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Sharks' Hertl hoping to make impact against Kings

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 6:22 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl may be an NHL rookie from the Czech Republic, but no one has to tell him about the heated rivalry that exists between his team and the Los Angeles Kings.

In a Dec. 19 game against the Kings at Staples Center, Hertl took a knee-on-knee hit from Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown. Hertl severely damaged two ligaments in his right knee, underwent surgery on Dec. 31 and missed 45 games.

Hertl returned for San Jose's final two regular-season games, and after back-to-back solid performances appears likely to be in the lineup Thursday night at SAP Center for Game 1 against the Kings (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC) in a Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round series.

"It's personal," Hertl said after practice Monday. "It's L.A. … For me, it's more motivation because (it's) L.A. I want to beat L.A."

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Capitals' Oates wants to see Ovechkin's game evolve

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 6:21 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- As reasons for the Washington Capitals' exclusion from the Stanley Cup Playoffs are bandied about, many will inevitably circle back to Alex Ovechkin.

The electric superstar forward has long been a lightning rod for criticism, a distinction that will not change this offseason after Washington missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

"It's part of my job," Ovechkin said Monday as the Capitals dispersed for the summer. "I'm captain of the team and of course I have to take responsibility, I have to take criticism."

Ovechkin earned his fourth-career Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy with 51 goals this season, becoming the 11th player in NHL history to score at least 50 goals in five separate seasons.

Yet Washington's underachieving season and his minus-35 rating, the third-worst in the NHL, overshadowed that personal achievement. Ovechkin narrowly avoided becoming the first player to ever lead the League in goals while also having the worst plus-minus rating.

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Tortorella: 'Stale' Canucks must add element of youth

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 6:05 PM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella said he didn't plan to lobby for his job when he met with new president Trevor Linden this week, but he certainly didn't pull any punches when speaking to the media Monday about the present state of the Canucks.

Tortorella accepted some of the blame for missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs in his first season as Canucks coach, but also made it clear that an aging core needs to change and stop living off a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.

"I felt from Day 1 that it's stale," Tortorella said. "That's not their fault. This is a group that has been together for a long time. It's stale. It needs youth. It needs a change. I felt that from Day 1. We're not in 2011. We have to stop talking about 2011. The team needs to be retooled. It's a young man's game."

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NBC broadcasters enjoy rivalry aspect of playoffs

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 5:17 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Since rivalries drive interest, it's no surprise the NBC Sports Group is thrilled with the eight matchups it will broadcast in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"This is probably going to be the best playoffs we've had, and we've had it on NBC for nine years now," said Pierre McGuire, NBC's lead Inside the Glass analyst.

"This has got a chance to be one of the most memorable playoffs we've had in the last 20 years."

For the third straight year NBC will broadcast every game of the playoffs on its series of networks, using the main network plus cable outlets NBC Sports Network, CNBC and NHL Network. The matchups this season are dictated by the NHL's division-based playoff format and feature five regional rivalries and an Original Six clash.

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2014 NHL Draft Lottery to be conducted Tuesday

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 3:38 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

NEW YORK – The 2014 NHL Draft Lottery, a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 13 picks of the 2014 NHL Draft, will take place Tuesday, April 15, at 8 p.m., ET.

The League, in cooperation with TSN, will announce the results of the Draft Lottery live during a 30-minute program produced and televised by TSN in Canada. The special presentation also will air in the U.S. on NBCSN and will re-air on NHL Network U.S. at 8:30 p.m., ET.

Thirteen of the 14 Clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs – or the Clubs that have acquired the First-Round drafting positions of those non-playoff teams – will have a chance at winning the right to the first overall selection. The New Jersey Devils will not be eligible to win the Draft Lottery and will select 30th overall in the First Round.

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Maple Leafs task Shanahan with changing culture

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 3:18 PM / News

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs are hoping they've found the man who will help turn around a franchise that hasn't won the Stanley Cup since 1967.

The Maple Leafs formally introduced Brendan Shanahan as president Monday and tasked him with guiding an organization that has made the playoffs just once in the past nine seasons.

"I'm not sure the Leafs have [the right culture]," Maple Leafs CEO Tim Leiweke said. "This is something these two gentlemen [Shanahan and general manager Dave Nonis] will have to work on. I definitely sense that we lack an identity and right now we're a team that lacks direction, and we want to change that."

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Bruins' Chiarelli built winner using Red Wings' model

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 2:43 PM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Long before Peter Chiarelli took over as general manager of the Boston Bruins, he admired the way the Detroit Red Wings went about their business.

Chiarelli, who started in his current role prior to the 2006-07 season, even tried to steal a little of the Red Wings' secret formula when he made Dave Lewis, a longtime assistant and former head coach in Detroit, the coach of the Bruins for that initial season in Boston.

Lewis' one-season tenure didn't get the Bruins headed in the direction Chiarelli wanted, so he opted to replace Lewis with Claude Julien. While the Bruins, having qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in seven straight seasons, have a long way to go to match the Red Wings' 23-year run, Chiarelli has accomplished his goal of making the Bruins a franchise that's as admired around the NHL as Detroit.

Chiarelli quickly learned there was no shortcut to building an organization on par with the Red Wings, and there are several areas a team has to strengthen in order to be in Detroit's class.

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Capuano to remain coach of Islanders

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 1:55 PM / News

NHL.com

Jack Capuano will return as coach of the New York Islanders next season, general manager Garth Snow said Monday according to Newsday.

The Islanders ended the season winning three straight and going 8-2-2 over their last 12, but finished 14th in the Eastern Conference with a 34-37-11 record one season after making the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Capuano replaced Scott Gordon early in the 2010-11 season and has compiled a record of 118-120-39. The Islanders also took the Pittsburgh Penguins to overtime in Game 6 before losing their Eastern Conference quarterfinal-round series last spring.

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As Predators coach, Trotz was Nashville institution

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 1:53 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The Nashville Predators literally might not be the Nashville Predators without Barry Trotz.

Trotz helped pick the team name. He also helped pick the carpeting in the team's office. He was hired on Aug. 6, 1997, exactly 14 months and four days before the Predators played their first game. He has coached every game the team has played in its 15 seasons, winning 557 of them. He is a Nashville hockey institution.

At least he was.

Trotz's tenure in Nashville came to an end Monday, when the Predators announced his contract will not be extended and the team will immediately begin a search for a new coach for the first time in franchise history. Trotz has been offered a position in the organization's hockey operations department, but according to the Predators' press release he is still considering his options before making a decision.

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Canucks' Daniel Sedin feeling better after hit

Monday, 04.14.2014 / 1:42 PM / News

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin was back at Rogers Arena on Monday for a season-ending press conference, and showed no ill-effects after being taken off the ice on a stretcher during the Canucks' game Sunday.

Sedin left Vancouver's 5-1 win against the Calgary Flames at 17:16 of the second period following a hit from behind into the boards by Flames forward Paul Byron. Sedin was taken to an area hospital for further evaluation and imaging. He was released before midnight and said he felt "OK" on Monday.

Byron was penalized with a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.

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Quote of the Day

When we started our journey we made a commitment to our fans to be relevant and to see the Chicago Blackhawks become the best professional hockey organization. There are not two finer symbols of that than Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The commitment we have made to these incredible young men is equal to the commitment they have made to our team, our fans, our entire organization and the city of Chicago.

— Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz on signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to contract extensions