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2014 NHL Draft
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(Page 6 of 255)
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Slovakia exhibition games to honor Demitra's legacy

Monday, 07.21.2014 / 2:43 PM / News

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Pavol Demitra will be honored in a series of charity exhibition games in Slovakia next month, almost three years after he and 43 other passengers died in a plane crash in Yaroslavl, Russia.

A group of Slovakian All-Stars and alumni from the St. Louis Blues will participate in three games to raise money for grass-roots hockey in Slovakia. The first game will take place Aug. 20 in Poprad, to be followed on Aug. 22 in Trencin and Aug. 23 in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava.

Slovakian legend Anton Stastny is one of the players participating in the game, as are former Blues players Kelly Chase, Lubos Bartecko, Scott Young, Jamal Mayers, Marc Bergevin, Bernie Federko and Tyson Nash. Almost all the Blues players participating played at some point with Demitra, who played eight seasons in St. Louis from 1996 to 2004.

"[Demitra] just got along with everyone. He came in a room and he didn't have to say much, but people liked him and he always took time for everyone in his own way," Chase said. "You go to talk to these guys and everyone says the same thing. This guy was just solid. We just had a real liking for him because he had a great personality. You want to be around a guy like that because he was good to everyone."

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Canadiens sign first-round pick Nikita Scherbak

Monday, 07.21.2014 / 2:43 PM / News

NHL.com

The Montreal Canadiens on Monday signed 2014 first-round pick Nikita Scherbak to a three-year, entry-level contract. No financial terms were disclosed.

Scherbak had team-high totals of 28 goals, 50 assists and 78 points in 65 regular-season games with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League in 2013-14. He led all WHL rookies in scoring by a margin of 19 points.

Scherbak played for Russia in the 2013 Subway Super Series, his first time on the international stage while representing his country. He also participated in the 2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

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Barbashev agrees to entry-level contract with Blues

Monday, 07.21.2014 / 1:58 PM / News

NHL.com

The St. Louis Blues agreed to terms on a three-year entry-level contract with forward Ivan Barbashev, their second-round selection (No. 33) in the 2014 NHL Draft, the team announced Monday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Barbashev, 18, appeared in 48 games with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, finishing second on the team with 68 points, including a team-high 43 assists.

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Blues forward Sobotka awarded one-year contract

Monday, 07.21.2014 / 10:29 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Vladimir Sobotka
Left Wing - STL
GOALS: 9 | ASST: 24 | PTS: 33
SOG: 102 | +/-: 14
Forward Vladimir Sobotka was awarded a one-year contract through arbitration Monday, the St. Louis Blues announced. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports he will receive $2.725 million for the season he returns to the NHL.

Sobotka will play with Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League in 2014-15.

"We are looking forward to having Vladimir in a Blues uniform when he returns to the NHL," general manager Doug Armstrong said. "We wish him the best of luck in the upcoming season."

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Rebuilding Sabres boast size, skill in young forwards

Monday, 07.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- If there's a saying that might become popular in Buffalo in coming seasons, it's "Youth is king."

The players taking part in Buffalo Sabres development camp make up the foundation of the organizational rebuild that's underway. All positions feature players the Sabres expect to become NHL players, in some cases great ones.

A major key to the future comes from the forwards they've collected through the draft and trades, and the spotlight is on Sam Reinhart, taken with the No. 2 pick of the 2014 NHL Draft.

His big season with Kootenay in the Western Hockey League, when he had 36 goals and 105 points, has fans hoping he'll be in the Sabres' opening-night lineup. It's a challenge he's ready to take on.

"The biggest thing for this week was getting comfortable with it," Reinhart said. "Obviously it's another step up when the next training camp comes around, so I think the biggest thing is pace of play, and obviously that's something I've been working on for some time, so it was pretty good to get in here and experience that."

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Ekblad learns lessons from Panthers prospect camp

Monday, 07.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- After Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad wrapped up his first professional development camp, the first pick in the 2014 NHL Draft wasn't quite sure what was next on his agenda.

Perhaps he would attend a camp in Cape Cod conducted by Panthers skating and skills coach Paul Vincent. Or maybe he would stay in Ontario and focus on off-ice training.

Either way, Ekblad is going to be working. The development camp provided him with an idea of what it would take to earn a spot on Florida's roster in training camp and he'll spend the rest of the summer with that thought in mind.

"I loved it," Ekblad said after development camp ended. "I had a lot of fun from the very beginning, learning quite a few pretty important lessons I can take into the rest of the summer. Obviously I still have a lot of hard work to go through to make this team in September."

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New home for Red Wings planned for 2017

Sunday, 07.20.2014 / 4:29 PM / News

NHL.com

Olympia Development of Michigan announced plans Sunday for a sports and entertainment district that will feature a new arena for the Detroit Red Wings. It will transform dozens of underutilized blocks between downtown and midtown Detroit.

The district will encompass dozens of blocks along and near Woodward Avenue. Development will be integrated with existing sports and entertainment venues in or adjacent to the space, including the Fox Theatre, Comerica Park, MotorCity Casino Hotel, Ford Field, the Detroit Opera House and the Fillmore Detroit.

The Red Wings have been playing their home games at Joe Louis Arena since 1979.

"It's always been my dream to see a vibrant and energized downtown Detroit," Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch said. "I want people to look at Detroit's new sports and entertainment district and see what I see: the potential for something very special. I couldn't be more excited and proud to bring this vision to life."

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Jordan Schmaltz asserting himself with Blues

Sunday, 07.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Leading up to the 2014 NHL Draft, brothers Jordan Schmaltz and Nick Schmaltz visualized a scenario of playing in the NHL together.

Jordan was a 2012 first-round pick (No. 25) of the St. Louis Blues; Nick was the anxious little brother awaiting his turn as the 2014 draft took place at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia in June.

The Blues were searching for forwards, so the younger Schmaltz, a center/right wing who most recently played for the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League, would have been a perfect fit alongside his brother.

There will be an NHL reunion one day, but it will likely involve Jordan and Nick competing as adversaries in one of the best rivalries in the game.

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Kapanen wows Penguins brass at development camp

Saturday, 07.19.2014 / 7:20 PM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Kasperi Kapanen understands any expectations of making the Pittsburgh Penguins opening-night roster could be unrealistic, but the forward is prepared to defy the odds.

Kapanen, Pittsburgh's first-round pick (No. 22) in the 2014 NHL Draft, skated at Consol Energy Center for the first time this week during Penguins development camp. The 17-year-old began the week frustrated by his lack of game-ready legs.

By the time camp ended, Kapanen said he felt there was room for significant improvement, but he is ready to compete when Pittsburgh opens training camp in September.

"I'm still not at the top of my game. I haven't been on the ice this summer at all before this," Kapanen said. "So it's been hard for me. But this week, it's been fun to be on the ice and being on the ice with these guys. It felt good, I felt good with the puck. I think I made some good plays.

"[Being prepared for training camp] is going to be tough. It's going to be tough, but I'm ready. I think I'm up for the challenge. I know some people might doubt me, but I'm just going to bring everything to the table and hopefully make the team."

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Rangers agree to terms with forward Stempniak

Saturday, 07.19.2014 / 1:23 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

The New York Rangers have agreed to terms with right wing Lee Stempniak, the team announced Saturday. Financial terms were not disclosed, but multiple media outlets are reporting it's a one-year contract worth $900,000.

Stempniak, 31, played 73 games last season with the Calgary Flames and Pittsburgh Penguins. He had 12 goals, 22 assists and 32 penalty minutes.

Stempniak began the season with Calgary and had a point in nine of his first 10 games. After being traded to Pittsburgh for a third-round draft pick, he made his Penguins debut on March 6 and had 11 points (four goals, seven assists) and a plus-5 rating in 21 games. He had two goals and one assist for the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis