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Board of Governors authorizes formal process to evaluate all expressions of team interest

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 4:35 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

LAS VEGAS -- The National Hockey League Board of Governors today authorized the undertaking of a formal process to evaluate expressions of interest from markets and ownership groups interested in obtaining NHL clubs. To the extent parties may be interested in applying for an expansion team, the League will make applications available starting on Monday, July 6, and applications should be filed no later than Monday, August 10.

"Over the past several years we have received numerous expressions of interest from potential markets and ownership groups that have indicated an interest in joining the National Hockey League. The Board decided today to examine those expressions more formally and also to welcome any other groups or markets that may be considering pursuit of an NHL team," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "The fact that we are beginning this process does not necessarily mean that any expansion teams will be granted as a result of this process."

Penguins plan to sign Plotnikov, eye Tikhonov: report

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 3:08 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

The Pittsburgh Penguins plan to sign Russian forward Sergei Plotnikov when free agency begins on July 1, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The Penguins also have interest in Viktor Tikhonov, who played for the Arizona Coyotes during the 2008-09 season and has spent the past four seasons with St. Petersburg of the KHL, the Tribune-Review said.

Blue Jackets sign McElhinney to two-year contract

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 2:23 PM / News

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed goaltender Curtis McElhinney to a two-year contract extension through the 2016-17 season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.

McElhinney, 32, went 12-14-2 with a 2.88 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in 32 games during the 2014-15 season. He recorded career highs in victories, games played, minutes (1,710) and saves (867). He played in his 100th career NHL game on October 31, 2014 vs. Toronto and made a personal best 48 saves on a career-high 52 shots faced in a 5-4 shootout victory on April 11, 2015 at the NY Islanders. The netminder posted a 10-11-1 record with a 2.70 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and 639 saves in 28 games in 2013-14.

"We are pleased to have signed Curtis for the next two seasons," said Kekalainen. "He is a hard-working, high-caliber individual who provides the team with a veteran presence in goal and had played very well for us when called upon the past two seasons. We look forward to his continued contributions to the Blue Jackets both on and off the ice."

To read more from the Blue Jackets website, CLICK HERE.

Home openers highlighted by Blackhawks vs. Rangers

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 1:00 PM / News

The Chicago Blackhawks will raise another Stanley Cup banner to the rafters at United Center on Wednesday, Oct. 7, when they host the New York Rangers in their home opener on the first night of the 2015-16 season.

The NHL announced the home openers for each team Wednesday. The full schedule for the upcoming season will be released Thursday.

There will be three other games on Oct. 7: the Toronto Maple Leafs and new coach Mike Babcock will host the Montreal Canadiens; the Los Angeles Kings will host the San Jose Sharks and new coach Peter DeBoer; and the Calgary Flames will host the Vancouver Canucks, a rematch of a Western Conference First Round series of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

NHL announces home openers for 2015-16 season

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 1:00 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced the home openers for all 30 clubs for the 2015-16 regular season. The League's complete 1,230-game schedule will be released tomorrow – Thursday, June 25 – at 10 a.m. ET.

Surprising Flames have most finalists at NHL Awards

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Awards

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

LAS VEGAS -- At first, Calgary Flames forward Jiri Hudler asked a question.

"Would you have guessed that before the season?" Hudler said.

The answer is no; it's unlikely anybody would have guessed that the team that would have the most representatives eligible to win trophies Wednesday at the 2015 NHL Awards (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports) would be the Flames.

How could anyone have anticipated that considering so little was expected of the Flames this season after they finished the 2013-14 season with 77 points and a plan to play younger players and continue on a massive rebuild?

The Flames certainly weren't expected to compete for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, let alone get one.

Hudler felt differently.

Unique skills put McDavid, Eichel at top of draft class

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Evan Sporer - Staff Writer

The gap between Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, first and second respectively on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, is slim.

It's the gap between the projected top two picks of the 2015 draft, which will be held at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on June 26-27, and the rest of the field that is a bit wider.

McDavid and Eichel have been touted as generational talents for the success and promise they've displayed before becoming draft eligible, and each offers a different skill set that many project will mesh with today's NHL game.

For McDavid, the expected No. 1 pick of the draft, comparisons have been made to Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby because of McDavid's ability to do everything not only incredibly well, but also incredibly fast.

Seguin moves up to top spot in 2010 re-draft

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor will take a look back at the NHL drafts from five, 10 and 15 years ago this week, leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. How would a redo of those drafts look today?

The debate for the No. 1 pick of the 2010 NHL Draft came down to one question: Taylor or Tyler?

Would the team with the first selection opt for high-scoring left wing Taylor Hall, who was dominating opponents with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League? Or would the playmaking skills of center Tyler Seguin, of the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL, be too much to pass on?

But what the ensuing five years have proven is that there was a pool of talent picked that weekend at Staples Center in Los Angeles that went far deeper than just two players.

Metropolitan Division team needs for 2015 draft

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

The 2015 NHL Draft will be a great opportunity for teams to shore up positions of need with an injection of energetic, young talent.

As the first round of the draft draws near, there's no better time to take a glimpse at the possible draft needs of all 30 teams.

While there still may be trades and surprises in the works leading up to the draft, which will be held June 26-27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., the priorities likely will remain the same. Here's a breakdown of what Metropolitan Division teams could be looking to do when they arrive in Florida.

New GM Shero sees fresh challenge in building Devils

Wednesday, 06.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Ray Shero doesn't believe he's in familiar territory as general manager for the New Jersey Devils as he was almost a decade ago when hired by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the same role.

Still, it's hard to ignore the comparisons.

The Penguins had just completed a fourth straight season of having failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs when Shero was hired to replace Craig Patrick as GM in May 2006. Patrick, an iconic figure in Pittsburgh, had served as GM for 16 seasons.

"It's never a seamless transition; going into Pittsburgh there were people working for Craig for 16 years, so it takes a little time. The same can be said for those working for Lou Lamoriello in New Jersey," Shero said.

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— Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, who on Wednesday became the ninth Russian-born player, and ninth Red Wings player, to score 300 NHL goals
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