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2010 Offseason News

Red Wings help Modano get acclimated

Thursday, 09.09.2010 / 12:44 PM / 2010 Offseason News

Bill Roose - Detroit Red Wings.com

Mike Modano admitted that Thursday morning’s experience could likely be the first of many awkward moments for the veteran center.

"There probably will be a handful of those that will happen throughout the whole season," said Modano, who staked with his new Red Wings’ teammates for the first time since signing a one-year contract with the club last month.

"Maybe this came at a good time in my career, where I needed something to rejuvenate me and ignite my career a little bit. Maybe this is it," Modano said.

Gillis will discuss captaincy with Luongo

Thursday, 09.09.2010 / 12:37 PM / 2010 Offseason News

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

It appears Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis will have a heart-to-heart discussion with All-Star goalie Roberto Luongo next week to discuss his future as captain of the Canucks.

Gillis, who named Luongo the 12th captain in team history on Sept. 30, 2008, told radio station TEAM 1040 Wednesday that he's looking forward to hearing what Luongo has to say on the subject.

"I think that if he feels being captain compromised his performance (in 2009-10) or if it may have been a little much on game days, then we're going to look at it and make an evaluation," Gillis told the station. "But I think that when you look at the work ethic and discipline he brings everyday, I don't think you could ask for a better captain or a better leader."

Report: Blue Jackets sign Johansen

Thursday, 09.09.2010 / 11:40 AM / 2010 Offseason News

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"Well, for me, I'm a playmaker with good vision, good hockey sense, and good puck protection."
-- Ryan Johansen

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Ryan Johansen, the fourth pick of the 2010 Entry Draft, has signed a three year, entry-level contract with the Blue Jackets.

Johansen, who is scheduled to join the Blue Jackets' prospects at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., from Sept. 11-15, spent the 2009-10 season with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. In Portland, he joined fellow 2010 draftees Nino Niederreiter, drafted fifth by the New York Islanders, and Brad Ross, chosen 43rd by the Toronto Maple Leafs, on the same line. Johansen finished the season with 25 goals and 69 points in 71 games, helping the Winterhawks to the WHL playoffs one season after finishing last in the league.

Oilers' top pick Hall gets No. 4 jersey

Wednesday, 09.08.2010 / 8:11 PM / 2010 Offseason News
The Oilers made a few big announcements Wednesday morning in southwest Edmonton, the first involving a big lottery prize and the others involving big names and numbers in the organization.

Located at a stunning 5,000-square-foot showhome, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation's premiere fundraising initiative -- the Winner's Choice Lottery -- kicked off the announcements. The showhome is the Lottery's magnificent grand prize and, with an virtual sports simulator in the lower level, will make a fabulous home for a lucky Oilers fan.

Among the first to test out the interactive hockey set-up were Oilers first-round picks Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi. The high-profile rookies were invited to check out the home's amenities and also be presented with their long-awaited jersey numbers. Hall was presented with number four, Eberle number 14, and Paajarvi number 91.

Crosby blasts batting practice home run at PNC Park

Wednesday, 09.08.2010 / 6:30 PM / 2010 Offseason News
We all know what Sidney Crosby can do on the ice, but on Wednesday afternoon the Penguins captain displayed his all-around athletic skills by hitting a home run at PNC Park during batting practice with eight of his fellow Penguins teammates.  

Stepping into left-handed batter’s box a la Pirates rookie slugger Pedro Alvarez, Crosby smashed the fifth pitch he saw off the base of the wall in right center field not far from where Alvarez delivered his game-winning hit on Tuesday night.

As soon as the ball left Crosby’s bat, Dupuis knew what Crosby’s near miss meant.

NHL 11 offers goodies for established and new fans

Wednesday, 09.08.2010 / 6:02 PM / 2010 Offseason News

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- There are probably as many schools of thought about the best way to get excited about hockey as there are teams in the National Hockey League.

Some will argue you have to actually lace 'em up and play. Others will claim *you must watch a game live to appreciate its beauty. Still others contend that watching the game on high definition television in your favorite lounge chair is the way to go.

Enter Electronic Arts, which might be offering a new "best" way to fall in love with hockey.

EA Sports launched its newest game, NHL 11, on Wednesday in front of hundreds of passionate and casual hockey fans inside the NHL Store powered by Reebok in midtown Manhattan. Joining the festivities were 2010 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews -- this year's cover boy -- and teammate Patrick Kane, last year's featured act.

Kane and Toews launch NHL 11

Wednesday, 09.08.2010 / 5:29 PM / 2010 Offseason News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Patrick Kane threw a hook, and it was "down went Toews, down went Toews." The Blackhawks captain fell like a stone and Kane erupted, throwing his arms up in the air and letting out a few "woo hoos."

Kane, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound artist on the ice, has never been in an NHL fight. But in NHL 11 from EA Sports, the 21-year-old from Buffalo apparently is a brawler. At least, that's what he was Wednesday afternoon when he squared off against Chicago teammate Jonathan Toews, this year's EA NHL 11 cover boy, at the NHL Powered by Reebok Store in midtown Manhattan.

The four inches and roughly 30 pounds Kane was surrendering to Toews didn't matter. This was no sucker punch that dropped Toews to the ice, his helmet unstrapping and soaring off his head as he went down like a chopped tree.

Kesler realizes dream as cover boy for NHL 2K11

Wednesday, 09.08.2010 / 3:12 PM / 2010 Offseason News

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- A childhood dream has come to fruition for Ryan Kesler.

The Vancouver Canucks center, who had a career-high 75 points last season, is gracing the cover of NHL 2K11, which is available now for the Nintendo Wii. Kesler and New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac were at Chelsea Piers on Wednesday afternoon to demo the product with anyone who was willing to take on the current NHL stars.

Kesler, 26, joins Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash and Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin as cover boys for the 2K Sports product. An avid video-game competitor, Kesler is beyond thrilled about being selected.

Wild's Sheppard suffers broken patella

Tuesday, 09.07.2010 / 5:00 PM / 2010 Offseason News


The Minnesota Wild have confirmed an earlier report that center James Sheppard has suffered a serious knee injury that will sideline him indefinitely.

According to the Wild, "Sheppard suffered a broken patella in his left knee in an off-ice accident in Vail, Colo., Saturday night. He will return to the Twin Cities for rehabilitation later this week. There is no timetable for Sheppard's return."

Mike Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune had reported Sheppard suffered the injury in an ATV accident, and said recovery time could be 3-4 months.

Hawks announce 5 front-office promotions

Tuesday, 09.07.2010 / 4:07 PM / 2010 Offseason News
Tuesday was rewards day for some of the men who helped turn the Chicago Blackhawks into a championship team on and off the ice.

The Stanley Cup champions announced the promotions of Stan Bowman to Vice President/General Manager, Jay Blunk to Executive Vice President, Kevin Cheveldayoff to Assistant General Manager/Senior Director of Hockey Operations, Al MacIsaac to Vice President/Assistant to the President and Chris Werner to Vice President of Ticket Operations and Customer Service.

"It is with great pride that the Blackhawks make this announcement today," Hawks President John McDonough said in a statement. "Stan, Jay, Kevin, Al and Chris have worked hard to build a strong and cohesive operation. They have been instrumental in maintaining a unified relationship between the hockey and business operations of our franchise."
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For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory