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Maple Leafs' Lupul fined $10,000 for cross-checking

Friday, 01.03.2014 / 2:43 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NEW YORKToronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul has been fined $10,000, the maximum permitted under the CBA, for cross-checking Detroit Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves in NHL Game No. 610 in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Wednesday, Jan. 1, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 11:04 of the first period. Lupul was assessed a minor penalty for cross-checking.

The fine money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.


Chaput working to get back to NHL

Friday, 01.03.2014 / 1:56 PM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to NHL.com

When the NHL comes knocking, any player in the American Hockey League must be prepared to answer the call. For second-year pro Michael Chaput of the Springfield Falcons, the feeling of making his NHL debut with the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this season is one he’ll never forget.

"I remember sitting in the locker room next to Mark Letestu and he was just telling me to play my game and things will go well,” Chaput said. “[The team’s veterans] are there to make sure you’re not too stressed out and that you’re confident when you go out there for your first few games."

A third-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2010 NHL Draft (No. 89), Chaput was acquired by the Blue Jackets in 2011 and was the MVP of the 2012 Memorial Cup, with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.


Panthers' Jovanovski expected back Saturday

Friday, 01.03.2014 / 1:56 PM / News

NHL.com Staff

The Florida Panthers expect to have captain Ed Jovanovski in the lineup for the first time this season when they host the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

The veteran defenseman has been out all season recovering from hip surgery.

"I am very excited to get back on the ice with my teammates on Saturday night," Jovanovski told the team's website. "I cannot thank our doctors and training staff enough for the countless hours they spent helping me rehab from my injury."

Jovanovski had surgery April 5. He played six games last season, none after March 16. He first was injured Jan. 29 against the Tampa Bay Lightning and missed 22 games. He returned for the one game in March against the New York Islanders, but his return lasted less than two periods.


Bylsma has identity in mind for U.S. Olympic team

Friday, 01.03.2014 / 1:24 PM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Now that the 25-man United States roster for the 2014 Sochi Olympics has been chosen and subsequently analyzed by media members and fans, the attention now turns to line combinations, defense pairings, roles within the team and the depth chart in net.

United States coach Dan Bylsma said Friday in a conference call that type of analysis began for him long ago and will continue in earnest until the team arrives in Russia.


Kane, Crosby and Hiller are December's 'Three Stars'

Friday, 01.03.2014 / 1:00 PM / News


NEW YORK – Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the month of December.


Kane earned "First Star" honors for the second consecutive month after posting a League-leading 16 assists, 23 points (tied) and +14 rating, helping the Blackhawks earn points in 11 of 14 games (8-3-3) to maintain first place in the Central Division (28-7-8, 64 points). He recorded at least one point in 13 of 14 outings, stretching his career-long point streak to 14 games (8-17—25) before being held off the scoresheet in the final contest of 2013. It marked Kane's second such stretch of 10 or more games this season (8-9—17 during 12-game point streak Nov. 3-27). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the first player to record multiple point streaks of 10 or more games in the same season since 2005-06, when Jaromir Jagr posted a pair of 12-game streaks. The 25-year-old Buffalo native and reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner has played in 43 games this season, ranking in the top five in the NHL in goals (3rd: 23), points (2nd: 53), power-play goals (3rd: 9) and game-winning goals (t-2nd: 6).


Sabres claim Konopka off waivers

Friday, 01.03.2014 / 12:30 PM / News


The Buffalo Sabres on Friday claimed center Zenon Konopka off waivers from the Minnesota Wild.

Regarded as one of the NHL's better faceoff men, Konopka has won 65.7 percent of his faceoffs, most in the League for players to have taken at least 200 faceoffs. He also has one goal, two points and 55 penalty minutes in 36 games.

A veteran of nine NHL seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators and Wild, the 33-year-old native of Niagara On the Lake, Ontario, has 12 goals, 29 points and 1,049 penalty minutes in 323 games.


Yzerman, Lidstrom head IIHF Hall inductees

Friday, 01.03.2014 / 11:13 AM / News

NHL.com Staff

Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom highlight a list of five players and one builder to be inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in May during the 2014 IIHF World Championship in Belarus.

In addition to Yzerman and Lidstrom, the IIHF will recognize players Vyacheslav Bykov, Andrei Khomutov, Ruslan Salei and builder Murray Costello. Dr. Mark Aubry will receive the Paul Loicq Award for his contributions to international hockey.

Yzerman spent his entire 23-year professional career with the Detroit Red Wings. He was 17 when he played his first IIHF tournament, the 1983 Under-20 event in Leningrad (St. Petersburg). A few months later he was drafted by the Red Wings and made the team at his first training camp that fall.


Analysis: Style over stats with Olympic goalies

Friday, 01.03.2014 / 9:45 AM / 2014 Olympics

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- As roster deadlines for the 2014 Sochi Olympics approach, the spotlight often shines brightest on the potential goalies.

In a tournament with little margin for error, every goal, questionable or not, allowed by the candidates is replayed and critiqued, every losing streak broken down and analyzed.

But what about how each goaltender plays? Should that be as important as the results he posts as the Jan. 7 deadline for rosters to be submitted approaches?

Perhaps yes.

With the 2014 Sochi Olympics being contested on the larger international ice surface, the style a goaltender plays may affect his ability to adjust to the different angles and reads on short notice.


Blue Jackets' MacKenzie to have hearing Friday

Friday, 01.03.2014 / 8:51 AM / Department of Player Safety News


Columbus Blue Jackets forward Derek MacKenzie will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety Friday afternoon for a hit on Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson Thursday night at Jobing.com Arena.

Ekman-Larsson left the game after being driven into the boards by MacKenzie. No penalty was called on the play, but MacKenzie was immediately engaged by Phoenix's Keith Yandle in a fight at 8:52 of the first period.

The Coyotes later announced that Ekman-Larsson would not return to the game with an upper-body injury.


Daily Primer Jan. 3: Penguins stars getting close

Friday, 01.03.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider


The Pittsburgh Penguins have been running away with the Metropolitan Division despite injuries that would have decimated most teams. As they prepare for their first game of 2014, two of their injured stars may be ready to play against the New York Rangers on Friday.

Defenseman Kris Letang, a Norris Trophy finalist last season, skated at practice Thursday and showed no ill effects from elbow surgery that has kept him out for three weeks. He said he may be ready to return. CenterEvgeni Malkin, who has missed eight games with a lower-body injury, has been skating since Dec. 27 and said after practice he might be ready to go.

Coach Dan Bylsma said he will decide after the morning skate.

The Rangers could see a familiar face wearing black and gold. The Penguins claimed forward Taylor Pyatt from the Rangers on waivers Thursday. He could take the place of Chris Conner, who will miss six-to-eight weeks with a hand injury that requires surgery.

Here’s a look at the games scheduled for Friday:

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It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery