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2014-15 expert predictions: Cup to remain in West

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 3:00 PM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

NHL.com

The Stanley Cup will stay in the Western Conference for a fourth straight season if the majority of NHL.com and NHL Network experts are correct.

Six members of the 11-person panel predicted the Chicago Blackhawks would win the Stanley Cup for third time in six seasons, following championships in 2010 and 2013.

The Los Angeles Kings were the choice of four members of the panel, who believe the NHL will have a repeat Stanley Cup champion for the first time since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.

The Boston Bruins, the only Eastern Conference team to win the Cup since 2011, was the lone East team picked to win the championship.

Though the panel was pretty evenly split between Chicago and Los Angeles winning the Western Conference, the Eastern Conference champ featured more varied opinions. Seven made the Boston Bruins the pick, while two others picked the Tampa Bay Lightning. One panelist picked the Montreal Canadiens and one went for the defending Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers.

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Rogers deal changes viewing landscape dramatically

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 2:48 PM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

NHL.com

The new television deal between Rogers and the NHL begins Wednesday, providing unprecedented coverage of the League for fans throughout Canada.

In November 2013 the League announced a landmark 12-year, $5.2-billion national broadcast rights and multimedia agreement in Canada with Rogers Communications. The deal includes all national rights to NHL games on all platforms in all languages, marking the first time in history a North American professional sports league has granted all of its national rights to one company long-term.

In addition to regular-season games, Rogers has exclusive broadcast rights to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stanley Cup Final, NHL All-Star Game, NHL Draft Lottery, NHL Draft and NHL Awards.

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Penguins' Malkin practices, might play in opener

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 2:31 PM / News

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin practiced Tuesday for the first time since the Stanley Cup Playoffs and said there's a "50/50" chance he could play in the season opener Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks.

Malkin had not skated with the team due to an undisclosed injury sustained during his offseason workouts. With forward Chris Kunitz absent, Malkin skated on Sidney Crosby's left wing with Patric Hornqvist at right wing during line drills.

Kunitz was held out of practice due to an illness that Penguins coach Mike Johnston said he does not expect to linger. Forward Kasperi Kapanen, who also missed practice, returned to Finland to spend time with his family while the Penguins make a decision on their young players, Johnston said.

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Utica Comets to host 2015 AHL All-Star Classic

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 1:39 PM / News

NHL.com

The Utica Comets will host the 2015 American Hockey League All-Star Classic in late January, AHL President and CEO David Andrews announced Tuesday.

The 2015 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino will be held at Utica Memorial Auditorium. A skills competition and the 2015 Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 25; the All-Star Game will be played Monday, Jan. 26.

"The American Hockey League is thrilled to be bringing our showcase event to Utica this winter," Andrews said. "Each year, hockey's brightest young stars shine on our All-Star stage in front of capacity crowds and international television audiences. Between the great fans in the Mohawk Valley, the rich history of the Aud and the world-class accommodations at Turning Stone, the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic is destined to be the most memorable All-Star Classic to date."

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Oilers name forwards Eberle, Hall alternate captains

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 1:30 PM / News

EdmontonOilers.com

The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have named Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall alternate captains for the 2014-15 season.

Eberle and Hall will wear the "A's" for the Oilers on a full time basis alongside captain Andrew Ference.

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Restructured management impacting Maple Leafs

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 12:59 PM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Dave Nonis knew Brendan Shanahan could be his boss before Shanahan knew he would be. Nonis' information came directly from his other boss.

"They didn't give me the president's title; they told me there was a very good chance they were going to bring one in," Nonis, senior vice president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, told NHL.com. "Toward the end of last season, [Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment president and CEO] Tim Leiweke came to me and said, 'We think we've got a guy who might be the right fit.' So we talked about it, and it's pretty hard to say it's not a good fit. In this case it was a president who knew the game and could help shape the team.

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Ovechkin has memorable 'first date' with young fan

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 10:28 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin won't soon forget the most memorable dinner date with the "cutest little girl" he's ever met.

Ann Schaab, a 10-year-old bundle of joy who has Down syndrome, had the courage to ask Ovechkin out on a date for sushi dinner and some kickball during an American Special Hockey Association skating session with the Capitals forward Sept. 11 at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va.

"I was pretty surprised when Ann skated over and asked me out during our skate," Ovechkin said. "I thought it was a good idea and decided to take her up on it."

A fourth-grade student at Fulton Elementary School in Maryland, Ann played it cool despite being in the presence of about 60 other players from the association. And Ovechkin.

"She's the cutest little girl I've ever seen," Ovechkin told "Caps Red Line." "She asked me for a date to go and eat sushi but we didn't have lots of time [Sept. 11], so we decided to bring her to the Capitals [preseason] game against the Carolina Hurricanes [Oct. 5 at Verizon Center]. We would talk before the game and then after go and spend some time to eat sushi."

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Preseason standouts worth considering in fantasy

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 10:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Preseason performance should always be taken with a grain of salt as it pertains to fantasy hockey, but there's still a lot to take from these games as the regular season looms.

There's a feeling-out period where coaches tinker with line combinations, prospects are given a chance to push for roster spots and minor injury concerns cause players to miss games. However, fantasy owners can still use exhibition games to quantify sleeper picks and identify players worth adding off the waiver wire or drafting late.

Here are five players owned in 25 percent or fewer Yahoo leagues that have stepped up in the preseason and could emerge as fantasy-relevant players this season:

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NHL Face-Off party headlined by The Tragically Hip

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

The beginning of the NHL season is reason enough to throw a party.

And a party would be the best way to describe what will be happening Wednesday in downtown Toronto with the 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off, the fourth edition of a public viewing party and music festival marking the start of a new hockey season that aims to allow as many people as possible to experience the opening game of the 2014-15 season between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET, TVA SPORTS, SN).

Along with musical performances by Canadian iconic rock band The Tragically Hip and country music artist Tim Hicks, the event's centerpiece will be the public viewing of the game in Dundas Square.
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Trotz, Kesler among new faces in new places

Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which begins Wednesday, Oct. 8.

Twenty-nine teams spent the offseason trying to determine a way to unseat the Los Angeles Kings, who won the Stanley Cup for the second time in the past three seasons. Some teams made major changes, others minor alterations.

Six teams have new coaches and general managers, one Hockey Hall of Fame member now working as a team executive and one future Hockey Hall of Fame member heading from the Eastern Conference back to the West.

Here's a look at 14 fresh faces, in no particular order, who will be expected to make an impact with their new teams this season:

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Quote of the Day

My job was to get that puck and put it on net, and his job was not letting me do it. I got the best of that, but that game's over and to be honest I already forgot about it.

— Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk on his late game-tying goal in Montreal's 2-1 OT win
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