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(Page 166 of 263)
NHL Insider

Hunter's OHL success marked by player development

Monday, 11.28.2011 / 10:04 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Following a productive NHL career and 11 seasons building an impressive resume as coach of the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, Dale Hunter is ready to begin a new chapter in his career as coach of the Washington Capitals.

Hunter was hired Monday by the Capitals to replace Bruce Boudreau. He'll coach his first NHL game Tuesday, when the Caps open a three-game homestand against the St. Louis Blues.

Hunter, who led the Knights to a Memorial Cup in 2005 and owns the best winning percentage in OHL history, has coached the Knights since November 2001. His teams have won at least 49 games in six of his nine full seasons behind the bench.
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Facing Jackets is 'just another game' for Hitchcock

Sunday, 11.27.2011 / 5:00 AM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- When Ken Hitchcock goes back to Columbus on Sunday, forgive everyone if the 59-year-old doesn't get all emotional and teary-eyed about it.

Maybe another time and another place, especially if it was Hitchcock's first job, there would be mixed emotions. But the veteran coach has been there, done that. This will be Hitchcock's third time going back to a place he once called his bench.

Hitchcock, who has coached in Dallas, Philadelphia, Columbus and now St. Louis, was with the Jackets for four seasons before being fired in 2010, the third time a franchise has relieved him of his duties.

"I've been out two years (in Columbus) doing work for them," Hitchcock said of the Columbus organization. "I've developed a friendship with obviously the American (Hockey) League guys and some of the business people there just for fun, getting to know other people in the business.
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Honoring Founder's Day with 94 signature moments

Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 1:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The seeds of what has grown into the best hockey league in the world were sewn 94 years ago today.

After a month of meetings, a group of men from Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City signed an agreement that resulted in the formation of the National Hockey League. Frank Calder was chosen as the fledgling league's first president; his salary was $800.

Today, the NHL is 94 years old and boasts 30 teams in Canada and the United States -- as well as a worldwide talent base and a global audience.

With a tip of the helmet to Ryan Smyth (the only player to wear No. 94 for the majority of a lengthy career), here is a look at 94 NHL highlights to commemorate the 94th anniversary of Founders Day.
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Wings' shootout win ends great afternoon at Garden

Friday, 11.25.2011 / 5:51 PM / NHL Insider

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

BOSTON -- The bright glare of the national spotlight certainly agreed with the Boston Bruins and the Detroit Red Wings on Friday afternoon.

Playing in a traditional Black Friday matinee at TD Garden, which was aired in the United States by NBC, the two Original Six rivals put on a show that surely pleased even the most casual fan of the game.

When 65 minutes of gripping hockey and an equally enthralling shootout were completed, Detroit skated away with a 3-2 statement victory against the defending Stanley Cup champions, who saw their 10-game winning streak snapped.

Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom has played in more than 1,500 regular-season games in his career. Yet, he admitted that Friday's game was a bit special -- for what it meant and what it became as the two teams contested every inch of ice to prove they were worthy of their adversary on the ice.
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Michalek brothers get post-Thanksgiving matchup

Friday, 11.25.2011 / 2:22 PM / NHL Insider

Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- There’s a brother vs. brother matchup in the NHL during the Thanksgiving weekend, too -- the latest meeting of the Michalek brothers.
 
One that, to satisfy their parents back in the Czech Republic, must go to overtime so that each team -- and each brother -- gains at least a point in the standings.
 
It’s quite likely that Ottawa Senators forward Milan Michalek will be on the ice at the same time as his brother, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek, on Friday night at Consol Energy Center.
 
Zbynek Michalek and partner Paul Martin often oppose a team’s top line, and right wing Milan Michalek teams with left wing Colin Greening and center Jason Spezza on the Senators’ productive No. 1 line.
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Plenty of surprising players, teams in first quarter

Thursday, 11.24.2011 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

David Kalan - NHL.com Staff Writer

Given the competition Florida faces in its division and the franchise's track record in the past decade, there is no team or player that is a more unlikely candidate to be where it currently is. The Panthers, however, aren't alone on the list of surprises through the first quarter of the season, with many teams and players far exceeding -- or falling short -- of preseason expectations.

Here are a few other surprising developments from the season's first quarter.
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Plenty of surprises surround Panthers' fast start

Wednesday, 11.23.2011 / 10:33 PM / NHL Insider

Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Not even Dale Tallon could see this coming.

No question, the Florida Panthers general manager was confident he had taken a positive step in his rebuilding project this summer by adding almost a dozen new veterans to his roster.

But having his team near the top of the standings at the quarter mark of the regular season? That’s been a pleasant surprise.

There was no doubt Florida had improved its talent level after finishing the 2010-11 season last in the Eastern Conference. But even under the most optimistic projection, it figured to take a while before the team came together with all the new players -- the roster features 13 newcomers, including veterans Marco Sturm and Mikael Samuelsson, who arrived this October in a trade with Vancouver for David Booth, and 2010 first-round pick Erik Gudbranson.
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As leader, Hitchcock sees Sid in class of his own

Wednesday, 11.23.2011 / 2:57 PM / NHL Insider

Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent

"He's such a good player, such a good person. There's leaders, and then there's leaders of players. He gets along with the guys good. It's not surprising. Everything he does has got class to it. I just like the way he leads the guys."
-- Ken Hitchcock on Sidney Crosby

PITTSBURGH -- St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock was offering the highest possible praise for a visiting player on Wednesday when Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby -- the subject of Hitchcock's monologue -- came walking by the Blues' dressing room.
 
Hitchcock immediately halted his speech. There was old business to conduct.
 
"Hey, you owe me $40!" Hitchcock said, and not seriously, as Crosby strolled by with father Troy Crosby at his side.
 
"Why," Crosby said, more than suspiciously, as Hitchcock lobbied the Penguins star for some new footwear.
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Showdown game is Thanksgiving treat for goalies

Wednesday, 11.23.2011 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Thanksgiving has always been a time for families and friends to come together,and for Michigan-born goaltender Tim Thomas,that usually means a trip to Detroit.

This holiday season,Thomas will spend Thanksgiving in Boston -- and the next day his Bruins will face the Detroit Red Wings in the 2011 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown on NBC. Thomas is quite all right with the location.

"For me to play against Detroit is always a big deal for me because I'm from Michigan," Thomas said during a teleconference Tuesday. "So it's something like -- I don't really look too far ahead on the schedule ever,hardly ever.  I just try to keep it small,keep it focused,but I always know when the Red Wings game is because my family makes me aware of it,basically.

"And I'm happy to be playing in Boston this time because it was a lot cheaper than playing in Detroit."
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Sutter lays into sputtering Flames

Tuesday, 11.22.2011 / 10:07 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Some might've called it a diatribe. Others may have described it as a long, slow burn.

In reality, Calgary Flames coach Brent Sutter's impassioned 20-minute post-practice media session on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena was both of those things -- and then some. In fact, fictitious sports agent Jerry Maguire might even call it a "mission statement," because a sizeable part of it was that, too.

It consisted of about 3,500 words, sounded at times like a self-empowerment speech and likely included the word "team" at least a couple hundred times. It also included a definitive statement that illustrated Sutter's – and the Flames' front office – frustration with the lingering struggle against complacency that has Calgary (8-10-1) sitting 13th in the Western Conference with nearly a quarter of the season gone.

"You have to sacrifice a little bit for the betterment of (the team), and that's what we're asking the whole group to do and that's what we need to do," said Sutter, a full 13 minutes into his "greater good" mantra. "To be quite honest, I'm not asking them to do it anymore. I'm demanding it has to be done. And that's just the bottom line, because it's been something that has been ongoing. Since Day One coming here I noticed it and I told (reporters) that (Monday) night – and we have to cure it. It's the only way that we cure that."
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Quote of the Day

You could see out there that everybody was willing to compete, to sacrifice, even blocking shots to the end. Even in the third when we were up 5-0, guys were still working hard and blocking shots That's a nice feeling also for the future.

— Flames goalie Jonas Hiller after his team's 5-0 win over Carolina
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