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(Page 197 of 274)
NHL Insider

Injuries could open up spot on Hawks for Saad

Thursday, 09.29.2011 / 3:55 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- On Wednesday morning, it still remained unclear how the Chicago Blackhawks could possibly keep impressive 18-year old rookie Brandon Saad with them to start the season.

Now the picture has become a little clearer, after injuries to forwards Viktor Stalberg, Ben Smith and Dave Bolland in a preseason game on Wednesday night against the rival Detroit Red Wings.

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said Stalberg (lower body) is expected to be out three weeks after an apparent leg-to-leg collision with a Red Wings player, while Smith and Bolland are day-to-day with upper-body injuries.

Quenneville said Bolland's injury isn't related to his concussion from late last season, while Smith appeared to be knocked unconscious in the third period on Wednesday by a big hit from Detroit rookie defenseman Brendan Smith that earned him a game misconduct.

Well-rested Hossa hoping for healthy season

Thursday, 09.29.2011 / 1:13 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- It might sound a little odd, but goals and assists aren't the primary concern for Marian Hossa this season.

Those surely will pile up for the Blackhawks forward if he can achieve his primary goal: Staying healthy.

Sounds easy enough, but staying healthy for a full season is something the 32-year-old Hossa hasn't done since playing all 82 games with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2006-07. In each of the four seasons since, while playing on four teams, Hossa has battled multiple injuries.

Noel makes tough cuts for Jets

Wednesday, 09.28.2011 / 12:53 PM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- The cut-down day process in the NHL is not entirely unlike that found in high-school sports programs.

A list of player names hangs on a wall. Players are to report to the coach's office, though the news is not in question. There, the coach will take time to speak with the player, an opportunity to offer encouragement and direction. A player then heads off to his new home.

Positional needs, contract status, training-camp play and simple human intuition all factor into the decisions that will shape League rosters heading into opening night Oct. 6. Some of the choices are obvious because of youth and inexperience. Other decisions are much more difficult. The names and organizational needs vary, but the dynamics are quite similar across all 30 NHL member cities.

After that process, the rest depends on the player and the attitude that he packs with him on his way to the American Hockey League, or back to his junior team.

Campoli happy to have found a home

Tuesday, 09.27.2011 / 4:57 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BROSSARD, Que. -- Chris Campoli arrived in Montreal on Tuesday and added to what was already a crowded Canadiens blue line, which begs the question as to why an unrestricted free agent defenseman would want to put himself in that situation.

The simple answer is that for Campoli, it was better than the alternative.

So instead of working out with his hometown Mississauga St. Michael's Majors of the Ontario Hockey League while waiting for the phone to ring on Tuesday, Campoli was skating alongside Josh Gorges at Canadiens practice.

"It wasn't the ideal situation, there's no doubt about that," Campoli said of his in-limbo status since becoming an unrestricted free agent July 22 when the Chicago Blackhawks walked away from a $2.5 million arbitration award. 

Bruins-Canadiens rivalry evident even in preseason

Tuesday, 09.27.2011 / 12:04 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- Carey Price was having a bit of trouble shaking the rust at Montreal Canadiens training camp. As it turns out, all he needed was the right opponent.

"I think it might have been just seeing a Boston uniform, it might have rolled the clock back a little bit," Price said after making 30 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Bruins at the Bell Centre on Monday night. "But I felt a lot better tonight."

The Canadiens-Bruins rivalry was revived for another year with back-to-back preseason games Sunday and Monday in Halifax and Montreal, and while the casual fan might figure it wouldn't compare to the regular season, the players involved beg to differ.

Kane happy to be center of attention -- even temporarily

Monday, 09.26.2011 / 6:03 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Sunday's news that Chicago Blackhawks star right wing Patrick Kane will get at least a brief look at center on the second line wasn't just a spur-of-the-moment hunch.

Rather, it was something the team's front office and coaching staff has kicked around for a while -- dating back to the summer. After centering the Hawks' second line between Andrew Brunette and Marian Hossa in a practice at the United Center on Monday, Kane told reporters that Hawks General Manager Stan Bowman approached him with the idea a couple months ago.

"Stan just came up to me and asked me over the summer," said Kane, who appeared a little unsure of the idea. "I said I'd be willing to try it if they wanted to. He didn't tell me why. He just said it was something they wanted to try."

Horton's return to action is a great first stride

Monday, 09.26.2011 / 5:06 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL – The last time we saw Nathan Horton on the ice, it wasn't a very comforting sight.

In fact, it was downright scary to anyone who saw him laying on the ice in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final after being levelled by a late check from Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome.

So when Horton suited up with the Boston Bruins in Halifax on Sunday night to face the rival Montreal Canadiens in a preseason game, it wasn't only a huge relief for him, but to anyone who witnessed the aftermath of the hit that sidelined HortOn for the final four games of Boston's Stanley Cup triumph against the Canucks.

"To me he looked like a guy who hadn't missed a beat, he skated well, he moved the puck well, he made some tough plays, won some battles, had some quality chances," Bruins coach Claude Julien said Monday, hours before his team was to play the Canadiens for the second time in as many nights. "I really liked his game for a guy who hadn't played since midway through the Finals."

Blackhawks considering Kane at center

Sunday, 09.25.2011 / 9:45 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

DETROIT -- The Chicago Blackhawks have already moved Patrick Kane away from his old neighbor Jonathan Toews inside the locker room.

Now there's a possibility Kane could also be moved away from Toews on the ice -- to center on the second line. Following a 4-3 shootout loss to the rival Detroit Red Wings on Sunday at Joe Louis Arena, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said he's seriously contemplating the idea.

Kane, who hasn't played center since 2008 for former Hawks coach Denis Savard, could see time there in Chicago's remaining exhibition games.

"We might try (Patrick) Kane at center," Quenneville said. "It's something we're going to at least take a look at."

Red Wings transitioning on the fly

Sunday, 09.25.2011 / 6:06 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

DETROIT -- If you've ever wondered how the Detroit Red Wings are going to keep competing for Stanley Cups without going through a major rebuilding season, you're not alone.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has the same questions. The only difference is that he isn't all that concerned about it. He's not exactly waiting for the fall that some think is the inevitable for Detroit's hockey dynasty. One look at Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland and assistant GM Jim Nill is all the reassurance Babcock needs.

"I don't know how we're going to do it … I just know we're going to do it," Babcock told before Sunday's preseason game at Joe Louis Arena against the Chicago Blackhawks. "I didn't know how we were going to do it when I got here (in 2005). I just knew with Kenny Holland's leadership and Jim Nill, we were going to do it. I go into every year and I don't know how we're going to do it. I just know we are."

That kind of confidence might initially seem like blind faith, but how "blind" can it be when the Wings and Holland have disproven the naysayers so many times?

Crosby works out for Pens' ticket holders

Sunday, 09.25.2011 / 4:52 PM / NHL Insider

Alan Robinson - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby, encouraged by a setback-free training camp to date, gave several thousand Pittsburgh Penguins season ticket holders a welcomed surprise Sunday by taking part in a controlled scrimmage.
There was no contact -- Crosby still hasn't been cleared for such work as he recovers from a concussion -- in a session that focused mostly on set plays and faceoffs. He also participated in a shootout that ended the workout, snapping off a quick shot that was deflected high and wide by goaltender Scott Munroe.
"It was very controlled," coach Dan Bylsma said of the scrimmage. "It wasn't much of a display of skill, lines or matchups."
But it was No. 87 on the ice, and that was good enough for the season ticket holder-only audience.
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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic