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Canadiens trade Sekac to Ducks for Smith-Pelly

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 4:32 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

NHL.com

The Montreal Canadiens beefed up their forward group Tuesday by trading some speed and skill to the Anaheim Ducks.

The Canadiens traded rookie forward Jiri Sekac to the Ducks for forward Devante Smith-Pelly.

Sekac and Smith-Pelly are each 22 and were born four days apart in June 1992.

"I see Jiri more as a player who is quick; a bit less speed, but more quick," Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin told reporters in St. Louis on Tuesday, where the Canadiens were preparing to face the St. Louis Blues. "Those are the terms we use. From [point] A to [point] B he's really fast, but over a long distance he's not the fastest player. He's really good down low and in the corners. But in that sense I don't think we lose anything with Devante, who is not as fast. He's a big guy. He's not a speed demon, but he'll go into the tough areas and for us that was something we found attractive."

Sekac has seven goals and 16 points in 50 games. He took part in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition last month.

"[Sekac] has good upside offensively. He can skate, he can shoot. He's one of those late bloomers," Ducks GM Bob Murray said.

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Ducks recall Karlsson, reassign Bryzgalov to AHL

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 2:47 PM / News

AnaheimDucks.com

The Ducks have recalled center William Karlsson from the Norfolk Admirals, Anaheim’s primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). In addition, the Ducks have reassigned goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to Norfolk.

Karlsson, 22, has collected three points with a plus-2 rating and two penalty minutes in 17 games with the Ducks this season. The 6-0, 185-pound center made his NHL debut on Oct. 11 at Detroit and scored his first two NHL goals, including his first career game-winner, on Oct. 13 at Buffalo. Selected by Anaheim in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Karlsson earned 21 points with two PIMs in 35 games for the Admirals this season.

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Islanders' Leddy signs seven-year contract

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 2:20 PM / News

NHL.com

Nick Leddy signed a seven-year contract with the New York Islanders, the team announced Tuesday.

Leddy, a 23-year-old defenseman, could have become a restricted free agent in July. The Islanders did not reveal terms of the contract; Leddy's agent, Neil Sheehy, said the contract is worth $38.5 million, so it will cost $5.5 million per season against the salary cap and run through 2021-22.

"Nick has proven to be an elite defenseman in this League at a young age," Islanders general manager Garth Snow said in a statement. "He's the type of player on the ice, in the locker room and in the community that we're thrilled to add as a cornerstone of our defensive core."

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Hurricanes' Ward reflective heading into 500th game

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 1:54 PM / NHL Insider

Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward will play his 500th NHL game Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. He doesn't want to make a big deal out of it, but it's clear this is a time for reflection.

"I think about all the people who helped me get to this point in my career, beginning with my parents who gave me the chance to play the game I love," Ward said. "I'm thankful for all the coaches and teammates I've been a part of until now."

Ward's career arc has been bittersweet. As a rookie, he was launched into stardom when he took over as the starting goaltender in the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs, helping Carolina win the Stanley Cup and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy. He smiles when reminded he isn't the first professional athlete to enjoy success early only to be left searching for that pinnacle experience as the years roll on.

"You immediately think, 'Oh, I will probably get (to the playoffs) again.' You soon realize how difficult it is to get back there," Ward said. "I'm now in my 10th year in the League, and chances are it will be 2-for-10 (reaching the playoffs). I definitely would appreciate it a lot more, knowing how difficult it is to get back into that situation."

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Kings sign forward Nolan to three-year contract

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 1:02 PM / News

LAKings.com

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings have signed forward Jordan Nolan to a three-year contract, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.

The 25-year-old Nolan (born on June 23, 1989) is a 6-3, 226-pound native of Garden River, First Nation, Ontario, who has appeared in 170 career NHL regular season games, all with the Kings, totaling 24 points (14-10=24) and 155 penalty minutes.

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Utilizing enhanced stats

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

NHL.com's new statistical database, powered by SAP, now includes enhanced stats that can help fantasy owners detect noteworthy trends.

These stats shed light on meaningful aspects of hockey. Similar metrics have been available on secondary sites in the past, but the NHL is now officially documenting them while adding exposure.

Enhanced skater stats likely won't emerge as fantasy categories themselves anytime soon, but usage/production trends are useful when mulling fantasy pickups, trades, and draft picks.

Here are some fantasy takeaways from NHL.com's stats update that apply to forwards:

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Bruins goalie Rask earns tribute in insect form: report

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 10:35 AM / News

NHL.com

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask already has reached hockey immortality with his name being engraved on the Stanley Cup.

Now he's carved his name into the pantheon of a whole other realm.

A new species of wasp, discovered in the Teita Hills of Kenya, has been named Thaumatodryinus tuukkaraski, in honor of Rask, according to the Boston Globe. The finding will be published in the April edition of the scientific journal "Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae."

"This species is named after the acrobatic goaltender for the Finnish National ice hockey team and the Boston Bruins, whose glove hand is as tenacious as the raptorial fore tarsus of this dryinid species," the authors wrote in the paper.

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Maple Leafs forward Kozun recalled from AHL

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 10:06 AM / News

TorontoMapleLeafs.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Tuesday that the club has recalled forward Brandon Kozun from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis.

Kozun, 24, has skated in eight regular season games with the Maple Leafs this season collecting one goal and one assist. The Los Angeles, California native has registered 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 23 games with the Marlies this season.

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Five Questions: Wild GM Fletcher willing to deal

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher is heading into the final days before the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline on March 2 at 3 p.m. ET with an eye on adding to the depth of the hottest team in the League.

"If we can add a piece, whether it's up front or on the blue line, we'll do that," Fletcher told NHL.com.

The Wild are 13-2-2 in 17 games since Fletcher acquired goalie Devan Dubnyk from the Arizona Coyotes for a third-round draft pick; they were 18-19-5 through 42 games.

Dubnyk has won each of those 13 games in 16 starts with a 1.64 goals-against average, a .946 save percentage and five shutouts. The Wild have climbed into the second wild-card position in the Western Conference after being eight points out and last in the Central Division after a 7-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 13. Their 6-1 win against the Dallas Stars on Sunday put them inside the top-eight for the first time since Nov. 24.

The Wild's hot stretch has changed Fletcher's mindset. If the deadline was a month ago Minnesota would have been a seller; now it hopes to be a buyer.

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Heavy workload, positive results for Hurricanes' Faulk

Tuesday, 02.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk has made a habit of outpacing expectations. It started his freshman year at University of Minnesota-Duluth.

"He was very good as a freshman, pretty dominant for an 18-year-old kid," Minnesota-Duluth coach Scott Sandelin said. "He had the physical tools, he could skate, he had a good shot. By Christmas, I thought we might not keep him for more than a year just based on how he played."

Sandelin was right. Faulk helped Minnesota-Duluth win the 2011 NCAA Championship, then moved on to the NHL, where he was named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team in 2012. He was a U.S. Olympian in 2014 and NHL All-Star in January. It's a pretty solid hockey resume for a 22-year-old, but Faulk would prefer to take age out of the equation.
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Quote of the Day

I look forward to the process, the battle, the pain, the fun, the journey.  It's going to be a long one but it's going to be a lot of fun. If you think there is no pain coming, there is pain coming.

— Mike Babcock, introduced as coach of the Toronto on Thursday, had a warning for fans