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AHL All-Star Challenge to feature 3-on-3 tournament

Friday, 11.20.2015 / 12:08 PM / News

The 2016 Toyota American Hockey League All-Star Challenge will feature a four-team, 3-on-3 tournament format, the AHL announced Friday.

The AHL All-Star Challenge will be held Feb. 1 at the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse, N.Y.

The league's all-stars will be divided into four teams, one representing each of the league's divisions, Atlantic, North, Central and Pacific.

Hockey skills of Texans' Watt impressive to NFL foe

Friday, 11.20.2015 / 12:04 PM / News

Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt has impressed during his NFL career with his ability to rush the passer. The Texans' opponent this week, the New York Jets, are also impressed by his ability to rush the puck.

D'Brickashaw Ferguson, an offensive lineman for the Jets who could face Watt a lot Sunday, told in a story published Friday that beyond the All-Pro accolades Watt has received for his play on the field, it's his hockey abilities that stood out.

Ferguson had seen a video posted to YouTube of Watt at a University of Wisconsin summer hockey event. Watt picks up the puck at center ice, skates to just above the hash marks, pulls up and rockets a slap shot into the net as the goalie jumped out of the way.

Around the League notebook: Thursday, Nov. 19

Friday, 11.20.2015 / 9:34 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin scored his 484th career goal in a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars and passed Sergei Fedorov, who was recently inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, for the most goals by a Russian-born player in NHL history. Ovechkin reached the milestone in his 777th career game, 471 fewer than Fedorov played in his NHL career (1,248 GP).

* Earlier this season, Ovechkin (484-428—912) became the fourth Russian-born player to reach 900 NHL points, following Fedorov (483-696—1,179), Alexander Mogilny (473-559—1,032) and Alex Kovalev (430-599—1,029).

* Fedorov was wearing a Capitals uniform when he overtook Mogilny for the most goals by a Russian-born player, scoring goals No. 474 and 475 in Washington's 6-5 overtime win at Dallas on Oct. 25, 2008, the same opponent Ovechkin faced Thursday.

Alex Ovechkin becomes top Russian goal-scorer

Friday, 11.20.2015 / 12:08 AM / News

Katie Brown - Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- When Alex Ovechkin scored his 484th NHL goal Thursday against the Dallas Stars at Verizon Center, breaking a tie with Sergei Fedorov for most goals by a Russian-born player, the pass came from Nicklas Backstrom.

Seven years ago, Backstrom did the same for Fedorov.

Ovechkin's record-setting goal came against the Stars, just as Fedorov's did on Oct. 25, 2008. Fedorov played 70 games with the Capitals at the end of his NHL career and is a mentor and friend to Ovechkin.

"Without my teammates I would never accomplish that," Ovechkin said. "Good moment, but unfortunately we lost the game."

Eric Staal prefers to re-sign with Hurricanes: report

Thursday, 11.19.2015 / 5:26 PM / News

Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, who can become a free agent after this season, said Thursday he would like to stay but admitted not making the Stanley Cup Playoffs lately has been difficult.

"I would like to [re-sign]. I haven't talked a lot about anything, to be honest," Staal told "Hockey Central." "Obviously there's decisions that need to be made moving forward."

Staal is in the last year of his contract, worth $8.25 million, according to, and has a no-trade clause. He said general manager Ron Francis has not approached him with a contract offer or trade request.

Islanders' Hamonic cites family matter for trade ask

Thursday, 11.19.2015 / 1:20 PM / News

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

SYOSSET, N.Y. -- It seemed like a routine practice day for New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic on Thursday. He was smiling and joking with his teammates, the same way he always does.

The difference, though, was this was about an hour after he addressed the news with them reported Wednesday by Sportsnet that he requested a trade to Islanders general manager Garth Snow prior to the start of the season. Hamonic wants to be traded somewhere closer to his Winnipeg home for personal reasons.

"I would have liked to have the chance to talk to them and not have them seen it online first, but it is what it is and those things can't be changed, unfortunately," Hamonic said Thursday. "It was difficult. I guess you can ask them, but they were certainly very understanding of a personal situation, as I hope anyone would be in this situation.

"Those are guys you go to war with. Some of those guys I've been playing with for six years and really know really well. [Capuano] always talks about a brotherhood in there and everything else, but it certainly is. (I was) just explaining what was going on. It was probably one of the more difficult conversations I think I've had in life. It certainly wasn't easy, but they've been there for me for many years now in different situations in my life and my career and they've certainly been there this morning."

Panthers defenseman Kulikov out 2-4 weeks: report

Thursday, 11.19.2015 / 11:45 AM / News

Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov won't need surgery for his knee injury but is expected to miss 2-4 weeks, according to The Miami Herald.

Kulikov sustained the injury Saturday in a 5-4 shootout win against the Tampa Bay Lightning and missed the Panthers' 1-0 win against the Lightning in the back end of a home-and-home on Monday.

Kulikov, 25, has three assists in 17 games this season.

Around the League notebook: Wednesday, Nov. 18

Thursday, 11.19.2015 / 1:32 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


The Edmonton Oilers tied the game twice in the third period, but Marian Hossa scored his 12th career overtime goal 68 seconds into overtime to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to their third consecutive victory.

* Linemates Patrick Kane (0-2—2) and Artemi Panarin (1-2—3) each had multiple points to extend his point streak: Kane stretched his to 14 games (10-14—24), and Panarin pushed his to six (5-5—10).

* Kane has matched the longest point streak of his career, established from Nov. 30-Dec. 28, 2013 (8-17—25 in 14 GP). Via the Elias Sports Bureau, only one Blackhawks player other than Kane has recorded a point streak of at least 14 games in the last 20 years: Chris Chelios (Oct. 26-Nov. 28, 1995: 4-16—20 in 15 GP).

Blues' Lehtera to be game-time decision: report

Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 7:01 PM / News

St. Louis Blues center Jori Lehtera, who was taken to the hospital Tuesday after taking a stick to the throat area, will be a game-time decision Thursday when the Blues host the Buffalo Sabres.

Lehtera will participate in the pregame skate before his status is determined, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Hamonic requests trade from Islanders: report

Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 5:16 PM / News

New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic has requested a trade to a Western Conference team, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported on Wednesday.

Hamonic, 25, would like to be traded to either the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers or Vancouver Canucks to be closer to his family in Western Canada, TSN's Darren Dreger said. According to Dreger, Hamonic has unspecified "family concerns" he would like to address.

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