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(Page 185 of 255)
NHL Insider

A look at some of the NHL's best teenage debuts

Thursday, 08.04.2011 / 4:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Edmonton Oilers are hoping that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' success in junior hockey carries over into his NHL career -- even though there are no guarantees that it will start this fall.

The Oilers took Nugent-Hopkins with the No. 1 pick in the Entry Draft, and they hope he'll be ready for a regular role at age 18 -- just as Taylor Hall was for Edmonton last season. Hall, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 Entry Draft, went through some growing pains but was playing some of his best hockey when an ankle injury ended his season prematurely. He finished with 22 goals and 42 points in 65 games.

The two previous No. 1 picks, Steven Stamkos (2008) and John Tavares (2009), both look like they'll go on to long and successful careers after entering the NHL immediately after being drafted as 18-year-olds. Stamkos had 21 goals as an 18-year-old, but his 96 goals in the past two seasons are the most in the NHL, while Tavares is coming off consecutive 20-goal seasons with the New York Islanders and shows signs that he's capable of a lot more.
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You're never too old for a big season

Tuesday, 08.02.2011 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Though the NHL seems to be getting younger every year, the kids don't have a monopoly on big seasons.

Landmark achievements like seasons with 50 goals and 100 points, or winning the Norris or Vezina Trophy, usually belong to younger players. But players who have reached their 35th birthday have made plenty of history as well.

Here's a look at some of the best seasons by the NHL's 35-and-over crowd:

FORWARDS

100 points
Gordie Howe, 1968-69 (age 41)
Johnny Bucyk, 1970-71 (age 35)
Wayne Gretzky, 1995-96 (age 35)
Joe Sakic, 2006-07 (age 37)


No athlete in the history of professional sports is comparable to Gordie Howe. "Mr. Hockey" was a great player when he was young and when he was old enough to be the father of some of his teammates. But his best NHL season, in terms of points, was in 1968-69. One day before his 41st birthday, Howe scored a goal in Detroit's 9-5 loss to Chicago (the Red Wings' 76th of 78 games) to reach the 100-point mark for the first (and only) time in his NHL career.
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Some records may be etched in permanent ink

Thursday, 07.21.2011 / 6:51 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Once upon a time, Gordie Howe's 801 goals and Terry Sawchuk's 103 shutouts were deemed unbreakable -- records that would stand the test of time. Then, along came Wayne Gretzky and Martin Brodeur, who dropped the former Detroit teammates back to No. 2 in their respective categories.

Players like Gretzky and Brodeur have set standards for the players of today and tomorrow to shoot at. But there are some records that don't figure to be broken for a long time, if ever. Here are a few of them:

Longest consecutive point-scoring streak: Wayne Gretzky, 51 games

It would be easy to write multiple stories about the legion of Gretzky records that are all but impossible to break -- 894 goals and 2,857 points in a career; 92 goals and 215 points in single seasons, to name a few.
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League's best at doing some of the little things

Monday, 07.18.2011 / 12:55 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are hockey icons because of their offensive skills -- after all, the basic premise of hockey is that you have to put the puck in the net more than the other guy, and Ovechkin and Crosby are better at doing that (or helping teammates do it) than just about anyone else around.

But there's more to winning hockey games than just scoring goals, and not even "Great 8" and "Sid the Kid" can do everything. Doing the dirty work and excelling at the little things plays a big role in winning games, as well.
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Big Assist a big success

Thursday, 07.14.2011 / 12:33 PM / NHL Insider

Emily Kaplan - NHL.com Staff Writer

STAMFORD, Conn. -- It all started with a shivering cold Ryan Shannon.

When Shannon won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007, he wanted to do something a little different with his day with Lord Stanley by paying tribute to a man who helped get his hockey career started. That man is Obie Harrington-Howes, who first coached Shannon when he was 5 years old. Harrington-Howes suffered a spinal cord injury in a freak accident nearly 13 years ago at Jones Beach on Long Island and has been in a motorized wheelchair ever since.

In the summer of 2007, Shannon brought the Cup to his hometown rink in Darien, Conn., where fans could take pictures with it and meet Shannon for a suggested donation to the Obie Harrington-Howes Foundation, which aids those with similar injuries and challenges in the state of Connecticut.
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Some of the most exciting players in NHL history

Monday, 07.11.2011 / 6:00 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

There's excitement, and then there's excitement -- the kind that yanks you right out of your seat. The kind that makes you shake your head. The kind that makes you wonder aloud, "How did he do that?"

Players who generate that kind of excitement don't come along every day. Here's a look at some of the NHL's best at bringing us out of our seats over the seasons. 

You might agree with NHL.com's choices. You might think an all-time great–remember we are talking a superior brand of excitement, the players you don't want to miss a single shift. Feel to share a comment about our choices. Oh, and Happy Hockey in July.
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Itch for game led Kolzig to return to Capitals

Monday, 07.11.2011 / 5:26 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Olie Kolzig took some time away from the NHL and the town where fans adored him for more than a decade.

During those two years he dabbled a little in coaching, helping out with the Western Hockey League team he co-owns, the Tri-City Americans. It helped him determine in what direction he wanted to go in his post-playing days, and Kolzig is now back with the Washington Capitals as the associate goaltending coach.

"I didn't know what I wanted to do when I was playing. I was just so focused on playing the game that I didn’t give post-career any thought," Kolzig said Monday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “That's what I took the two years off, to take some time with the family, reintroduce myself to the kids and my wife. But having said that, two years went by and I started to get the itch. 
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Talk with brother convinced Kaberle about Carolina

Wednesday, 07.06.2011 / 4:29 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Tomas Kaberle didn't have to look too far for advice on the Carolina Hurricanes and the city of Raleigh. All he had to do was strike up a conversation with his brother, Frantisek, who was a Hurricane from 2005-09.

He got the sales pitch.

"He talked about the fans, how you don't really hear throughout the League how good of fans they are," Tomas Kaberle said Wednesday, a day after signing a three-year, $12.75 million contract with the Hurricanes. "When he was there for his time, his few years, I thought he was the happiest out of the three teams he played on in the NHL. It made it an easier decision for me."

Ironically, Carolina General Manager Jim Rutherford told NHL.com the idea of offering a contract to Kaberle came from a phone conversation he had over the weekend with the agent for now former Hurricanes defenseman Joe Corvo.
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Richards ready to take his bite of Big Apple

Wednesday, 07.06.2011 / 3:21 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"This is going to be a process. I'll be the most comfortable when I get to start playing and not worry about all this stuff that's going on now." -- Brad Richards

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- After signing a nine-year deal with the New York Rangers worth a reported $60 million last Saturday, Brad Richards realizes the spotlight will shine brightly on him from the moment training camp begins in September.
 
Indeed, the pressure is on the skilled center to help take the Blueshirts to the next level. But Richards believes that pressure will only provide extra motivation.
 
"My last contract was a big contract, too," Richards said at the MSG Training Facility on Wednesday afternoon. "I learned a lot from that. I think I struggled a little bit the first part of that, but I'm five or six years older now and have a lot more experiences. This will be a different animal, for sure. I know that and I realize that. That'll be in my preparation. I'll talk to some people that can help and give me an idea of what to expect. I'll do all that before training camp. This is going to be a process. I'll be the most comfortable when I get to start playing and not worry about all this stuff that's going on now."
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Reasoner eager to help Isles take next step

Tuesday, 07.05.2011 / 7:59 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Marty Reasoner was confident he'd find a new home when the free agency period began at noon Eastern time last Friday. He just didn't think he'd only be a free agent for about 10 minutes.

But soon after the market opened for business, Islanders GM Garth Snow pounced on the opportunity to sign the gritty veteran who will likely center the team's fourth line when New York opens the 2011-12 season on Oct. 8 against Reasoner's former team, the Florida Panthers.

"It was definitely something that when it presented itself, I was pretty excited about it," Reasoner told NHL.com. "I think the team is obviously going in the right direction. There's obviously some great young players there. It's a good place to jump into and lend some experience. Hopefully I can help in any way possible."

Reasoner, who signed a two-year deal worth a reported $2.7 million, is coming off a strong season with the Panthers. The 34-year-old appeared in all 82 games and tallied 14 goals, 18 assists and a plus-2 rating. Four of his 14 goals were game-winners.
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Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie