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Mississauga's Day moves past 'exceptional' label

Thursday, 10.29.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday, NHL.com will look ahead to the 2016 NHL Draft with an in-depth profile on one of its top prospects.

Mississauga Steelheads defenseman Sean Day doesn't necessarily want to be known as exceptional. The 2016 NHL Draft prospect would prefer to be himself.

Day still is trying to move past the heightened expectations of being granted exceptional-player status and allowed to play in the Ontario Hockey League as a 15-year-old in 2013.

"To this day there's still pressure about it," Day said. "I'm kind of scrutinized more than anyone else because of that label. I can't really make excuses for it. I just kind of play and hopefully people see that I'm the same age as everyone else in the draft. I did play an extra year [in the OHL], but I'm on the same development curve as everyone else still. To me it doesn't really matter. I don't think too much about it. I just play."

Around the League notebook: Wednesday, Oct. 28

Thursday, 10.29.2015 / 1:44 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

KESSEL NETS WINNER ON RIVALRY NIGHT

The Washington Capitals opened the scoring at 1:28 of the third period, but Beau Bennett tied the game 24 seconds later and Phil Kessel scored the go-ahead goal less than two minutes after that to help the Pittsburgh Penguins improve to 5-1-0 in their last six games following a 0-3-0 start to the season.

* Kessel, who scored the overtime winner on Saturday at Nashville, has the winning goal in consecutive games for the second time in his career. He also accomplished the feat with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 8 and Oct. 15, 2011 (3-1—4 vs. the Ottawa Senators and 2-1—3 vs. Calgary Flames, respectively).

* Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves, including 27 in the first two periods, to improve to 11-4-2 in 17 regular-season appearances at Verizon Center (2.54 GAA, .913 SV%, 1 SO). Fleury started his ninth consecutive game to begin the season, the second-longest such streak of his career (11 in 2006-07).

Flames' Hiller leaves game with lower-body injury

Thursday, 10.29.2015 / 12:02 AM / News

NHL.com

Calgary Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller sustained a lower-body injury in the third period against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday and did not return.

Hiller left the game at 12:20 of the third period after a collision with Senators forward Bobby Ryan. Flames coach Bob Hartley said Hiller sustained a lower-body injury, but had no further information.

Hiller made 14 saves before he was replaced by Joni Ortio, who made five saves.

Sharks promote defenseman Mueller from AHL

Wednesday, 10.28.2015 / 9:53 PM / News

SAN JOSE - San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Mirco Mueller from the San Jose Barracuda (AHL).

Mueller, 20, has posted one assist and a plus-1 rating in three games with the Barracuda this season. He made his NHL debut in 2014-15, recording one goal and three assists in 39 games with the Sharks. In addition, he added one goal in three games with Worcester (AHL) last season.

Islanders' Martin visits cancer patients at NHL Store

Wednesday, 10.28.2015 / 8:15 PM / Hockey Fights Cancer

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- New York Islanders forward Matt Martin learned at a young age the value of being a role model and how the status of being a professional athlete can have a positive impact on others.

One of Martin's idols growing up was retired NHL defenseman Ed Jovanovski, who played junior hockey for the Windsor Spitfires in Martin's hometown. Whenever Jovanovski came out for warm-ups, Martin tossed a piece of bubble gum over the boards and in return Jovanovski handed him hockey sticks. Seeing Jovanovski go the extra mile to put a smile on his face inspired Martin to where if he made the NHL, he would provide his fans with a similar feeling.

"It really is amazing the effect it can have on you," Martin said. "It happened to me first-hand, and I just felt like carrying that along and touching as many people as you can."

Blues bring in veterans to cope with injuries up front

Wednesday, 10.28.2015 / 7:43 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Doug Armstrong could have turned to the bevy of prospects thriving with Chicago of the American Hockey League. Instead, the St. Louis Blues' general manager is playing it safe and bringing in NHL veterans to bolster an injury-depleted corps of forwards.

Martin Havlat and Dainius Zubrus came into their first Blues' practice Wednesday seeking to make a strong first impression. Each has 10 days to parlay a professional tryout into an NHL contract. Each feels he still has something left in the tank, so when Armstrong reached out to the 34-year-old Havlat and assistant GM Martin Brodeur extended an invitation to Zubrus, 37, it was an easy decision for them to come and give it perhaps one last opportunity to stay in the NHL.

Long-term injuries to forwards Jaden Schwartz (broken ankle), Paul Stastny (broken foot) and Patrik Berglund (shoulder surgery) forced Armstrong to look for help. But instead of promoting prospects from the Blues' AHL team who might not be NHL-ready or exploring trade possibilities, Armstrong opted to see what Havlat and Zubrus, who have a combined 2,031 games of NHL experience, could offer.

Sabres' Bylsma looks forward to return to Pittsburgh

Wednesday, 10.28.2015 / 7:11 PM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- It's been more than 16 months since Buffalo Sabres coach Dan Bylsma was fired by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He's set to make his return to Pittsburgh on Thursday when the Penguins host the Sabres at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, BELL TV, ROOT).

Bylsma established himself as a winning coach during his 5 ½ seasons in Pittsburgh. He led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup four months after he was hired in 2009. But despite six consecutive trips to the playoffs, he was fired on June 6, 2014.

Returning to Pittsburgh has been on Bylsma's mind since the Sabres hired him on May 28.

Hurricanes' Hanifin confident he can play at NHL level

Wednesday, 10.28.2015 / 7:03 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Carolina Hurricanes rookie defenseman Noah Hanifin understands why he was a healthy scratch for the first time in his NHL career, and although no player enjoys being told that he won't suit up for a game, the 18-year-old feels the break was beneficial.

After playing Carolina's first eight games, Hanifin was scratched for a 3-1 victory at the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.

"The coaching staff kind of wanted me to refresh a little bit and go up top and watch the game and see it from a different perspective just because I've been playing at a high level the past eight games," Hanifin told NHL.com Wednesday during a tour of the League offices. "It was nice to take a breather, watch and see how it's supposed to be played. If I'm in against the Islanders, I just hope to keep it going."

Canucks' Hamhuis, Prust to miss two-game trip

Wednesday, 10.28.2015 / 3:39 PM / News

NHL.com

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis and forward Brandon Prust will not travel on the upcoming two-game road trip, the Canucks announced Wednesday.

Hamhuis did not play Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens because of a lower-body injury. He will remain in Vancouver, where he will continue to be evaluated.

In eight games this season Hamhuis has two assists, eight blocked shots, 15 hits and averages 19:14 of ice time.

Blues' Shattenkirk 'days away' from returning to lineup

Wednesday, 10.28.2015 / 3:11 PM / News

NHL.com

St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is close to returning to the lineup, coach Ken Hitchcock said Wednesday.

Shattenkirk has been out since Oct. 13 with a lower-body injury. He did not practice Wednesday and will not play Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks, but Hitchcock said Shattenkirk is 95 percent healed.

"We want him at 100 so we're trying different aspects to see if we can get it," Hitchcock said. "He's worked really hard, he's skated extra, he's done all the extra work. But it's stalled. By taking the day off and doing all the work off-ice that he did, we're hoping we can crack it through the last five percent. We're right there. We've got to find the right balance between the work and the rest. Today was not a scheduled work day, but with everything that happened yesterday we decided to put him into it. We'll see how he is tomorrow. He's days away; he's not weeks away."

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