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2014 NHL Draft
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Ten nominees announced for Hobey Baker Award

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 2:47 PM / News

NHL.com

The 10 nominees for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top NCAA men's hockey player, have been announced.

The list is compiled from balloting from all 59 Division I college hockey coaches and by an online fan ballot. The three finalists, or the "Hobey Hat Trick," will be voted on by a 27-member selection committee and a second round of fan balloting to be held March 20-30, and will be announced on April 2. Fans can vote here.

The winner of the Hobey Baker Award will be announced Friday, April 11 at 6 p.m. ET from Philadelphia, the site of this year's NCAA Frozen Four Championship.

Here are the 10 finalists:

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Lightning sign college free agent Kunyk

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 1:42 PM / News

NHL.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday signed free agent forward Cody Kunyk to a one-year, two-way NHL contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Kunyk, 23, skated in 37 games for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks this season, with 22 goals, 43 points, 22 penalty minutes and a plus-13 rating. The 5-foot-11, 197-pound forward led the Nanooks in goals, points, power-play goals (six) and shorthanded goals (two). Kunyk was named WCHA Player of the Year and to the first team All-WCHA team. He led the WCHA in scoring.

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Maple Leafs' Ranger released from hospital

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 12:03 PM / News

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Paul Ranger was released from the hospital Wednesday evening after being assessed following an injury sustained in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Ranger was taken off the ice on a stretcher late in the first period after being injured on a hit from behind. He was stable, conscious and alert at the hospital.

Ranger was boarded by Lightning forward Alex Killorn with 4.1 seconds remaining in the period. Ranger was motionless face down on the ice before being tended to by Maple Leafs trainers and medical personnel. His head was secured by a brace and he could be seen moving his legs while down.

Ranger and Killorn were pursuing the puck behind the goal line when they collided, with Ranger's head hitting the glass.

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In the Cage: A deeper look at this year's rookie class

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

As of Thursday, a total of 88 goaltenders have made at least one NHL appearance this season.

To put that number in perspective, it's the highest total since the 2011-12, 2008-09, and 2007-08 seasons, when 89 goalies appeared in an NHL game. But that doesn't trump the 2005-06 season, when a whopping total of 91 goalies were used.

Of this season's 88 goalies, 19 of them comprise the rookie class. Eddie Lack's shutout in a 2-0 win over Nashville on Wednesday pushed their record to 88-62-23, a solid .575 point percentage. The rookie class also has a cumulative .914 save percentage, stopping 4,690 of 5,133 total shots on goal.

Last season, the rookie class of 14 goalies went 32-32-7 with a .906 cumulative save percentage. In the 2011-12 season, 20 rookies combined for a 63-72-16 record with a .913 save percentage.

With so much emerging goalie talent being used so often this season, we wanted to provide you with a top-10 keeper league ranking. This will not only help you pinpoint some of the best long-term goalies to own in a keeper league, but it will show you just how deep the talent pool has become.

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Clinching scenarios: Idle Blues can secure berth

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 11:11 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

The St. Louis Blues (idle) would become the first team to clinch a berth in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs if the Dallas Stars lose in regulation to the Philadelphia Flyers AND the Phoenix Coyotes lose in any fashion to the Florida Panthers.

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Daily Primer March 20: Pacific powers square off

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

First place in the Pacific Division is on the line Thursday night.

The San Jose Sharks' 8-2-1 surge following the 2014 Sochi Olympics has coincided with a so-so 4-3-2 stretch by the Anaheim Ducks, meaning that the team that skates off the ice at SAP Center with the victory will go home with the top spot in the division. Each team has 97 points, but the Ducks have a game in hand.

History is on the Sharks' side: They have won the past four games between the teams in San Jose and are 12-4-1 against the Ducks at home since the start of 2008.

Here's a look at all of the action Thursday:

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Prospector Files: USHL draft-eligible All-Star team

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / Prospector Files

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The selection of right wing Michael McCarron of the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft marked the ninth straight year at least one player from the United States Hockey League was among the top 30 picks.

As it turned out, 32 players competing in the USHL in 2012-13 were chosen last June, the most players selected from the league in one year. There's no question the USHL has been churning out NHL-caliber athletes in recent years; a total of 94 USHL alumni competed in the League in 2012-13. More than 300 players on USHL rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools and more than 200 are currently under NHL contract.

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Sault Ste. Marie's McCann seeks consistency in game

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque reportedly changed his skate laces before every game and between each period.

Patrick Roy carefully laid out every piece of his equipment on the floor of the locker room before putting them on in a specific order, in addition to chatting up his goal posts during games. Joe Nieuwendyk apparently would sprinkle a bit of baby powder on his sticks before hitting the ice.

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds center Jared McCann, No. 11 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, has his own superstition.

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Minnesota headlines first Big Ten hockey tournament

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 1:23 AM / On Campus

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Other than the Minnesota Wild, who call the facility home, few teams at any level have played more games at Xcel Energy Center than the University of Minnesota.

The Gophers, the nation's top-ranked team, are 2-0 this season at the arena, which is located seven miles from campus this season and where they've played 33 times. Minnesota will headline the inaugural Big Ten Tournament beginning with first-round play Thursday afternoon in downtown St. Paul.

"It's been cool all season, playing in new rinks and against new teams," Gophers captain Nate Condon said. "It's setting the groundwork for what are going to be some really good rivalries and hopefully one of the best leagues in the country."

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Blackhawks forward Kane injured, out three weeks

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 12:45 AM / News

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane will be out at least three weeks and could miss the rest of the regular season after sustaining a lower-body injury during the second period of a 4-0 victory against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.

Kane's left leg was hit after teammate Sheldon Brookbank checked Blues forward Brenden Morrow to the ice along the boards. Morrow hit Kane's left leg and he fell awkwardly to the ice.

Kane's last shift ended with 7:21 remaining in the second period. He skated slowly to the bench then headed to the dressing room for examination. Kane assisted on a power-play goal by Duncan Keith, his 69th point of the season, with 54.4 seconds left in the first period of a 4-0 victory.

He skated slowly to the bench then headed to the dressing room for examination. Coach Joel Quenneville said Kane will miss at least three weeks, and when asked if he would play again this regular season replied, "We'll see."

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Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals