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NHL Insider

Kekalainen's eye for talent lands Columbus post

Wednesday, 02.13.2013 / 10:20 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

A solid amount of the present-day success of the Ottawa Senators and St. Louis Blues can be attributed to one very important person: new Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen.

Hired Wednesday by the Blue Jackets, Kekalainen's keen eye for talent at the NHL Draft is the biggest item on his resume.

Kekalainen spent eight years with the Senators (1995-2002) as the team's chief European scout and as director of player personnel. In these roles, he helped with drafts that landed the Senators some of the core players from the team that went to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final and who continue to play key roles today.

Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk becoming stars for St. Louis

Wednesday, 02.13.2013 / 12:00 AM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk are considered the staples of the St. Louis Blues' defensive corps. But when the former first-round picks draw comparisons to arguably two of the best defensemen to play together with the Blues, and the entire NHL, it's still quite the feeling.

"It's very humbling to hear that," Shattenkirk said, referring to comparisons with former Blues greats Al MacInnis and Chris Pronger. "Those two guys are Hall of Fame defensemen. They changed the game. They changed the way that defensemen played the game and the way we play it now, the two of us.

"I don't think we're there yet, but that's what we want to hopefully aspire to be."

Pietrangelo, the fourth pick of the 2008 NHL Draft, and Shattenkirk, No. 14 in 2007, are not only leading the Blues in scoring, but the duo is tied for first and third, respectively, in scoring among defensemen (heading into play Tuesday, Shattenkirk is tied with Tobias Enstrom of the Winnipeg Jets).

Scott Howson timeline

Tuesday, 02.12.2013 / 10:35 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

Scott Howson's vision for the Columbus Blue Jackets simply never came to fruition. Despite a star (Rick Nash) already in place and numerous high picks at the NHL Draft, Howson's clubs qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs just once - and got swept. takes a closer look at Howson's tenure, which ended Tuesday when he was relieved of his duties as executive vice president and general manager:

June 15, 2007 - Howson is named the second GM in Blue Jackets' history. He replaces Doug MacLean, who was fired in February of that year.

June 22-23, 2007 - Just one week after being hired, Howson finds himself at the draft table. He uses the seventh overall pick on right wing Jakub Voracek, who plays only three seasons in Columbus. His next six picks that year have played a combined 33 games in the National Hockey League - Maksim Mayorov and Allen York were the only two to reach the NHL level.

New GM will be Davidson's first big hire in Columbus

Tuesday, 02.12.2013 / 9:32 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - Columnist

John Davidson wasted little time making his mark on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Four months after being hired as the team's president of hockey operations, Davidson made a major move Tuesday night by firing general manager Scott Howson. No successor was announced, but Davidson told's Pierre LeBrun he has no plans to take the job himself.

Davidson will have a number of candidates to choose from as he looks for Howson's replacement. Here’s four of the possibilities (listed in alphabetical order):

John Ferguson Jr.: The former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager hasn't run an NHL front office since being let go in early 2008. He's serving as a scout for the San Jose Sharks, but interviewed for a position with Columbus last summer.

Schenn, van Riemsdyk set to face former teams

Monday, 02.11.2013 / 12:45 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

The Philadelphia Flyers believed one of their big offseason needs was a physical, shot-blocking presence on defense. The Toronto Maple Leafs thought they were in need of more goal-scoring.

With one trade, both appeared to find just what they were looking for, with the Flyers sending forward James van Riemsdyk to the Maple Leafs for Luke Schenn on June 23, 2012.

Monday in Toronto, each player will get his first chance to face his former teammates when the Flyers make their first visit to the Air Canada Centre.

It's a night both players admit to looking forward to since the schedule for the 2012-13 was announced.

"When the schedule came out, with this being the first game out, it's something you look forward to," Schenn said. "One that you definitely look for on the calendar is the return to Toronto. I think both teams have obviously moved on and they’re both having success, too, and we are starting to, too. There is no question that I look forward to going back there."

McPhee: Caps need fewer penalties, better play in net

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 4:08 PM / NHL Insider

Ben Raby - Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- With the Washington Capitals occupying last place in the NHL standings and off to the fourth-worst start in franchise history, general manager George McPhee points to two areas in particular that must improve.

"I think the only -- the two areas we must get better is keeping pucks out of our net and it starts by not taking penalties," McPhee said Friday.

The Capitals are 2-8-1 and have allowed a League-high 15 power play goals against. Only the Edmonton Oilers (54) and Montreal Canadiens (52) have been shorthanded more than Washington (51) through 11 games.

Author Arnold reflects on Petes' landmark status

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 3:59 PM / NHL Insider

Ed Arnold - Special to

Ed Arnold is the retired editor of The Peterborough Examiner who has written several books on Peterborough hockey, including "Whose Puck Is It Anyway?," as well as "Hockey Town," a look at NHL players and their lives before they got to Peterborough. He is presently embedded with the Peterborough Petes for an entire year, getting exclusive access behind the doors, where others have never been allowed, for a book commissioned by Harper Collins.

PETERBOROUGH, Ontario -- The Peterborough Petes have been called a hockey factory, and in some NHL circles, they're nicknamed "The Hockey Mafia." It is Hockey Town, Canada, maybe World (forgive us, Detroit), and this weekend the city is the home base for CBC's Hockey Day in Canada.

Few, if any, NHL teams have gone without a Peterborough connection since the Petes arrived in 1956. The Petes in the hockey world are as familiar as Big Ben in London, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the CN Tower in Toronto.

The Petes are Peterborough's landmark.

Broadcaster Dalliday a Perterborough legend himself

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 3:57 PM / NHL Insider

Tim Wharnsby - Senior Writer,

Gary "Diller" Dalliday often jokes that he doesn't know if he grew up on the right or wrong side of the tracks.

That's because just outside the Bethune Street house in the blue-collar neighborhood of Peterborough, Ontario where he was raised in by his grandmother, train tracks ran up the middle of the street.

"Every morning I woke up at 7 because literally the whole house shook when the CN freight train passed our place on its way to Lakefield," Dalliday, now 71, recalled. "It was better than an alarm clock."

Staal brothers hopeful Petes can rebound

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 3:54 PM / NHL Insider

Tim Wharnsby - Senior Writer,

Eric and Jordan Staal occasionally take a peek at the Ontario Hockey League standings and they don't like what they see these days.

Their old junior club, the Peterborough Petes, uncharacteristically has been mired in a three-season slump. Unless the Petes can overcome a six-point deficit to the Kingston Frontenacs in the final 17 games of this season, they will miss the playoffs for a third straight time after missing three times in their first 54 years of existence.

The current funk has been difficult to take for the hockey-mad town of Peterborough, Ontario, the central site for Hockey Day in Canada on Saturday.

Jagr, Selanne continue to wow fellow players

Friday, 02.08.2013 / 3:03 PM / NHL Insider

Steve Hunt - Correspondent

Jaromir Jagr
Right Wing - DAL
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 5 | PTS: 8
SOG: 30 | +/-: 4
DALLAS -- Between them, they have skated in more than 2,700 NHL games, scored more than 1,300 goals and amassed more than 1,700 assists throughout their impressive NHL careers, making the matchup Friday between the Anaheim Ducks and Dallas Stars here at American Airlines Center (8:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US) a must-see because it will feature two of the best players ever to lace them up -- Anaheim's 42-year-old Teemu Selanne and Dallas' 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr.

The game is the only one Friday, giving fans a great opportunity to witness two of the greatest European-born players in NHL history.

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It's a big milestone for me and I'm happy to help my team with lots of good teammates. It's fun.

— Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, who on Wednesday became the ninth Russian-born player, and ninth Red Wings player, to score 300 NHL goals
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