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NHL Insider

Islanders working to put down roots in Brooklyn

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 9:00 PM / NHL Insider

Jon Lane - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark's credo is to be happy but never satisfied. For all the work he's done to help lifelong New York Islanders fans get to their new arena, Yormark must add some Brooklyn flavor to a marketing recipe designed to create a foothold in the borough.

"I'm excited about the early returns, but we have more work to do," Yormark said. "I'm happy with the move, the team is off to a great start, the fans have been supporting the team, but we can do more. We can grow the base and we will."

The Islanders took a big step in their grassroots effort to grow their brand in Brooklyn on Tuesday when defenseman Nick Leddy became their first player to appear at a community event since they relocated from Long Island to begin the 2015-16 NHL season.

Gagne was destined to make his mark with Flyers

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Simon Gagne didn't know it, but he was destined to be with the Philadelphia Flyers.

On Tuesday, the Flyers will honor Gagne, who announced his retirement Sept. 15, before their game against the Los Angeles Kings (7 p.m. ET; FS-W, CSN-PH).

Gagne played 11 of his 14 NHL seasons with the Flyers, and his 264 goals, 535 points and 691 games played rank in the Flyers' top 10. He had seven 20-goal seasons, topped by back-to-back seasons of 47 goals in 2005-06 and 41 in 2006-07.

However, Gagne was surprised to hear the Flyers select him with the 22nd pick of the 1998 NHL Draft. Only later did he learn of his family's connection to the organization.

Pierre Gagne, Simon's father, and Flyers amateur scout Simon Nolet were longtime friends and minor hockey teammates. Decades later, Nolet, who has scouted Quebec-based prospects for the Flyers since 1990, was instrumental in his friend's son being drafted.

Travis Roy following progress of Eichel, McDavid

Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Travis Roy has a hard time imagining just how good Buffalo Sabres rookie center Jack Eichel can be playing top minutes with even more NHL mentoring and coaching.

"Jack is as strong as can be, but there is a difference between the boy body and the man body," Roy said. "It'll be interesting when he gets to be 23, 24 years old, and he's a little broader. I can't imagine what Jack's going to do when he gets into that body."

Roy watched how impressive Eichel looked in his Hobey Baker-winning season at Boston University in 2014-15. He's always taken advantage of any opportunity to watch the Terriers, his alma mater.

Malkin, Penguins frustrated by losses, lack of offense

Monday, 11.16.2015 / 3:22 PM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin said Monday that any frustration he feels is solely because of how the team is playing.

Malkin clarified comments he made Saturday after the Penguins' 4-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils that made it sound like players were angry at each other.

"It's a little bit not what I want to say. It's not mad at each other," he said. "We're a pretty tight team. We support each other. But I mean, when [nothing works] in a game like New Jersey, we start to get a little bit frustrated with each other. It's a little bit new for us. It's a new team. It's not like me and [Sidney Crosby] or whoever [are mad at each other]; it's just the game. We don't like how we play."

There are some things to be frustrated about. The loss was the Penguins' third in four games (1-3-0) since winning nine of their previous 10 (9-1-0). They are 27th in the NHL with an average of 2.06 goals per game, and the power play is 29th at 12.3 percent.

Devils' Zajac emerging as two-way threat under Hynes

Saturday, 11.14.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac has relished his role as a dual threat this season under the direction of first-year coach John Hynes.

Not that Zajac, 30, didn't serve that all-purpose role in his previous nine seasons with the Devils, but there's something different about him these days.

Zajac not only ranks among the top five in the NHL in shooting percentage with six goals on 21 shots (28.6 percent), but he's on pace to surpass his career-high of 25 goals set during the 2009-10 season.

Ovechkin impresses former Capitals standout Bondra

Friday, 11.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

David Satriano - Staff Writer

If there's anyone who knows what Alex Ovechkin is going through, it's Peter Bondra.

Ovechkin has been the face of the Washington Capitals for the past decade, a role he took over from Bondra, who scored 472 goals and had 825 points in 13-plus seasons in Washington, each a Capitals record until Ovechkin broke it last season.

"I see him all the time," Bondra said Wednesday, shortly after being named a scout for Team Europe for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. "We talk. I congratulated him so many times because he passed a couple of my records, so I was in the locker room a couple times as well."

The No. 1 pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, Ovechkin has scored 50 or more goals in six of his first 10 seasons in the League. He will have a chance to score his 484th career goal and move past Hockey Hall of Fame member Sergei Fedorov for the most by a Russian-born player in NHL history when the Capitals host the Calgary Flames on Friday (7 p.m. ET; SNW, CSN-DC).

Iginla shows no signs of slowing down for Avalanche

Thursday, 11.12.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Pat Pickens - Special to

Many NHL players would love to play 10 seasons, but even as Jarome Iginla approaches his second decade in the League, he is thriving.

In his 19th NHL season, and 38 years old, Iginla has played in all 15 games for the Colorado Avalanche this season. He leads them with seven goals, and his 12 points are tied for second.

Iginla's goal Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers was the 596th of his NHL career and moved him within one point of Peter Stastny for 38th place on the all-time points list. As the game gets younger, and on the particularly young Avalanche -- 14 players on their 23-man roster were under the age of 10 when Iginla broke into the NHL in 1996 -- Iginla is a rare breed.

"He's a guy who takes care of himself on and off the ice," coach Patrick Roy said in explaining how Iginla is a good example for his younger teammates. "He's having a great presence in this room and certainly helps our young guys."

Pacioretty growing into role as captain of Canadiens

Wednesday, 11.11.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

BROSSARD, Quebec -- When Max Pacioretty was named captain of the Montreal Canadiens at the start of training camp, he became emotional.

He wiped a tear from his eye at his introductory news conference and made it clear just how much the position meant to him.

Shortly after, the Canadiens went out and had the best start to a season in team history, and have a League-best 13-2-1 record when they play the Pittsburgh Penguins (9-5-0) in this week's Wednesday Night Rivalry game (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, RDS).

Not a bad way to start out a captaincy.

If you ask his teammates or coach Michel Therrien, they don't see much of a change in Pacioretty wearing the letter on his chest.

Fedorov set course for Ovechkin to excel on big stage

Tuesday, 11.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

TORONTO -- Sergei Fedorov saw the picture pop up on the television screen and he felt a twinge of honor and pride.

There was a young Alex Ovechkin, no more than 8 or 9 years old, if that, wearing a black and white shirt that had Fedorov's name on it, his number, 91, and Detroit written in big, black, block letters.

"I was so surprised," Fedorov said. "It kind of moved me."

Fedorov and Ovechkin played together with the Washington Capitals for 70 games over parts of two seasons (2008-09), passing the time by passing around stories like they were the puck, growing close, developing a friendship. But Fedorov said never once did Ovechkin bring up the fact that when he was a kid, he was his guy, his idol, the name he wore on his clothes.

"He never told me about that particular part of his life, when he was wearing something like that," Fedorov said. "We were very close, obviously, for a couple years in Washington and that was amazing. I hope he saw a lot of good things."

Red Wings' Green set to face Capitals for first time

Monday, 11.09.2015 / 11:00 PM / NHL Insider

Paul Harris - Correspondent

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green misses his old teammates and friends but he has moved on.

After spending the first 10 seasons of his career with the Washington Capitals, Green signed a three-year, $18 million contract with Detroit on July 1.

He will face his former team for the first time Tuesday when the Red Wings play the Capitals at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., TVAS, FS-D, CSN+).

"I was there a long time and obviously, sometimes change is good. I felt I was becoming a little bit stagnant there, so I wanted to evolve," Green said Monday. "And I felt that coming here would be the best thing for that. It was difficult, a lot of friendships there. Obviously there will be friends on the ice [Tuesday].

"It'll be strange, but I've moved forward now. I think it's more exciting than anything. I know the personality in the dressing room and how most of these guys play, so it will be fun. But it will be fun because we're competing."

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Quote of the Day

Yeah, I guess so. That empty-netter was pretty lucky, but I'll take it.

— Senators forward Mike Hoffman when asked if his two-goal game was a good way to celebrate his 26th birthday
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