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Stars recall Morin, assign Oleksiak to Texas

Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 5:44 PM / News

DallasStars.com

Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill announced Thursday that forward Travis Morin has been recalled from the Texas Stars, Dallas' affiliate in the American Hockey League.

Morin, 30, leads the Texas Stars and is tied for fourth overall in the AHL with 24 points (10-14-24) in 23 games this season. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound native of Brooklyn Park, Minn., has skated in seven career NHL contests, posting one assist and six shots.

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Panthers recall defenseman O'Brien from AHL

Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 5:32 PM / News

FloridaPanthers.com

Florida Panthers Executive Vice-President and General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has recalled D Shane O’Brien from San Antonio (AHL).

O’Brien, 31, has played in 528 career National Hockey League games for Calgary (2013-2014), Colorado (2011-2013), Nashville (2010-11), Vancouver (2008-2010), Tampa Bay (2007-08) and Anaheim (2006-2007) scoring 13 goals with 78 assists and 911 penalty minutes. He has played in 40 post-season games, registering five points (2-3-5).

The Port Hope, Ontario native has appeared in 19 games with San Antonio this year, recording five goals and eight assists (5-8-13)

An eight-year NHL veteran, O’Brien came to Florida’s training camp on a professional try out, before being signed on Oct. 6.

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Ducks send Heatley to AHL for conditioning stint

Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 4:05 PM / News

NHL.com

The Anaheim Ducks on Thursday sent forward Dany Heatley to the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League on a conditioning stint and activated goaltender Jason LaBarbera off injured reserve, the team announced via its Twitter account.

Heatley has not played for Anaheim since Nov. 9, and has been out with a groin injury. LaBarbera last played for the Ducks on Oct. 29 in a 6-4 loss against the San Jose Sharks in which he relieved teammate Frederik Andersen.

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Red Wings' Babcock refutes contract extension report

Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 1:58 PM / News

NHL.com

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock refuted a report that he was close to signing a contract extension in video posted on Twitter by Fox Sports Detroit after practice Thursday.

The Windsor Star reported Wednesday that an announcement of a contract extension that would make Babcock the highest paid coach in the NHL could be imminent. TSN's Darren Dreger also reported a contract offer was expected to be made in the coming days.

Babcock is in the final year of his contract.

"[Detroit general manager] Ken Holland and I, we talked before the year, we agreed that we wouldn't do this during the year," Babcock said. "Our team is going good, our team is playing good. I like the way we're playing. We don't need any distractions. We've had tons of people in this dressing room go through contracts when I've been here and it's been no big deal. I'm happy here. I like the general manager. They treat me good. I don't know what else I can tell you. But as far as negotiation between Mike Babcock and Ken Holland, there is none, OK? There isn't."

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Penguins' Crosby misses practice with sickness

Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 12:51 PM / News

NHL.com

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby did not participate in practice Thursday because he was sick, coach Mike Johnston said according to the Penguins' Twitter account. The Penguins play the Calgary Flames on Friday.

"He was sick today so he wasn't at practice," Johnston said. "We will see tomorrow."

Johnston also said defenseman Kris Letang and forward Patric Hornqvist will be gametime decisions Friday after participating in all contact drills during practice Thursday.

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Around the League notebook for Wednesday, Dec. 10

Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 1:35 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

FUNERAL HELD IN MONTREAL FOR CANADIENS ICON JEAN BELIVEAU

A funeral mass was held for Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau at Queen Mary of the World Basilica Cathedral in Montreal on Wednesday. Yvan Cournoyer, Serge Savard, Phil Goyette, Guy Lafleur, Bobby Rousseau and Jean-Guy Talbot served as pallbearers for the ceremony while Cournoyer, Savard, Dickie Moore, Ken Dryden and Geoff Molson all stepped to the podium to eulogize their friend.

KESLER'S GAME-WINNER LIFTS DUCKS TO FIFTH CONSECUTIVE VICTORY

Ryan Kesler (1-0—1) netted the game-winning goal in the second period to lift the Anaheim Ducks to a 2-1 victory against the Edmonton Oilers. The Ducks have won five consecutive games and eight of their last 10. They lead the NHL with 43 points (19-6-5).

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Current Canadiens vow to maintain Beliveau's legacy

Wednesday, 12.10.2014 / 9:28 PM / News

Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Jean Beliveau wanted to be remembered as a team player. On Wednesday, his beloved Montreal Canadiens celebrated his life as a good man, above all.

Max Pacioretty, Carey Price, P.K. Subban and the rest of the Canadiens were among the 1,500 people who attended Beliveau's funeral at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral.

Beliveau was eulogized by Hall of Fame teammates Dickie Moore, Yvan Cournoyer, Serge Savard and Ken Dryden, and Canadiens owner, CEO and president Geoff Molson.

"It was an emotional experience," Price said. "I don't think you'll ever meet another guy that was loved and respected by so many people, and it was a real honor to be a part of his memory and the celebration of a really good life."

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Jean Beliveau funeral 'a great tribute to a great man'

Wednesday, 12.10.2014 / 8:13 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- There have been so many words used to describe Montreal Canadiens icon Jean Beliveau over the past week.

Class, grace, dignity, respect; the list of accolades is long. But one of the words repeated most often is humility.

Beliveau was not a man who liked speaking of his greatness, in spite of how obvious it was.

One can only imagine what Beliveau would have thought Wednesday when he was laid to rest in a state funeral at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral eight days after he passed away at his home at age 83.

The tributes that came from former teammates, dignitaries and a who's who of the hockey world likely would have been difficult for a man as humble as Beliveau to hear.

"His presence didn't diminish others but made others better," former Canadiens goalie Ken Dryden said during his eulogy. "He had other skills and might have done other things, but he understood probably early in life that his greatest impact wouldn't be as a corporate or political leader, but as Jean Beliveau, in doing what he did and in being who he was.

"As a great star, he had a responsibility; he knew to live not as a star but as a good person."

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Bruins' Gagne leaving team to be with sick father

Wednesday, 12.10.2014 / 4:27 PM / News

NHL.com

Boston Bruins forward Simon Gagne has taken a leave of absence from the team, the Bruins announced Wednesday.

"I have taken a personal leave of absence from the Boston Bruins in order to return home to Quebec to be with my father, who was recently diagnosed with liver cancer," Gagne said in a statement released by the Bruins. "The doctors, who have been great throughout this whole process, unfortunately informed us that his cancer is not curable. I greatly appreciate the support and understanding that the Bruins organization and my teammates have given to me and my family since I let them know the news and I look forward to rejoining them when the time is appropriate. Until then, I would kindly ask everyone to respect my family and I's privacy during this difficult time."

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Wild's Ballard released from hospital, out indefinitely

Wednesday, 12.10.2014 / 3:54 PM / News

NHL.com

Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard was released from a hospital Wednesday after sustaining multiple facial fractures and a concussion on a hit by New York Islanders forward Matt Martin during a game Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild announced. Ballard is out indefinitely.

Ballard was playing a puck in the Wild end in the second period when he was hit by Martin and fell awkwardly into the boards. Ballard remained down on the ice for several moments and a stretcher was brought onto the ice, but Ballard was able to skate off the ice with assistance.

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Quote of the Day

I don't think it's really truly going to sink in until we drop the puck, to be honest. I know there's going to be a lot of smoke and mirrors with the media attention and all that. We came [Monday] and it was sort of a light day to get things organized. We just want to focus in on the business aspect, the game itself. That's what we're preparing to do. Get these next couple of days out of the way and it's game on.

— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on playing in his first Stanley Cup Final