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Keon, Horton, Broda join Maple Leafs' Legends Row

Saturday, 01.23.2016 / 9:07 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- Dave Keon is officially a Toronto Maple Leafs legend.

Keon, 75, was among the latest group of former Maple Leafs stars to join Legends Row, a collection of statues located outside Air Canada Centre in Maple Leafs Square. Also honored prior to Toronto's game against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday were goaltender Turk Broda and defenseman Tim Horton.

"I'm very pleased to be here tonight; to be part of the next group of Legends Row with Turk and Tim," Keon said. "It's a great honor and I'm very happy."

Keon was a fan favorite during his time with the Maple Leafs, and many consider him to be one of the greatest players in franchise history. Keon was part of the Maple Leafs' Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1962-64 and 1967, and he served as captain from 1969-70 through 1974-75.

NHL's Boston College alums laud York for 1,000th win

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 9:11 PM / NCAA Update

The reaction to Jerry York becoming the first NCAA hockey coach to reach 1,000 victories was felt not only at Boston College, where he has led the Eagles to four national championships since taking the job in 1994, but throughout the NHL.

A host of BC alumni around the League heaped praise upon their former coach, who reached the milestone Friday when Boston College defeated the University of Massachusetts 8-0 in Amherst, Mass.

Blue Jackets, fans soak in scene at outdoor practice

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 4:20 PM / NHL Insider

Craig Merz - Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets players, despite an injury to coach John Tortorella, were having such a good time skating outside it was hard for many to leave.

Tortorella sustained two broken ribs after a collision with forward Rene Bourque about 20 minutes into the Blue Jackets' first outdoor skate, held Friday morning at Winter Park in McFerson Commons, across from Nationwide Arena. Tortorella left the ice and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. He did not travel with the Blue Jackets to Boston on Friday afternoon and it's unlikely he will coach the Blue Jackets on Saturday against the Boston Bruins.

The practice essentially ended after that, so the players did shootout drills for a while before leaving the ice a few at a time. Some stayed more than 45 minutes after the accident to soak up the atmosphere.

"It brings you back to the days of your childhood, lacing them up in the snow bank and going out there and whacking the puck around," said forward Scott Hartnell, who played in the NHL Winter Classic twice with the Philadelphia Flyers. "You know how cold it is and you want to stay out there at all hours of the night finishing your best-of-7 series for the Stanley Cup when you're 9 years old, 8 years old."

Penguins' Malkin: 'I believe we will make the playoffs'

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 2:59 PM / NHL Insider

Center Evgeni Malkin is confident the Pittsburgh Penguins will make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 10th straight season.

"Now we are starting to believe that we can win every game," Malkin told the Penguins website Friday. "We have a great team. We started playing better. I believe that we will make the playoffs."

The Penguins have 51 points, two behind the New Jersey Devils for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference, but they have two games in hand on the Devils. Pittsburgh is three points behind the New York Islanders for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Penguins are 5-2-3 in their past 10 games, including a 4-3 come-from-behind victory against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. But they haven't won consecutive games since Dec. 31 at the Detroit Red Wings and Jan. 2 against the New York Islanders.

Canadiens' Gallagher breaks down NFL title games

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 2:24 PM / NHL Insider

Brendan Gallagher - Special to

Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher showed the hockey world during "EPIX presents Road to the Winter Classic" how big of a football fan he is, and more specifically how devoted he is to the Cincinnati Bengals. With his beloved Bengals out of the NFL playoffs, Gallagher has agreed to share his thoughts and his picks on for the remaining playoff games and the Feb. 7 Super Bowl.

Gallagher's second installment explains how he went a perfect 4-0 in his debut as an NFL prognosticator last week.

Confidence is at an all-time high right now.

Last week's 4-0 record was a nice entrance to my new role as an NFL Insider, but I took all the home teams, all the favorites. This week I took two road teams, so we'll see how it goes.

A few of the guys have been giving it to me since my picks came out last week. I talk like this all the time, throughout the year, and I like to talk as if I know exactly what I'm talking about. So maybe it's gone to my head, and they're keeping me level.

That's what good friends do; they keep you humble.

But I'm still confident. After going 4-0, I see the analysts on TV and most of them were not at the level I was at.

Ron Burgundy inspires 'classy' AHL goalie mask

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 12:24 PM / NHL Insider

Goalie Ryan Faragher of the San Diego Gulls, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks, used the Will Ferrell blockbuster movie "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," as inspiration for his new goalie mask.

The mask features a portrait of Burgundy, the lead character from the 2004 movie. Burgundy, played by Ferrell, is the anchor of fictional San Diego TV station KVWN Channel 4. The Channel 4 logo from the movie is portrayed prominently on the mask, as is a picture of the main characters in the movie: Burgundy along with David Koechner, who played sports anchor Champ Kind; Paul Rudd, who played reporter Brian Fantana; and Steve Carell, who played weatherman Brick Tamland.

Fantasy Friday: Lecavalier making noise in L.A.

Matt Cubeta - Fantasy Insider

With the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2006-07, a 26-year-old Vincent Lecavalier had his best NHL season with a League-best 52 goals and 108 points, third-most in the League.

The following season he had 40 goals and 92 points. But after that season things started to decline for Lecavalier. He never scored 30 goals again, his point totals declined in three consecutive seasons from the 2009-10 until 2012-13, and he was bought out of his contract following the 2012-13 season.

Vincent Lecavalier
Center - LAK
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 5
SOG: 18 | +/-: -1
Lecavalier then signed a five-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers on July 6, 2013, entering his age-33 season. He had 20 goals and 37 points in 69 games in 2013-14. Last season though he found himself in and out of the lineup and had 20 points in 57 games. This season he had one point in seven games for the Flyers and was scratched 23 times. On Jan. 6 the Flyers traded Lecavalier to the Los Angeles Kings.

Seven games into his Kings career, Lecavalier has looked like a new player with new motivation. He has three goals and an assist, with all three of his goals coming on the power play over the past four games. At even strength he's been centering a line with Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson. He's also playing with Carter and Marian Gaborik on the power play. He's had at least 13:43 of ice time in four of the past five games.

CM Punk mixes love for hockey with UFC training

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 9:16 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson didn't know what to think when CM Punk hopped on the ice wearing a pair of skates and a clutching hockey stick in his bare hands after an off-ice strength and conditioning session at Prudential Center on Wednesday.

Punk, born Phil Brooks, was one of five mixed martial arts fighters, all representing the Ultimate Fighting Championship, invited to participate with Devils strength and conditioning coaches Joe Lorincz and Jaime Rodriguez on Wednesday and Thursday as part of the UFC's cross-training program.

"When CM Punk skated onto the ice with no gloves, people were saying it was going to be an MMA match on the ice so I wanted no part of that," Severson said. "The only advantage I had was that he said he hadn't been on skates in 20 years, so maybe he was a little rusty. But I wouldn't want to get in the ring with any of those guys."

Super 16: Canada could miss Stanley Cup Playoffs

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The rapid decline of the Montreal Canadiens has put Canada in jeopardy of being shut out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since the NHL-WHA merger in 1979 gave the NHL six Canadian teams.

All seven Canadian teams are on the outside of the playoff picture in their respective conferences entering play Thursday. If they all miss it will mark the first time Canada hasn't had a team in the playoffs since 1970, when the only Canadian teams were the Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

For nearly two months this season the Canadiens looked like Canada's best shot to break what is approaching a 23-year Stanley Cup championship drought. Now they're at risk of not getting into the playoffs at all.

Sommer to set AHL record with 636th coaching win

Friday, 01.22.2016 / 3:00 AM / AHL Update

Eric Gilmore - Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Roy Sommer had finished a 27-point championship season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the International Hockey League in 1987, and the left-shooting center was expecting to play an 11th season somewhere.

His junior and professional playing career had taken him all over North America, playing for 12 teams in seven leagues, including a stop with the Edmonton Oilers in 1981, where he played three games with a kid named Wayne Gretzky. Sommer even scored a goal and got into a fight during his one-and-only stint in the National Hockey League.

But when Rick Ley, his coach at Muskegon, offered him the job of assistant coach after the 1986-87 season, Sommer's life took another turn, one that has him on the verge of hockey history 29 years later.

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