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(Page 15 of 17)
2013-2014 Season Preview

Kennedy could have prime role with Sharks

Sunday, 09.15.2013 / 7:00 PM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson made it clear what he thought of forward Tyler Kennedy when he acquired him in a draft-day deal June 30 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Wilson spent a second-round pick for Kennedy (No. 50) in a draft he believed had the strongest crop of talent since the now-famous 2003 class. Five days later, Wilson signed Kennedy, who was set to be a restricted free agent, to a two-year, $4 million contract.

When the Sharks opened training camp Thursday, Kennedy skated on the top line with Joe Thornton and Brent Burns.

"We've done a lot of research on him," Wilson said. "He's the type of guy that he's won a Cup, he's a very competitive guy, he's been able to go up and down the lineup which is one of the things we were looking for. Players that can play a third line role but also go up to the second or the first. Shoots the puck, highly competitive, and he's a high-energy guy too. He practices the way he plays. It drives people to be better."

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Ducks' Penner hopes return revives his production

Sunday, 09.15.2013 / 7:00 PM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- The transition back to Anaheim was seemingly seamless for Dustin Penner.

He already lived in Newport Beach, and he obviously was familiar with the Ducks, from some of the players to the traveling secretary and others in the organization.

There was just one hiccup, though, and it concerned whether Penner will be in charge of the music in the locker room.

"That's the only thing I'm kind of worried about, because I don't want to come in too strong with that, so I'm going to slowly, subconsciously sneak it in," Penner said.

Penner prefers house music, that thumping rave-style beat he personally chose for pregame warmups at Staples Center during his time with the Los Angeles Kings. That won't go over too well with Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf, who digs country.

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13 players with new team for 2013-14 season

Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 7:30 PM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

It has been an eventful offseason in the NHL. Three players who are almost certainly locks to end up in the Hockey Hall of Fame (Jaromir Jagr, Daniel Alfredsson and Jarome Iginla) changed addresses, as did a few others whose careers could be charting in that direction.

Four of the top 10 active goal-scorers after the 2012-13 season are on a new team, and two retired from NHL duty. The Chicago Blackhawks celebrated their second championship in four seasons, but this time around did so without saying goodbye to a large chunk of the roster, like they did in 2010. The runner-up Boston Bruins, however, were part of some of the biggest transactions of the offseason.

Here's a look at 13 of the most important players in new places for the 2013-14 NHL season:

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Bruins see comparisons between Iginla, Horton

Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 1:00 PM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- The comparisons between Nathan Horton and Jarome Iginla were inevitable.

Horton's decision to spurn the Boston Bruins' advances and leave for the Columbus Blue Jackets during the offseason left the Bruins without a power forward to combine with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. For three years, including the Stanley Cup championship season of 2011, Krejci, Lucic and Horton were practically inseparable and almost always a handful for opponents to contain.

The Bruins and Iginla soon found out they had mutual interest in a one-year deal, and instantly everyone expected the 36-year-old to replace Horton. Bruins coach Claude Julien has so far fulfilled those expectations by keeping that line together through two days of training camp.

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Kristo looking to make mark with Rangers

Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

The summer before his senior season at the University of North Dakota, Danny Kristo had a decision to make.

Return to school to close out a college career that had seen equal parts success and adversity or leave to begin his pro career with the Montreal Canadiens. With Montreal entering a transitional summer during which it replaced its general manager and coaching staff, Kristo made the decision to go back to school.

A year later, Kristo is coming off a great individual seasons and is facing a prime opportunity to help the New York Rangers, who traded for the Minnesota native during the summer. The second-round pick (No. 56) of the Canadiens in 2008 enjoyed a monster senior season at North Dakota.

His 52 points were the second-highest total in the NCAA and the forward was named a first-team All-American. The Fighting Sioux were upset in the second round of the NCAA tournament by eventual champions Yale, but Kristo completed his season with a bronze medal playing for Team USA at the IIHF World Championship.

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Canadiens take advantage of continuity at camp

Friday, 09.13.2013 / 6:58 PM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- It was nine months ago that the Montreal Canadiens hardly knew what continuity even meant.

Entering a shortened training camp prior to the start of the 2012-13 NHL season in January, the Canadiens had a new general manager, a new coaching staff and a few new players, but even the returning players had no idea what would be in store.

In fact, coach Michel Therrien couldn't have known exactly how things would work out with his line combinations when that camp began, hoping what he had drawn up while waiting for the lockout to end would ultimately click.

As it turned out, what Therrien accomplished worked wonders. The Canadiens shot out of the gates with a 6-2-0 record en route to a second place finish in the Eastern Conference.

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Western lottery teams hope for postseason return

Friday, 09.13.2013 / 6:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Getting into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference proved a difficult task for the Winnipeg Jets, who have made it to the postseason once in the 13-season existence of the organization, dating to its days as the Atlanta Thrashers.

Will the move this season to the Western Conference help?

The Jets are one of seven teams that will play in the Western Conference this season that sat out the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The question the unlucky seven have been asking themselves since the end of April is what they can do to change those fortunes and go from postseason misses to playoff hits.

With training camps opening this week, NHL.com examines why fans of the subpar seven from a season ago can harbor dreams of top-eight finishes in 2013-14.

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Seven East lottery teams hope for postseason return

Friday, 09.13.2013 / 6:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Getting into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference proved a difficult task for the Columbus Blue Jackets. They have made it to the postseason once in their first 13 seasons.

Will the move this season to the Eastern Conference help?

The Blue Jackets are one of seven teams that will play in the Eastern Conference this season that sat out the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The question the unlucky seven have been asking themselves since the end of April is what they can do to change those fortunes and go from postseason misses to playoff hits.

With training camps opening this week, NHL.com examines why fans of those subpar seven from a season ago can harbor dreams of top-eight finishes in 2013-14.

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Penguins focus on fixing what went wrong in playoffs

Friday, 09.13.2013 / 6:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins' loss to the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Eastern Conference Final still lingers within the locker room. But instead of allowing the loss to define them, the Penguins are focused on ensuring it doesn't happen again.

"We lost in the conference finals, we do not win a game in the conference finals. We're not going to shy away from that and [we're] looking at ways where we came up short and what we need to do better as a team and add to our team. That's not something we're looking to do come April 20, when the playoffs come around. We have to build that now into our team."
-- Penguins coach Dan Bylsma

A year removed from being ousted in the first round by the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-2, Pittsburgh seemed to have exorcised its postseason demons with its march to the conference final. But the Penguins were swiftly swept, leaving another impressive regular season without the validation that comes with a Stanley Cup.

The players have tried to put last postseason behind them and focus on preparing for another run at a championship.

"I think you have to get over it pretty quickly and realize that there's a long season ahead of us and we've got to learn from that," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "You can't dwell on it. So, I think we've moved on."

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Capitals hope to solidify defensive depth

Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 5:30 PM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

With Mike Green, Karl Alzner and John Carlson, the Washington Capitals boast one of the League's most solid defensive foundations. While those three figure to be integral pieces of the franchise for the foreseeable future, the defensive depth behind them, although plentiful, is more tenuous.

The Capitals opened training camp on Thursday with 10 defensemen who appeared in an NHL game last season, nine of whom suited up for Washington. Injuries forced the Capitals to use 12 defensemen throughout the season, second-most League-wide, and kept the fourth, fifth and sixth defensive positions in a constant state of flux.

Mike Green
Defense - WSH
GOALS: 12 | ASST: 14 | PTS: 26
SOG: 96 | +/-: -3
Things eventually settled down in the latter stages of the season, as veterans John Erskine and Jack Hillen, as well as journeyman Steve Oleksy, wound up as the bottom half of the Capitals' defensive corps. According to coach Adam Oates, that is how it will remain at the beginning of the season.

"I'm not in a big believer in, 'It's open competition.' I'm not," Oates said. "The guy who was there was there for a reason. And I'm not going to put pressure on him in a two-week window to lose his job."

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You could see out there that everybody was willing to compete, to sacrifice, even blocking shots to the end. Even in the third when we were up 5-0, guys were still working hard and blocking shots That's a nice feeling also for the future.

— Flames goalie Jonas Hiller after his team's 5-0 win over Carolina
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