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AHL Notebook: Pirates change coaches, continue roll

Tuesday, 01.26.2016 / 3:00 AM / AHL Update

Patrick Williams - Correspondent

Goaltender Mike McKenna and the American Hockey League's Portland Pirates had just won for the ninth time in their past 10 games when a coaching change, of all things, came their way Jan. 1.

The parent Florida Panthers plucked coach Tom Rowe from the Portland bench and promoted him to a new role as an NHL associate general manager. In came Pirates assistant coach Scott Allen to take over Rowe's duties in Portland.

"It was interesting," said McKenna, a veteran of parts of 11 AHL seasons. "I don't think any of us saw it coming. Sometimes things like that happen, and they're kind of an open secret. [We] had no idea."

Life for the Pirates has mirrored their NHL big brother for the past six weeks in their ascent up the standings. The Panthers assembled an 18-3-1 record that has them second in the Eastern Conference.

Hurricanes all-star Faulk shooting for success

Tuesday, 01.26.2016 / 3:00 AM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Nashville on Jan. 31 is less than a week away. In the lead-up to All-Star Weekend at Bridgestone Arena, sat down with a host of this season's participants to talk about playing in the game. In this edition, defenseman Justin Faulk discusses representing the Carolina Hurricanes in the All-Star Game.

1. What does being an All-Star mean to you?

It's a great honor to be included in the group of players going to the game. It's nice. Obviously I couldn't really be doing this without the help from all my teammates. Like I said, it's just an honor to be among the group that is going to be there. It's going to be a fun event.

2. What is your favorite memory from previous All-Star Games?

I just think the whole weekend. There is not really one thing that sticks out more than the others. I've been lucky enough to have some friends and family hook up with me and enjoy the experience as well. Overall, it has just been a real good experience.

Five Questions: Trotz talks return to Nashville for ASG

Tuesday, 01.26.2016 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz:

Barry Trotz gets to do something this weekend that so few coaches ever get to do in their careers. His success is taking him home again, or at least to his adopted home, on the NHL's dime, and without any pressure to win.

Trotz called Nashville home for 17 years. He was the coach of the Nashville Predators, the only coach in franchise history until he parted ways with the organization following the 2013-14 season. He built a life, raised a family, met lifelong friends, and even helped pick the nickname Predators.

He found his place, his haven, his home. He and his wife have talked about retiring there one day in order to be close to their grandkids. This week he gets to go back because of how good he's been doing in his new home, in Washington with the Capitals.

Trotz will coach the Metropolitan Division All-Stars in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday because the Capitals are first in the division and the coach of the first place team gets to go to the All-Star Game.

Gretzky, Lemieux head all-time 3-on-3 team of 1980s

Tuesday, 01.26.2016 / 3:00 AM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

If the NHL proved anything in the 1980s, it was scoring goals was a heck of a lot easier than preventing them.

It not only was a period when the mullet, Pac-Man fever, Rubik's Cube and Hulkamania were running wild, but also a time when most of the major NHL scoring records were being established at an incredible rate.

The biggest reason for that was the NHL expansion from 17 to 21 teams with the absorption of former World Hockey Association teams in Edmonton, Hartford, Winnipeg and Quebec, beginning in 1979-80, when NHL fans got their first good look at "The Great One," Wayne Gretzky.

The Edmonton Oilers center scored a League-record 92 goals in 1981-82. He opened the 1983-84 season by getting at least one point in Edmonton's first 51 games, and either scored or assisted on 215 of Edmonton's 426 goals in 1985-86.

Atkinson goal helps young Blue Jackets fan get dog

Tuesday, 01.26.2016 / 12:04 AM / News

Another NHL fan appears to be in line for a dog thanks to a player scoring a goal. Actually, this fan should get three dogs.

A young Columbus Blue Jackets fan brought a sign to the game against the Montreal Canadiens at Nationwide Arena on Monday that said her dad told her she could get a dog if Cam Atkinson scored on her birthday. Atkinson scored not one, but three goals in a 5-2 win for his third NHL hat trick.

NHL, MLBAM unveil details for redesigned platforms

Monday, 01.25.2016 / 8:42 PM / News

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The NHL and Major League Baseball Advanced Media unveiled details for three redesigned digital platforms on Monday aimed at giving hockey fans a better user experience on all devices.

The redesigned, NHL app and NHL.TV (a rebrand of Gamecenter Live) are scheduled to launch this weekend.

The announcement Monday came 175 days after the NHL and MLBAM announced their digital rights deal, which began with the redesign and relaunch of NHL Network prior to the start of the season.

"These platforms are going to give us the ability to provide more and more content to the hockey fans, and it's also going to make it more user friendly," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "We couldn't be more excited and, perhaps more importantly, more pleased with the start this relationship [between the NHL and MLBAM] has gotten off to."

NHL raises curtain on 2016 Honda NHL All-Star festivities with primetime television special

NHL All-Star Friday night: Live in Music City set for Jan. 29 at 8pm ET on NBCSN and Sportsnet

Monday, 01.25.2016 / 3:45 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

NEW YORK – Hockey fans will get their first glimpse of the 2016 Honda NHL® All-Star festivities in Nashville with NHL All-Star Friday Night: Live in Music City, a primetime television special featuring live roundtable discussions with NHL All-Star players, performances from top country music stars and a few surprises. Hosted by Kimberly Perry, lead singer of the Grammy Award and CMA Award-winning group The Band Perry, and NHL broadcaster Kathryn Tappen, the one-hour telecast will broadcast live from the Honda Stage at Bridgestone Winter Park in downtown Nashville on Friday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada.

With the NHL All-Star takeover of downtown Nashville as the backdrop, the primetime special will feature performances from Aaron Lewis, Kristian Bush, Big & Rich, John Hiatt and Lee Brice from the outdoor Honda Stage at Bridgestone Winter Park in the heart of downtown Nashville. The broadcast also will feature interviews and appearances from NHL All-Star players Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames, Roman Josi, Pekka Rinne and Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators, Brandon Saad of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens and more. Country music legend and Honda NHL All-Star Game celebrity coach Vince Gill and Josi will give viewers a tour of the Gibson Guitar Factory.

Flyers to host first You Can Play Night against Bruins

Monday, 01.25.2016 / 3:08 PM / News

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers will host the first You Can Play Night of the season Monday when they play the Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, NESN, CSN-PH) at Wells Fargo Center.

The You Can Play Project was created to ensure equality, respect and safety for all athletes without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. It was co-founded by NHL director of player safety Patrick Burke, who also serves as YCP president.

You Can Play has partnered with all 30 NHL teams, and NHL players have volunteered their time to appear in public-service announcements broadcast in arenas and on local sports networks.

Jets forward Perreault out Tuesday against Coyotes

Monday, 01.25.2016 / 2:50 PM / News

The Winnipeg Jets will be without forward Mathieu Perreault when they host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-A, TSN3) in their final game before the All-Star break.

Perreault, the Jets' third-leading scorer with 31 points (seven goals), left a 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday with a lower-body injury.

"His tests turned out to be fairly positive, so we're hopeful that he's a player out of the break," coach Paul Maurice told the Jets website.

Live on-site editions of NHL Tonight to air throughout NHL All-Star Game festivities

NHL Network February game schedule features Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks in three matchups

Monday, 01.25.2016 / 1:25 PM / NHL Network

SECAUCUS - Interviews, analysis, breakdowns and highlights will be featured throughout NHL Network's live coverage of the 2016 Honda NHL® All-Star Game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, beginning this Friday, January 29 at 11:30 a.m. ET. Anchored by Jamie Hersch, Tony Luftman and Kathryn Tappen, NHL Network's NHL Tonight will provide live coverage before and after the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ and the 2016 Honda NHL® All-Star Game, with analysis from senior reporter EJ Hradek, 14-year NHL veteran Mike Rupp, 13-time NHL All-Star and Hockey Hall of Famer Scott Stevens and 11-year goaltending veteran Kevin Weekes.

Starting this Friday at 11:30 a.m. ET, NHL Tonight will air the sights and sounds of All-Star Media Day, with players visiting the NHL Network set to discuss the first half of the season and their emotions leading up to the festivities. Later that night, a special edition of NHL Tonight will air at 6:00 p.m. ET featuring a roundtable discussion with Luftman, Rupp, Stevens and Weekes on who is today's brightest NHL star. Predictions and player interviews from the red carpet will be part of NHL Tonight's All-Star Skills Competition coverage beginning this Saturday at 5:00 p.m. ET. NHL Tonight will get viewers ready for Sunday's Honda NHL® All-Star Game, which features a new 3-on-3 tournament format, beginning live at 3:00 p.m. ET. Following the game, NHL Tonight will air highlights, break down all the key plays and interview the stars of the game.

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