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Luongo optimistic about Panthers' playoff chances

Friday, 08.14.2015 / 12:25 PM / News

The thought of a full season with forward Jaromir Jagr in the lineup has Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo optimistic about making the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2015-16.

The Panthers finished strong last season, and one reason was the play of Jagr, the leading scorer among active NHL players (722 goals, 1,802 points), who had six goals and 18 points in 20 games after being acquired in a trade from the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 27. Jagr, 43, formed an effective line with two young players, Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov, helping Florida go 12-6-2 after the trade.

The Panthers re-signed Jagr on April 12, and Luongo said having him back is vital to the Panthers' hopes of making the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

"He played unreal," Luongo told the Panthers website. "The whole first line played really well together as a three-man unit. If we can get that kind of production every night for the upcoming season, I think we're in pretty good shape."

Penguins sign Gonchar to pro tryout contract

Friday, 08.14.2015 / 12:24 PM / News

Defenseman Sergei Gonchar signed a professional tryout contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.

Gonchar, 41, spent five of his 20 NHL seasons with the Penguins, from 2005-10, and was a member of their Stanley Cup-winning team in 2009. He has played for the Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens.

Gonchar had one goal and 14 points in 48 games with the Stars and Canadiens last season.

“The Penguins were the only team that I was looking at,” Gonchar told the Pittsburgh website. “We’ve been talking for a while now. We had to wait for them to finish making all of their moves.”

Coyotes captain Doan, nearing 39, in no rush to retire

Friday, 08.14.2015 / 10:24 AM / News

David Satriano - Staff Writer

Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan will be 39 years old shortly after the 2015-16 NHL season begins, and is entering the final year of a four-year contract, but said he hopes to play beyond this season.

"I'd like to have a good year. If I feel I can still help the team and they still want me, we can go from there," Doan, who has been the captain since the 2003-04 season, told FOX Sports Arizona on Wednesday. "I always want to approach it that way until I know I'm done."

Bob Fillion, oldest former Canadiens player, dies at 95

Thursday, 08.13.2015 / 5:35 PM / News

Bob Fillion, who was the oldest living former Montreal Canadiens player, has died at 95, the Canadiens said Thursday.

Fillion, who won the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1944 and 1946, became the oldest living former Montreal player when teammate Elmer Lach died in April at 97.

Wrist injury forces defenseman Salo to retire

Thursday, 08.13.2015 / 4:03 PM / News

Sami Salo, a defenseman who spent most of his 15-year NHL career with the Vancouver Canucks but hasn't played since the 2013-14 season, announced his retirement Thursday, the Finnish publication Ilta-Sanomat reported.

Salo, who turns 41 on Sept. 2, said a wrist injury that kept him from playing last season forced him to retire.

Devils GM says Clowe might have to retire: report

Thursday, 08.13.2015 / 2:52 PM / News

New Jersey Devils forward Ryane Clowe has not committed to making another comeback from head trauma and likely will retire at some point this year, general manager Ray Shero said.

"The last time he played was, what, Nov. 6? That's been a long time," Shero told on Thursday. "Training camp is next month, so at some point, in terms of how he is feeling, a determination has to be made by him and doctors as to what direction he can or cannot go."

Clowe has had four concussions in the past two seasons. The most recent was Nov. 6, when he was hit in the head by David Backes of the St. Louis Blues. The 32-year-old has three years and $14.55 million remaining on a contract he signed with the Devils on July 5, 2013.

Islanders top pick throws first pitch before no-hitter

Thursday, 08.13.2015 / 2:02 PM / News

Mathew Barzal, the New York Islanders' top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, threw the ceremonial first pitch before the game between the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles at Safeco Field on Wednesday prior to Seattle pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma's no-hitter.

Barzal, a center who was the 16th player taken in the first round, was part of a celebration of the five members of the Western Hockey League's Seattle Thunderbirds who were drafted by NHL teams in June. Barzal, forward Ryan Gropp (No. 41, New York Rangers) and coach Steve Konowalchuk toured the stadium and the field before Barzal took the mound.

Lightning's Johnson recovering from broken wrist

Wednesday, 08.12.2015 / 4:59 PM / News

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson no longer needs to wear a brace on his right wrist that was fractured in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks in June.

"It's recovering, and I can't wait for camp," Johnson told the Lightning website Wednesday.

Johnson, 24, was injured when he landed on the wrist following a hit from Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook but played the remainder of the series. He led the NHL in scoring with 13 goals and 23 points in 26 Stanley Cup Playoff games, but had one goal in the final 10 games and stopped taking faceoffs in Game 2.

Devils may play season without a captain: report

Wednesday, 08.12.2015 / 3:31 PM / News

The New Jersey Devils may play this season without a captain, general manager Ray Shero told on Wednesday.

"There is no rush for this. I'm not sure we'll have one," Shero said. "Maybe we will. I don't want to paint myself into a corner by saying we'll have one and we don't, or we won't have one and we do.

"If we choose a captain it will be a combination of the head coach [John Hynes] and myself. If we pick one out, it will be after due consideration. And hopefully it will be the right choice."

Pacioretty making progress in rehab from knee injury

Wednesday, 08.12.2015 / 1:29 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

TERREBONNE, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty's rehabilitation from a knee injury sustained last month is on schedule, according to coach Michel Therrien and Pacioretty's agent, Pat Brisson.

"Everything's going well with his rehab, honestly, so we're happy," Therrien said Tuesday at his annual charity golf tournament. "It's unfortunate [he got injured], but he's still able to train even if he's limited in the exercises he can do."

The Canadiens announced July 10 that Pacioretty would need 12 weeks to recover from the injury he sustained while working out in Florida. The timeline would have Pacioretty returning a few days prior to the Canadiens' 2015-16 regular-season opener Oct. 7 at the Toronto Maple Leafs, but would have him missing most, if not all, of training camp.

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