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Stars' Eaves wins Smashfest charity table tennis title

Friday, 07.24.2015 / 12:53 PM / NHL Insider

Chris Stevenson - Correspondent

TORONTO -- When he was 7 years old, Dallas Stars forward Patrick Eaves broke his back playing in the yard.

Around that time, his father, former NHL forward Mike Eaves, bought a table tennis machine for the basement. It helped with Patrick's recovery.

"I just learned by myself in the basement with the machine," Patrick said. "It's kind of a weird story, a funky story."

Eaves' considerable table tennis skills were on display Thursday when he won the title at Smashfest IV, a charity event organized by New York Rangers forward Dominic Moore. The event featured about 30 NHL players who played in a pro-am format and then squared off against each other for the Smashfest championship.

Winning the event and the bragging rights that go with it is a big deal among the players. Table tennis has become a daily activity in dressing rooms around the League.

Devils name Tom Fitzgerald assistant general manager

Friday, 07.24.2015 / 12:43 PM / News

Newark, NJ – The New Jersey Devils today named Tom Fitzgerald to the position of Assistant General Manager. The announcement was made by Devils' General Manager Ray Shero.

"Tom Fitzgerald has extensive experience as both a player and now in hockey operations, having served in several significant roles over the past eight seasons," said Shero. "He is well-respected throughout the league, and I feel that he is an ideal fit for our team. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Pittsburgh Penguins for their cooperation in allowing Tom to join our organization."

Lou Lamoriello thanks Devils fans in newspaper ad

Friday, 07.24.2015 / 9:44 AM / News

Lou Lamoriello wasn't about to begin his new venture as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs without thanking the fans of the New Jersey Devils.

Lamoriello resigned as president of the Devils on Thursday to become the 16th general manager of the Maple Leafs. Lamoriello worked in New Jersey for 28 years and won the Stanley Cup three times.

Less than 24 hours after being announced as GM of the Maple Leafs, Lamoriello took out a full-page advertisement in the sports sections of The Record and The Star-Ledger on Friday to thank Devils fans.

Lamoriello won't be replaced as Devils president

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 10:34 PM / News

David Satriano - Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils won't look for a new president after Lou Lamoriello resigned from that position Thursday to become general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"We don't really feel the need for a president, and we are very excited about our dialogue with [general manager] Ray [Shero] and moving forward," co-owner Josh Harris said.

Lamoriello, who turns 73 in October, was New Jersey president and general manager since 1987. He was replaced as GM in May when the Devils hired Shero. Lamoriello remained president until Thursday.

"When you're used to having absolute control of an organization. … Lou was obviously president and Ray was GM, and I think it was just a different situation for him," Harris said. "I think it's relatively easy to see why he might consider a great team like Toronto as an opportunity.

"Very recently, we found out that Lou as a personal matter, it wasn't working for him, and so this all came at us very quickly. The last 48 hours have been .. we've all had to do a lot of work getting ready for today."

Canadiens' Gallagher expects Pacioretty back quickly

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 10:27 PM / News

Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher said Wednesday he expects teammate Max Pacioretty to recover quickly from his offseason knee injury.

"He's got a history of being a pretty quick healer, so I expect him back pretty soon," Gallagher told TSN Radio 1040 in Vancouver, according to the Montreal Gazette.

Pacioretty injured his knee during an off-ice workout July 9, and the Canadiens said his recovery was expected to take 12 weeks. Montreal opens its season at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 7, a few days past that 12-week timetable.

Blackhawks owner sees statues for Toews, Kane

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 10:20 PM / News

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane could someday join Michael Jordan, Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull with statues outside United Center, Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz told the Chicago Tribune editorial board Thursday.

"In the long run, we'll see if we get a couple of more statues,” Wirtz said while discussing the $84 million contract extensions for Kane and Toews that begin this season. “I think that they're quality individuals. They're never satisfied. They're great leaders, and I think they're terrific for the city. As the eight-year contracts go on, I think we'll see they're worth every penny."

Rested Kings ready to resume quest for Cup

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 9:25 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- A longer than usual offseason led to some significant changes for the Los Angeles Kings and players eager to get back to chasing the Stanley Cup.

"I think everyone's really excited to get the year going," defenseman Alec Martinez said at a community event Thursday. "This has obviously been a really long summer, way too long. This was actually the first time in my career that I've ever had this long of a summer. That's frustrating, but you can look at it as an opportunity for some of us to heal up a little bit."

The Kings played 64 playoff games the previous three seasons, winning the Stanley Cup twice. This season, their final game was April 11, missing a Western Conference playoff berth by two points.

"I think [captain Dustin Brown] touched on it, the past three or four years, basically when we're done in mid-June, you can't start training until maybe the beginning of July, mid-July," Martinez said. "You're just using those two months to just kind of catch up and get back to square one. This is … an opportunity to not just get back to square one but to build on some things. Get stronger, faster, healthier for some guys. I think it's been good so far."

Kings host Special Olympics World Games athletes

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 8:51 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Tyler Toffoli, Alec Martinez and Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings spent Thursday afternoon welcoming athletes for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.

The event had a loose, fun feel to it, much like the players' interactions with coach Darryl Sutter's son Chris, who has competed in the Special Olympics and is such a part of the Kings that he is in the team photo from their 2013-14 Stanley Cup season.

"We see Chris around all the time, and he's basically one of the guys on the team," Toffoli said. "He comes in here and makes us laugh. We know how Chris is. He's incredible, and for us to give back and help out here with the Special Olympics and show off our facility, it was a good experience."

The Special Olympics World Games, which begin Saturday, will feature 6,500 intellectually disabled athletes from 165 countries competing in 25 sports in venues across Los Angeles, which is hosting the international competition for the first time since 1972.

Analysis: Lamoriello must fit Maple Leafs' structure

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 5:42 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Two of the people who know Lou Lamoriello the best feel his move from the New Jersey Devils to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday makes sense and is the perfect fit.

Former Devils coach Larry Robinson said the Maple Leafs should feel excellent about bringing Lamoriello on board because a person with his experience is exactly what they needed.

"I think that Toronto hit the jackpot," Robinson said.

Former Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko mentioned how the Maple Leafs need structure, discipline and accountability, three things Lamoriello prided himself on for 28 years as New Jersey's general manager and president.

"It's probably the only team right now that I believe is the right fit for Lou if he wants to keep doing it, to still have a lot of input in hockey decisions," Daneyko said. "It's the right fit for the Leafs for what they're trying to accomplish in changing the whole culture there. Just thinking about it when I heard the news, it was like, 'That's the team that needs that kind of presence.'"

History helps Shanahan, Maple Leafs land Lamoriello

Thursday, 07.23.2015 / 5:25 PM / NHL Insider

Chris Stevenson - Correspondent

TORONTO -- Brendan Shanahan has received credit for his dogged pursuit of the people he wants helping him rebuild the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Coach Mike Babcock, wooed and won in May, and now general manager Lou Lamoriello, introduced on Thursday, mentioned how determined and convincing the Maple Leafs president can be.

"When you're the youngest of four Irish boys at the dinner table your whole life," Shanahan said, "you learn how to fight for the last potato."

The reunion of Shanahan and Lamoriello with the Maple Leafs continues a close personal relationship that started 28 years ago. Lamoriello was in his first year as general manager of the New Jersey Devils when they selected Shanahan with the second pick of the 1987 NHL Draft.

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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