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Sabres rookie Eichel decides to wear No. 15

Friday, 07.10.2015 / 11:52 AM / News

Joe Yerdon - Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, will wear No. 15 when he's ready to make his NHL debut.

"I think if the opportunity presented itself to make the team and be a part of the Sabres next year, I'd be wearing No. 15," Eichel said Friday prior to a development camp scrimmage.

Eichel was given a No. 15 jersey when he was picked by the Sabres at the draft, but that number represented his draft year.

Sturm new coach, GM of German men's national team

Friday, 07.10.2015 / 11:03 AM / News

Marco Sturm, who played 14 seasons in the NHL primarily for the San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins, was named by the German Ice Hockey Association as coach and general manager of the men's national team, according to the International Ice Hockey Federation's website.

Sturm, who represented Germany as a player in the World Championship, World Cup and the Olympics, signed a two-year contract that will automatically be extended to 2018 if the country qualifies for the Olympics in PyeongChang. The tournament to decide the final qualifiers will be held in Latvia in September 2016.

Bruins sign defenseman Irwin to one-year contract

Friday, 07.10.2015 / 10:18 AM / NHL Free Agency 2015

BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, July 10, that the club has signed defenseman Matt Irwin to a one-year contract through the 2015-16 season worth an NHL cap figure of $800,000.

The 27-year-old Irwin skated in 53 games for the San Jose Sharks in 2014-15, registering eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points with a plus-three rating. In three seasons with San Jose, Irwin has competed in 153 NHL contests racking up 16-34=50 totals with 63 penalty minutes. The blueliner has 13 games of NHL postseason experience, playing 11 games in the 2013 playoffs and two games in the 2014 playoffs, where he has chipped in one goal and one assist.

Devils GM Shero in no rush to replace Conte: report

Friday, 07.10.2015 / 9:45 AM / News

Changes in the New Jersey Devils' front office continued Thursday when they parted ways with David Conte, who worked for the team for more than three decades and was its director of scouting for the past 22 years.

Devils general manager Ray Shero, who replaced Lou Lamoriello on May 4, told Tom Gulitti of The (Bergen) Record he has yet to begin the process of replacing Conte, but the search is expected to get underway soon.

Sabres name Andrew Allen goaltending coach

Friday, 07.10.2015 / 9:38 AM / News

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has hired Andrew Allen as its goaltending coach.

Allen will join the Sabres' coaching staff after spending the last four seasons as the developmental goaltending coach for the Chicago Blackhawks. In that role, Allen oversaw the development of goaltenders playing for the Blackhawks' AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. Prior to his time with the Blackhawks, Allen spent three seasons as goaltending coach for St. Lawrence University (ECAC).

Zykov could be latest King to fast-track to NHL

Friday, 07.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings prospect Valentin Zykov won't allow himself to think about the significant change that is about to happen in his hockey career.

By the end of summer he will go from the cold climes of the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League in Southern California.

Not only will Zykov change coasts, he will begin his professional career under the excitement of the Reign, who will play their inaugural season as the Kings' AHL affiliate.

Offseason top 200 fantasy hockey rankings fantasy insider Matt Cubeta reveals most valuable players

Matt Cubeta - Fantasy Insider

Whether it's Phil Kessel getting traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Brandon Saad being shipped to the Columbus Blue Jackets or T.J. Oshie being dealt to the Washington Capitals, we've seen some impactful trades this offseason that could change the fantasy landscape for the 2015-16 season.

We've also seen our share of players changing addresses in free agency. Players including Mike Green and Justin Williams have new homes and could see a spike in fantasy value.

With these changes, fantasy owners are likely salivating at the chance to start preparing for draft season in September. To help you prepare, it's time for my offseason top 200 fantasy hockey rankings.

These rankings have been built on what I have learned following several free agency signings and trades this summer. As training camps draw closer and more moves take place, these rankings will be updated, including position-by-position rankings and breakdowns.

These rankings should be viewed as my projections of the NHL's most valuable fantasy players based on expectations for this season. Factors taken into account include position eligibility, line combinations, category coverage and statistical performance from previous seasons.

Undrafted Appleby aims to get noticed at Blues camp

Friday, 07.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- It's not often the player who gets to stare down Connor McDavid comes away from the competition and can claim they got the best of the Edmonton Oilers phenom.

Goalie Ken Appleby is an exception.

Appleby not only helped the Oshawa Generals win the Memorial Cup last season, making 37 saves in a 2-1 overtime victory against the Western Hockey League's Kelowna Rockets in the championship game, he was able to look McDavid and the Erie Otters in the eye and win the Ontario Hockey League's Robertson Cup along the way.

It's been quite the ride for the 20-year-old North Bay, Ontario, native, who is participating in St. Louis Blues development camp this week.

Erne could fill void at power forward for Lightning

Friday, 07.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Corey Long - Correspondent

BRANDON, Fla. -- Adam Erne knows that his performance at Tampa Bay Lightning development camp likely won't earn him a spot in the lineup this season, but the No. 33 pick at the 2013 NHL Draft hopes he gave the Lightning staff something to think about.

The Lightning appear set at forward. Last week, they signed free agent wing Erik Condra to a three-year contract and extended a qualifying offer to center Vladislav Namestnikov, moves that seemingly fill out Tampa Bay's bottom-six group for the 2015-16 season.

At 6-foot-1 and nearly 220 pounds, Erne is a true power forward. If the Lightning are looking for a physical presence as the season progresses, Erne has a big body that is tough to move.

"They have a lot of skilled guys on the team, great skaters," the 20-year-old left wing said. "And from me they are looking for a guy that's bigger and can play that power-forward role. I'm continuing to work hard to be that guy, and it's a process."

Matthew Gaudreau, Johnny's brother, at Devils camp

Thursday, 07.09.2015 / 10:06 PM / News

Matthew Gaudreau, younger brother of Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau, will participate in New Jersey Devils development camp next week.

Matthew, a forward from Carneys Point, N.J., completed his sophomore season at Boston College, where Johnny won the Hobey Baker Award in 2014.

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Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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