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Maple Leafs fire GM Nonis, interim coach Horachek

Sunday, 04.12.2015 / 2:39 PM / News

The Toronto Maple Leafs fired general manager Dave Nonis and interim coach Peter Horachek on Sunday.

Toronto, which did not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second straight season and the ninth time in the past 10 seasons, also fired assistant coaches Steve Spott and Chris Dennis, and goaltending coach Rick St. Croix.

Maple Leafs director of pro scouting Steve Kasper and director of player development Jim Hughes were also fired. The moves are in addition to other changes in the organization's full and part-time scouts in its pro, amateur and player evaluation departments.

Jagr signs one-year contract with Panthers

Sunday, 04.12.2015 / 1:18 PM / News

The Florida Panthers signed forward Jaromir Jagr to a one-year contract on Sunday.

Jagr, who was acquired by the Panthers in a Feb. 26 trade with the New Jersey Devils, had six goals and 18 points in 20 games with the Panthers. Jagr had five goals and 14 points in the final 13 games of the regular season on the top line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov.

In 21 NHL seasons, Jagr is fourth in NHL history in points with 1,802, fifth in goals with 722 and sixth in assists with 1,080. Jagr, 43, won the Hart Trophy as League MVP in 1999 and is a five-time Art Ross Trophy winner as scoring champion. 

"A lot of people thought I was done but those young guys [in Florida] give me extra energy, extra life and I'm glad I can continue to play," Jagr told the Panthers website. 

Around the League notebook for Saturday, April 11

Sunday, 04.12.2015 / 10:19 AM / News

Each of the eight matchups for the First Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs were completely settled (opponents and home-ice advantage) on the final day of the regular season.

Two playoff spots (both in the Eastern Conference), the Atlantic Division title and the Western Conference crown also were decided on Saturday:

* The Ottawa Senators clinched their fourth playoff berth in the past six seasons with their win at Philadelphia.

* The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched their ninth straight playoff berth with their win against the Buffalo Sabres.

* The Montreal Canadiens clinched the Atlantic Division – their second division title in the past three seasons – with their shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

* The Anaheim Ducks clinched their second straight Western Conference title with their regulation win against the Arizona Coyotes.

Click here to view the complete First Round schedule and broadcast information.

Providence edges Boston U. to win first national title

Sunday, 04.12.2015 / 12:30 AM / News

Connor Mellas - Correspondent

BOSTON -- The clock hit zero, and the Providence College Friars raced straight for their goalie, crushing junior Jon Gillies in a celebratory sea of black and white jerseys.

Gillies made 49 saves and the Friars scored two third-period goals in a 4-3 come-from-behind victory against Boston University on Saturday in the Frozen Four final at TD Garden to win their first national championship.

"He was big-time for us," Providence coach Nate Leaman said of Gillies, a third-round pick (No. 75) by the Calgary Flames at the 2012 NHL Draft. "He held the ship. It was very much like our season. He held us in there, he held us in there, he held us in there, and then we were able to kind of respond in the third period there. He was our best player tonight."

Gillies, the Frozen Four most valuable player, finished the season with a 2.01 goals-against average and .930 save percentage.

Stars' Benn gets four points to win scoring title

Saturday, 04.11.2015 / 11:13 PM / News

Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn used a late-season charge to win his first Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer with 87 points, edging New York Islanders forward John Tavares by one point in the final seconds of the Stars' 4-1 win against the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Benn had a hat trick and an assist. It was a career high in points for Benn, who had 79 last season.

Benn scored his third goal with 2:05 remaining with an empty net. That tied him with Tavares (86 points). Had the two remained tied, Tavares would have won the Art Ross Trophy because he scored more goals (38 to 35).

Kings defenseman Regehr likely to retire from NHL

Saturday, 04.11.2015 / 6:57 PM / News

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr said Saturday he will likely retire after the Kings defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-1 at Staples Center.

"Probably the last professional game I’ll play," Regehr said. "I talked to [Kings general manager] Dean [Lombardi] just after I got here [in 2013] and he asked me how long I thought I could play for. I told him I think I can give you two hard years and we’ll see … I think it’s time to move on to the next chapter in life."

Regehr, 34, played 15 seasons in the NHL as a physical, hard-hitting defenseman whose body absorbed a lot of impact over the years. He was due to become an unrestricted free agent.

Eric Staal uncertain about future with Hurricanes

Saturday, 04.11.2015 / 2:13 PM / News

Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- As the Carolina Hurricanes prepare for the offseason after having failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a sixth consecutive season, there is a possibility management will make significant roster changes. Captain Eric Staal is among those players who are uncertain about their future.

With one season remaining on a seven-year contract, Staal said he has had no discussion with the Hurricanes about an extension.

"No contract talks," he said. "I'm not worried about it to be honest. I'm not sure what their plans are or what lies ahead."

Canadiens' Pacioretty skates, return still uncertain

Saturday, 04.11.2015 / 1:54 PM / News Staff

Left wing Max Pacioretty skated Saturday morning for nearly 30 minutes at the Montreal Canadiens training facility, coach Michel Therrien told the Canadiens website.

It was Pacioretty’s first time on the ice since he sustained an upper-body injury in a game at the Florida Panthers on April 5.

Therrien said Pacioretty was responding well to treatment, but he provided no further update to the probability of Pacioretty being ready for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Playoff countdown: Senators can cap amazing run

Saturday, 04.11.2015 / 12:16 PM / News

The 2014-15 NHL regular season concludes Saturday with a 15-game schedule with game play stretched across approximately 12 hours. Final positioning and numerous individual accomplishments and milestones are left to be determined before the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 15.

Saturday is the final day of the NHL regular season, and all 30 teams will play game No. 82. There's still much to be determined with the season coming to a close, including two playoff berths in the Eastern Conference, and seeding in both conferences.

The Ottawa Senators play in one of the first games of the day against the Philadelphia Flyers. Earning at least a point will clinch the Senators a playoff berth. A win would secure at least the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. If Ottawa loses in regulation, it can still get into the playoffs. The Boston Bruins would either need to lose in any fashion, or, the Pittsburgh Penguins would need to lose in regulation. Pittsburgh plays the Buffalo Sabres, and, like Ottawa, has multiple ways it can clinch a berth. A win in any fashion will secure the Penguins a spot in the postseason. An overtime loss paired with an Ottawa regulation loss or a Bruins regulation loss would also earn Pittsburgh a spot. If the Penguins and Bruins level on points for the final spot, Boston owns the tiebreaker and would qualify.

Penguins' Letang 'likely' out for season: report

Saturday, 04.11.2015 / 12:07 AM / News

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is not likely to play again this season, general manager Jim Rutherford told the Tribune-Review on Friday.

Letang, who has a concussion, would be out even if the Penguins make a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Rutherford said.

“Based on his present condition, it's not likely he'd return this year,” Rutherford told the newspaper.

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Quote of the Day

I'm going into this with an open mind. This is a very young player (23) with a tremendous, tremendous amount of upside.

— Rangers coach Alain Vigneault on Emerson Etem's potential