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News

Player Safety leader will be named before season

Wednesday, 09.03.2014 / 8:37 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BOUCHERVILLE, Quebec -- The NHL is close to hiring a new head of the Department of Player Safety, Commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday.

The NHL has been without a permanent lead disciplinarian since Brendan Shanahan left the League on April 11 to become president and alternate governor of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Stephane Quintal, who worked under Shanahan since November 2011, took over as head of player safety on an interim basis through the end of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We're getting to the short strokes of that process," Commissioner Bettman said, speaking at a media event outside Montreal. "We've interviewed a lot of candidates, including somebody that's been doing it on an interim basis, and we will be making a decision shortly. We wanted to finish the process; [NHL deputy commissioner] Bill Daly and I each managed to take a little time off in August, but certainly well in advance of the start of the season we'll have an announcement."

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NHL, TVA Sports launch French-language agreement

Wednesday, 09.03.2014 / 7:59 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BOUCHERVILLE, Quebec -- TVA Sports held a launch party Wednesday for its first season as the official French television broadcaster of the NHL.

Commissioner Gary Bettman was among the NHL representatives on hand to help begin what he called a new era for the League in the Francophone market, specifically the Canadian province of Quebec.

"We are going to become even more important, even more passionate to our fans in this province than we've ever been before, because a new era is dawning. It is a new and exciting era filled with commitment, filled with passion for the game, filled with expertise not just in broadcasting, but broadcasting sports," Commissioner Bettman told the crowd gathered in this suburb south of Montreal. "We could not be more thrilled to be ushering in this new era. It's going to be something that will make hockey more accessible, more exciting for our fans."

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No. 1 pick Ekblad signs, believes he'll make Panthers

Wednesday, 09.03.2014 / 7:32 PM / News

Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad reached a second important milestone in his NHL journey Wednesday when he signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers.

Now comes the next, and perhaps most challenging, step: making the Panthers' opening-night roster.

"I consider it as a set of milestones leading up to my first NHL season," Ekblad said. "Obviously the draft was a big one, this is a big one, and coming into camp next week is going to be a big one as well. I'm pretty excited. It's a pretty cool experience for sure."

Ekblad, the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, is hoping to join a young Panthers defense that has two players older than 24, Brian Campbell (35) and free-agent acquisition Willie Mitchell (37).

Ekblad, 18, said he's very confident he can earn a spot in a group that figures to include 2009 first-round pick Dmitry Kulikov (23) and 2010 No. 3 pick Erik Gudbranson (22).

"If you don't believe in yourself you're putting yourself behind the eight-ball," Ekblad said. "I do believe in myself. I believe I can be on this team opening night. I'm very confident in that. I feel like I'm ready. I couldn't be in a better position than where I am."

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Alfredsson skating, unsure of future with Red Wings

Wednesday, 09.03.2014 / 5:40 PM / News

NHL.com

Daniel Alfredsson is waiting to see how his back feels before committing to play for the Detroit Red Wings this season.

"If I was confident enough after the season that I would feel the same way starting [this] season as I did (starting) last season, I would have signed already," Alfredsson told the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday.

Alfredsson missed 14 games last season, some with a back injury, and the Free Press reported the 41-year-old forward at the time felt "tingling in a nerve down his right leg." He is in Detroit practicing with several Red Wings.

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Lightning home venue renamed Amalie Arena

Wednesday, 09.03.2014 / 3:30 PM / News

NHL.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning have entered into a partnership with Amalie Oil Co., and as part of that agreement have renamed their home Amalie Arena.

Amalie Oil has been located in the port of Tampa since 1977 and is owned by the Barkett family. The arena was known as the Tampa Bay Times Forum since Jan. 1, 2012.

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Jets extend AHL affiliation with St. John's

Wednesday, 09.03.2014 / 12:54 PM / News

NHL.com

The Winnipeg Jets announced Wednesday they have extended their American Hockey League affiliation with the St. John's IceCaps for one year, through the 2015-16 season.

The IceCaps are entering their fourth season as Winnipeg's primary affiliate, having entered into an affiliation when the Jets rejoined the NHL in 2011-12. That season also marked the return of the AHL to St. John's for the first time since 2005.

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Nieuwendyk hired as scout by Hurricanes

Wednesday, 09.03.2014 / 9:46 AM / News

NHL.com

Joe Nieuwendyk has been hired by the Carolina Hurricanes as a professional scout and adviser, the team announced Wednesday.

Nieuwendyk was general manager of the Dallas Stars from 2009 to 2013, and prior to that held advisory roles with the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs.

"Joe brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our organization," Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said. "He will be based in Dallas and will be a major asset to the Hurricanes in player evaluations."

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Jets agree to terms with first-round pick Ehlers

Tuesday, 09.02.2014 / 5:38 PM / News

NHL.com

The Winnipeg Jets have agreed to terms with forward Nikolaj Ehlers on a three-year, entry level contract with an annual average value of $1.625 million, the team announced Tuesday.

Ehlers was selected by the Jets in the first round (No. 9) of the 2014 NHL Draft, where he was the first player to be chosen out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Ehlers, 18, had 104 points (49 goals, 55 assists) and 51 penalty minutes in 63 games with the Halifax Mooseheads last season. He also appeared in 16 playoff games, scoring 16 goals and 11 assists with 18 penalty minutes, and was named the QMJHL Rookie of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year and Best Professional Prospect.

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Flyers sign forward Rinaldo to two-year extension

Tuesday, 09.02.2014 / 4:08 PM / News

NHL.com

The Philadelphia Flyers signed left wing Zac Rinaldo to a two-year contract extension, the team announced Tuesday.

Rinaldo, 24, is entering his fourth season. He played 67 games for the Flyers last season and had two goals, two assists and 153 penalty minutes. He ranked second on the team with 231 hits.

"I'm surprised that we'd even started to talk about it so early but I am thrilled," Rinaldo told the Flyers website. "Philadelphia is where I started my NHL career and this is where I want to be so I am really happy. This definitely gives me a lot of confidence by the Flyers showing that they have confidence in me. I know they want to see me get better as a player and this is the place to do it."

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Six-time all-star defenseman Vadnais dies

Sunday, 08.31.2014 / 1:31 PM / News

Carol Vadnais, a six-time all-star who more played more than 1,000 NHL games, died Sunday. He was 68 years old.

Vadnais had 169 goals and 587 points in 1,087 games. The defenseman, who broke into the NHL in 1966-67 with his hometown Montreal Canadiens, had a career spanning 17 seasons.

He played for Montreal, the California Golden Seals, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils before retiring after the 1982-83 season. Vadnais played the most for the Rangers, from 1975-82.

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