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Over the Boards: Will Lightning benefit from injuries?

Wednesday, 12.11.2013 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper believes his team will go from survivors to contenders by the end of the season because of the injury problems it is currently dealing with.

"There's no question we come out of this a better team," Cooper told NHL.com. "The one thing is if we ever do get healthy, which eventually we should, there are going to be really tough decisions for us to make. That's a good thing."

The tough decisions Cooper is making nowadays have more to do with the psyche of the young players who have been thrust into larger-than-expected roles because of the injuries to Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone, Victor Hedman, Eric Brewer (who recently returned) and others.

The Lightning have 13 players on their roster who have played in 71 or fewer NHL games, including four defensemen and goalies Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback. They dressed eight rookies Tuesday against the Washington Capitals. They have played nine this season.

"Guys that should be developing in the minors, they're cutting their teeth in the NHL," Cooper said. "That can be twofold. For some players it can work in the sense that it accelerates their growth, and for some guys it hurts because it's too much too soon. It's a really tough balance because you don't want to ruin these guys for the future and demoralize their confidence because it's a really tough League to play in, but we have no choice."


Rangers lose Callahan for 4-6 weeks with knee sprain

Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 11:23 PM / News

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Ryan Callahan
Right Wing - NYR
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 6 | PTS: 13
SOG: 60 | +/-: -6
NEW YORK -- New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan will miss four to six weeks after spraining his left knee midway through the first period of a 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

Callahan left the ice seconds after initiating contact in the offensive-zone corner with Nashville defenseman Victor Bartley during his fourth shift of the night. He did not return, and the Rangers announced after the game that Callahan suffered a Grade 2 sprain of his medial collateral ligament.


Flames honor longtime captain Jarome Iginla

Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 9:55 PM / News

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames made Jarome Iginla feel right at home in his return to Scotiabank Saddledome.

Iginla, who played 16 seasons with the Flames and served as captain for nine, was welcomed back to Calgary on Tuesday with a pregame video tribute in front of the 19,289 fans he routinely brought to their feet during his tenure with the Flames.

Iginla, who was in the Boston Bruins' starting lineup, watched the tribute from in front of the bench before skating out to raise his stick in salute of the crowd.


Yzerman to join Red Wings for Alumni Showdown


Legendary Detroit Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman will play in the 2013 Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park as part of the 2013 SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival, the team announced Tuesday.

"It’s a big event, and I really feel it’s a great celebration of the history not only of the Red Wings, but of the [Toronto Maple Leafs] as well," Yzerman told NHL Network. "And obviously playing in Detroit for such a long time, I thought it was appropriate to be a part of that."

Yzerman, the captain of the Red Wings from 1986 to 2006, was the biggest name remaining that had not committed to playing in the alumni game between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, which will take place on Dec. 31, the day before the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the same two teams.

"Steve is one of the greatest Red Wings players ever," said Ken Holland, the Red Wings general manager. "His presence at the Alumni Showdown makes a great day even better."


BOG talk: Expansion, Olympics, Heritage Classic

Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 7:26 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- There are markets looking to acquire a NHL team through expansion but there is currently no plan to embark on a formal expansion process, Commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday following the conclusion of the NHL Board of Governors meetings.

"We're getting lots of expressions of interest, and no decisions have been made to do anything other than listen," Commissioner Bettman said. "We haven't embarked on a formal expansion process, but when people want to talk to us we listen."

Commissioner Bettman said the League takes into account three major factors when it receives interest from a market looking for an expansion team.


BOG told players adapting to Safety changes

Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 7:20 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- The NHL's Department of Player Safety believes players have been adapting to the new set of standards imposed in 2011 when Brendan Shanahan took over as the League's senior vice president of player safety and hockey operations.

That is the message Shanahan delivered Tuesday in his address to the NHL's Board of Governors during the final day of the two-day meetings here.

"Brendan was able to demonstrate to the Board that players, as a group, are starting to change behavior, and behavior is getting better than when he first took this job," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. "I think the Board was very comfortable that we're making progress in this area."


Penguins' Crosby surprises students at open practice

Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 3:10 PM / NHL Insider


Students in attendance Tuesday for the fifth annual Pittsburgh Penguins Open Practice were treated to a special surprise as team captain Sidney Crosby climbed into the Consol Energy stands and visited with the youngsters.

More than 8,000 students from 63 schools in Allegheny County, Pa., were on hand for the event and some exchanged high-fives with Crosby, while others received autographs. The practice was less than a day after the Penguins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 2-1, at Consol Energy Center on Monday night.

"It was fun. They were loud," Crosby said. "It was cool to hear them all day, they were loud this morning and they were happy to be here. It was fun to have them out here, especially the day after a game like that. A little tired, but they brought a lot of energy in the building this morning. So it was fun to go up and down the stands, meet a few kids, get a few high-fives."


Leafs' Phaneuf suspended two games for boarding

Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 2:18 PM / Department of Player Safety News


NEW YORKToronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf has been suspended for two games, without pay, for boarding Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller during NHL Game No. 450 in Toronto on Sunday, Dec. 8, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 17:43 of the third period. No penalty was assessed to Phaneuf on the play.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Phaneuf will forfeit $66,666.66. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

A full video explanation of the decision will be available on NHL.com later today.


U.S. adds three to World Junior evaluation camp

Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 2:00 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Forwards Vincent Hinostroza of the University of Notre Dame and Zach Stepan of Minnesota State University and defenseman Jaccob Slavin of Colorado College were added Tuesday to the roster of players for the United States National Junior Team selection camp, which will be held Dec. 15-18 on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

United States coach Don Lucia now will oversee a 29-player camp roster that includes 17 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies. The 22-player tournament roster for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship will be announced Dec. 23.

Hinostroza has three goals and 14 points as a freshman at Notre Dame. The 5-foot-9, 158-pound center was selected in the sixth round (No. 169) of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks.


Bruins' Thornton to have in-person hearing Friday

Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 12:47 PM / Department of Player Safety News


Boston Bruins left wing Shawn Thornton will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety at the League's New York offices Friday afternoon for an incident with Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on Saturday at TD Garden.

Thornton was offered the opportunity for an in-person hearing as required by provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for any suspension that can exceed five games.

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Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1