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(Page 179 of 259)
NHL Insider

Jets captain carries some extra burdens

Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 11:06 PM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Andrew Ladd is about to learn about life in the fishbowl that goes with being the captain of a Canadian-based NHL team.

Captaining any of the League's 30 member clubs is an immense honor for a player, but doing so in Canada brings additional scrutiny and demands. In Winnipeg, there will be nowhere to hide.

"We are learning that very quickly," Ladd said. "But that is the trade-off for having a full building every night."

Ladd officially joins that group of Canada-based NHL captains on Sunday when the Jets mark the NHL's return to Winnipeg after a 15-year absence by hosting the Montreal Canadiens at the MTS Centre (5 p.m. ET; NHL Network-US, CBC, RDS).
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Avs send Forsberg's No. 21 to the rafters

Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 10:52 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER – Few NHL players have been blessed with the combination of power, strength, physical prowess and finesse that enabled Peter Forsberg to dominate games during a star-studded 14-season career, a dozen of them with the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche franchise.

"He obviously had a very high level of skill, but I think it's the physical part of the game that he brought to the ice that made him different than your typical skill players," former Avalanche teammate Claude Lemieux said Saturday. "Aside from being a spectacular player, that's what separated him from so many great players. He was great and he also was tough and physical and a pain to play against."

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Noel's challenge: Keep players cool for opener

Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 8:15 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

WINNIPEG -- Coach Claude Noel will offer no elaborate pregame mantra just before his Winnipeg Jets take the ice for Sunday's season-opener against the Montreal Canadiens in what is sure to be an electric atmosphere inside the 15,004-seat MTS Centre.
 
After all, these NHL-starved Winnipeggers have waited 15 years for this moment. It was right after the 1995-96 season when the Jets 1.0 departed for Phoenix -- a hole that wasn't filled until this past summer when the Atlanta Thrashers moved in.
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Greiss excited for opening night start

Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 5:15 PM / NHL Insider

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- If San Jose Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss had any butterflies Saturday morning, just hours before his first career NHL opening night start, he did a good job hiding them.

"I'm excited to play," Greiss said, smiling as he fielded questions after the Sharks' final tune-up for their opener against Phoenix. "Home opener, it's great."

A year ago, Greiss was playing for Brynas in the Swedish Elite League. He re-signed with the Sharks, even though they already had two veteran goaltenders, starter Antti Niemi and backup Antero Niittymaki. But Niemi is still recovering from minor surgery to remove a cyst on a leg, and Niittymaki will be out for months after undergoing hip surgery.

Enter Greiss, drafted in the third by San Jose in 2004.
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Heat is on Penguins during opening road trip

Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 3:15 PM / NHL Insider

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- The Pittsburgh Penguins opened the 2011-12 season Thursday with a victory over the Vancouver Canucks, the kind of start the club was hoping for.

It might've been a little too hot for their liking, though.

Center Jordan Staal was forced to leave in the third period of the 4-3 shootout victory over the Canucks with cramping and dehydration. Already without Sidney Crosby, the loss of Staal could have left the Penguins short down the middle for tonight's game against the Calgary Flames.

Given a maintenance day off Friday, though, Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said the status of Staal was never in doubt.
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Bruins face another opponent looking for revenge

Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 1:35 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- The Bruins' season-opening reunion with teams they vanquished in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs is scheduled to continue Saturday night when the Tampa Bay Lightning visit TD Garden.

Boston downed Tampa Bay in seven games in last year's Eastern Conference Finals, including a 1-0 triumph in the series finale on Garden ice.

The early-season rematch has Bruins forward Milan Lucic thinking that the Lightning might have a little extra spring in their step, even though they played Friday night in Carolina (a 5-1 Tampa Bay victory).
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Jets aim to turn fan fervor into home wins

Friday, 10.07.2011 / 10:26 PM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets know they'll be playing in the NHL's smallest arena. Their goal is to make it one of the toughest places for visiting teams.

The MTS Centre, opened in 2004, has just 15,004 seats -- by far the fewest in the NHL. But with a hockey-mad fan base that has already guaranteed a packed house for all 41 games, the building figures to take on the feel of an old-time NHL arena.

Anchored on a small city block in downtown Winnipeg, the building uses every available nook and cranny to squeeze in as many seats as possible. Jets fans in turn have bought every available ticket: The club capped season-ticket sales at 13,000 seats, and there's a waiting list of 8,000 fans should any seats become available.
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Hanzal glad to be a Coyote for the long term

Friday, 10.07.2011 / 9:22 PM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Here are three reasons why Phoenix Coyotes center Martin Hanzal is important to the success of his team: He's strong on the penalty kill, successful in the faceoff circle and improving as an offensive contributor.

But here are the three most important reasons why the Coyotes signed the big 24-year-old Czech to a five-year contract extension this week and invested more than $15 million: Anze Kopitar, Ryan Getzlaf and Joe Thornton.
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Jacobs and Neely celebrate, look ahead on NHL Hour

Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 8:08 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Less than an hour before a Stanley Cup championship banner was raised at TD Garden and the puck dropped on the 2011-12 NHL season, Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs was in a giddy mood.

"I can't get any better than this right now -- the year hasn't started, we haven't lost a game and we're the reigning Stanley Cup champions," said Jacobs, appearing as a guest to kick off the fifth season of "NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman."

Jacobs and Bruins team president Cam Neely both pulled themselves away from the opening night festivities long enough to speak with Bettman about watching the franchise end its 39-year championship drought, their experiences with the Cup this summer and the challenges that lie ahead as Boston attempts to become the NHL's first repeat champs since Detroit won back-to-back titles in 1997 and '98.
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Tillman tribute part of LaBarbera's new mask

Wednesday, 10.05.2011 / 3:45 PM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Paying homage to his passion for wrestling stars and his favorite band, Metallica, on his mask in recent years was fun, but Coyotes goaltender Jason LaBarbera wanted to take his acknowledgement of heroes to another level this season.

To honor soldiers of all wars and with the hope that those now fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan will return home safely as soon as possible, LaBarbera's vision and well-known mask designer David Arrigo combined to produce a unique tribute to the fighting men and women in the U.S. and Canada.

"I had fun with the music and the wrestlers, but I wanted this mask to have kind of a deeper meaning and something I felt strongly about," said LaBarbera, who will split time with newcomer Mike Smith between the pipes this season. "I'm really happy with the way this one turned out. David really captured what I wanted perfectly."
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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres