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NHL Insider

Switch to center an exciting idea for van Riemsdyk

Wednesday, 07.11.2012 / 3:33 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

James van Riemsdyk told reporters in Toronto on Wednesday morning that he's prepared to make the shift from the wing to center this season.

"It is something that will be a good opportunity for me," said van Riemsdyk, who is in town instructing at the Leafs' hockey school at the MasterCard Centre. "I have played it a little bit in the past, and any time you can be a little more versatile as a player, it is definitely a good thing. I'm excited about that."

The 23-year-old van Riemsdyk said that before leaving the Flyers for the Leafs in a June trade that sent defenseman Luke Schenn to Philadelphia, there wasn't much of an opportunity to play center. The Flyers had depth down the middle last season with Claude Giroux and Danny Briere playing major minutes at the position.

In Toronto, van Riemsdyk will get that chance entering training camp. Coach Randy Carlyle said he wants to use the 6-foot-3, 200 pounder in the middle, perhaps on the top line with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul.

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Handicapping possible new homes for Rick Nash

Wednesday, 07.11.2012 / 1:01 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Rick Nash is still the captain of the Blue Jackets, but that could change any day now if Columbus general manager Scott Howson can swing the trade that Nash so desires with one of the six teams he reportedly will go to.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Nash, who has a full no-trade clause in his contract, has told Howson he would approve a trade to one of these teams: the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.

Howson is asking for a hefty ransom in exchange for the best player in Blue Jackets history. Nash is under contract for the next six seasons at a cap hit of $7.8 million.

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Robinson joins Sharks as associate coach

Monday, 07.09.2012 / 6:10 PM / NHL Insider

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

More than two months after a first-round exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the San Jose Sharks turned to a Hall of Fame defenseman to help them get back on track.

The Sharks on Monday named Larry Robinson as their associate coach under Todd McLellan.

Robinson, the former coach of the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils, made it clear during a conference call he's arrived solely to help McLellan, that he's not a potential option for the top job if the Sharks get off to a rough start this season.

"That was the first thing that I said when I came into the room," Robinson said. "I do not want to be a head coach. I'm not here to take Todd's job. I'm here to help in any way I can. I wouldn't want to be a head coach knowing that there's somebody with a gun behind me waiting to shoot me whenever something went wrong. So we will work out things when they're not going right. But you've got the best head coach here in the best position possible, and I don't foresee any problems at all."

Sharks general manager Doug Wilson waited almost two months after the first-round loss to the St. Louis Blues before publicly announcing that McLellan would return for his fifth season as San Jose's coach.

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Nanne saw Fletcher targeting Suter, Parise in 2010

Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 3:51 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Lou Nanne called the acquisition of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter by the Wild GM "the biggest free-agent signing in the state by far, of any sport." (Photo: Getty Images)
Few people know Minnesota hockey better than Lou Nanne. The former player and NHL executive played at the University of Minnesota in the 1960s before skating 10 seasons with the North Stars, eventually serving as the team's general manager for a decade.

Now an analyst on area sports radio, Nanne knows what he's talking about when he calls the Minnesota Wild's signing of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to matching 13-year contracts one of the significant events in the State of Hockey's sports history.

"It's the biggest free-agent signing in the state by far, of any sport. It's a landmark," Nanne told NHL.com. "In the NHL, I can't recall two players of this magnitude going to the same team in a summer."

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Schneider ready to be No. 1 in Vancouver

Friday, 06.29.2012 / 6:31 PM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Cory Schneider isn't ready to close the book on Roberto Luongo's time in Vancouver, not even after the three-year, $12 million extension Schneider signed with the Canucks on Friday seemed to make it more likely that the team would try to trade Luongo.

Cory Schneider
Cory Schneider - 2011-12 
Goalie - VAN
RECORD: 20-8-1
GAA: 1.96 | SVP: 0.937

"It's a little premature to be writing his obituary in Vancouver while he's still on the team," Schneider said of Luongo, the starter since his arrival in 2006. "I'm not sure that's fair to him."

Fair or not, the Schneider extension makes it even harder to believe Luongo will be back, even if general manager Mike Gillis has said it's possible to keep both and insisted again Friday he is no rush to make a trade.

Still, a return seems unlikely for Luongo, who lost his starting job for the final three games of a first-round playoff loss to Los Angeles. Not with 10 years left on a contract with a $5.33-million salary cap hit. Not after Luongo indicated it's time to move on. And not with Schneider eager to prove himself as a No. 1 -- and a contract that pays him like one.

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Bruins ready to run with Rask as No. 1 goalie

Friday, 06.29.2012 / 3:07 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The Boston Bruins' evolving goaltender situation took its next step forward Friday.

A month after it was revealed that two-time Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas was planning on sitting out the 2012-13 season, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli moved to lock up Thomas' heir apparent before the start of free agency.

The Bruins and Tuukka Rask, who was scheduled to be a restricted free agent July 1, agreed to a deal in principle for one year at $3.5 million. Because of reasons pertaining to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the deal cannot be officially filed until Sunday.

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Habs' top pick Alex Galchenyuk working to fit the part

Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 5:40 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Que. -- Even before Alex Galchenyuk held his first session with the Montreal media, and long before he hit the ice for the first time in a Canadiens uniform in front of hundreds of fans at Montreal's development camp on Thursday, the No. 3 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft was doing his best to fit the part.

Using his Twitter account (@AGally94), Galchenyuk announced to fans upon his arrival in Montreal on Wednesday, "Landed in Montreal !! #commasava #savabein #HABS."

That was a valiant attempt to say "Comment ça va?" (How are you?) and "Ça va bien" (I'm fine) in the language of the vast majority of Canadiens fans.

Then on Thursday, while on a break at development camp, Galchenyuk tweeted: "Fini les evaluation au Canadiens maintenant relaxe avec @KidHud_10 #HABS."

That means that the evaluations were finished for the day and that it was now time to relax with @KidHud_10, which is the Twitter handle of Canadiens fifth-round pick Charles Hudon.

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NHLPA finishes executive board meetings

Wednesday, 06.27.2012 / 6:43 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The National Hockey League Players' Association wrapped up its annual executive board meetings at the Peninsula Hotel on Wednesday afternoon and released its list of 31 players named to the negotiating committee, which will soon begin labor negotiations.

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement with the League ends Sept. 15 and the National Hockey League and the NHLPA are expected to start negotiating shortly, possibly as soon as the end of this week, according to Donald Fehr, the NHLPA's executive director.

Fehr, standing in front of 28 players, held a press briefing to address the pending talks. Throughout the three days of sessions, the 56 players who attended met for several briefings.

"We spent a lot of time during the last two days discussing all of the relevant issues that we expect may come up during course of negotiations, as well as a number of items which might be more of the ordinary businesses of association," Fehr said.

As far as the upcoming negotiations, Fehr said his organization is encouraged by the growth of the game and the increase in League-wide revenues. "I think when we approach these negotiations, the object is to get a deal done which can continue that momentum and continue it uninterrupted," he said. "We certainly hope to do that."

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Sutter excited about potential to win with Penguins

Monday, 06.25.2012 / 4:10 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

Brandon Sutter was enjoying his offseason like most 23-year-old hockey players would on a Friday night in the summer, spending some time hanging out at a buddy's apartment without a care in the world.

That's when Sutter's phone rang. It was Ron Francis, vice president of hockey operations for the Carolina Hurricanes, delivering the news that the center had been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, along with a prospect and the eighth pick in that night's NHL Draft, for center Jordan Staal.

It was the first time Sutter had been traded at any level during his hockey career, and it hit him like a sledgehammer in the chest.

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Murray confirms Senators' interest in Nash

Friday, 06.22.2012 / 3:30 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

PITTSBURGH -- The Ottawa Senators are in talks with the Columbus Blue Jackets to attempt to acquire high-scoring forward Rick Nash, general manager Bryan Murray told reporters Friday.

"I've talked to Columbus about him," Murray said several hours before the start of the first round of the NHL Draft. "It's whether we want to go forward or not. But at the moment we're still talking."

Rick Nash
Right Wing - CBJ
Goals: - | Assists: - | Pts: -
Shots: - | +/-: -
Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson, however, told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch on Friday that he was not close to trading his team captain.

"We still have a ways to go," Howson said.

Murray says his interest in Nash could fast-track the process of building a Stanley Cup contender in Ottawa, a status he feels his team is close to reaching after its surprising playoff berth this past season.

"The hope is to be good next year," Murray said. "We can all say five years down the road we're going to be very good, but I'd like to be as good as we can be in the very near future. It doesn't change the process, but it hurries it up if we get an impact player.

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Quote of the Day

For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Rangers win in Game 6 forced a Game 7 that will be played at Madison Square Garden on Friday