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NHL Insider

Sharks forward Pavelski leads by example, with words

Sunday, 03.08.2015 / 11:01 PM / NHL Insider

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Joe Pavelski emerged as the San Jose Sharks' biggest offensive weapon last season when he led them and set career highs with 41 goals and 79 points.

Pavelski is leading by example again this season. His 32 goals and 61 points lead the Sharks, and he's also become their strongest voice in the locker room as one of four alternate captains along with Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Coach Todd McLellan said Pavelski, 30 and in his ninth NHL season, all with San Jose, has embraced his leadership role.

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Blackhawks' Kane optimistic as injury rehab continues

Sunday, 03.08.2015 / 2:35 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO – Forward Patrick Kane is back in the gym, keeping his legs strong, but there's no change in his estimated recovery time for a fractured left clavicle.

Following surgery Feb. 28 to repair the fracture, the Chicago Blackhawks announced Kane was expected to miss 12 weeks. If that timetable stays true, Kane won't be able to play until late May, which will be during the Western Conference Final, if Chicago makes it that far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"The timetable is still the same," Kane said Sunday after the Blackhawks held an optional morning skate prior to playing the New York Rangers at United Center. "Whatever the doctor said, we're still on that pace. For me right now, I'm just trying to work as hard as I can to get as healthy as possible. Whatever the doctors say and whatever they tell me, I'm ready. I'll be ready to play."

Kane was tied for the NHL lead with 64 points at the time of the injury, which occurred Feb. 24 in the first period of a game against the Florida Panthers. A crosscheck by Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic caused him to lose his balance and he crashed hard into the side boards in the offensive zone. His left shoulder absorbed the impact.

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Devils' first championship team reunites after 20 years

Saturday, 03.07.2015 / 10:24 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Martin Brodeur will eventually have his night at Prudential Center to speak to the fans, to thank everyone he wants and to watch his No. 30 go up to the rafters. The New Jersey Devils haven't announced plans to honor Brodeur and his 20 years of record-breaking, championship goaltending, but that's going to happen, perhaps as early as next season.

However, it was somewhat fitting that Brodeur's first trip back to the arena as a retired player was to celebrate a Stanley Cup championship team instead of his phenomenal career.

Through 28 years of leadership from general manager and president Lou Lamoriello, the Devils have been built on a team-first, star-less mentality even though two members of the 1995 championship team being honored this weekend, Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer, are in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and Brodeur is expected to join them when he's eligible in 2018.

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Brodeur fond of Devils, relishes new role with Blues

Saturday, 03.07.2015 / 8:44 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Martin Brodeur returned to Prudential Center on Saturday for his first event as an alumnus of the New Jersey Devils.

"It's always fun to come back home," Brodeur said after playing in an alumni game with his teammates from the 1994-95 season, the Devils' first of three Stanley Cup championship seasons.

There will be plenty more alumni events for Brodeur to attend, and perhaps soon he will be attending them as a Devils employee. But for the time being Brodeur is comfortable with his role in the St. Louis Blues front office, where he has been going through a crash course in how to become an executive in the NHL since announcing his retirement Jan. 29 and becoming an adviser to general manager Doug Armstrong.

"It's been a blast," said Brodeur, the NHL's all-time leader for goalies in wins (691) and shutouts (125). "Definitely my home is New Jersey and eventually, and hopefully, I'll be back here in somewhat of a role, but right now I'm in St. Louis and I'm enjoying myself a lot."


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Bruins' Bergeron taking leadership to new heights

Saturday, 03.07.2015 / 5:38 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Patrice Bergeron has been front and center for some of the Boston Bruins' most important moments the past several seasons.

He scored two goals against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final to help end a 39-year championship drought.

He scored the late game-tying goal and overtime winner in Game 7 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to cap a remarkable comeback from three goals down against the Toronto Maple Leafs to salvage the Bruins' playoff run that ended with an Eastern Conference title.

Throughout his career, Bergeron has come through when the Bruins need him most. That hasn't changed during the 2014-15 season. The only difference has been they've needed the 29-year-old center to pull them through for almost all of their 64 games, rather than come through in clutch moments.

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Kings' Robitaille honored to have statue unveiled

Saturday, 03.07.2015 / 4:18 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Luc Robitaille heard it through good authority that the 19-foot, 2,500-pound bronze statue of him was sculpted well. He knew because he had one condition when he was approached about it a while back.

"I said, 'I don’t want to see it,'" Robitaille said. "I don't want to know. You guys do it and I'll see when it comes out. Just do me one favor: Show it to my wife [Stacia]. If my wife agrees with it I know it's all good."

The verdict?

"They showed it to her a couple of times, and at one point she told me, 'Yeah, it's pretty cool,'" he said. "She's happy. I figured it's all good."

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Blackhawks' Timonen relishing last chance at Cup

Saturday, 03.07.2015 / 11:25 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- If Kimmo Timonen's career had ended last summer because of blood clots discovered in his legs and lung, he would have accepted it.

The 39-year old Finnish defenseman could have found solace in his impressive career even without having his name on the Stanley Cup or with an Olympic gold medal stashed in a safe somewhere. He wouldn't have had a choice.

Doctors in Finland, however, kept the door slightly ajar. That's all he needed.

"There was always a small chance," said Timonen, who was traded Feb. 27 by the Philadelphia Flyers to the Chicago Blackhawks to pursue a dream ending to his career. "[The doctors] said, 'Well, you have to eat this medicine for six months and then you have a small chance to get back on the ice.'"

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Senators' Hammond stealing spotlight, victories

Friday, 03.06.2015 / 4:46 PM / NHL Insider

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- When Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond was preparing for his first NHL start Feb. 18 against the Montreal Canadiens, a couple of reporters waited by his dressing-room stall after the morning skate.

"Do you talk on game days?" asked one.

"I guess so. I've never really had anybody want to talk me on a game day," said the 27-year-old undrafted free agent who was thrust into the starting job after injuries to top Senators goaltenders Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner.

Things were a little different Friday.

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Senators goalie Hammond making hometown proud

Friday, 03.06.2015 / 10:40 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Goaltender Andrew Hammond has fans cheering as he leads the Ottawa Senators into an unlikely Stanley Cup Playoff race, but back in his hometown that same 6-0-1 run to start his NHL career has been especially emotional for his former goalie coach.

"It's brought me to tears just because I know how close he was to quitting," said Sean Murray, who has worked with Hammond for 17 years as an owner and coach of Pro-Formance Goalie School and Development Center in Vancouver and its suburbs. "Now seeing him have this success and just knowing how good of a kid he is, it's gotten me twice."

Maybe that's because Hammond came close to quitting on two separate occasions.

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Panthers' Ekblad turning heads with rookie season

Friday, 03.06.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell can remember the day he concluded that rookie Aaron Ekblad was going to be something very special.

It occurred last October during the Panthers' trip to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., for three days of training and team bonding prior to the season.

"He wouldn't remember it, but I remember it," Campbell said. "We were at practice and I gave him a pass where it didn't give him a lot of time and he just made a pass through one of our guys' skates to one of our forwards. I just kind of nodded my head thinking, 'All right, that's a play I feel like I like to make out there.'

"I've played in the League a while now and I feel like I can make those plays, but to see an 18-year-old have confidence and do that, I'm like, 'OK, yeah, this guy is the real deal.'"

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Quote of the Day

For us it's a little bit different. I've never been in front of this much media. This is more than we've ever had to deal with in Tampa. I guess we're on a little bit bigger stage now. It's nice, you have to enjoy it. This doesn't happen too often.

— Lightning forward J.T. Brown after his first Media Day experience on Tuesday in preparation of Game 1 on Wednesday