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Grzelcyk using last year's cut as added motivation

Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 11:24 AM / 2014 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

MINNEAPOLIS -- The last thing United States National Junior Team general manager Jim Johannson told Matthew Grzelcyk before informing the young defenseman he would be the final cut prior to the start of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship was that he would get another shot this year.

At the time, it wasn't exactly what Grzelcyk wanted to hear. Particularly since he would now have to board a plane in Ufa, Russia, to make the long journey back to the United States.

"When you try out for a team, you want to make it, but seeing the guys they had last year didn't make it too disappointing," Grzelcyk told NHL.com. "But just to be invited to the camp was an honor in itself. It was tough to get that news kind of late, but what can you do. They won gold, so that was awesome to see those guys celebrating in the end.

"A lot of them are my best friends; I was so happy for them."


Daily Primer Dec. 17: Can Wild end Canucks' streak?

Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider


The Vancouver Canucks are on a roll. On Tuesday night, they'll be put to the test at the start of a three-game road trip.

The Canucks, who have won seven in a row, will visit the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center (8 p.m. ET, SNET-P, FS-N). The Wild are 13-3-2 at home this season and will play their only game in Minnesota over an eight-game stretch that takes them through the holiday break.


Blues' Schwartz plays big man's game in small body

Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- The NHL has developed a reputation as being a big man's league, and not just in the sense of its players' physical frames but by their backing it up with big play on the ice.

For St. Louis Blues left wing Jaden Schwartz, being told he's too small is nothing new.

Listed at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, Schwartz may be smaller in stature, but he's not afraid to play a big man's game, as Blues coach Ken Hitchcock likes to say.

Schwartz, who played at Colorado College for two seasons, has burst onto the scene for the Blues this season, particularly at the offensive end. Taken by the Blues with the 14th pick at the 2010 NHL Draft, Schwartz has eight goals and 14 assists through 31 games this season, his first full one in the NHL.


Canada willing to wait for suspended Reinhart

Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 3:00 AM / In the Pipeline

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

TORONTO – Canadian national junior team coach Brent Sutter has absolute trust in Griffin Reinhart.

How far does that trust go? Far enough that he is comfortable playing a bit shorthanded on the blue line for the first three games of the upcoming World Junior Championship tournament, which begins Dec. 26 in Malmo, Sweden.

Reinhart, the star defenseman for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League, must serve the final three games of a four-game suspension delivered at last year's World Junior Championship for a high-sticking infraction committed against American forward Vincent Trocheck in the final preliminary game. Reinhart missed the semifinal, which Canada lost, and now must still serve the remainder of his ban.


Five Questions: Hawks' Quenneville in a good place

Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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

The latest edition features Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville:

Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville can take sole possession of fourth place on the NHL's all-time coaching wins list with a victory Tuesday against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

Quenneville is tied with Pat Quinn for fourth with 684 wins. He is eight shy of tying Dick Irvin for third place and 98 away from Al Arbour, who is in second place.


Blues' Backes leaves game vs. Senators with injury

Monday, 12.16.2013 / 9:40 PM / News

Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- St. Louis Blues captain David Backes left the game against the Ottawa Senators on Monday during the second period with an upper-body injury.

Backes skated slowly off the ice and went to the dressing room with 2:49 left in the second after he collided with Ottawa's Colin Greening on an open-ice hit. He did not return.


Oilers' Potter suspended two games for boarding

Monday, 12.16.2013 / 5:58 PM / Department of Player Safety News


NEW YORK -- Edmonton Oilers defenseman Corey Potter has been suspended for two games, without pay, for boarding Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Bonino during NHL Game No. 504 in Anaheim on Sunday, Dec. 15, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 5:40 of the second period. Potter was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for checking from behind.

Based on his average annual salary, Potter will forfeit $7,948.72. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

For a full explanation of the decision, complete with video, please click on the following link: http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=60&id=512881&lang=en.


Bruins' Thornton plans to appeal 15-game suspension

Monday, 12.16.2013 / 5:09 PM / News


Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton has notified the NHL of his intention to appeal the 15-game suspension he was handed for an incident involving Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on Dec. 7.

Thornton, who was suspended by the League on Saturday afternoon, had a 4 p.m. deadline on Monday to file his appeal. The NHL Players' Association announced, through its Twitter feed Monday afternoon, the intent to appeal.

Under provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will hear the appeal during an in-person meeting. Thornton, if he so chooses, can appeal Bettman's ruling to a neutral arbitrator.


League, Red Wings Foundation lead park renovation


The NHL and the Detroit Red Wings Foundation on Monday unveiled extensive renovations and upgrades to Detroit's Clark Park Coalition recreation center as part of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Legacy Initiative.

With additional support from DTE Energy, Johnson Controls and York, the donation of resources and materials to Clark Park's outdoor rink was funded and spearheaded by the League and the Red Wings Foundation. The enhancements made to the Clark Park rink, the only regulation-size outdoor rink in the metropolitan Detroit area, included the donation of a Zamboni ice resurfacing machine to replace the facility's current 35-year-old machine. Other improvements include lighting upgrades at the rink and parking lot, an upgraded rink refrigeration system, snow removal equipment for its ice hockey and skating programs, a new ice surface and rink boards, new bicycle racks provided by Disenos Ornamental Iron and facelifts to its recycling program provided by CleanRiver and NHL Green.


Blackhawks activate Bickell from IR

Monday, 12.16.2013 / 1:28 PM / News


Bryan Bickell was activated from injured reserve Monday by the Chicago Blackhawks and the power forward likely will return to the lineup when the Blackhawks play the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

Bickell has been out since Nov. 16 with a lower-body injury. In 22 games prior to getting hurt, he had five goals and six points.

To make room on the roster the Blackhawks sent forward Jeremy Morin to their American Hockey League team, the Rockford IceHogs. In 15 games he had one goal and four assists.

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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