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Player Profiles

Ducks want Ryan to be more than a shooter

Friday, 11.04.2011 / 1:35 PM / Player Profiles

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEW YORK – Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle thinks Bobby Ryan can be a 40-goal scorer in the NHL. Ryan, who has hit the 30-goal mark for three straight seasons, knows for sure that he can be: He was six goals away last season and just five off the mark in 2009-10.

But both Carlyle and Ryan agree that the slick-shooting, American-born forward may never reach the plateau that separates the elite from the rest unless he gets his nose dirty more often.

Passion for game big part of what makes Teemu tick

Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 4:52 PM / Player Profiles

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- What makes Anaheim Ducks forward Teemu Selanne go?

"Well, I usually have some oatmeal or cereal every morning for breakfast," Selanne told with a grin. "To be honest, there are no secrets."

While inhaling plenty of fiber in the early-morning hours may play a part, it can't be the sole reason. After all, it's remarkable what the 41-year-old "Finnish Flash" has been able to accomplish in the twilight of his career.

"I would never have imagined to be playing this long, but I'm still having fun and I always said I'll try to play as long as I'm healthy and having fun," Selanne said following a recent Ducks practice at Chelsea Piers. "It's fun to come to the rink every day, win or lose. If you look at this as a job, it's too tough, so I think this has to be our kind of hobby.

"Obviously, we get paid very well to do this, but that's the key. When you started playing when you were 7 years old, it was about the passion for the game, and it is still about the passion."

Horton trying to forget past as he searches for game

Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 3:56 PM / Player Profiles

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- That the Boston Bruins were led by five different goal-scorers in Tuesday's win against the Ottawa Senators was the main positive after that slump-busting victory.

However, just as important was the improved play of a key performer who didn't wind up on the score sheet.

Forward Nathan Horton still has just 2 goals, but by firing two shots on net and being in position to possibly tap the puck into an empty net during a second-period power play, Horton began to again resemble the player who finished second on the team with 26 goals last season and then scored 8 goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Horton's postseason was ended early by a concussion-causing hit from Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, and his off-season workout regimen was curtailed by the recovery process from that injury, as well as a separated shoulder he had suffered earlier in the postseason.

Although Horton is fully healthy now, there still are some measures he has to take in order to be the same player he was before the hit.

Avery excited to rejoin Rangers, awaits opportunity

Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 2:28 PM / Player Profiles

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Sean Avery is ready to rejoin the Rangers lineup when called upon to do so. (Getty Images)
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The polarizing Sean Avery returned to the Rangers' practice facility Wednesday and was back on the ice with his NHL teammates for the first time since early October, when he was the final player cut following the preseason schedule.

Avery, who was recalled Tuesday after clearing re-entry waivers, took turns in a fourth-line rotation with Artem Anisimov, Erik Christensen and Andre Deveaux. He spoke to a large gathering of reporters in front of his locker afterwards and talked about his excitement level of being back with the team he loves and the confidence he gained by playing two games in the AHL.

"We're all here because we want to play for the Rangers," Avery said. "Everyone gets to make that decision at some point, and I love this team, I want to win, and I want to play as hard as I possibly can."

Pavelski emerging as top-line star for Sharks

Monday, 10.31.2011 / 2:33 PM / Player Profiles

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Joe Pavelski
Center - SJS
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 11
SOG: 34 | +/-: 5
Joe Pavelski can't skate and doesn't have the size to compete in the National Hockey League.

During the 2003 NHL Draft, that was what 29 teams likely believed about the 5-foot-11, 195-pound forward who was playing his junior hockey with the Waterloo Blackhawks in the USHL. Pavelski wasn't selected until the seventh round (No. 205) by the San Jose Sharks and Doug Wilson, who had taken the job as general manager about a month prior.

Eight years later, there probably isn't a team in the League that wouldn't want Pavelski on its roster.

"I didn't know if I was going to get drafted," Pavelski told "I was slightly on the radar. If it happened, it was going to be late. I didn't hang around. I just did my day. I got home and had this call. It's definitely exciting when it happens, but you knew it was just a draft pick and there were no guarantees behind it."

Devils' Larsson finding learning curve accelerated

Monday, 10.31.2011 / 11:50 AM / Player Profiles

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Through the first four games of this season, 18-year-old rookie Adam Larsson was leading the New Jersey Devils defensemen in ice time, averaging a whopping 24 minutes per game. It was about three minutes more than defense partner Andy Greene was averaging up until that point.

It's a far cry from what Greene, an undrafted free agent out of Miami University, went through in his first four games as a rookie with the Devils in 2007. In game four, Greene took just five shifts and played a mere 3:44 in a loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Sens' Swede trio suggests bright future in Ottawa

Monday, 10.31.2011 / 9:00 AM / Player Profiles

Erin Nicks - Correspondent

Ottawa may be Canada's capital city, but the Senators are experiencing a renaissance with a definitive Swedish flavor.

With Daniel Alfredsson leading the way, Ottawa has stockpiled a handful of young players from the captain's homeland who appear ready to make to make an impact with this franchise.

Rookies Mika Zibanejad and David Rundblad have joined third-year player Erik Karlsson in the Sens' dressing room during the early days of the NHL season.  Zibanejad was drafted in the first round (No. 6) in the 2011 Entry Draft, while Rundblad was drafted No. 17 by St. Louis in 2009, and was acquired by Ottawa via trade for the No. 16 pick in 2011.

Highly-touted Hedman wants to do everything well

Monday, 10.31.2011 / 9:00 AM / Player Profiles

Lonnie Herman - Correspondent

Victor Hedman clearly recalls the moment he realized he no longer was in Sweden.
"I had just moved into my own apartment and I was walking to practice and I saw these people that were living on the street," Hedman said. "That was the first time I ever saw that. That was really a life-changing moment. It's tough to see."
Hedman, the second pick of the 2009 Entry Draft, had come to the United States to play hockey for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and life-changing moments would come from everywhere.

Landeskog's early play earned him full-time NHL job

Monday, 10.31.2011 / 9:00 AM / Player Profiles

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Of all the players selected in the opening round of the 2011 NHL Draft, Gabriel Landeskog was considered a leading candidate to remain in the League from the outset.

Not surprisingly, the 18-year-old Stockholm native hasn't disappointed, and has shown enough in the first month of his NHL career to spend all season with the Colorado Avalanche.

In nine games, the second pick of the draft is second on the team -- and among all NHL rookies -- with 4 goals, and is tied for the lead among rookie forwards in ice time at 16:51 per game.

Avalanche General Manager Greg Sherman had until Landeskog's 10th game to decide if the young power forward was going to remain in the NHL all season or go back to junior hockey, but told it didn't take him near that long to make his decision.

Increased confidence, comfort level keys for Neal

Friday, 10.28.2011 / 3:28 PM / Player Profiles

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

James Neal says everything about his game this season is exactly the same as it was last season. He insists that neither his speed down the wing nor the way he's trying to score goals has changed one iota.

Similarly, Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma suggests the player he sees wearing No. 18 for the Penguins this season reminds him of the same guy who wore the same number for the same team in a combined 27 regular-season and playoff games last season.
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