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(Page 9 of 260)
NHL Insider

Kapanen wows Penguins brass at development camp

Saturday, 07.19.2014 / 7:20 PM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Kasperi Kapanen understands any expectations of making the Pittsburgh Penguins opening-night roster could be unrealistic, but the forward is prepared to defy the odds.

Kapanen, Pittsburgh's first-round pick (No. 22) in the 2014 NHL Draft, skated at Consol Energy Center for the first time this week during Penguins development camp. The 17-year-old began the week frustrated by his lack of game-ready legs.

By the time camp ended, Kapanen said he felt there was room for significant improvement, but he is ready to compete when Pittsburgh opens training camp in September.

"I'm still not at the top of my game. I haven't been on the ice this summer at all before this," Kapanen said. "So it's been hard for me. But this week, it's been fun to be on the ice and being on the ice with these guys. It felt good, I felt good with the puck. I think I made some good plays.

"[Being prepared for training camp] is going to be tough. It's going to be tough, but I'm ready. I think I'm up for the challenge. I know some people might doubt me, but I'm just going to bring everything to the table and hopefully make the team."

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Move to Blackhawks a new challenge for Richards

Saturday, 07.19.2014 / 12:07 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Brad Richards is just getting to know the Chicago Blackhawks, so forgive him if his approach is still a little formal.

After signing a one-year contract with the Blackhawks on July 1 reportedly worth 2 million, the veteran center is meeting most of his new teammates this weekend at the Seventh Annual Blackhawks Fan Convention.

The event, hosted at the Chicago Hilton, drew an estimated 10,000 fans to the International Ballroom on Friday evening to watch Richards and other Blackhawks low-five their way down a fashion runway during the opening ceremonies.

"It's overwhelming trying to think of all these names I've got already," said Richards, whose contract was bought out by the New York Rangers this offseason. "I guess if you're going to come to a new team, this is a way to meet the whole organization. I've been here since Wednesday and it's been a lot of fun."

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Bardreau focused on Cornell, then picking NHL team

Saturday, 07.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Cole Bardreau is having a better summer this year than last.

That's not surprising, considering one year ago he was recovering from a broken neck he sustained from an illegal check playing for Cornell against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

This summer the forward is touring NHL development camps. Bardreau participated in Detroit Red Wings prospect camp early in July and spent time at Boston Bruins development camp.

Summer camps like those are important to a player who was passed over in the NHL Draft a few times and will be a free agent when his college career is complete.

"I've been joking around with some of the guys," Bardreau said. "You think you're prepared and then you come in here and you're huffing and puffing. So I think it just shows you that you have to get to that next level. Especially going to two camps for two weeks, I think that helps you get in shape and be just that much more ready when it comes to season time. So a lot of people have slower starts, it takes them a few games to get going, and that's kind of tough for college guys when you don't play so many games. So I think that it kind of helps you be in shape right away and ready to go."

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Blackhawks confident they can get salary cap to fit

Friday, 07.18.2014 / 7:47 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The goal hasn't changed for the Chicago Blackhawks, but the roster must before another chase for the Stanley Cup begins.

Brad Richards
Center - CHI
GOALS: 20 | ASST: 31 | PTS: 51
SOG: 259 | +/-: -8
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman doesn't need to pick apart the bulk of his team, like he did after winning the Cup in 2010, but somebody under contract won't be in Chicago for the 2014-15 season thanks to another salary-cap issue.

Following Bowman's free-agent acquisition of veteran center Brad Richards on July 1, the Blackhawks are over the NHL's $69 million hard salary cap by $2.2 million, according to CapGeek.com.

"We certainly have to be ready to go by October, that's the goal," Bowman said Friday at the annual Blackhawks Convention at the Chicago Hilton. "A lot of things change between now and then. You have to display some patience."

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Islanders' Pulock knows competition stiff on defense

Friday, 07.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- No more junior hockey for Ryan Pulock. The offensive-minded defenseman is ready for his next challenge, which he hopes will be NHL competition as a member of the New York Islanders.

Pulock finished his junior career in 2013-14 as the leading goal-scorer among defensemen in Brandon Wheat Kings history. The Islanders' first-round pick (No. 15) at the 2013 NHL Draft scored 64 goals and 146 assists and played 261 games in four Western Hockey League seasons. He is armed with a slap shot that has been clocked at over 100 mph.

Pulock, who turns 20 on Oct. 6, could start the 2014-15 season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the American Hockey League, but he'll head to NHL training camp in September with greater aspirations.

He'll be facing some stiff competition this fall. The Islanders already have Calvin de Haan, Travis Hamonic, Lubomir Visnovsky and Thomas Hickey in the mix on their blue line and signed TJ Brennan, the defenseman of the year in the AHL last season, on July 1. Griffin Reinhart, the Islanders' 2012 first-round pick (No. 4), also is expected to push hard for a roster spot.

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Canucks' Subban hopes to create own niche

Friday, 07.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- It didn't take long before the questions directed at Vancouver Canucks prospect Jordan Subban during development camp focused more on his older brothers.

It never does.

He plays defenseman, the same position as Norris Trophy-winning sibling and Montreal Canadiens star P.K. Subban, so comparisons are inevitable. With middle brother Malcolm Subban coming off his first pro season as a goaltender in the Boston Bruins organization, the questions about family are never far off.

To be clear, none of that bothers the youngest Subban.

"I am used to it by now," Jordan said, adding most of the questions are about P.K. "He's my brother, so I love to talk about him, and it's great to see him have success, but at the same time I am me."

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Canucks' Horvat trims down, aims for roster spot

Thursday, 07.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Bo Horvat
Center - VAN
2013-14 stats with London (OHL)
Goals: 30 | Assists: 44 | Pts: 74
Games: 54 | +/-: 20

VANCOUVER -- Bo Horvat is trying to lighten up.

Not in a "Why so serious?" kind of way, mind you. The Vancouver Canucks' top prospect is trying to lose weight with the hope it will make him faster and ease the transition from junior hockey to the NHL as a 19-year-old center this season.

Horvat, who was selected by the Canucks with the ninth pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, a pick acquired from the New Jersey Devils in a trade for goaltender Cory Schneider, has already dropped 6-8 pounds in less than three weeks.

"I have to get lighter," said Horvat, who was listed at 6-foot and 206 pounds for Canucks development camp. "It's not like I am overweight or anything; it's just trying to get quick, get leaner and a little bit lighter and try to work on my speed and my agility."

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Grigorenko blames self for not sticking with Sabres

Wednesday, 07.16.2014 / 9:41 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Mikhail Grigorenko started each of the past two seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, then found himself back in juniors and eventually in the American Hockey League.

He says he has only himself to blame.

"From past experiences, I've kind of realized that it was probably no one's fault but mine that I didn't stay in the NHL," Grigorenko told the Sabres website Wednesday at development camp. "If I want to play in the best league in the world, it's just on me. No one is going to make me play just because I was drafted in the first round. I just need to go out there and just be the best."

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Toews, Kane never thought of leaving Blackhawks

Wednesday, 07.16.2014 / 8:35 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane would've had tantalizing options as unrestricted free agents, but the idea of staying with the Chicago Blackhawks was more appealing.

After winning the Stanley Cup twice in their first seven seasons, the Blackhawks' dynamic duo intends to add more championship banners to the rafters inside United Center. That's ultimately what led them to sign identical eight-year contract extensions July 9, reportedly worth $84 million each, choosing to avoid hitting the open market as free agents July 1, 2015.

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Nylander impressing Maple Leafs with early showing

Wednesday, 07.16.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- When the Toronto Maple Leafs selected forward William Nylander with the eighth pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, they felt they were getting a great player. What has surprised the organization is how well Nylander handled being thrust into the spotlight during the team's prospect camp in Toronto.

Nylander joined 28 other prospects at MasterCard Centre this week, and the impression he left was overwhelmingly positive.

"He's been very impressive. And not to put pressure on a young player like that, I think the first step was just getting him here," Maple Leafs president of hockey operations Brendan Shanahan said. "What really impresses me about William, aside from the skill level he has, is just his character that he's shown since he's been here."

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