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Fantasy top 60 'D': Sens' Wiercioch finds relevance

Wednesday, 03.25.2015 / 12:08 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.

In the NHL, one month can make a big difference for a team or a player, and that has been the case for Ottawa Senators defenseman Patrick Wiercioch.

As recently as Feb. 25 his name was coming up in trade rumors and the 24-year-old had no idea if he'd be a member of the team that selected him in the second round (No. 42) of the 2008 NHL Draft or if he'd have to get acclimated to a new environment following the NHL Trade Deadline.

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Adam Kimelman's 2015 mock draft part II

Wednesday, 03.25.2015 / 12:00 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor


Kimelman's Draft
*Note: Standings are through games played March 22
  1.BUF

Connor McDavid, C, Erie (OHL)

The top talent in this year's draft class, the 6-foot, 175-pound forward finished third in the OHL in scoring with 120 points and tied for fourth with 44 goals despite playing 21 fewer games than the league leader. A generational talent.

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Mike G. Morreale's 2015 mock draft part II

Wednesday, 03.25.2015 / 12:00 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer


Morreale's Draft
*Note: Standings are through games played March 22
  1.BUF

Connor McDavid, C, Erie (OHL)

McDavid, regarded as the best player to come through the draft since Sidney Crosby, has incredible speed with game-changing potential. Was among the OHL scoring leaders despite missing six weeks because of a broken hand and the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. His 11 points in seven games tied for the WJC tournament lead, helped Canada win the gold medal and earned him a spot on the tournament all-star team.

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McDavid consensus top pick in NHL.com mock drafts

Wednesday, 03.25.2015 / 12:00 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

NHL.com

When the 2014-15 season began, Connor McDavid of the Ontario Hockey League's Erie Otters was considered the best prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft.

Months later very little has changed.

In the latest mock drafts by NHL.com staff writers Adam Kimelman and Mike G. Morreale, McDavid remains the consensus No. 1 pick.

McDavid is viewed by many scouts as the best draft-age prospect since Sidney Crosby in 2005. Despite playing about 20 fewer games than most of the scoring leaders in the OHL, McDavid finished third in scoring with 120 points and tied for fourth with 44 goals.

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Blue Jackets forward Boll faces Player Safety hearing

Wednesday, 03.25.2015 / 10:02 AM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll will have a hearing Thursday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim Ducks forward Patrick Maroon during a game at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday.

Maroon was hit by Boll at 4:02 of the second period in the Blue Jackets' 5-3 win. No penalty was assessed on the play and Maroon remained in the game.

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Five things to watch when Flyers host Blackhawks

Wednesday, 03.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Chicago Blackhawks' week of playing against teams that are trying to play the spoiler role continues at the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

After a 3-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, the Blackhawks' continued pursuit of a Central Division crown will be featured this week in the Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA) from Wells Fargo Center.

Here are five things to watch between the Blackhawks and Flyers:

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Flyers' Emery savored chance after hip surgery

Wednesday, 03.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Five years ago, Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ray Emery received what was supposed to be a hockey death sentence. He was diagnosed with avascular necrosis in his right hip. Not only was his hockey career over, walking normally again was in question.

Today, as Emery prepares for a game against the Chicago Blackhawks (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports), he has a Stanley Cup ring (won with the Blackhawks), is in the second season of his second stint with the Flyers, and has no intention of putting his pads away any time soon.

Emery said early in the 2009-10 season with the Flyers, he felt pain in his hip, groin and pelvis. Surgery in December 2009 to repair torn abdominal muscles kept him out six weeks. But on Feb. 1, 2010 in a game at the Calgary Flames, the pain returned worse.

"That game in Calgary I said, 'Something's not right,'" Emery said. "Feels like my leg is going to fall off."

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LaFontaine returns to Islanders roots at Coliseum

Tuesday, 03.24.2015 / 2:26 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Pat LaFontaine arrived at Nassau Coliseum in 1984 and was asked to help the New York Islanders win the Stanley Cup for a fifth consecutive year.

They nearly pulled it off, reaching the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Edmonton Oilers in five games. LaFontaine, who was 19 at the time and New York's first-round pick (No. 3) a year prior, had three goals and six assists in 19 playoff games.

"We went on an unbelievable run," LaFontaine said. "If not for a few injuries and a few guys named [Mark] Messier and [Wayne] Gretzky, we might have won."

LaFontaine was back at the Coliseum on Tuesday, when he will be honored prior to the Islanders game against the Minnesota Wild. Nearly a decade passed between visits to what has been the Islanders' only home, but owner Charles Wang and general Garth Snow each reached out to LaFontaine with hopes of luring him back for what promises to be a special night.

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Depth saving Jets' season

Tuesday, 03.24.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

With Bryan Little, Dustin Byfuglien and Mathieu Perreault injured, the Winnipeg Jets appeared to be the team to write off in the jam-packed Western Conference postseason race.

But the moves the Jets made to address their forward depth leading up to the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline have allowed them to be adaptable in the face of adversity. Recent acquisition Drew Stafford has revitalized his career, center Mark Scheifele has thrived in an elevated role, and Blake Wheeler has been as consistent as ever through the adjustment period.

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Hammond's historic run has Senators in playoff spot

Tuesday, 03.24.2015 / 11:14 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Andrew Hammond
Goalie - OTT
RECORD: 14-0-1
GAA: 1.67 | SVP: .946
The transaction line came and went Jan. 29, like so many others do during the course of an 82-game NHL season.

The Ottawa Senators summoned a goaltender from the Binghamton Senators, their American Hockey League team to hold down the backup spot behind Robin Lehner while starter Craig Anderson recovered from a hand injury.

Lehner started nine straight games; then came Feb. 16 at home against the Carolina Hurricanes. Late in the second period Lehner and forward Clarke MacArthur collided and Lehner sustained a concussion. That pressed into action the unknown minor-league goaltender; an undrafted 27-year-old with an .898 save percentage and 3.51 goals-against average in 25 AHL games. A goaltender who hadn't seen a puck in a competitive environment since allowing four goals on 37 shots in a 5-2 loss to the St. John's Ice Caps on Jan. 23.

The Senators were nine points behind the Boston Bruins for the second wild card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference and were trending toward missing the postseason for a second straight season.

So expectations were pretty low when Andrew Hammond entered the net at Canadian Tire Centre.

Five weeks later, Hammond has Hamburglered his way into one of the most remarkable seasons in NHL history.

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Quote of the Day

I always feel the pressure to produce offensively. It's disappointing and frustrating when you can't help out your team the way you're supposed to.

— Rangers forward Rick Nash on scoring twice in a 5-1 Game 4 victory against the Lightning on Friday