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Stanley Cup Final
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Ray Whitney announces his retirement

Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 3:14 PM / News

NHL.com

Ray Whitney, who spent 22 seasons playing in the NHL and won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, announced his retirement Wednesday.

"For the past 23 years I have had the privilege of earning my living playing hockey in the National Hockey League," Whitney said in a statement released by his agency, CAA Sports. "Along the way I have made countless memories and friendships, which I will always cherish. Every city I played in, the fans welcomed my family and me with open arms, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that."

Whitney was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the second round (No. 23) of the 1991 NHL Draft and made his NHL debut with San Jose on April 15, 1992.

In 1,330 NHL games with eight teams, Whitney had 385 goals and 1,064 points. He was selected to two NHL All-Star Games.

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Where to be in Columbus for All-Star weekend

Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 2:04 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

ColumbusBlueJackets.com

Why is Columbus a great host for NHL All-Star Weekend?

That's a question that cannot be answered in one, two or three sentences, but there is one thing that stands out: proximity. Leave your car in the parking garage, bring your family, and get ready to spend the day downtown Columbus and celebrate the greatest sport in the world.

Such was the vision of late Blue Jackets founder John H. McConnell when he bought the franchise and made the Blue Jackets his gift to the city. He partnered with Nationwide Insurance, who had the goal of revitalizing the downtown, and Nationwide Arena was built – giving way to the Arena District and catalyzing growth in a new area of the city. Fifteen years later, the city of Columbus has yet another feather under its cap with a well-connected and easily accessible corner of downtown to host hockey's biggest party.

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Coyotes recall McKenna, send four to AHL

Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 1:06 PM / News

ArizonaCoyotes.com

GLENDALE, ARIZONAArizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have recalled goaltender Mike McKenna and assigned defensemen Brandon Gormley and Philip Samuelsson, forward Lucas Lessio and goaltender Mike Lee to the Portland Pirates, the club's American Hockey League affiliate (AHL).

The 31-year-old McKenna has posted a 16-13-2 record with a 2.09 goals against average (GAA) and a .934 save percentage (SV%) in 32 games with the Pirates. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound native of St. Louis, Missouri owns a 3.40 GAA and a .891 SV% in 21 career NHL games. McKenna was originally drafted by the Nashville Predators in the sixth round (172nd overall) in the 2002 Entry Draft.

To read more from the Coyotes website, CLICK HERE.

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Klingberg starring for Dallas

Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 1:04 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

John Klingberg wasn't an unknown commodity before the season, but no one could have predicted the way the fifth-round pick from the 2010 NHL Draft would kick off his career with the Dallas Stars.

The 22-year-old started the season with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League and had four goals and eight points in 10 games. Couple that production with the fact he is a right-handed shot and general manager Jim Nill couldn't help but bring the defenseman to the NHL in early November.

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NHL to host inaugural 'NHL Mascot Showdown'

Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 11:00 AM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The National Hockey League will host the inaugural NHL Mascot Showdown™ during the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus, with 13 Eastern Conference Mascots, under the helm of Columbus Blue Jacket's own Stinger™, facing off against 13 Western Conference Mascots in two days of friendly but fierce competition at both the 2015 NHL Fan Fair™ at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and just before the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Nationwide Arena.

The newest part of the NHL's midseason celebration, the NHL Mascot Showdown™, marks the first time that all 26 NHL Mascots™ (not every NHL has its own mascot) will compete during NHL All-Star Weekend to show off their hockey skills and athletic "prowess," offering family-friendly fun for fans of all ages.

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Inside the matchup: Blackhawks vs. Penguins

Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 9:40 AM / Tale of the Tape

NHL.com

The Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins will be trying to head into the All-Star break on a high note when they face off at Consol Energy Center in the Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Each team is playing the second half of a back-to-back set and trying to break out of a slump that has dropped it out of first place in its division. The Penguins (26-12-7) are 0-2-1 after a 3-2 overtime loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday; they trail the first-place New York Islanders by four points in the Metropolitan Division. Chicago (29-15-2) ended a two-game losing streak by defeating the Arizona Coyotes 6-1 at United Center on Tuesday, but the Blackhawks are third in the Central Division, five points behind the first-place Nashville Predators.

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Around the League notebook for Tuesday, Jan. 20

Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 9:00 AM / News

NHL.com

OVERTIME HIGHLIGHTS TUESDAY GAMES

Of the eight games contested Tuesday:

* Seven games were tied or within one goal during the third period (OTT-NYR, EDM-WSH, PIT-PHI, NSH-MTL, MIN-DET, VAN-TBL, BOS-DAL).

* Five games went past regulation, including three that were decided in overtime. Carl Hagelin of the New York Rangers, Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens all scored in overtime while Teddy Purcell of the Edmonton Oilers and Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings each had game-deciding goals in the shootout.

* Five teams overcame a deficit at any point in the game to earn a victory. Of those five teams, four rallied from third-period deficits to pick up wins, including the Oilers, who erased a 4-2 deficit in the final 4:11 of regulation before winning in a shootout. The Minnesota Wild also erased a multigoal third-period deficit (4-1) to pick up one point in Detroit.

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Five things to watch in Rivalry Night doubleheader

Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The team in each conference with the most postseason games played since 2008 and the two teams that played the most games against each other over the previous four seasons will be featured in a Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader.

Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins (26-12-7) welcome Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks (29-15-2) to Consol Energy Center in the early game (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN). Each team is within striking distance of first place in its division.

The Penguins and Blackhawks have combined to win the Stanley Cup three times in the past six seasons. The Penguins' 98 postseason games since the start of the 2007-08 season lead the NHL, and the Blackhawks' 94 are third (tops in the Western Conference).

The Los Angeles Kings (20-14-12) and San Jose Sharks (24-17-6) will play for the 44th time since the start of the 2010-11 season in the back half of the doubleheader (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN). San Jose has won 22 of 43 games, but Los Angeles has won two of the three playoff series, each in the past two seasons and in seven games.

Here are five things to watch during the doubleheader:


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Sharks' Hertl more comfortable since move to center

Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl can't say he wasn't warned about the danger of a sophomore slump.

As a rookie last season, Hertl scored six goals in his first three games, including four against the New York Rangers. He had 15 goals and 25 points in his first 32 games before damaging two ligaments in his right knee on Dec. 19 during a collision with Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown that kept him out until late in the season.

This season, Hertl has eight goals and 17 points through 47 games entering the Sharks' game Wednesday against the Kings at SAP Center (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

"Everybody thought it would be a harder season for me," Hertl said. "For some guys it's hard. For some guys it's OK. For me I think it's hard. Maybe before the season, maybe it was in my head that this season I needed to play good because of last season. Maybe it was just in my head. Maybe I put a little bit of pressure on myself."

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Penguins' Perron, Crosby found quick chemistry

Wednesday, 01.21.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Predicting chemistry on a forward line is as easy as predicting the lottery.

Three players who on paper should be able to jell fail to produce, while three players who might look like misshaped puzzle pieces fit together and make magic.

"The chemistry and synergy of linemates only happens when they're together," Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Gary Agnew said. "You can predict as much as you want."

But a prediction is what Agnew and the Penguins coaching staff had to make when right wing David Perron was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 2. Perron is a talented offensive player who scored at least 20 goals three times in his first seven NHL seasons with the St. Louis Blues and Oilers. But almost no one in the Penguins organization had any history with Perron.

"I knew [Kris Letang] a little bit," Perron said. "Knew [Marc-Andre Fleury] slightly, same with [Pascal Dupuis] because we have the same agent."

The only person who had any real relationship with Perron was Agnew, who was an assistant coach with the Blues in 2012-13, Perron's final season in St. Louis. Though it was 48 games in the lockout-shortened season, Agnew said it was more than enough time for him to get an understanding of the kind of player and person Perron is.

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Quote of the Day

We have no doubt how he can play. You don't, with four teams that are left, you're not getting here without good goaltending. All great goalies left, and [Bishop] is a top-tier goaltender in this league and he's shown it.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper on goalie Ben Bishop, who shut out the Rangers in Game 5