manitoba has also registered 9-16-25 and 45 penalty minutes in 40 games with the Pirates. He represented Portland and recorded two goals and an assist in the 2015 AHL All-Star Game on Monday.

Shinnimin originally signed with the Coyotes as a free agent on March 2, 2012.

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Hidden gems for second half

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 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.

The All-Star break is typically looked at as the halfway point of the season, but in reality most teams are already closer to 50 games played. With that in mind, it is time to start taking a hard look at your fantasy rosters and identifying areas you can shore up via trade and/or waiver wire pick-ups.

Believe it or not, you can find significant value this late in the season if you know where to look for it. There are players that might have dealt with injuries through the first half who are getting healthy, or those who will change zip codes via trade.

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Alfredsson to receive key to city of Ottawa

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 11:07 AM / News

NHL.com

Long-time Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson will receive the key to the city of Ottawa on March 5.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson made the announcement on his verified Twitter account Wednesday.

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Flyers goaltender Zepp loaned to AHL

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 10:53 AM / News

NHL.com

The Philadelphia Flyers announced Wednesday that goaltender Rob Zepp had been loaned to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League.

Zepp, 33, is 3-1-0 with a 2.92 goals-against average and .889 save percentage in six games. He last played Jan. 19 when he allowed four goals on 20 shots in 31:19 of ice time against the New York Islanders.

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Around the League notebook for Tuesday, Jan. 27

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 9:16 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

HALAK LIFTS ISLANDERS INTO TOP SPOT IN EAST

Jaroslav Halak made 40 saves and was 10 seconds away from his fifth shutout of the season as the New York Islanders defeated the New York Rangers 4-1, their third straight win against the Rangers.

* The Islanders improved to 32-14-1 (65 points) to pass the Tampa Bay Lightning (30-15-4, 64 points) -- who lost in regulation at Carolina -- into the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Detroit Red Wings (28-11-9, 65 points) also have 65 points, but the Islanders have one game in hand.

* The Islanders' 32 wins through 47 games equal a franchise record set in 1978-79 (31-6-9). Their 17 home wins in 21 games at Nassau Coliseum also match a club record set in 1978-79 (17-0-4); 20 of their remaining 35 games are at the Coliseum.

* Halak, who played in his first career NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, is 26-9-0 in 35 games this season. He also made 40 saves in a 6-3 win against the Rangers on Oct. 14.

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Quote of the Day

You get the right the whistles at the right times, you can leave him out there. He's a beast when it comes to being on the ice. I thought [Saturday] he was a big man. That first period, he did that lateral cut and it was like three bowling pins bounced off him. There's not too many guys that can do that.

— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on Alex Ovechkin, who enters February tied for the NHL lead in goals