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Schultz, Oilers agree to terms on one-year contract

Friday, 08.29.2014 / 3:45 PM / News

NHL.com

The Edmonton Oilers believe that, for at least one more season, they've secured the services of a key component of their talented young core.

Restricted free-agent defenseman Justin Schultz agreed to terms with the Oilers on a one-year contract valued at $3.675 million, the team announced Friday.

"I think we are both pretty happy in getting it done, not having this drag on," Schultz told the Oilers website. "I'm happy with the contract. I obviously have to prove myself more to get a longer term. Hopefully I have a good year this year, the team does better and we'll get it done."

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Intricacies of NHL schedule important in fantasy

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Studying the NHL schedule is very important to any fantasy hockey owner. Fortunately, NHL.com will provide a weekly look at certain players who are entering a favorable stretch in their schedule. This NHL Fantasy All-Access column will spotlight the players who should be picked up or played for that week.

Now that the NHL features a balanced schedule that ensures all 30 teams will play in all 30 arenas at least once, knowing the schedule for your draft is more important than ever.

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Sharks lineup, roster full of question marks

Friday, 08.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

No team has had a more peculiar offseason than the San Jose Sharks.

The Sharks were one victory from defeating the eventual Stanley Cup champions in a Western Conference First Round series. They won the first three games in that series, and the ensuing collapse against the Los Angeles Kings was a stunning ending for a franchise branded by postseason failure in the past decade.

General manager Doug Wilson said the Sharks were a rebuilding team, but as the summer progressed little on the roster actually changed. Veteran defensemen Dan Boyle and Brad Stuart exited and no one was added to replace them, though defenseman-turned-forward Brent Burns will be moving back to his old position. There was no clear-cut starting goaltender at the end of the season, but both key figures are back.


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Captaincy, goaltending among Sharks' five questions

Friday, 08.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

After a painful offseason in the wake of their stunning first-round meltdown against the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the San Jose Sharks will try to regroup for 2014-15.

The Sharks, still in search of their first Stanley Cup championship, are no strangers to postseason disappointment. But they've never collapsed the way they did against the Kings last spring, when they dropped four straight after taking a 3-0 series lead. It was a historic loss which sent shockwaves throughout the organization.

Here are five key questions the Sharks face this season:

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Sharks hope Burns' return to defense goes smoothly

Friday, 08.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

When the San Jose Sharks moved Brent Burns from defense to right wing midway through the 2012-13 season, he provided instant offense and made the transition look easy.

Entering the 2014-15 season, the question is whether Burns can make the return trip to defense look just as smooth after a season and a half away from the blue line.

Brent Burns
Defense - SJS
GOALS: 22 | ASST: 26 | PTS: 48
SOG: 245 | +/-: 26
"We acquired him in a trade to be a stud defenseman," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. "To find a guy at that size who can shoot and skate that's played in this League and been an All-Star as a defenseman, we don't think there's going to be any issue there, and especially if you're working with [associate coach] Larry Robinson and [assistant coach] Jim Johnson.

"It's also something that Brent really wants to do. In my conversation with him, he views himself as a defenseman. Having that big body back there that can be creative and also shoot the puck like he does, we think will be a great asset to our team."


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Sharks' 'rebuilding' plan features familiar faces

Friday, 08.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

The psychological wounds from his team's historic collapse against the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs were still raw in late June when San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson held his annual press conference before the NHL Draft.

A few weeks after saying the Sharks needed to take "one step backwards to be in a position to go two steps forward," Wilson said they were fully committed to "rebuilding" and were braced for the "pain" that goes with that process. He said the Sharks "now become a tomorrow team," after making 10 straight trips to the postseason.

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Mueller, Doherty among Sharks' top 10 prospects

Friday, 08.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2014-15

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

If there's one thing San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic proved early in his career it's that there's always a spot reserved in the lineup if you're good enough to play.

That's the message Sharks coach Todd McLellan conveyed during the team's development camp last month. Vlasic was 19 in 2006 when he arrived at Sharks training camp one year after being drafted. He made the team and played 81 games en route to being named to the NHL All-Rookie Team.

There are a few young prospects along the Sharks' defense group hoping to follow a similar path this season, including 2013 first-round pick Mirco Mueller.

"It's a younger League now," McLellan said. "There's a lot of young players that are playing and being effective. We have to encourage that, and we are as an organization. But we also want players to be in a situation where they can grow and have some success, so [Mueller] and everybody else that may play here have to be able to maintain a standard of play that allows them to grow throughout the year."

The Sharks moved up two spots to No. 18 in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings at the 2013 NHL Draft to select Mueller. It cost the organization 2013 first- and second-round choices, all the proof needed in determining how much the organization values Mueller.

But he isn't the only defensive prospect sure to open some eyes in training camp in September.

Here's a look at the Sharks' top 10 prospects, according to NHL.com:

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Gomez invited to Devils training camp

Thursday, 08.28.2014 / 8:49 PM / News

NHL.com

Forward Scott Gomez will attend New Jersey Devils training camp on a tryout basis, the team said Thursday.

Gomez was New Jersey's first-round pick (No. 27) in the 1998 NHL Draft and was a member of the Devils' Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2000 and 2003 before signing a seven-year contract with the New York Rangers worth $51.5 million in 2007.

"There were other opportunities and I had some other offers on the other side of it, in TV and stuff like that, but no," Gomez told Northjersey.com on Wednesday. "I've still got a lot to prove. I still want to play."

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Flyers' White sidelined after pectoralis muscle injury

Thursday, 08.28.2014 / 4:56 PM / News

NHL.com

Philadelphia Flyers center Ryan White had surgery Wednesday to repair his left pectoralis muscle, the team announced Thursday.

According to a statement from Flyers general manager Ron Hextall, the injury occurred last week during an off-ice workout. There is no timetable for White's return.

White signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Flyers on Aug. 7. The 26-year-old had two goals and six points in 52 games with the Montreal Canadiens last season.

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Two Russian prospects adjust to North American life

Thursday, 08.28.2014 / 4:47 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

When Russia won its second IIHF World Championship in three years last May, the gold-medal squad featured some of the NHL's biggest names, including Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Bobrovsky.

But for the two youngest players on that roster, Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Worlds were the final victory before their careers, and effectively their lives, changed.

Two of the world's top hockey prospects, representing the future of Russian hockey, are now entering their first full seasons in North America, a crucial step in their respective careers.

"It's a totally different culture. It's obviously a big adjustment," Kuznetsov said. "The language barrier is the biggest thing."

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Quote of the Day

It's always a little bit weird, but it moves on. They've got a good team, and they played well tonight. I think that's just part of it.

— Peter Laviolette on facing his former team (Flyers) for the first time since his departure