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NHL Insider

Lamoriello timeline highlighted by three Cup wins

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 6:37 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The banners that hang from the ceiling of Prudential Center are there in part because of how Lou Lamoriello ran the New Jersey Devils for 28 years as general manager.

Lamoriello, the longest-serving GM in the NHL, relinquished that position Monday and hired Ray Shero to replace him. Lamoriello, 72, will remain as president of the Devils.

Under Lamoriello's leadership the Devils went to the Stanley Cup Playoffs 21 times, won nine division titles, went to the Stanley Cup Final five times and won the Cup in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

Here are some highlights from Lamoriello's tenure as GM of the Devils:

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Canucks' aim: Get better while getting younger

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 12:03 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks' management team is committed to making the team younger during its second offseason in charge, but only if it makes the club better as well.

And even if it means a second straight summer of asking veterans to waive no-trade clauses.

Speaking for the first time being eliminated by the Calgary Flames in the Western Conference First Round on Saturday, general manager Jim Benning and director of hockey operations Trevor Linden reiterated their plan to supplement an aging core with younger players without sacrificing the goal of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We don't plan on taking any steps backwards," said Linden, who was hired last April and brought in Benning a month later. "We are trying to win. We are trying to make the playoffs, and we are going to do everything we can to do that. Having said that, we have to keep a firm eye on the future and we need to develop players. But we can't put players in the lineup that aren't ready to play."

Linden and Benning answered questions about the sustainability of an aging core that is 3-12 in the playoffs since reaching Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2011. There was plenty of talk about turning over a roster that has eight key players who are 31 or older and two more who will turn 30 next season, but Benning and Linden made it clear that the youth movement will be a gradual process.

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Blues players, management bracing for change

Wednesday, 04.29.2015 / 3:51 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- It's a question the St. Louis Blues were hoping to avoid after past Stanley Cup Playoff failures but one that became unavoidable following another defeat in the Western Conference First Round.

What's next?

That's the lingering question the Blues can't seem to shake following a third straight defeat in the first round, this one against the Minnesota Wild, who will face the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round.

According to players, they expect personnel change, which made saying goodbye tougher.

"More saying goodbye to everybody when you know that there's guys that won't be here next year in the locker room," defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "You just kind of have to deal with that harsh reality that things are going to change. It's never easy to really to deal with that."

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Leddy, Boychuk, Halak find stability with Islanders

Wednesday, 04.29.2015 / 2:47 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders' three most important acquisitions last offseason, defensemen Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk and goaltender Jaroslav Halak, cleaned out their lockers Wednesday at Nassau Coliseum, still numb from the 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round two days earlier.

After the Islanders failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, Leddy, Boychuk and Halak sparked a resurgence that led to 47 regular-season wins and a third-place finish in the Metropolitan Division.

The three will be integral pieces moving forward. Halak has three years remaining on the contract he signed last May. Leddy and Boychuk, acquired in trades one week before the season started, each signed a seven-year contract to remain in New York.

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Islanders' Lee looking ahead, not back at ending

Wednesday, 04.29.2015 / 1:13 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Anders Lee may have been a rookie, but the New York Islanders left wing played a major role this season for a team that had 101 points and finished third in the Metropolitan Division.

Yet with New York's season on the line in Games 6 and 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Washington Capitals, Lee, who scored 25 goals during the regular season, was a healthy scratch.

The Islanders survived Game 6 with a 3-1 win at Nassau Coliseum but had 11 shots on goal in a 2-1 loss at Verizon Center in Game 7 on Monday. It was a helpless feeling for Lee, who watched his teammates fail to generate any offense in their biggest game of the season.

"I can't really explain it," Lee said Wednesday at the Coliseum, where the Islanders were cleaning out their lockers permanently as they prepare for their move to Barclays Center in Brooklyn next season. "It's really hard."

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Penguins' injured players focused on next season

Sunday, 04.26.2015 / 2:36 PM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis had a very slight hope of playing in the Stanley Cup Final.

The New York Rangers eliminated the Penguins in five games during the Eastern Conference First Round, which thwarted that hope. But the 36-year-old, who was placed on injured reserve Nov. 19 with a potentially career-ending blood clot in his lung, said he hopes to resume his career next season.

"If you ask me I thought I was going to play again this year," Dupuis said Sunday during the Penguins' final media availability of the season. "Obviously I'm going to say I'm going to play next year, yes. But it's not up to me right now. I have more tests to be done and hopefully the results come back positive."

Dupuis wasn't the only key player to miss time for injuries during the regular season or the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Devils' Schneider done playing but excited to watch

Friday, 04.17.2015 / 5:06 PM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- The New Jersey Devils and goaltender Cory Schneider failed to qualify for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but that hasn't stopped Schneider from paying attention to what's going on across the NHL.

Schneider set a personal best and was fourth in the League with 69 games in 2014-15, but he's still excited to watch hockey.

"I find the first to be the most interesting round," Schneider said. "Everyone sort of has the optimism that they're going to go far and everyone comes out a million miles an hour. So some of the physicality and the pace of the game is pretty incredible, especially the early games, when you might catch a team off and win a game or two and then that changes the series.

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Flyers must answer leadership, defense questions

Monday, 04.13.2015 / 7:32 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

VOORHEES, N.J. -- The Philadelphia Flyers believe a lack of consistency in a number of areas is what doomed them to miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Playing harder didn't cure those ills. Instead of more hard play, what they might have needed was more hard talk.

During their final media availability Monday at their practice facility, a number of the players cited the season-long absence and eventual trade of defenseman Kimmo Timonen as a big reason for their inability to fix issues as they arose.

"Kimmo was such a big presence in the locker room," forward Jakub Voracek said. "Since I was here every time things didn't go well, we'd have a meeting about it and he always calmed things down. He was being hard on us as well sometimes. As a team we need to get better and I think that's what we were missing."


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Bruins humbled as postseason streak comes to end

Monday, 04.13.2015 / 4:20 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was blunt when asked to assess the season that concluded Saturday because the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins each won their games and eliminated the Bruins from contention for a place in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Well, what's failed, F? Because you know, if you don't make the playoffs, you've failed," Rask said at TD Garden on Monday. "You know, it doesn't matter what happened, if you don't make the playoffs you've failed. I mean, if we were to make the playoffs, who knows what could have happened. So the line there is very thin, and we really felt like we had a group of guys to make a good run in the playoffs. But we failed because we didn't make the playoffs and we'll never find out."

The Bruins, who held their breakup day Monday, had good reason to believe they might've had a run in them. Most of the core of the team was part of a Stanley Cup championship in 2011, an Eastern Conference title in 2013 and a Presidents' Trophy win 12 months ago. Boston reached the playoffs seven straight seasons before this one.

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Sakic says Avalanche better than this season's record

Friday, 04.10.2015 / 2:53 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic had an inkling that this could be a difficult season as early as training camp.

Yet he didn't anticipate the Avalanche missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs one season after they won the Central Division with 112 points under first-year coach and former teammate Patrick Roy.

The Avalanche are in last place in the division with a 38-31-12 record and 88 points with one game remaining, Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks at Pepsi Center.

"We expect to win," Sakic said. "We didn't come here to be hovering and missing the playoffs. Last year, for sure, 112 points ... we know we weren't as good as 112 points. This year, I think we're better than what we've performed. This year, the big thing is what happened the first half of the year. We weren't ready for (it)."

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Quote of the Day

It's very special, obviously; there is draft day and then there's the day that you sign your first deal. It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I'm very honored to be able to do that."

— Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid on signing his first professional contract