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Red Wings agree to terms with Joe Hicketts

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 4:24 PM / News

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that they have agreed to terms with defenseman Joe Hicketts on a three-year, entry-level contract. In accordance with club policy, additional details will not be disclosed.

Hicketts, 18, signs his first NHL contract after attending Detroit’s development camp in July and playing for the club last week at the 2014 NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich. In 2013-14, Hicketts skated in 36 games for the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals, ranking second among the team’s defensemen with 24 points (6-18-24) despite missing nearly half the season due to injury. The 5-foot-8, 186-lb., blueliner has played 103 WHL games for the Royals since 2012-13, totaling 48 points (12-36-48), a plus-14 rating and 57 penalty minutes over two seasons. He has also appeared in 13 playoff games for the club, registering three assists and 11 penalty minutes.


Flames' Elson feels right at home in Hockeyville

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 3:03 PM / Kraft Hockeyville 2014

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

SYLVAN LAKE, Alberta -- It's as close to home-ice advantage as Turner Elson could ask for.

The 22-year-old Calgary Flames prospect is vying for an opportunity to earn a roster spot out of training camp and will take another toward that goal when he gets into his first preseason game, against the Arizona Coyotes at the 2014 Kraft Hockeyville game here Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, NHL Network).

And that suits the former Red Deer Rebels captain just fine.

"It's an absolute hockey city," said Elson, who spent four seasons just 15 minutes up the road playing for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League, and grew up less than a two-hour drive north in St. Albert. "Both Sylvan [Lake] and Red Deer, there are just hockey fans all over the place. It's going to be a big night. There's going to be a lot of loud fans for the Calgary Flames [Wednesday]. It's going to be great.

"You can tell the atmosphere here. They're waiting to see us play and the Coyotes. That's a big step for us. We’re going to have to make sure we're going to give the fans what they want."


Coyotes' Gagner still remembered by fans in Alberta

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 2:50 PM / Kraft Hockeyville 2014

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

SYLVAN LAKE, Alberta -- One of the quirks of this town being equidistant between two NHL franchises is it becomes a bit of a battleground for fan allegiances.

When the Calgary Flames arrived in Sylvan Lake for the morning skate Wednesday in advance of a preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes as part of Kraft Hockeyville, there were plenty of Edmonton Oilers jerseys in the crowd.

Some of those Oilers fans were happy to see someone they have cheered for when the Coyotes arrived. Sam Gagner spent the past seven seasons with Edmonton before landing with the Coyotes after being traded twice in a span of hours, first to the Tampa Bay Lightning and then to Arizona.

"I saw a few Oilers jerseys but didn't see the backs of them," Gagner said when asked if he saw any of his jerseys in the crowd. "I got a few 'miss you's,' so it was nice to hear from Oilers fans but I'm excited about my next chapter."


Kraft Hockeyville holds special place for participants

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 2:44 PM / Kraft Hockeyville 2014

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

SYLVAN LAKE, Alberta -- This small resort town in the middle of Alberta is almost perfectly placed between Edmonton and Calgary, and several NHL players past and present have spent their summers here.

One of them is Calgary Flames forward Curtis Glencross, who has had a home on the lake and spent time skating at the Sylvan Lake Arena and the Multiplex next door. He'll see a lot of familiar faces in the crowd Wednesday when the Flames play the Arizona Coyotes in a preseason game as part of Kraft Hockeyville (7 p.m. ET, NHL Network).

"I've got a place on the water here," Glencross said. "I haven't used it much the past couple summers but I let my parents move in this past spring. They're full-time residents now. It seems like it is better that way. I get to come and use it and don't have to do any yard work or stuff like that.

"It's going to be fun and exciting. It will be a small, close arena and there's going to be lots of kids here, lots of friends. It will definitely be great to play in a small barn and get back to the grassroots."


All-American Prospects Game breeds competition

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 1:57 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

BUFFALO -- The last time two college freshmen were selected among the top five in the first round of the NHL draft in their first year of draft eligibility occurred nine years ago when Jonathan Toews and Phil Kessel went off the board.

Toews, after his first season at the University of North Dakota, went to the Chicago Blackhawks with the third pick. Kessel (University of Minnesota) was selected fifth by the Boston Bruins.

The odds of it happening again at the 2015 NHL Draft are pretty good, as Boston University center Jack Eichel and Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin are set to play prominent roles for their respective teams this season while in the crosshairs of NHL scouts.


NHL celebrates start of 2014-15 season with 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off event in Toronto

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 9:00 AM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

TORONTO / NEW YORK -- On Wednesday, Oct. 8, the National Hockey League (NHL®) will celebrate the start of the 2014-15 regular season with the 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off, a free hockey and music festival and viewing party at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto. Fans are invited to join the NHL and its partners beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET.

"For hockey fans, the first day of the NHL season is incredibly exciting. It's a fresh start for all 30 teams and the anticipation, possibilities, and intense rivalries begin the moment the puck drops," said Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer. "The 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off is a great way for the NHL and our partners to be a part of this excitement, celebrating with our fans in the heart of Toronto and all over the world."


Better start, puck possession keys for Blue Jackets

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Craig Merz - Correspondent continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

The Columbus Blue Jackets feel they've turned the corner as a franchise following their second Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance in 13 seasons.

Even though the Blue Jackets were beaten in six games by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference First Round, the excitement generated in April, including winning twice in overtime, has resulted in season ticket sales surpassing 10,000 for the first time since 2009-10.

Defenseman Dalton Prout said the enthusiasm in Columbus is palpable.


Blue Jackets energized to build off successful season

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Craig Merz - Correspondent continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

The 2014-15 season can't start soon enough for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Fueled by a rare Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance in which they pushed the Pittsburgh Penguins to six games in the Eastern Conference First Round while captivating Ohio's capital city, the Blue Jackets are eager to show last season was not a fluke.

"The playoffs in the past have been the exception," center Mark Letestu said. "We're trying to make that the rule here. The playoffs are the starting point. The expectations are to compete for a Stanley Cup now. Maybe that's what's changed. Maybe in the past it's been a little more unrealistic than it is now.

"We have a lot of good players, some great players. Everybody fits well. It's a good group. There's a real opportunity to make something special happen here."


Flyers mean business heading into new season

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Craig Berube took over as coach of the Philadelphia Flyers three games into last season, giving him ample time to get his team playing the way he believes they need to play to be successful.

However, there's nothing like having a full training camp.

"It's really important," Berube said. "That's where the consistency really is going to come in, through camp and us instilling what we want to do. It started in the summertime. There was a real focus on the off-ice conditioning and what kind of shape you have to be in to be a Flyer and what we're looking for. That's a high standard. We really held it high this year. I think it's really important that they're coming into camp in great shape. And we're really working and competing and getting our guys to where they need to get to at the start of the season. That's very important.


Blue Jackets' Bobrovsky: Team success comes first

Wednesday, 09.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky certainly has a special place for the Vezina Trophy he won in 2013. However, it's helping the Blue Jackets reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season for the second time in franchise history that resonates with him.

"Most important is team success," Bobrovsky said. "Of course it's really good to win the Vezina, to have the honor of being the best goalie in the NHL. It's a great feeling. But what makes you feel really good is team success. And that is an all-around feeling; everyone feels good, feels proud about the team success."

Bobrovsky was a big reason for the Blue Jackets' success last season. In 58 games he went 32-20-5 with a 2.38 goals-against average, a save percentage of .923 and five shutouts. The Blue Jackets finished as the first wild-card team in the Eastern Conference and drew the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round.

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Quote of the Day

I've been so fortunate, blessed, to play a long time with some great players and be on power plays, play in some great cities and stuff. It's been fun.

— Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla on tying Dino Ciccarelli for 46th place on the NHL's all-time list with his 1,200th career point after their win vs. the Predators on Friday