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Bruins not panicking after early ouster from playoffs

Saturday, 08.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

The Boston Bruins failed to defend their Eastern Conference title last season, when they lost a seven-game series in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Their early ouster was doubly painful because they had won the Presidents' Trophy to earn home-ice advantage for the entire postseason, and because the team that prevailed in that seventh game was the archrival Montreal Canadiens.

In some outposts of the NHL, a loss like the one that ended the Bruins' season well short of their ultimate goal would be cause for reconstructing a roster. However, that's not how Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli operates.

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Bruins lineup still highlighted by Bergeron, Chara

Saturday, 08.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

By the end of the 2013-14 regular season, the Boston Bruins had emerged as the clear favorite in the Eastern Conference, and a path to making their third Stanley Cup Final in four years seemed clear.

It did not turn out that way because a long-time nemesis, the Montreal Canadiens, upset the Bruins in dramatic fashion in the second round. Boston did not have a lot of salary-cap flexibility this summer, and it showed.

Jarome Iginla left for the Colorado Avalanche, and his offense will be missed. Shawn Thornton left for the Florida Panthers, but breaking up the popular "Merlot Line" will be a positive for the Bruins moving forward.

Otherwise, it is more of the same for the Bruins. Time is catching up to a few guys, and Boston needs young players to emerge in larger roles this season. The Bruins are probably still the best team in the East, but the gap is not likely to be as wide.

Here's a look at the projected 2014-15 lineup for the Bruins:

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Spooner, goalies among Bruins' top 10 prospects

Saturday, 08.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

If there's one area on the ice where the Boston Bruins seemingly have cornered the market, it's goaltending.

It wasn't done by accident, either, as the organization had to move quickly when Tim Thomas decided to leave Boston after the 2011-12 season. By that time, though, the Bruins had Tuukka Rask in the fold and another prospect on the horizon in 2012 free-agent signee Niklas Svedberg.

Rask won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender in 2013-14 and Svedberg is projected to become his full-time backup in 2014-15 following the departure in free agency of Chad Johnson.

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Top prospects revel in opportunities at showcase

Friday, 08.22.2014 / 8:11 PM / Prospects

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO – Many of the NHL's top young prospects earned a fun break from a summer spent focusing primarily on preparation for NHL training camps when they attended the 2014 NHLPA Rookie Showcase. The two-day event, staged during one of the final weekends before training camps begin, hosted 33 NHL hopefuls and featured a healthy combination of work and play.

In its sixth iteration, the event allowed attendees the opportunity to participate in a series of functions, most of them organized by Upper Deck, the official trading card company of the NHL. On Friday, the majority of the time was spent signing merchandise and posing for photographs, as well as enjoying a preview of EA Sports NHL 15 video game.

"It's a pretty exciting experience this weekend," Arizona Coyotes prospect Max Domi said. "It's going to be cool to spend some time with the guys."

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Tribute for Demitra makes emotional stop in Trencin

Friday, 08.22.2014 / 7:01 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The traveling tribute to Pavol Demitra made an emotional Friday night in Trencin, Slovakia, which is the birthplace of Demitra.

A group of St. Louis Blues alumni and a group of Slovakian hockey stars have been staging a series of games to honor Demitra, who died nearly three years ago after he and 43 other passengers died in a plane crash in Yaroslavl, Russia.

Demitra played for the Blues from 1996 to 2004. He also played for the Ottawa Senators, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks during his NHL career.

Friday, the series settled in Trencin, the birthplace of Demitra and several other high-profile NHL stars. Demitra’s father, also named Pavol, was on hand for the game and visited the players before the game and also dropped the ceremonial first puck.

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Former NHL player Wilson coping with ALS

Friday, 08.22.2014 / 12:00 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

It was late Oct. 2013 when former NHL player Mitch Wilson began experiencing something unusual in his right arm during a long journey home from Hawaii along the Pacific.

Since retiring from hockey in 1995, Wilson had been enjoying life on the high seas the past 20 years as a tugboat captain.

"For some reason, the ocean was always a calming influence for me; it was therapeutic," he said.

But during that trip, Wilson's arm began to twitch, and his right hand starting cramping and losing strength. He had blood drawn and went through a series of tests but not until he saw a neurologist some five months later did he receive the unsettling news.

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Rangers' Lundqvist ready to roll after Cup Final run

Friday, 08.22.2014 / 11:54 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The long lightning bolt that cracked behind him as he tossed the tennis ball up in the air Thursday night was symbolic of Henrik Lundqvist's return to New York City after a summer in Sweden.

It was electric. It was energetic. So was Lundqvist.

"Going back to Sweden, that's where I recharge," Lundqvist said. "You see family, friends. I had a great summer. It went by pretty fast, but coming back to New York is always a good feeling. You get a break for two months and you start missing the city, your friends here, the team and teammates. It's always a good feeling to come back."

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Oilers happy to have stability behind bench

Friday, 08.22.2014 / 9:15 AM / News

NHL.com

Taylor Hall will be glad to avoid what became a seemingly annual tradition at Edmonton Oilers training camp: meeting a new coach.

"That's a really nice way to go into the year," Hall said Thursday. "… There is no awkward handshake at the start."

Dallas Eakins returns for a second season as coach of the Oilers, the first one to go back-to-back in three years.

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Lightning lineup anchored by Stamkos, young talent

Friday, 08.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The first full season for Jon Cooper as an NHL coach was a huge success.

Despite losing one superstar, Steven Stamkos, for an extended period because of a broken leg, and another, Martin St. Louis, for good after a trade request, the Lightning returned to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in seven seasons.

An injury to breakout star goaltender Ben Bishop cut Tampa Bay's postseason time short, but general manager Steve Yzerman made a couple of moves to strengthen the defense and the organization's bundle of young talent is beginning to blossom. If Bishop can prove last season was no fluke, Tampa Bay could be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.

Here's a look at the projected 2014-15 lineup for the Lightning:

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Lightning's time could be now after eventful offseason

Friday, 08.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Despite losing their best player for four months with a broken tibia, trading their captain at the NHL Trade Deadline and dressing nine different rookies, the Tampa Bay Lightning emerged as one of the great surprises of the 2013-14 season.

But the Cinderella story ended abruptly. Goaltender Ben Bishop sustained an arm injury with three games remaining in the regular season and was forced out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Without their No. 1 goalie and with little veteran help, the Lightning were swept in the Eastern Conference First Round by the Montreal Canadiens.

After a busy summer, Tampa Bay is looking to make a deeper push this season.

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Quote of the Day

It's time we got a break. People that have watched us, I'm sure they said, 'Finally, some things are going our way.' We'll take the breaks when they go our way.

— Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien after a 3-2 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday to snap a three-game losing streak
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