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Matthews seeking redemption for U.S. at 2016 WJC

Saturday, 08.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2016 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- When Ron Wilson watches center Auston Matthews on video, he sees a player already good enough for the NHL.

Wilson, coach of the U.S. National Junior Team, now looks forward to the opportunity of seeing the 17-year-old live and in person during the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center from Aug. 1-8. Matthews and 38 other players are auditioning for a chance to represent their country at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Finland from Dec. 26, 2015, through Jan. 5, 2016.

"He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL," Wilson said. "I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this."

Wilson sees size, skating ability in U.S. camp invitees

Saturday, 08.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2016 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Despite being one of the most heralded coaches in the history of USA Hockey, Ron Wilson has never once had an opportunity to visit the historic Lake Placid Olympic Training Center.

He'll get that chance as coach of the United States National Junior Team when he leads 39 invitees to USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp from Aug. 1-8 here at Lake Placid Olympic Center's 1980 Herb Brooks Arena.

The invitees will be auditioning for spots on the team that will represent the U.S. at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland, from Dec. 26, 2015, through Jan. 5, 2016.

"I've never been to Lake Placid, so I'm also looking forward to it," Wilson told "We'll be in the big building, and there's a lot of history there and everybody still talks about the 1980 Olympic team, so we're going to actually be able to live and breathe the same air those guys did, and that's a long time ago.

"That's going to be the fun part for me; that's the same building that Herb Brooks' team played in."

Canada starts U-18 selection camp for Hlinka Cup

Friday, 07.31.2015 / 9:57 PM / 2016 World Junior Championship

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

CALGARY -- With Canada's national men's summer under-18 team selection camp underway Friday, coach Stan Butler and his staff are looking to build a roster that will head to Bratislava, Slovakia and Breclav, Czech Republic from August 10-15 in search of an eighth straight gold medal finish at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.

"The biggest thing for us right now is to make sure as a group that we pick the right players," Butler said from WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. "It's a short-term competition and we don't have a lot of time for evaluation but once we make the evaluation, we don't have a lot of time for teaching either. Hopefully you pick the right guys and give them what they need to do and you hope the skill takes them the rest of the way."

Capitals' Johansson signs for one year, $3.75M

Friday, 07.31.2015 / 8:08 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Forward Marcus Johansson re-signed with the Washington Capitals on Friday, a one-year, $3.75 million contract.

Johansson had an arbitration hearing in Toronto on Wednesday, seeking a one-year, $4.75 million contract. The Capitals were offering a one-year, $3 million contract, according to The Washington Post.

Wrestler Piper owed plenty to Cup-winner Connor

Friday, 07.31.2015 / 7:30 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

Roderick Toombs, a professional wrestler known as "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, died Friday at his home in Hollywood, Calif. He was 61. This story originally ran on in October 2012.

In 1969, two tough 15-year-old Winnipeg boys got into a tussle. That's how it started.

Aspiring boxer Rod Toombs handled the larger Cam Connor, sparking an enduring friendship that has lasted more than four decades. It wasn't the last fight for either kid.

Connor eventually was a first-round pick of the NHL and the World Hockey Association. In a pro career that lasted 10 seasons, he won a Stanley Cup with the 1979 Montreal Canadiens and totaled more than 1,000 penalty minutes.

Toombs adopted the moniker "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and became a pro wrestling icon.

"I whupped him and we became friends," Piper told "He was the only friend from my childhood. I love him. He's the only guy I keep in touch with."

Galchenyuk eager to prove worth to Canadiens

Friday, 07.31.2015 / 1:02 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Kristen Nelson - Correspondent

Forward Alex Galchenyuk is ready to prove his worth to the Montreal Canadiens.

One day after the Canadiens announced they agreed to terms with Galchenyuk on a two-year contract, the 21-year-old said Friday the short-term deal was his idea and that he was willing to take it and prove he's worth a longer-term commitment.

"It's a simple as going out there on the ice and just prove myself to the team as much as I can and see what happens in two years," Galchenyuk said.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but reported the contract is worth $5.6 million, an average annual value of $2.8 million.

Voracek agrees to multiyear extension with Flyers

Thursday, 07.30.2015 / 8:58 PM / News

Sean McCullen - Staff Writer

Jakub Voracek and the Philadelphia Flyers agreed to a multiyear contract extension Thursday.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but TSN reports it is for eight years and $66 million, an average annual value of $8.25 million.

"Once the season ends, you start looking at your priorities, and clearly [signing Voracek to an extension] was our No. 1 priority," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said. "The Jake Voraceks of the world are few and far between, and he’s certainly not a player that we were willing to take the risk of losing."

Voracek, 25, is entering the final year of the contract he signed with the Flyers in July 2012.

"It’s a pleasure to be a part of the organization for hopefully, minimum, nine years, and hopefully we can get that silver Stanley Cup to Philly one day," Voracek said.

Blackhawks to build community training center

Thursday, 07.30.2015 / 3:04 PM / News

The Chicago Blackhawks announced Thursday they will build a 125,000-square-foot community training center for youth hockey development programs, recreational leagues and other events.

The training center, which will also serve as the practice facility for the Blackhawks and visiting NHL teams, will be located two blocks south of United Center. It is being designed to contain two NHL regulation-size ice rinks, spectator seating and a dedicated oasis parking lot to serve facility guests and buses.

Approximately 94 percent of the proposed facility's utilization will serve the surrounding community, including young adult, youth and community programs that may not have the means to play otherwise.

"Hockey's future is dictated by the ability of kids to get on the ice," Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz said. "For those in urban areas like Chicago, that's an incredible challenge. We want to provide our community the opportunity to learn how to skate and help them develop a love and passion for the sport that has brought so much joy to Chicago and the region these past few years."

Sutter, Canucks close to multiyear contract: report

Thursday, 07.30.2015 / 12:52 PM / News

Center Brandon Sutter is close to agreeing to a multiyear contract with the Vancouver Canucks, according to Sportsnet.

Sutter, who was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, could sign for as long as five years with an average annual value of roughly $4.4 million, Elliotte Friedman reported via Twitter. Sutter has one year remaining on his current contract, which has an AAV of $3.3 million, according to

Devils goalie Schneider takes BP with Red Sox

Wednesday, 07.29.2015 / 9:51 PM / News

New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider took batting practice at Fenway Park on Wednesday prior to the Boston Red Sox game against the Chicago White Sox.

"I've always said that this is one of my dreams, taking batting practice with the Red Sox," Schneider said.

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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
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