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2015 NHL Draft
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NHL Insider

After injuries, Murray poised to boost Blue Jackets

Wednesday, 07.29.2015 / 10:59 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

When the Columbus Blue Jackets selected defenseman Ryan Murray with the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, they envisioned a player who could quickly become a fixture along their blue line.

Injuries have kept Murray from reaching his potential; he played 12 games last season after sustaining a knee injury, after having knee surgery in the summer of 2014. He would miss five additional weeks with a high ankle sprain he sustained in November.

But the 21-year-old appears primed to turn things around this season.

"I've been on the ice for almost two months now," Murray told the Blue Jackets website. "I've done some things differently this summer, changed it up a bit; the workouts have been less weight-based and more body and movement-focused things.

"I spent part of the summer at home in Saskatchewan, hanging out with my friends and family, relaxing, playing golf, and it was great. It was good to go home and recharge, and now I'm back here and ready to work."

Canadiens' Subban surprises youth group in Toronto

Tuesday, 07.28.2015 / 4:52 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban has always taken pride in helping others, even long before he reached the NHL in 2010.

"When he was younger, a kid, he always gave away his lunch," his mother, Maria Subban, said Tuesday. "He would say, 'Mom, they don't have anything to eat.' He was always looking out for other kids."

A group of 110 children from Toronto's Jane and Finch area recently competed against a group of Americans, organized and supported by performer Pharrell Williams, in "Jeopardy" trivia. The Canadians won the event, and Subban and his family felt they should be rewarded.

So he gathered the victors, who are attending a summer camp called Success Beyond Limits (SBL) at York University and, along with some assistance from Gatorade, gave them prizes.

"I'm from Toronto, so whenever I can give back to communities here, I do," Subban said. "I know I play in Montreal and obviously I give back to Quebec and the city of Montreal a lot, but every now and then you have to remember this is my hometown. Even though I didn't grow up in Jane and Finch, I had a lot of friends and family members who lived in this area."

Soderberg excited by likely Avalanche linemates

Saturday, 07.25.2015 / 4:34 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Carl Soderberg was already planning to join the Colorado Avalanche, but when he heard who his linemates might be, he became even more intrigued.

Soderberg, who was traded to Colorado by the Boston Bruins on June 25 and the next day signed a five-year contract, is expected to center Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon.

"They told me they wanted me to play centerman and they like my game. I'm a two-way centerman," Soderberg told the Denver Post in remarks published Friday. "And they had a thought of playing me with those two guys. I'm excited."

Stars' Eaves wins Smashfest charity table tennis title

Friday, 07.24.2015 / 12:53 PM / NHL Insider

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- When he was 7 years old, Dallas Stars forward Patrick Eaves broke his back playing in the yard.

Around that time, his father, former NHL forward Mike Eaves, bought a table tennis machine for the basement. It helped with Patrick's recovery.

"I just learned by myself in the basement with the machine," Patrick said. "It's kind of a weird story, a funky story."

Eaves' considerable table tennis skills were on display Thursday when he won the title at Smashfest IV, a charity event organized by New York Rangers forward Dominic Moore. The event featured about 30 NHL players who played in a pro-am format and then squared off against each other for the Smashfest championship.

Winning the event and the bragging rights that go with it is a big deal among the players. Table tennis has become a daily activity in dressing rooms around the League.

Rested Kings ready to resume quest for Cup

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 9:25 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- A longer than usual offseason led to some significant changes for the Los Angeles Kings and players eager to get back to chasing the Stanley Cup.

"I think everyone's really excited to get the year going," defenseman Alec Martinez said at a community event Thursday. "This has obviously been a really long summer, way too long. This was actually the first time in my career that I've ever had this long of a summer. That's frustrating, but you can look at it as an opportunity for some of us to heal up a little bit."

The Kings played 64 playoff games the previous three seasons, winning the Stanley Cup twice. This season, their final game was April 11, missing a Western Conference playoff berth by two points.

"I think [captain Dustin Brown] touched on it, the past three or four years, basically when we're done in mid-June, you can't start training until maybe the beginning of July, mid-July," Martinez said. "You're just using those two months to just kind of catch up and get back to square one. This is … an opportunity to not just get back to square one but to build on some things. Get stronger, faster, healthier for some guys. I think it's been good so far."

Kings host Special Olympics World Games athletes

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 8:51 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Tyler Toffoli, Alec Martinez and Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings spent Thursday afternoon welcoming athletes for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.

The event had a loose, fun feel to it, much like the players' interactions with coach Darryl Sutter's son Chris, who has competed in the Special Olympics and is such a part of the Kings that he is in the team photo from their 2013-14 Stanley Cup season.

"We see Chris around all the time, and he's basically one of the guys on the team," Toffoli said. "He comes in here and makes us laugh. We know how Chris is. He's incredible, and for us to give back and help out here with the Special Olympics and show off our facility, it was a good experience."

The Special Olympics World Games, which begin Saturday, will feature 6,500 intellectually disabled athletes from 165 countries competing in 25 sports in venues across Los Angeles, which is hosting the international competition for the first time since 1972.

Analysis: Lamoriello must fit Maple Leafs' structure

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 5:42 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Two of the people who know Lou Lamoriello the best feel his move from the New Jersey Devils to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday makes sense and is the perfect fit.

Former Devils coach Larry Robinson said the Maple Leafs should feel excellent about bringing Lamoriello on board because a person with his experience is exactly what they needed.

"I think that Toronto hit the jackpot," Robinson said.

Former Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko mentioned how the Maple Leafs need structure, discipline and accountability, three things Lamoriello prided himself on for 28 years as New Jersey's general manager and president.

"It's probably the only team right now that I believe is the right fit for Lou if he wants to keep doing it, to still have a lot of input in hockey decisions," Daneyko said. "It's the right fit for the Leafs for what they're trying to accomplish in changing the whole culture there. Just thinking about it when I heard the news, it was like, 'That's the team that needs that kind of presence.'"

History helps Shanahan, Maple Leafs land Lamoriello

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 5:25 PM / NHL Insider

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Brendan Shanahan has received credit for his dogged pursuit of the people he wants helping him rebuild the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Coach Mike Babcock, wooed and won in May, and now general manager Lou Lamoriello, introduced on Thursday, mentioned how determined and convincing the Maple Leafs president can be.

"When you're the youngest of four Irish boys at the dinner table your whole life," Shanahan said, "you learn how to fight for the last potato."

The reunion of Shanahan and Lamoriello with the Maple Leafs continues a close personal relationship that started 28 years ago. Lamoriello was in his first year as general manager of the New Jersey Devils when they selected Shanahan with the second pick of the 1987 NHL Draft.

Kane recalls Taylor Swift nearly costing Blackhawks

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 5:20 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Taylor Swift once caused Patrick Kane to almost give up a goal -- and got him in hot water -- when the Chicago Blackhawks played the Nashville Predators during Kane's rookie season.

Former Blackhawks coach Denis Savard relayed what happened on Feb. 14, 2008 at Bridgestone Arena at last weekend's fan convention.

"I've got a story for you guys about backchecking and not covering your man in your own zone," Savard started off in a video posted by CSN Chicago. "You ready for this one. ...

Lamoriello timeline highlighted by three Cup wins

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 10:24 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The banners that hang from the ceiling of Prudential Center are there in part because of how Lou Lamoriello ran the New Jersey Devils for 28 years as general manager.

Lamoriello, the longest-serving GM in the NHL, relinquished that position May 4 and hired Ray Shero to replace him. Lamoriello, 72, remained as president of the Devils, but he resigned that position as well Thursday and was named general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Under Lamoriello's leadership the Devils went to the Stanley Cup Playoffs 21 times, won nine division titles, went to the Stanley Cup Final five times and won the Cup in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

Here are some highlights from Lamoriello's tenure with the Devils:

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Quote of the Day

He's, believe it or not, actually one of my favorite guys, and I've ended up trading him twice. I appreciate what he's done. He was one year away from being an unrestricted free agent, and I felt with this opportunity, that it was a chance that we were able to get somebody for him in Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening.

— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on forward Brandon Sutter