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AHL Board approves rule changes

Thursday, 07.10.2014 / 2:42 PM / News

NHL.com

The American Hockey League's Board of Governors approved the following rules changes at its 2014 Annual Meeting that ended Thursday at Hilton Head Island, S.C. These changes take effect starting with the 2014-15 season.

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Roy says Avalanche could be better this season

Thursday, 07.10.2014 / 1:49 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

After watching the offseason moves made by the Colorado Avalanche, coach Patrick Roy believes his team may be better now than the one that finished first in the Central Division last season.

Speaking with media at a golf tournament in Quebec on Thursday, Roy lauded the acquisitions made by Colorado management, most notably the signing of veteran forward Jarome Iginla, and the trades made to acquire defenseman Brad Stuart from the San Jose Sharks and forward Daniel Briere from the Montreal Canadiens.

"The addition of Iginla for us is very important," Roy said. "I think he's going to help our younger players continue to grow. It's extremely positive. Brad Stuart on defense will provide stability. He's going to play some big minutes and can play with Erik Johnson on the top pair. We're very confident with these additions. I think we improved the team in an important way."

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Sharks' Hertl looking to improve on rookie season

Thursday, 07.10.2014 / 1:01 PM / NHL Insider

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Tomas Hertl's rookie season with the San Jose Sharks was packed with meteoric highs and devastating lows, each sudden change in elevation a valuable learning experience.

Hertl grabbed the national spotlight in his third NHL game when he scored four goals against the New York Rangers on Oct. 8, 2013 at SAP Center. He capped the performance with a between-the-legs, top-shelf goal.

Two months later, Hertl's Calder Trophy dreams came to an end when he damaged two ligaments in his right knee Dec. 19 in a collision with Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown. Hertl returned for the final two regular-season games and seven games in the Sharks' loss to the Kings in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We found out a lot about Tomas when things were going good, but we also found out a lot of things about him when things weren't so good," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said Wednesday during development camp. "His commitment to his rehab and to getting back into the lineup was exceptional, his want to play with his teammates in the playoffs. He showed us a lot of real positives through the bad times as much as through the good times last year
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Gudbranson, Panthers agree on two-year contract

Thursday, 07.10.2014 / 11:36 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Defenseman Erik Gudbranson agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Florida Panthers on Thursday. Financial details were not released.

"Erik is an important part of our young core of talented players who we are pleased to have signed," general manager Dale Tallon told the Panthers website. "He is a big, strong and physical defenseman who is one of the building blocks for our team. We look forward to his continued development and his contributions to the South Florida community."

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Senators re-sign forward Grant

Thursday, 07.10.2014 / 11:33 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Forward Derek Grant signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Ottawa Senators, the team  announced Thursday. Financial details were not revealed, but multiple media outlets reported it at $700,000 if he's in the NHL and $85,000 in the American Hockey League.

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Center upgrades add punch to loaded Central Division

Thursday, 07.10.2014 / 10:38 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Central Division has been the center of attention in the NHL this offseason.

Nearly every team in the division has upgraded at the center position, and the two that didn't, the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild, will likely be moving one of the top young players in the League to the middle on a more permanent basis.

The result of a flurry of trades and signings has the Central looking like the toughest division in the NHL for the 2014-15 season. Though the Chicago Blackhawks still look like the leader of the group, they finished third in the division standings last season and might only have the fourth- or even fifth-best collection of centers despite the presence of all-world pivot Jonathan Toews.

Five teams made the postseason in 2013-14 and the Nashville Predators missed by three points. Any of those six teams will be confident they can be a playoff team in the coming season, and 95 points might not be out of the question for any of them.

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Samson signs two-way contract with Lightning

Thursday, 07.10.2014 / 9:26 AM / News

NHL.com

Free agent forward Jerome Samson signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. Financial terms were not released.

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Kamenev will return to Russia after Predators camp

Thursday, 07.10.2014 / 9:19 AM / News

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Nashville Predators prospect Vladislav Kamenev, a participant in development camp this week at Bridgestone Arena, will return to his country to fulfill contract obligations with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Rostyslav Saglo, who serves as Kamenev's agent in the KHL, confirmed the news for NHL.com via email.

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Goalie Subban ready to climb Bruins depth chart

Thursday, 07.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / News

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins goaltending prospect Malcolm Subban knows how to make an entrance.

Subban was the only player missing at the start of the first on-ice session at the Bruins' annual development camp at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday. About 20 minutes into drills, he finally made his way through the boards and onto the rink.

As it turns out, Subban cramped up after the run that was part of the prospects' off-ice testing. He stayed back to ice down and earned a valuable piece of advice from Bruins management.

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Burakovsky ready to challenge for spot with Capitals

Thursday, 07.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Life was a series of adjustments for Andre Burakovsky last season.

In migrating to the Ontario Hockey League from Sweden, the Erie Otters forward and Washington Capitals prospect thrust himself into a completely foreign situation.

His schedule became consumed by hockey, leaving him with little free time outside the rink. On the ice the smaller playing surface presented its own challenges, particularly when it came to proper positioning and keeping pace with the speed of the game.

Burakovsky, attending Washington's development camp this week, characterized his first several games with Erie as "really, really bad."

"I was wondering how I could play so well the year before then come over here and nothing really worked for me," he said. "It takes time to learn the game. You don't just learn it one day. It takes weeks."

To those around him, though, whatever struggles he may have had were negligible.

"If he had problems at the beginning," Erie coach Kris Knoblauch said, "he didn't show them."

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Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals