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2011 Compuware NHL Premiere

Rangers facing questions on 'D' as opener looms

Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 4:55 PM / 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

STOCKHOLM -- If the Rangers can find the right person, it's possible that they will have a new defenseman join them before Friday's season opener here in Sweden's capital city against Los Angeles.
 
New York placed Stu Bickel and Brendan Bell on waivers Tuesday, and coach John Tortorella said they are searching for help on the blue line in light of Marc Staal not being able to join his teammates here due to headaches stemming from post-concussion symptoms.
 
What makes the Rangers' task difficult is their current location. If they were opening the season in North America, it would be easier for them to either sign, trade for or claim a defenseman off waivers and have him ready to go by Friday.
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Ducks hope they've created dynamite third line

Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 12:51 PM / 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

HELSINKI -- The Anaheim Ducks might have the most stability of any team in the NHL on their top two lines.

Ryan Getzlaf skates between Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry, while Saku Koivu is flanked by Teemu Selanne and Jason Blake. Those players have been Anaheim's top six forwards when healthy, and they most likely will continue to be so -- those two specific line combinations consumed nearly 35 percent of the team's time at even strength (according to dobberhockey.com), while no other set of three players played three percent of it as coach Randy Carlyle mixed and matched his remaining forwards.

Carlyle had many players challenging for spots on the bottom two lines during training camp, but the third line he settled on is interesting because it's made up of three players who weren't on the team last season. Center Andrew Cogliano was added in a trade with Edmonton, right wing Andrew Gordon was a free agent and left wing Devante Smith-Pelly was a second-round pick in the 2010 Entry Draft and is expected to make his NHL debut Friday against the Buffalo Sabres in the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere at Hartwall Areena (1 p.m. ET, TSN2).

"They are three guys who are new to our hockey club," Carlyle said. "Two of them are the 1-2 that have had the best camps in Gordon and Smith-Pelly in our ratings. They've done what they needed to do to go out and earn the opportunity."
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Kurri on Teemu: He's got 'super-fast cells'

Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 12:41 PM / 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere

Risto Pakarinen - NHL.com Correspondent

HELSINKI -- Hall of Famer Jari Kurri charmed the hockey world as an Edmonton Oiler, but he also played for the Kings, the Rangers, the Avalanche -- and the Ducks. And, like Teemu Selanne, he came up through the Jokerit Helsinki junior system.

On Tuesday, the great hockey ambassador was at the preseason game between the Ducks and Jokerit here at Hartwall Areena, and took some time to talk with NHL.com.

Q: Have you enjoyed the NHL Premiere week?
Kurri: It's great fun. Tomorrow, I'll meet some of Anaheim's fans, and then I'll go on the ice before the game for the ceremonial faceoff. They'll make me an honorary member of Jokerit, the club. But other than that, nothing special. Just looking forward to the games. It'll be fun to watch good hockey games, and especially with so many Finns on the ice.
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Watch Kings face Hamburg live on NHL.com

Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 10:57 AM / 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere

NHL.com

Tune in at 1:00 p.m. ET as the Los Angeles Kings take on the Hamburg Freezers. You can watch the game in its entirety right from your computer as we stream the game live.
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Wolski could get first shot at top-line left wing spot

Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 10:21 AM / 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ZUG, Switzerland -- So, who's it going to be?

Brad Richards wants to know the identity of the player that will be on his left wing when the Rangers open the season Friday in Stockholm against Los Angeles in the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere (1 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN).

Marian Gaborik certainly is curious.

Wojtek Wolski, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko and Brian Boyle also are invested in the answer.
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Ducks' Blake on his way to becoming honorary Finn

Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 10:08 AM / 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere

Risto Pakarinen - NHL.com Correspondent

Jason Blake
Left Wing - ANA
GOALS: 16 | ASST: 16 | PTS: 32
SOG: 187 | +/-: -5
HELSINKI -- Jason Blake is used to going for Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne's rebounds, but Tuesday, he might get a little special attention just by playing on the same line with the two Finns as the Anaheim Ducks play their last preseason game against Jokerit Helsinki, Selanne's old Finnish club.

The Finnish fans appreciated Paul Kariya a little more when he played with Selanne in Anaheim, and Wayne Gretzky even got a Finnish nickname -- “Väinö -- when he and Jari Kurri, also a Jokerit alum, were tearing up the League.

Now it's Blake's turn to become an honorary Finn.

"I wish I had learned Finnish this summer. Or the summer before," a laughing Blake said after the morning skate.
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Doughty ready for live-game action

Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 9:55 AM / 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

HAMBURG, Germany -- The wait finally is over for Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.

After a protracted contract stalemate with the club, Doughty was forced to spend the majority of training camp on his own, away from the team. He rejoined the club after signing a new seven-year deal late last week -- just in time to fly to Europe for the team's season-opening 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere trip.

Monday marked his first practice with the full complement of Kings players, so Tuesday's morning skate at O2 World Arena here was just the second time he has been in a formal practice setting with the club.
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Adam hopes to stick with Sabres

Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 9:03 AM / 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

Luke Adam
Left Wing - BUF
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 4
SOG: 31 | +/-: -6
MANNHEIM, Germany -- Luke Adam is happy to be in Germany with the Buffalo Sabres, but it is not because he is enjoying a first-class vacation.

Adam could care less about the sights and sounds of Heidelberg, where the team is staying as it trains for Tuesday night's Compuware NHL Premiere match against local DEL powerhouse Adler Mannheim and this weekend's NHL Premiere games in Helsinki and Berlin. He cares only about leaving a sound impression on the Buffalo coaching staff.

With Jochen Hecht likely out of the starting lineup for the start of the season after recurrence of concussion-related symptoms starting in training camp, Adam will likely open the season with the Sabres. How long he stays is solely up to the native of St. John's, Newfoundland.
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Ducks' Lydman feeling blue, but not for long

Monday, 10.03.2011 / 2:15 PM / 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere

Risto Pakarinen - NHL.com Correspondent

HELSINKI -- In his baby-blue practice jersey, Toni Lydman stands out from the crowd at the Anaheim Ducks' practice. The blue means he's still untouchable as far as body checks are concerned, because the 34-year-old defenseman still is recovering from the shoulder surgery he underwent during the summer.

He's close to returning to the lineup, but whether he will be able to play in Friday's game against the Sabres (1 p.m. ET, TSN2) -- in front of his home crowd, against his former team -- remains a question mark.

"Of course it would be fun to play in Helsinki, and especially against the Sabres, but the shoulder has to be 100 percent for me to play," Lydman said. "I don't think the decision will be made until Thursday."
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Sobering trip sees Sabres visit wounded veterans

Monday, 10.03.2011 / 1:32 PM / 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

LANDSTUHL, Germany -- There can be no fear of pain for a professional hockey player. It is a product of their profession.

Despite an almost unhealthy comfort with the concept, nothing could prepare the Buffalo Sabres for what they encountered during a team visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the United States Army's major trauma hospital in Europe.

Wounded warriors from wars in Iran and Afghanistan -- as well as military bases throughout Europe -- come through Landstuhl before they are sent to the United States for further treatment.
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My focus is always just to play as well as I can and do my job, no matter where the faceoff is.

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