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(Page 157 of 259)
NHL Insider

Ex-Avs excited about first game back in Denver

Friday, 12.02.2011 / 6:09 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Two familiar faces were in unfamiliar territory this morning when Kevin Shattenkirk and Chris Stewart strolled into the visiting locker room with their St. Louis Blues teammates at the Pepsi Center.

It was the first appearance in town for the pair since they were traded from the Colorado Avalanche to the Blues in a blockbuster deal on Feb. 18. The Blues received Shattenkirk, Stewart and a second-round draft pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, while the Avalanche got defenseman Erik Johnson, center Jay McClement and a first-round pick.

Shattenkirk and Stewart played against the Avalanche four days later in a 4-3 loss in St. Louis and will meet their former team for the first time in their old stomping grounds tonight.
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Job security not a problem for Pens' Bylsma

Friday, 12.02.2011 / 12:56 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- The news of three coaches getting pink slips this week gave Dan Bylsma reason to pause, reflect and contemplate his own future in the high-stakes, zero-security coaching business.
 
"It's tough to know what to think," Bylsma told NHL.com prior to coaching his Pittsburgh Penguins to a 2-1 win against the Capitals at Verizon Center. "It doesn't make you feel good, I know that. It doesn't make you feel comfortable, and it does say a lot about the pressure in this League to win hockey games."
 
Bylsma has never been fired from an NHL head coaching job, so he can't talk about what it must have felt like to be either Bruce Boudreau or Paul Maurice on Monday. He would have no clue how empty Randy Carlyle must have felt Wednesday night after leading his struggling team to a win only to learn he was getting the ax less than an hour after the final buzzer.
 
Then again, Bylsma is one coach that as of today and certainly for the foreseeable future does not have to concern himself with the gut-wrenching feeling one in his fraternity must have when he stops getting results and, ultimately, stops getting the opportunity to try to make things right.
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Turris makes season debut for Coyotes

Friday, 12.02.2011 / 12:55 AM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Nearly eight weeks into the season, Kyle Turris finally took the ice for the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night.

The 22-year-old center, who missed the first six weeks of the regular season in a contract dispute with Phoenix management, made his season debut with the Coyotes against the Jets nine days after agreeing to a multiyear deal.
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Caps know patience is key to success under Hunter

Friday, 12.02.2011 / 12:45 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- Signs of progress are an absolute must for a team attempting to learn a new system on the fly with an unfamiliar coach pushing them. The Washington Capitals felt there were some of those signs Thursday night despite a second straight 2-1 loss under Dale Hunter.

Nicklas Backstrom said they were tighter on the Pittsburgh Penguins then they were on the St. Louis Blues earlier in the week. Karl Alzner mentioned how the Capitals were able to get a cycle going against Pittsburgh's defense, and it allowed them to move the puck up to the defensemen. Hunter mentioned the quality chances the Capitals had around Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

"It just takes time," Hunter said.
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Despres a winner in NHL debut

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 11:26 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Consider it a successful NHL debut for Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Simon Despres.

The 20-year-old defenseman from Laval, Que., had an assist and was on the ice for both Pittsburgh goals in a 2-1 victory Thursday night against the rival Washington Capitals at Verizon Center.

"I mean, it wasn't the nicest point in history, but I'll take it for sure," Despres said. "I just tried to keep it simple. It was fun. It was a great experience. I had a lot of fun and I'm really happy we won."
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Despite losses, Hunter, Caps preach progress

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 11:07 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- Signs of progress are an absolute must for a team attempting to learn a new system on the fly with an unfamiliar coach pushing them. The Washington Capitals felt there were some of those signs Thursday night despite a second straight 2-1 loss under Dale Hunter.

Nicklas Backstrom said they were tighter on the Pittsburgh Penguins than they were on the St. Louis Blues earlier in the week. Karl Alzner added that the Capitals were able to get a cycle going against Pittsburgh's defense, which allowed them to move the puck up to the defensemen. And, Hunter mentioned the quality chances the Capitals had around Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

"It just takes time," Hunter said.
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Ducks' players react to coaching switch

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 10:17 PM / NHL Insider
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Most of the Anaheim Ducks had left the arena late Wednesday night, but there was a core group of veterans who remained gathered with general manager Bob Murray in the corridors of Honda Center.

The Ducks had just beaten the Montreal Canadiens to stop a seven-game losing streak and, ostensibly, allay fears of a trade or coaching change.

At least that was the mindset of a group that included Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne, who were told by Murray that he had just fired coach Randy Carlyle.

"It was shock," Getzlaf said. "We thought kind of the time had passed. We were going to stick with our group and go."
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Coyotes booed but Doan cheered in return to Winnipeg

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 9:18 PM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG Winnipeg Jets fans long ago circled Thursday night's date with the Phoenix Coyotes on their calendars when the NHL released the 2011-12 schedule back in June.

The Coyotes played 1,338 regular-season NHL games in Winnipeg during 17 seasons before leaving for Phoenix in 1996. During the period from 1979-96, fans of the original Winnipeg Jets ranked among the loudest in the NHL, and their playoff whiteouts in the old Winnipeg Arena became part of Stanley Cup Playoff lore. The likes of Dale Hawerchuk, Thomas Steen and Teemu Selanne became stars, and jerseys sporting their names are still plentiful across the city.
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Fletcher discusses Wild's early success on 'NHL Hour'

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 8:11 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The Minnesota Wild, a team that has missed the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, begins December at the top of the overall NHL standings after the best start in franchise history. GM Chuck Fletcher discussed his team's early success Thursday on "The NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman."

Fletcher, son of Hall of Fame executive Cliff Fletcher, fired coach Todd Richards after last season's disappointing finish and replaced him with Mike Yeo, who had coached the Wild's AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros, to the Calder Cup Finals last spring. He also made a pair of major trades with San Jose, sending defenseman Brent Burns to the Sharks for young forward Devin Setoguchi, a top prospect taken with the eighth pick in 2005, then swapping Martin Havlat for Dany Heatley in a 1-for-1 exchange of forwards.

"We wanted a trade that would make us better now and add prospects for the future," he said of the Burns deal. "I believe it's a trade that will help both teams."

The remodeled Wild have been at their best in close games -- they've won 10 of 16 contests decided by one goal. Fletcher said that's a reflection of the way the team is structured, from the coach on down.
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After wild ride, Boudreau right to work with Ducks

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 8:07 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The loyalty that Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray showed Randy Carlyle was extraordinary in the modern NHL.

The Ducks stumbled out of the gate year after year following their 2007 Stanley Cup run and even missed the playoffs in 2010. Yet Murray not only stood behind Carlyle through every crisis, he gave him a three-year contract extension in August to keep him behind the bench through 2014.

But Murray finally had to make one of the most difficult decisions of his executive career after disconcerting losses to Chicago and Toronto last week that were perhaps the worst of Carlyle's seven-year tenure.
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Quote of the Day

Because of the way they play and their skill set I don't think they're fourth-line players, so in my mind I'm looking at one of those guys I'll have to move over to the wing.

— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on his four-player battle for second-line center