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(Page 12 of 255)
NHL Insider

Stanley Cup Final loss continues to sting for Rangers

Monday, 06.16.2014 / 5:04 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Three days later, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is still a picture of devastation.

"It's going to be a couple of weeks now where it's going to hurt," Lundqvist said Monday as he put a bow on the 2013-14 season while sitting in his locker stall at the Madison Square Garden Training Center.

Lundqvist will spend the next few weeks trying to come to grips with having his dream die on the ice Friday night at Staples Center, when Alec Martinez of the Los Angeles Kings beat him for a double-overtime, Stanley Cup Final-clinching goal Lundqvist won't soon forget.

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Five questions for the Rangers this offseason

Monday, 06.16.2014 / 4:36 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers were still dealing with a whirlwind of emotions as they cleaned out their lockers Monday following their defeat in five games against the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final. With the Rangers' front office facing a series of difficult decisions this summer, the emotional start to the offseason may be a sign of things to come.

The Rangers lost three games in extra time during the best-of-7 Cup Final, including a devastating double-overtime loss in Game 5 on Friday in which Alec Martinez's game-winner lifted the Kings to the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons.

"It was a tough loss that's going to haunt me and my group for some time," New York coach Alain Vigneault said. "I'm hoping we're going to learn from this and we as management are going to work on putting a good team on the ice. But every year is different. Next year's team is going to be different, and we've got to go through the same process."

Here are five questions the Rangers must answer in that process:

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Busy calendar remains for NHL teams

Monday, 06.16.2014 / 12:48 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Just because the Stanley Cup has been awarded doesn't mean the end credits have rolled on the 2013-14 NHL season.

There are a number of big events coming in the next few weeks that will go a long way toward deciding which team is the final one standing a year from now.

The hard work started Monday when the window opened for teams to offer compliance buyouts to players. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams were given two special buyout provisions that allow them to buy out a player's contract while not having it count toward the salary cap. And those compliance buyouts only could be used following the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

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Kings poised to be Cup contenders for several years

Monday, 06.16.2014 / 11:00 AM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Kings are Stanley Cup champions for the second time in three seasons and have a collection of star players who are both signed to long-term contracts and young enough to remain at their current level for at least the next few seasons.

General manager Dean Lombardi has cultivated the closest thing the NHL has seen to a perfect roster in the salary-cap era. The Kings have built a champion through the NHL Draft and deft trades, molding the roster while relying on free agency as little as possible. There is little reason to believe the Kings won't be contenders for the Stanley Cup again in 2015 and beyond.

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Stars' Fiddler gets unique 'hat trick' at concert

Wednesday, 06.11.2014 / 4:32 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Dallas Stars forward Vernon Fiddler has a single three-goal game to his credit, scored on Nov. 12, 2010 as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes. But at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on June 7, the veteran center came away with a whole other kind of hat trick.

Attending the latest stop on country singer George Strait's "Cowboy Rides Away" tour, Fiddler was in the right place at the right time when the legendary musician flung his cowboy hat into the crowd as the concert ended. Fiddler barely had to move as the iconic piece of country memorabilia came right to him.

"At the end, he comes out for his encore and my buddy said, 'You're going to catch this hat, watch.' I looked at him and thought, 'What are you talking about?'" Fiddler told NHL.com. "[Strait] walked off the stage and it looked he wasn't going to even throw his hat. He came back on stage and said, 'I forgot. Somebody might want this.' He chucked it and it boomeranged around four or five rows away from me and then came back and landed right on my lap."

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Wild GM says coach Yeo earned contract extension

Friday, 06.06.2014 / 3:44 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild made official their commitment to coach Mike Yeo, holding a press conference Friday at Xcel Energy Center to announce the three-year contract extension Yeo signed May 31.

Yeo, who at 40 yeards old is the youngest coach in the NHL, guided the Wild this season to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in franchise history, the first such trip since 2003. The original three-year contract Yeo signed when he was named the third coach in Wild history June 17, 2011, was set to expire at the end of this month.

"Mike is the only guy that was going to be here," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "As the season goes on, the right time to do these things is at the end of the season."

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Blackhawks' next goal: extensions for Toews, Kane

Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 8:03 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Entering this season, the Chicago Blackhawks had accomplished their "One Goal" organizational credo by winning the Stanley Cup twice in four years.

They fell one goal short of playing for it again this season, losing in overtime of Game 7 of the Western Conference Final on a goal by Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez. That abruptly ended the reign of the defending Stanley Cup champions with a 5-4 loss.

Less than two days later, the Blackhawks reassembled at United Center to sum it all up by looking back at what happened and forward to next season.

"We lost in the conference finals to the Red Wings five or six years ago and that was treated more as a celebration," left wing Patrick Sharp said Tuesday. "It felt good to get that far. This year it feels pretty disappointing. I feel like we all felt we should still be playing. It's a disappointing time."

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Duguay triumphs in bubble battle of Rangers alums

Friday, 05.23.2014 / 3:04 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- An off day in the Eastern Conference Final between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens only can mean one thing.

It's time for two fan favorites who once starred for the Rangers to go head-to-head in a bubble hockey showdown for off-ice supremacy at the NHL Powered by Reebok Store. That's exactly the type of entertainment forward Ron Duguay and defenseman Jeff Beukeboom provided Friday afternoon.

Duguay, who warned Beukeboom prior to faceoff that he owned a bubble hockey table at home, came away with a 5-4 victory. The event was made extra special when longtime Rangers anthem singer John Amirante sang the Canadian and U.S. national anthems.

"If the Rangers reach the Stanley Cup, we'll have a rematch," Duguay said afterward.

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Ducks re-evaluating after stinging end to season

Monday, 05.19.2014 / 5:42 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- It's much too early for Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray to fully dissect what went wrong with his team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, specifically a Game 7 that is already being talked about as the worst loss in franchise history.

Anaheim caved under the pressure and succumbed to the rival Los Angeles Kings 6-2 in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round series in a building in which it had started the season 20-0-2. Murray talked Monday on the team's exit meetings day, and the game still haunted him.

"When you sit and watch, after the all years in this business, you worry the night before that your team may be too nervous, too apprehensive," Murray said. "There's all sorts of things that go through your mind, and they're your worst nightmare. But it's something you have to take and move on from. You've got to learn from that. We're at that point where we can't allow this to happen. We've got to move forward."

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Wild's young stars developed through playoff run

Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 2:08 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild's season has been over for a few days but they were still coming to terms with how it ended when players emptied their lockers Friday.

Tied 1-1 in overtime with the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round, Patrick Kane scored the series-clinching goal after a dump-in attempt took a goofy hop off a stanchion behind the Wild net and landed on his stick. Just like that, Minnesota's season was over. Disappointing as the ending was, it was a successful year when the Wild's youngsters made major strides.

"We played some good hockey and it was a great series and it could have gone either way," forward Nino Niederreiter said. "But obviously it's a bitter end."

One thing is for certain: The Wild took a step forward this season, with its prospects leading the way.

"I believe that there are a lot of positives," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "But I also am realistic that it's really hard [to keep improving]. And so we should look forward to that challenge."

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Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie