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NHL Insider

Healthy Chara hoping Bruins can be more consistent

Monday, 08.31.2015 / 3:14 PM / NHL Insider

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said he is ready to help them rebound after they failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.

Chara, 38, was limited to 63 games because of knee and ankle injuries last season. After an informal skate Monday at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass., he told CSN New England on Monday that he is healthy heading into the season, his 18th.

"I'm feeling better and that's the most important thing," Chara said. "I didn't do any extreme traveling stuff [during the summer]. I stayed with family and focused on recovering from the injuries I had toward the end of the season."

Stars' Nichushkin healthy, focused on playoffs

Monday, 08.31.2015 / 2:20 PM / NHL Insider

David Satriano - Staff Writer

Valeri Nichushkin had high expectations for himself and the Dallas Stars last season but missed most of the season because of an injury. Now healthy and ready for training camp, Nichushkin has one goal.

"I just want my team to play good," Nichushkin told the Stars website. "I don't think about my statistics. I just want to win the Stanley Cup. Of course, if I score goals and get points it will help my team. That's only what I want."

Nichushkin played two games in October and two games in November because of pain in his hip and groin. He had surgery Nov. 18 and was out for five months. He returned for four games in April, and finished the season with one assist in eight games.

Blues forward Brouwer focused on being himself

Monday, 08.31.2015 / 12:47 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- After getting traded to the St. Louis Blues on July 2, right wing Troy Brouwer wanted to quickly get acclimated with his new teammates and city.

Acquired from the Washington Capitals with goalie prospect Pheonix Copley and a third-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft for right wing T.J. Oshie, Brouwer also felt it was best to get his family situated, especially because his wife, Carmen, is due to deliver the couple's second child.

"You don't want to waste any time," Brouwer said Sunday. "You're trying to know people's names, trying to find your way around the city. Aside from having a baby here in the next couple days, we wanted to come in a little early but also wanted to come in and make sure you have that familiarity so that when the season does start there's no problems. You're already in the full swing of things, know everybody's names, know your way around town, and are comfortable first and foremost."

Sabres' Ennis feeling confident after offseason moves

Monday, 08.31.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - Correspondent

EDMONTON -- The past two seasons were excruciatingly long for Buffalo Sabres center Tyler Ennis. But he said when it comes to complete rebuilds, this one could be extremely short.

"It seemed like a really long two years, but in the grand scheme of things it could be pretty quick," Ennis said following a session at Vancouver Canucks assistant coach Perry Pearn's 3-on-3 Hockey Camp here. "It might not be as long as you think, but those 160 games felt like 10 years. But there is still lots to improve on. It's not just going to happen on its own. We have to have guys commit to the areas we need to improve on. We're going to be better than last year but there is still a long way to go. But I really like the pieces and where we're headed."

After whirlwind, Wild goalie Dubnyk ready for encore

Sunday, 08.30.2015 / 3:59 PM / NHL Insider

Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk knows that expectations will be high with fans wondering what he'll do for an encore.

"I've thought about it a ton," Dubnyk told the St. Paul Pioneer Press this week. "It would be nice not to have to go 27-9 again there at the end. We have to get going faster, have a more consistent start."

Lundqvist motivated to take 'final step' with Rangers

Sunday, 08.30.2015 / 3:36 PM / NHL Insider

Henrik Lundqvist is determined to lead the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup championship that's eluded them despite three trips to the Eastern Conference Final and one to the Stanley Cup Final in the past four seasons.

"If I look back at the last four years, we've had a lot of great moments, especially in the playoffs," the goaltender told the New York Daily News at The Citi Henrik Lundqvist Hockey ProCamp at Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers on Sunday. "You learn from it and you appreciate it, but obviously the main goal is to take that final step."

Lightning's Stamkos hits, fields with Blue Jays

Saturday, 08.29.2015 / 5:38 PM / NHL Insider

When it comes to baseball, Steven Stamkos would rather play defense.

The Tampa Bay Lightning captain worked out with the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, taking infield and batting practice prior to their game against the Detroit Tigers at Rogers Centre.

"I think I was more excited to field the balls than to hit them," Stamkos told The Canadian Press. "I've taken BP before, but to actually get on the field and field balls and throw them, that was pretty fun."

Spezza says Stars improved by adding 'great pedigree'

Saturday, 08.29.2015 / 5:07 PM / NHL Insider

Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza was excited to see the acquisitions of forward Patrick Sharp, defenseman Johnny Oduya and goaltender Antti Niemi, knowing their skill and experience could help the Stars reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

A year ago, the talk was that Spezza's arrival in Dallas after a trade with the Ottawa Senators was supposed to help the Stars advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Instead they missed the postseason for the sixth time in seven seasons.

Spezza said this week he hopes the players from last season learned a few things that will help them in this one.

Coyotes forward Domi: 'I just want to make the team'

Saturday, 08.29.2015 / 4:30 PM / NHL Insider

Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi, preparing for his third NHL training camp, has learned to set his priorities.

"I just want to make the team," Domi told the Coyotes website this week. "I'm not looking too far ahead. There's a lot of young guys here that are trying to come in and earn a spot too."

Domi, the 12th pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, was one of the final players cut by the Coyotes the past two seasons.

Boychuk expects Islanders to go on playoff run

Friday, 08.28.2015 / 7:15 PM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Johnny Boychuk admits he was pleasantly surprised with his first season with the New York Islanders.

The veteran defenseman wasn't sure what to expect after being traded to the Islanders from the Boston Bruins on Oct. 4, six days before the 2014-2015 NHL season began.

Boychuk, 31, was so pleased by his experience with the Islanders, he agreed to a seven-year contract extension reportedly worth $42 million on March 12, opting not to test free agency in the summer.

"I had no idea what it was going to be like when I first got there," Boychuk said this week after attending Perry Pearn's 3-on-3 Hockey Camp in Edmonton. "I knew when I got traded, I was going to a younger team on [Long Island]. You look at it, and I'm one of the oldest guys on the team, I guess. I went there, and they used me a lot. It was a positive environment, and the coaches were great. Even though we had a lot of youth there, they worked extremely hard and they build into a good, strong, physical team."

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It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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