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Bruins invite forward Leino to training camp

Friday, 09.05.2014 / 11:40 AM / News

NHL.com

Free agent forward Ville Leino has been invited to training camp with the Boston Bruins, general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed Friday.

Leino, 30, had 15 points (all assists) in 58 games with the Buffalo Sabres last season and was given a compliance buyout this summer. In 286 games with the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers and Sabres, Leino has 40 goals and 119 points in 286 games.

Chiarelli also told reporters the Bruins signed defenseman Steve Eminger to an American Hockey League contract and right wing Matt Fraser to a one-year, two-way contract.

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After trade talk, Hurricanes' Ward looks to regain form

Friday, 09.05.2014 / 11:20 AM / NHL Insider

Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward is not the player he once was. He knows it, and he's not afraid to talk about it. Bluntly.

"I know I've been inconsistent," Ward said. "Inconsistency at the goaltending position is something you can't afford. These last couple years, dealing with injuries and other issues ..."

Ward rethinks his point and continues.

"But excuses are for losers, so those don't do you any favors."

Ward is opting for straight talk these days. Often reticent about his shaky play in recent seasons, he now speaks with nothing-left-to-lose candor. One reason: Early in the summer, Ward learned that the Hurricanes were looking at trade options. In his first days on the job, general manager Ron Francis phoned Ward to let him know.

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Blues' Elliott confident he's ready to be No. 1 goalie

Friday, 09.05.2014 / 11:18 AM / News

NHL.com

Brian Elliott is obviously happy to know he'll enter training camp as the St. Louis Blues' No. 1 goaltender. But at 29 years old and heading into his eighth NHL season, he knows there's no reason to change anything about his preparation or approach.

"I don't think it's that much different than the past three years," Elliott told the team website Thursday. "I've always trained to be the No. 1 guy. You're selling yourself short if you don't. There's a big opportunity for me right now and I'm looking forward to the challenge. I think we're going to be a really good team and I want to be a big part of that."

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Perry, Ovechkin, Kane top fantasy right wing rankings

NHL.com's Pete Jensen ranks top 50 players at RW position

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

With the 2014-15 NHL season inching closer by the day, NHL.com has you covered with positional fantasy rankings. Based on Yahoo eligibility, projected lineups, past performance, injury history and each insider's opinion, Matt Cubeta (centers), Matt Sitkoff (left wings), Pete Jensen (right wings), Brian Metzer (defensemen) and Justin Goldman (goalies) bring you up to speed by identifying all the players worth targeting at each position in your upcoming drafts.


Expecting the unexpected comes with the territory in fantasy hockey. That is, unless you draft Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry.

Perry, who leads the fantasy right wing ranking for the third time in the past four seasons, is third in NHL.com's top 275 rankings for three reasons: his linemate, category coverage and durability.

The 29-year-old formed the best point pair League-wide last season with Ryan Getzlaf and finished among the League's top seven in goals, points, shots on goal and plus/minus. Perry also is no stranger to the penalty box, with his 50-goal, 104-penalty minute season in 2010-11 being a prime example of his production in that category. He has played in more than 96 percent of his team's games since 2006-07 and should be the first player on your list after Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos.

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Knights graduating class ready for next step

Friday, 09.05.2014 / 9:16 AM / Prospects

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

For nearly 50 years the London Knights have been a standard-bearer in Ontario junior hockey, grooming a list of future greats that includes Darryl Sittler, Brendan Shanahan, Rick Nash, Corey Perry and Patrick Kane. But none of those NHL stars accomplished in London what the most recent graduating class did with the Knights.

Playing for coach Dale Hunter, the most recent group enjoyed a three-year run that few squads can match, winning back-to-back Ontario Hockey League championships in 2012 and 2013 and participating in three consecutive Memorial Cup tournaments. Now the players constituting the core of that team are ready to make their mark against each other in the NHL.

"Our core group has been very close the last three years," said center Max Domi, who will attempt to make the Arizona Coyotes roster this fall. "We always talk about one day playing against each other in the big leagues. But there's still a lot of work to do."

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Top 14 defensemen excel at both ends of the ice

Friday, 09.05.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's Top 14 in '14-15

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

Who are the best 14 players in the NHL at each position as teams prepare for the start of the 2014-15 season? Arpon Basu, Brian Compton, Corey Masisak and Dan Rosen have cast their votes and the result is NHL.com's "Top 14 for '14-15" project. Each first-place vote is worth 14 points, each second-place vote is worth 13, continuing in descending order to each 14th-place vote being worth one. There are two tiebreakers. First, which player appeared on more ballots? Second, which player had the highest individual ranking? If the voting was exactly the same for each player, it was declared a tie. Does NHL.com's list match your rankings for the best players in the League entering the 2014-15 campaign?

The value of defensemen has long been the most difficult to assess properly because much of what a good defenseman does is not easily translated into statistics.

While that still remains largely true today, the new world of advanced statistics has allowed certain defensemen who specialize in facing the opposing team's best players and making sure the puck spends as little time as possible in their own zone to get the recognition they deserve.

On the flip side, these new metrics have also exposed what has long been known as the "stay-at-home" defenseman as simply being a player that spends an inordinate amount of time defending while the opposing team plays with the puck.
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Penguins sign forward Carcillo to tryout contract

Thursday, 09.04.2014 / 10:52 PM / News

NHL.com

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Daniel Carcillo to a professional tryout contract, the team announced Thursday.

Carcillo, 29, broke into the professional ranks with the Penguins organization after being chosen by Pittsburgh in the third round (No. 73) of the 2003 NHL Draft. He played two seasons (2005-07) with the Penguins' American Hockey League affiliate, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and had 54 points (32 goals, 22 assists) and 494 penalty minutes in 103 games.

"It's exciting to go back there and try to earn a job," Carcillo told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I think I can definitely get a contract out of training camp."

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Lightning captain Stamkos says leg 'much stronger'

Thursday, 09.04.2014 / 8:36 PM / News

NHL.com

Steven Stamkos
Center - TBL
GOALS: 25 | ASST: 15 | PTS: 40
SOG: 124 | +/-: 9
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said Thursday his injured right leg is much better than it was at the end of last season.

Stamkos broke his right tibia on Nov. 11 in a game against the Boston Bruins. He returned March 6 to play the final 20 games of the regular season plus four in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It feels much stronger," Stamkos told the Lightning website. "Mentally, too, you're in a better state. It's amazing what time and being able to work on it, being able to strengthen it kind of at your own pace and at your own time and how your body reacts. It's amazing week after week how much better it feels and how much closer it's getting to where it was before. I'm excited about that."

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Zetterberg healthy heading into Red Wings camp

Thursday, 09.04.2014 / 6:42 PM / News

NHL.com

Henrik Zetterberg
Left Wing - DET
GOALS: 16 | ASST: 32 | PTS: 48
SOG: 151 | +/-: 19
Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg said Thursday he will enter training camp completely healthy after having back surgery in February.

"I feel good," the Red Wings captain told the team website. "It's been a good summer rehabbing and off-ice workouts, so I'm really excited to get back at it here.

"The surgery that I had, that part of the back is healed. I can do everything on the ice and in the weight room; [I] had a really good summer workout-wise, so I look forward to seeing what results that will give me."

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Commissioner says NHL 'stronger every season'

Thursday, 09.04.2014 / 6:34 PM / News

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Commissioner Gary Bettman discussed the financial state of the NHL among several topics Thursday at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit.

Bettman, while being interviewed by Bloomberg's Tom Keene, praised the League's competitive balance as a key component of increased success in several areas.

"Over the last decade now, we've gotten stronger every season," Commissioner Bettman said. "As [Tom] pointed out, last year may have been the strongest ever. The point is, why? It starts with the game. It starts with the way the game is being played, the skill, the speed, the competitive balance that we have that is perhaps maybe the best we've ever seen and the best in all of sports. Every team is in it in the regular season, most of the regular season.

"The playoffs are wildly unpredictable. How many games did we see where it turned around when a team was down by three goals? We had a series where a team came back after being down 3-0 in the series. That's a testament to how the game is being played and how exciting and entertaining it is. You combine that with the things we're doing around the game to build the business of the game: Attendance has never been better, ratings have never been better, and business has never been better."

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Quote of the Day

It's a date that's been circled on my calendar, so it's kind of nice to have it here and get it over with (Thursday). This is a little bit of the closing of the book on the move. That's kind of how I'm looking at it.

— Stars forward Jason Spezza on returning to Ottawa for the first time to face the Senators