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WJC drought over, Canada aims to maintain success

Friday, 08.07.2015 / 8:44 AM / 2016 World Junior Championship

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

CALGARY -- Canada's gold-medal drought at the IIHF World Junior Championship ended in 2015, and the focus has shifted to a gold rush.

That process is off to a good start, according to Hockey Canada vice president of hockey operations and national teams Scott Salmond.

"I think for five years we've kind of been chasing it," Salmond said. "I've seen the feeling in the room from the coaches, from the players. We know what it takes to win. I think we've done a real good job of building, not only World Juniors, but men's Worlds and back to (the) Sochi (Olympics) on the concept of the team we need to be to win and how we need to play. I think that's in the players' minds. To go in and defend instead of chasing, that's a different thing.

"It's tough when you have pressure and you're trying to get something back. When you have it, you want to keep it. It's a bit of a different feeling."

A weeklong retreat to Calgary in August attempted to lay the foundation for just that.

Neuvirth, Gagner give Flyers some optimism

Friday, 08.07.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

The Philadelphia Flyers are hoping to erase the memories of last season, when they won 33 games and failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in the past three seasons.

They enter this season with a new coach and the hope that their talented group of forwards, along with goaltender Steve Mason, can get them back in contention.

Here are four reasons for optimism in Philadelphia:

Lecavalier, defensemen among Flyers questions

Friday, 08.07.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

A slow start last season ultimately led to the Philadelphia Flyers missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Philadelphia finished 12th in the Eastern Conference, 14 points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second wild card from the Eastern Conference.

The Flyers will have a different coach this season; Dave Hakstol was hired on May 18 to replace Craig Berube. Hakstol spent his entire coaching career at the collegiate level, experiencing plenty of success over the past 11 seasons at the University of North Dakota. He now has the task of getting the Flyers to play more consistently, something Berube was unable to accomplish last season.

Here are three questions facing the Flyers this season:

Provorov, Sanheim among Flyers' top five prospects

Friday, 08.07.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

The Philadelphia Flyers are experienced on defense, with three of their six regulars 28 or older. But an influx of young, talented defensemen is on the way.

Led by Ivan Provorov, the Flyers are about to get younger and quicker on defense within the next two years. Provorov, drafted with the No. 7 pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, hopes it won't even take that long.

"I'm taking it one day at a time, but my long-term goal is to make the team," Provorov said during development camp last month. "I'm going to try to do everything that I can, and we'll see what's going to happen in September."

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

Flyers counting on Hakstol to get back into playoffs

Friday, 08.07.2015 / 3:00 AM /'s 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

It's a rare occurrence when the Philadelphia Flyers don't qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but that was the case last season. A slow start doomed Philadelphia, which won 33 games and finished 12th in the Eastern Conference.

"I think the whole point of hockey is making playoffs. That's the best time of the year," captain Claude Giroux told the Flyers website. "When you can't be a part of it, obviously [there's] a lot of disappointment and frustration. We're going to learn the hard way, but it's going to help us for the future."

U.S. GM Lombardi talks World Cup with

Thursday, 08.06.2015 / 6:20 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

Minutes after being named general manager of the United States for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey on Thursday, Dean Lombardi sat down with for an exclusive question-and-answer session and shared his thoughts about the appointment and his plans for the team. Your introductory speech was so powerful and rich with USA Hockey history and American history today. You stressed things like burying the ego and being a good teammate first and foremost. I'm curious where that came from for you?

Lombardi: Probably two things I have to say. I'm just so proud to be an American and have this job. Secondly, it's something that I believe in wholeheartedly. Like I said, I believe those are things that are going to be critical and the things that make this such a great game. When you have it, it is incredibly powerful.

Penguins, Cullen agree to terms on one-year contract

Thursday, 08.06.2015 / 5:24 PM / News

The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to terms with veteran center Matt Cullen on a one-year contract for $800,000, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Cullen, 38, is a 17-year NHL veteran who played the past two seasons with the Nashville Predators. He played under Rutherford for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2005-06 and again from 2007-10, helping the Canes win the Stanley Cup in 2006.

USA Hockey execs excited about Youngstars team

Thursday, 08.06.2015 / 4:56 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel represented different teams and different countries last season on the way to becoming the top two picks at the 2015 NHL Draft.

Imagine for a moment that they're playing on the same team and working the same power-play unit on a world stage.

It could happen when the World Cup of Hockey takes place in September 2016. The eight-team tournament, which will take place at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, will feature not only national teams from the United States, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic, as well as a team of top players from other European nations and a North American Under-23 Youngstars team that might include McDavid and Eichel.

The management team for USA Hockey, including general manager Dean Lombardi, assistant GM Paul Holmgren and assistant executive director of hockey operations Jim Johannson, on Thursday discussed what could turn out to be one of the more entertaining teams at the tournament.

USA Hockey names Lombardi as World Cup GM

Thursday, 08.06.2015 / 4:48 PM / World Cup of Hockey 2016

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Dean Lombardi passionately embraced his appointment as general manager of the United States for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

"To be trusted with this responsibility, in this role of serving my country, is one of the highest honors of my career," Lombardi said Thursday. "I can assure you that myself and my staff will do everything in our power to make this country proud."

During his opening remarks, Lombardi, the president and GM of the Los Angeles Kings, trotted out mileposts of the growth of USA Hockey, framed by the program's twin peaks of excellence: the 1980 Olympic gold-medal winners and the 1996 World Cup championship team.

Unmasked: More teams prioritize goalie development

Thursday, 08.06.2015 / 3:10 PM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- It's been a big summer for goaltending development coaches in the NHL, with three of six vacant goalie coaching jobs filled by coaches who worked previously in development roles for other organizations and two others moving up from junior hockey.

Andrew Allen went from goaltending development coach for the Chicago Blackhawks to goalie coach of the Buffalo Sabres. Johan Hedberg made a similar move from a development role with the New Jersey Devils to an NHL job with the San Jose Sharks, and Kim Dillabaugh made the same jump from the Los Angeles Kings to the Philadelphia Flyers.

But the biggest goalie move may be in the other direction and was made by the only team that didn't reach into the development ranks to fill its NHL position. The Dallas Stars instead hired Jeff Reese, who left the Flyers last season, to be their new goalie coach at the NHL level and moved Mike Valley into a new role as director of goaltending development after five seasons as the their goalie coach.

With the move, Dallas joins a growing list of teams putting more emphasis on goalie development and sinking more resources into it.

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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
World Cup of Hockey 2016