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Preseason standouts worth considering in fantasy

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 10:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Preseason performance should always be taken with a grain of salt as it pertains to fantasy hockey, but there's still a lot to take from these games as the regular season looms.

There's a feeling-out period where coaches tinker with line combinations, prospects are given a chance to push for roster spots and minor injury concerns cause players to miss games. However, fantasy owners can still use exhibition games to quantify sleeper picks and identify players worth adding off the waiver wire or drafting late.

Here are five players owned in 25 percent or fewer Yahoo leagues that have stepped up in the preseason and could emerge as fantasy-relevant players this season:

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NHL Face-Off party headlined by The Tragically Hip

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

The beginning of the NHL season is reason enough to throw a party.

And a party would be the best way to describe what will be happening Wednesday in downtown Toronto with the 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off, the fourth edition of a public viewing party and music festival marking the start of a new hockey season that aims to allow as many people as possible to experience the opening game of the 2014-15 season between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET, TVA SPORTS, SN).

Along with musical performances by Canadian iconic rock band The Tragically Hip and country music artist Tim Hicks, the event's centerpiece will be the public viewing of the game in Dundas Square.
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Trotz, Kesler among new faces in new places

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which begins Wednesday, Oct. 8.

Twenty-nine teams spent the offseason trying to determine a way to unseat the Los Angeles Kings, who won the Stanley Cup for the second time in the past three seasons. Some teams made major changes, others minor alterations.

Six teams have new coaches and general managers, one Hockey Hall of Fame member now working as a team executive and one future Hockey Hall of Fame member heading from the Eastern Conference back to the West.

Here's a look at 14 fresh faces, in no particular order, who will be expected to make an impact with their new teams this season:

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Five Q's: Oilers' MacTavish eager to see progress

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish:

The scrutiny and the losing haven't crushed the spirits of Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish. He has overcome challenges throughout his career, on and off the ice. He's optimistic he can do it again, but he's honest about his latest challenge too.

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Bruins' Rask could win second straight Vezina

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask obviously was thrilled when he walked up to the podium in Las Vegas in June to accept the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the top player at his position.

The 27-year-old won 36 games and led the Bruins to the Presidents' Trophy, one point ahead of the Anaheim Ducks atop the League standings. Rask played a career-high 58 games and had a 2.04 goals-against average, .930 save percentage and a League-best seven shutouts.

"It's a team game and you can't really win the trophy by yourself," Rask said. "By saying that, you really don't rob the whole season. You play good, but I don't consider myself that I robbed a lot of games. I like to give our team a chance to win but still a big part of it goes to the team, that's for sure."

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Rangers name defenseman McDonagh captain

Monday, 10.06.2014 / 8:43 PM / News

NHL.com

New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh has been named the 27th captain in franchise history, the team announced Monday.

McDonagh, 25, becomes the fourth-youngest captain in Rangers history, and the 11th defenseman in team history to be named captain. The Rangers are now the second franchise in NHL history to have three consecutive American-born captains (along with the Dallas Stars).

"Ryan McDonagh exemplifies what we want a New York Ranger to be," Rangers general manager Glen Sather said. "He has earned the respect of his teammates through his commitment to excellence, both on and off the ice, and the passion with which he plays on a consistent basis. He is the ideal choice to lead our team as its captain."

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Flames sign defenseman Diaz to one-year contract

Monday, 10.06.2014 / 7:29 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

The Calgary Flames signed defenseman Raphael Diaz to a one-year contract, the team announced Monday.

Diaz had been with the Flames on a tryout basis. He played 63 games last season between the Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers and had two goals and 13 assists.

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Johansen, Blue Jackets agree on three-year contract

Monday, 10.06.2014 / 5:25 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen used the phrase "move forward" six times in 10 minutes Monday at a press conference to announce the signing of center Ryan Johansen to a three-year, $12 million contract after protracted negotiations caused the center to miss the Sept. 18 start of training camp.

It was Kekalainen's way of trying to dampen the embers of the sometimes fiery talks between the Blue Jackets and Johansen's agent, Kurt Overhardt.

"I talked to [Johansen] briefly already and basically told him, 'Get your butt over here and let's get to work,'" Kekalainen said. "I wish this all could have been avoided but it was something necessary for us to go through to get the deal done. Now it's done and let's move forward."

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Hurricanes' Skinner diagnosed with concussion

Monday, 10.06.2014 / 5:02 PM / News

NHL.com

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner was diagnosed with a concussion Monday, one day after taking a hit from Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen in Carolina's 5-2 loss at Verizon Center.

"[Skinner] will continue to be monitored by our team doctors and go through proper protocols in the coming days," Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said in a statement.


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Panthers sign O'Brien to one-year contract

Monday, 10.06.2014 / 3:52 PM / News

FloridaPanthers.com

Florida Panthers Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has signed D Shane O'Brien to a one-year, two way contract.

O'Brien, 31, has played in 528 career National Hockey League games for Calgary (2013-2014), Colorado (2011-2013), Nashville (2010-11), Vancouver (2008-2010), Tampa Bay (2007-08) and Anaheim (2006-2007) scoring 13 goals with 78 assists and 911 penalty minutes. He has played in 40 post-season games, registering 5 points (2-3-5).

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Quote of the Day

My focus is always just to play as well as I can and do my job, no matter where the faceoff is.

— New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin on using his speed to his advantage
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