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NHL unveils slate of 2016 outdoor games

2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series features two games in February

Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 1:10 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League announced today the participating Clubs, locations and dates for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® and 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ games planned for the 2015-16 NHL regular season.

The 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will feature the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, on Jan. 1, 2016. When these long-time rivals meet, Boston will become the first Club to host the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® for a second time, after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime at the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Fenway Park. It will mark the first time the Canadiens will play in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and just the second time a Canadian-based NHL team will play in the game, following Toronto's appearance in 2014.

The 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series will feature two games. On Sunday, Feb. 21, in a first for the Club, the Minnesota Wild will play host to the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium on the Univ. of Minnesota campus. The following weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 27, the Colorado Avalanche will make their debut in a regular-season outdoor NHL game when they play host to the Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field.

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Captains revel in opportunity to assign Skills roles

Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 12:02 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

COLUMBUS -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews felt a bit like an executive as he walked into a hotel conference room Saturday morning.

Confronted with a setup with six chairs and a television monitor showing what was essentially a draft board synched to the two laptop computers sitting on the side-by-side folding tables, Toews mustered a quick quip.

"In the war room, eh," he said.

Sort of, yeah.

Toews and his alternate captains, Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Rick Nash of the new York Rangers, sat across from Columbus Blue jackets forward Nick Foligno and his alternate captains, Chicago's Patrick Kane and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, on Saturday morning to select their lineups for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition which will take place Saturday night at Nationwide Arena (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

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Kessel, Seguin traded (again) in Fantasy Draft

Friday, 01.23.2015 / 11:11 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

COLUMBUS -- Forward Phil Kessel went from a prized first-round draft pick to a spare part in a matter of minutes.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews felt it was important to take Kessel with his first pick in the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings on Friday to make up for when he was taken last overall at the inaugural event in Carolina in 2011.

But midway through the draft, Toews had a change of heart, trading the Toronto Maple Leafs forward to the team of Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno in the first All-Star fantasy draft trade, thereby ensuring Kessel's name will be forever attached to the history of this event.

"Again, I was heartbroken about that," Toews said. "I didn't think it was going to come to that point, and it happened so quick. I just kind of had to go with it."

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Top pick in draft puts Blue Jackets together for game

Friday, 01.23.2015 / 11:01 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- The fate of Columbus Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen was decided when teammate Nick Foligno, captain of Team Foligno, won the puck toss for the first selection of the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings.

That left no chance for Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews, leader of Team Toews, to swoop in and steal Johansen in front of the hometown fans at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on Friday.

True to his words to the media beforehand, Foligno made Johansen the top pick in a reunion of linemates with the Blue Jackets for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"[Johansen] had to be my first pick," Foligno said. "He's a guy who's battled with me all year long so I wanted to make sure he was first."

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Laughs, first-ever trade make for exciting All-Star draft

Friday, 01.23.2015 / 10:59 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

COLUMBUS -- NHL All-Star Weekend is a celebration of hockey and it is supposed to be fun.

The rosters for Team Foligno and Team Toews were selected Friday night during the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft, but the jokes and the entertainment stole the show.

Laughs were the soundtrack as Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno and Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews selected teams for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) and 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"It was really fun. I was nervous going into it, but I had a great time with it," Foligno said. "The guys made it really easy. The personalities really came out. It was a lot of fun."

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Ovechkin has fun trying for new car at All-Star draft

Friday, 01.23.2015 / 10:48 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

COLUMBUS -- Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin stole the show Friday with his pleas to be the last pick in the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings so he could leave with a new car. His all-star peers got a kick out of watching Ovechkin's comedy act, but in the end, they got the last laugh.

"He wanted the car, but it seems like he always gets exactly what he wants, whether it's goals or Rocket Richard [Trophies]," said Rick Nash, an alternate captain for Team Toews. "The captains had a plan for that."

Ovechkin was selected by Team Foligno with the third-to-last pick.

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Jackets' Johansen top pick at All-Star Fantasy Draft

Friday, 01.23.2015 / 10:26 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL Public Relations

Forward Ryan Johansen of the All-Star host Columbus Blue Jackets was the first overall selection at the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft™ presented by DraftKings, conducted at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

The 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft™ presented by DraftKings divided the All-Stars and rookies into two teams for the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus, Jan. 23-25: Team Foligno, led by captain Nick Foligno of the All-Star host Blue Jackets along with assistant captains Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings) and Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks); and Team Toews, featuring captain Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks with assistant captains Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks) and Rick Nash (New York Rangers).

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Blues goalie Elliott ends vacation for All-Star shot

Friday, 01.23.2015 / 9:52 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

COLUMBUS -- St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott was snorkeling with his wife, Amanda, off the coast of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Thursday. Twenty-four hours later they were on their way to Columbus, by way of St. Louis so they could pick up some clothes and Elliott his gear.

Elliott's all-star vacation was supposed to last until Saturday; he cut it a day short because being part of the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend was too important to him and too big of an opportunity to pass up.

"From a young age being a goalie, whenever I got a chance to go on the ice, I always said, 'Yes,'" Elliott told NHL.com during a phone interview Friday night before he boarded his flight from St. Louis to Columbus. "That's usually what happened in the summertime. I'd play a game and the next team would say they were missing a goalie and (ask) would I play. I always said, 'Yes.'

"With an honor like this, you can't turn it down. That honor doesn't get taken lightly and that's why I wanted to say yes and come as quickly as I could. It's just awesome to be able to do it."


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2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft commentary

Friday, 01.23.2015 / 9:36 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

COLUMBUS -- The 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings was held Friday, and captains Nick Foligno of the hometown Columbus Blue Jackets and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks shaped their teams for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; NBSN, CBC, TVA Sports) by picking the players they feel can lead them to victory, or just pick their buddies.

NHL.com's live Fantasy Draft blog followed where your favorite player was chosen, and be sure to check out the official rosters page.

Team Foligno got the first pick after winning the puck toss, and Foligno made the hometown crowd happy by picking Blue Jackets teammate and linemate Ryan Johansen.

"We really enjoy playing together," Foligno said.

Team Toews, instead of following Foligno's lead and taking one of his three available Blackhawks teammates who are in Columbus, decided to right a previous wrong.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel, who was the last pick at the first All-Star Fantasy Draft in Carolina in 2011, was a first-round pick this time.

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All-stars find it 'fun to hang out with' competition

Friday, 01.23.2015 / 8:59 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

COLUMBUS -- Patrik Elias was surveying the room Friday, watching players mingle and talk with each other behind the stage at the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings. He recognized almost all of them, but admitted there were a few faces he couldn't place with the name, in particular Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Zemgus Girgensons.

Forgive Elias. At 38, the New Jersey Devils forward is the oldest player participating in the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend. Florida Panthers rookie Aaron Ekblad wasn't born when Elias made his NHL debut for the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 7, 1995. Ekblad was 4 years old when Elias won the Stanley Cup for the first time.

"There are so many young players here," Elias said. "Good for them."

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Quote of the Day

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). This is a little bit of the closing of the book on the move. That's kind of how I'm looking at it.

— Stars forward Jason Spezza on returning to Ottawa for the first time to face the Senators