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Wrist injury forces defenseman Salo to retire

Thursday, 08.13.2015 / 4:03 PM / News

Sami Salo, a defenseman who spent most of his 15-year NHL career with the Vancouver Canucks but hasn't played since the 2013-14 season, announced his retirement Thursday, the Finnish publication Ilta-Sanomat reported.

Salo, who turns 41 on Sept. 2, said a wrist injury that kept him from playing last season forced him to retire.

Devils GM says Clowe might have to retire: report

Thursday, 08.13.2015 / 2:52 PM / News

New Jersey Devils forward Ryane Clowe has not committed to making another comeback from head trauma and likely will retire at some point this year, general manager Ray Shero said.

"The last time he played was, what, Nov. 6? That's been a long time," Shero told on Thursday. "Training camp is next month, so at some point, in terms of how he is feeling, a determination has to be made by him and doctors as to what direction he can or cannot go."

Clowe has had four concussions in the past two seasons. The most recent was Nov. 6, when he was hit in the head by David Backes of the St. Louis Blues. The 32-year-old has three years and $14.55 million remaining on a contract he signed with the Devils on July 5, 2013.

Islanders top pick throws first pitch before no-hitter

Thursday, 08.13.2015 / 2:02 PM / News

Mathew Barzal, the New York Islanders' top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, threw the ceremonial first pitch before the game between the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles at Safeco Field on Wednesday prior to Seattle pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma's no-hitter.

Barzal, a center who was the 16th player taken in the first round, was part of a celebration of the five members of the Western Hockey League's Seattle Thunderbirds who were drafted by NHL teams in June. Barzal, forward Ryan Gropp (No. 41, New York Rangers) and coach Steve Konowalchuk toured the stadium and the field before Barzal took the mound.

Depth at center question Kings need to answer

Thursday, 08.13.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings' first early postseason in six years understandably brought a lot of questions. After two Stanley Cup championships and three trips to the Western Conference Final in four seasons, cracks are visible in their mini-dynasty.

The good news is the Kings are used to adjusting and dealing with adversity, having proven to be one the NHL's most resilient teams the past few seasons. And if they get back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they remain a dangerous and imposing team.

Here are three questions the Kings must answer:

Doughty, Lucic give Kings reasons for optimism

Thursday, 08.13.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- The 2014-15 NHL season was one to forget for the Los Angeles Kings, who were shorthanded at the start, beset by injuries, and didn't have the depth or energy to stay afloat in the Western Conference. They were the first defending Stanley Cup champion to miss the playoffs since 2007.

But the Kings remain one of the more feared teams in the West because of their mettle, style of play, and goalie Jonathan Quick. They have lost some of the pieces from their two championship teams, but remain a team no opponent wants to face in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Here are four reasons for optimism this season:

Zykov, Shore among Kings' top five prospects

Thursday, 08.13.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- The stability of the Los Angeles Kings roster over the past three seasons hasn't allowed for much promotion, but that is likely to change because their Calder Cup champion American Hockey League affiliate is moving to Ontario, Calif.

The hour drive from Staples Center means the Kings can easily make a recall, either for an injury replacement or to give a prospect a quick look.

The Kings lack defensemen and centers in their system, and did not have a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Here is a look at the Kings' top five prospects, according to

Playoff-free season has Kings rested, motivated

Thursday, 08.13.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

LOS ANGELES -- For the past few seasons, the Los Angeles Kings were the self-described cockroaches of the NHL, seemingly impossible to eliminate no matter how dire the circumstances. It was a remarkable trait in the NHL salary-cap era, and it made their demise all the more profound.

Facing must-win games, the Kings lost 4-2 to the Edmonton Oilers on April 7 and were eliminated from contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames two days later. It was the first time a defending Cup champion failed to make the postseason since the Carolina Hurricanes in 2007.

Injuries and off-ice issues on defense combined with overuse of goalie Jonathan Quick and defenseman Drew Doughty ultimately cost the Kings.

"This season we were all struggling to find that certain 'it' or whatever you want to call it all year," Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said. "And when it was over, after Edmonton and Calgary, I think the reality is we got what we deserved, and we have nobody to feel sorry for … every time we thought we were going to get out of it because we knew how to win or we had been in big games before, well, that didn't happen. But now we can learn from this."

Los Angeles Kings fantasy hockey outlook

Thursday, 08.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider

As part of's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty

Kopitar was a fantasy disappointment last season, but was still among leaders in assists (48, T-9th) and power-play points (24, T-23rd). His shots on goal per game (1.7) dropped off compared to his 2013-14 (2.4) and career averages (2.6). The Los Angeles Kings were hurt by injuries and off-ice issues last season, but Kopitar has produced close to a point per game before and could bounce back with Milan Lucic on his left side. Expect a return to 70-plus points for Kopitar and a return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for Los Angeles. Target Kopitar in the third or fourth round as the second center on your fantasy roster.

Lightning's Johnson recovering from broken wrist

Wednesday, 08.12.2015 / 4:59 PM / News

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson no longer needs to wear a brace on his right wrist that was fractured in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks in June.

"It's recovering, and I can't wait for camp," Johnson told the Lightning website Wednesday.

Johnson, 24, was injured when he landed on the wrist following a hit from Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook but played the remainder of the series. He led the NHL in scoring with 13 goals and 23 points in 26 Stanley Cup Playoff games, but had one goal in the final 10 games and stopped taking faceoffs in Game 2.

Brodeur surprised to see Lamoriello go to Maple Leafs

Wednesday, 08.12.2015 / 4:54 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

TERREBONNE, Quebec -- It's been a strange few months for the New Jersey Devils, with the two most iconic figures in their history each taking jobs with other organizations.

First, longtime goaltender Martin Brodeur became the assistant general manager of the St. Louis Blues on May 20. Then Lou Lamoriello, who had stepped down as general manager May 4 after 28 years on the job and was replaced by Ray Shero, resigned as team president July 23 and accepted an offer to become GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

If it felt strange for Devils fans to see Lamoriello working for another team, it felt that much more bizarre for Brodeur.

"I was really surprised," Brodeur said Tuesday at a charity golf tournament hosted by Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien. "I had some conversations with [Lou] and I knew what was going on a bit, but it was still surprising to see all the changes going on there. I hope it's for the good of the organization."

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Quote of the Day

It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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