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Around the League notebook for Sunday, Feb. 15

Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 11:40 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

BLUES, BLACKHAWKS EARN 2-1 SHOOTOUT VICTORIES

The St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks maintained their Central Division standings positions with 2-1 shootout wins against the Florida Panthers and the Pittsburgh Penguins, respectively.

* Brian Elliott made 40 saves through 65 minutes and stopped four of five shooters in the shootout to defeat the Panthers and lead the Blues to their third straight win. The Blues improved to 37-15-4 (78 points) and moved within four points of the idle Nashville Predators, who lead the Central Division with a League-best record of 38-12-6 (82 points). St. Louis is 7-1-0 in its past eight road games and 15-2-1 in their past 18 games overall.

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Former NHL defenseman Montador dies

Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 8:53 PM / News

NHL.com Staff

Steve Montador, a defenseman who played 571 games in 10 NHL seasons, died Sunday. He was 35 years old.

Montador, who was undrafted after playing five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, signed with the Calgary Flames in April 2000. He won the Calder Cup with the Saint John Flames in his rookie season in the American Hockey League.

Montador had 33 goals, 131 points and 807 penalty minutes in 571 NHL games. He played for the Flames, the Florida Panthers, the Anaheim Ducks, the Boston Bruins, the Buffalo Sabres and the Chicago Blackhawks during his career.

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Predators add Franson, Santorelli for playoff push

Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 8:11 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Robby Stanley - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators have never gotten past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They want to change that this year.

The Predators, who lead the overall NHL standings entering the final third of the season, acquired defenseman Cody Franson and forward Mike Santorelli from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday for forward Olli Jokinen, forward prospect Brendan Leipsic and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

It's a return to Nashville for both players. Franson was drafted by the Predators in the third round (No. 78) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Santorelli was selected by the Predators in the sixth round (No. 178) a year earlier.

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Trade with Predators could signal Maple Leafs rebuild

Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 1:52 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO – By trading veterans Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli the Toronto Maple Leafs may have indicated they're willing to commence on a full-scale rebuild, and it could take a while.

The Maple Leafs traded Franson, 27, and Santorelli, 29, to the Nashville Predators on Sunday for Nashville's first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft along with forwards Brendan Leipsic and Olli Jokinen. Franson and Santorelli are both impending unrestricted free agents.

Toronto general manager Dave Nonis was asked if the trade is the first of many to come before the March 2 deadline. He said not necessarily.

"We're going to make moves whenever they come about if we feel they can help us," Nonis said. "Whether or not there are a lot more between now and the deadline I really couldn't say. It's not like we're trying to move out our whole roster. If there are deals that will help us move the team forward we will look to do that. In this case we're talking about two players that are unrestricted and we couldn't risk not getting something for them. If we couldn't re-sign them it was important we got some assets back for them."

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Rangers coach Vigneault earns career win No. 500

Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 12:37 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Alain Vigneault stepped behind the Montreal Canadiens bench on Oct. 1, 1997 feeling ready, if a bit green. He was 36 years old, the second youngest coach in Canadiens history behind Claude Ruel.

Vigneault was coaching his first NHL game.

"I was a little French Quebecer getting an opportunity to coach the team from his province," Vigneault told NHL.com on Friday. "I knew the history that was there with the Habs, so I just felt so honored and privileged."

The Canadiens tied the Ottawa Senators 2-2 in Vigneault's NHL coaching debut. They defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 three nights later to give him his first win.

On Saturday, Vigneault became the 21st coach in NHL history to win 500 games when his New York Rangers defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-1 at Gila River Arena.

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Predators add Franson, Santorelli from Maple Leafs

Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 11:48 AM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

NHL.com

The Nashville Predators have acquired defenseman Cody Franson and forward Mike Santorelli from theToronto Maple Leafs for a 2015 first-round pick, veteran forward Olli Jokinen and prospect Brendan Leipsic.

Nashville has missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs each of the past two seasons, but leads the Western Conference with 82 points in Peter Laviolette's first year as coach.

"In preparation for the 2015 playoff run, our goal was to add a veteran defenseman who could play in all situations and a proven forward who could move up and down lineup based on the situation," general manager David Poile said in a statement. "We were fortunate to do this in the same transaction with players who are in the prime of their careers more than two weeks before the [NHL] Trade Deadline in order to give them more time to contribute and jell with their teammates.

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Around the League notebook for Saturday, Feb. 14

Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 10:28 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEW ADDITIONS LIFT JETS TO WIN IN MOTOWN . . .

Drew Stafford scored in regulation and added the decisive goal in the fourth round of the shootout to help the Jets end a five-game road skid (0-4-1) and improve to 3-1-2 in their past six games.

* At 29-19-10 (68 points), the Jets continue to occupy the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. They also climbed within three points of the idle Chicago Blackhawks (34-18-4, 72 points) for third place in the Central Division. Chicago, however, holds two games in hand and owns the ROW tiebreaker (CHI: 28, WPG: 24).

* Stafford and Tyler Myers (0-2—2) each found the scoresheet for the first time in a Jets uniform. Stafford's shootout tally was his fifth career game-deciding goal while Myers posted his second multi-point performance of the season (also Nov. 18 vs. SJS w/ BUF).

* Bryan Little (0-2—2) and Andrew Ladd (1-0—1) each found the scoresheet; they share the team lead with 21-25—46 and 19-27—46, respectively.

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New-look Sabres set to start latest stage of rebuild

Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres are about to start another chapter of their rebuild Sunday when they host the Philadelphia Flyers (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

On Wednesday, the Sabres traded defenseman Tyler Myers and forward Drew Stafford, along with two prospects and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, to the Winnipeg Jets for defenseman Zach Bogosian and forward Evander Kane. The Sabres also traded goalie Jhonas Enroth to the Dallas Stars for goalie Anders Lindback and a conditional third-round pick in the 2015 draft.

"It's where we've been probably the past two or three years having a lot of new faces in there," Sabres defenseman Mike Weber said. "It's good to meet Zach. He's a nice addition, very welcomed here. He plays the game hard, plays the right way. Obviously the trade part of it, it's tough to see talented, skilled, good people go, but you bring in a guy like Zach and he fits in well with the direction we want this team to go in being harder to play against."

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Sunday Long Read: Adult league thrives in San Jose

Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SAN JOSE -- Chuck Kosowicz grew up, like many people in Toronto, as a hockey player.

When Kosowicz, 55, came to Northern California 15 years ago for a job with Cisco Systems, he brought his hockey equipment with the hopes of finding a place to skate and a few people with similar interests.

What Kosowicz found is one of the largest organized hockey programs in North America.

"I was just hoping that I could find a place to play," Kosowicz said. "I was crossing my fingers that I could play. I found out there was hockey here and I could play and it was wonderful. I am very happy about that.

"I've probably played more hockey here than I ever had before."

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Stars forward Seguin (knee) could miss 3-6 weeks

Saturday, 02.14.2015 / 2:56 PM / News

NHL.com

Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin has a knee injury and could miss 3-6 weeks, according to the Dallas Stars Inside Edge website.

The Stars announced Saturday that Seguin and forward Patrick Eaves were placed on injured reserve following injuries sustained Friday in a 2-0 win against the Florida Panthers.

With a little less than seven minutes remaining in the third period of the game against the Florida Panthers, Seguin released a pass while entering the offensive zone and was upended by Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov.

Kulikov was assessed a five-minute major for clipping and a game misconduct. Seguin was helped to the locker room and did not return.

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Quote of the Day

That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4