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Alfredsson's timeline traveled from Sweden to Ottawa

Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 10:15 AM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - Staff Writer

Daniel Alfredsson was the face of the Ottawa Senators for almost two decades. The Gothenburg, Sweden native holds countless Senators records set during his 17 seasons playing for Ottawa and has a decorated international career.

Alfredsson on Thursday announced his retirement from professional hockey.

Here are some key dates as we look back at No. 11:

June 29, 1994 -- Selected in the sixth round (No. 133) of the NHL Draft by the Ottawa Senators.

Oct. 7, 1995 -- Made his NHL debut, getting his first point (an assist) in a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.


Alfredsson embodied Senators' rise, beloved by city

Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 10:15 AM / NHL Insider

Chris Stevenson - Correspondent

OTTAWA -- In his time with the Ottawa Senators, Daniel Alfredsson was as much a part of the landscape here as snow in winter, the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill, and a chant about the archrival Toronto Maple Leafs that rhymes with make believe luck.

That Alfredsson, a central figure when the Battle of Ontario was at its peak, was so reviled by Maple Leafs fans only served to endear him even more to Senators supporters.

Through the ebbs and flows of Ottawa's return to the NHL, Alfredsson was the Senators' constant, rising to become their leader in just about every offensive category and its longest-serving captain.

He became active in the community, opening up about his family and mental health issues faced by his sister, Cecilia, and becoming the spokesman for the Royal Ottawa Hospital's campaign to remove the stigma from mental illness.

He was always there with a consistent effort on the ice and to answer for his and the Senators performances off it.

Alfredsson returned to Ottawa one more time Thursday, to announce his retirement after 18 NHL seasons, 17 of which were spent with the Senators.


Ducks acquire Robak from Panthers for Blacker, pick

Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 10:08 AM / News

The Anaheim Ducks on Thursday acquired defenseman Colby Robak from the Florida Panthers in exchange for defenseman Jesse Blacker and a future conditional draft pick.

Robak will join the Ducks in Minnesota, where they face the Minnesota Wild on Friday. The trade comes one day after the Ducks announced defenseman Eric Brewer, acquired last week from the Tampa Bay Lightning, will miss 4-6 weeks with a broken foot.


Unmasked: Brodeur's methods must mesh with Blues

Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Much has been made about how odd it is to see Martin Brodeur in St. Louis Blues colors after more than two decades as the goalie and franchise icon for the New Jersey Devils.

It may be even more odd to watch Brodeur's at-times-unconventional, old-school goaltending mesh with the style of play the Blues employ.

Brodeur dismissed the popular butterfly save-selection style early in a pro career which has gone pretty well without it. He has the most wins (688) and shutouts (124) in NHL history without defaulting to both knees to make every save, which is the preference for the vast majority of professional goalies, including St. Louis starter Brian Elliott and backup Jake Allen.

Elliott is out with a lower-body injury for the next couple of weeks at least, so the Blues signed Brodeur to an incentive-laden contract Tuesday. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said Brodeur will start in goal Thursday against the Nashville Predators.


Shift to goalie paying off for USNTDP's Opilka

Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Luke Opilka came very close to quitting hockey before realizing his true calling as a goaltender during an open skate at a friend's birthday party.

"I was never too good a player; the only goal I ever scored was on my own net," Opilka said. "I really thought I actually scored a goal so I began celebrating. I was probably a mite [8 years old] then and I probably should have known better, but I didn't."

What he did learn was that playing defense was not a good idea for him.

"I tried goaltender at my friend's birthday party and just loved it, so I stuck with it from there," he said.


Around the League notebook for Wednesday, Dec. 3

Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 2:35 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


* Many NHL players shared memories and stories of Jean Beliveau via social media, including Pointe-Claire, Quebec, native Anthony Duclair (New York Rangers) and Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.

* In accordance with the wishes of the Beliveau family, the Canadiens announced the details of events in the days leading up to Mr. Beliveau's funeral.

Click here to leave a personal message on the online tribute page.

* Players and fans observed a moment of silence in honor of Beliveau before puck drop in the Canadiens/Wild and Oilers/Jets games. In addition, the Canadiens wore special No. 4 decals on their helmets to honor their legendary captain.


Canadiens owner saddened by Beliveau's passing

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 7:12 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- Geoff Molson walked up to address the gathered media Wednesday, having had hours to emotionally absorb the horrible news that was delivered late the previous night.

The Montreal Canadiens president and principal owner began with a general comment on the passing of Jean Beliveau.

And the emotions came flowing back.

Following a comment in French, Molson said, "Before I get started I just wanted to say that our thoughts and prayers are with the Beliveau family today …"

Molson paused. He needed to compose himself.

He was speaking about the death of a man he said he considered to be a giant as a child, a man who had a relationship with his family that runs three generations deep.

As emotionally prepared as Molson might have been to face the public to speak of this sad event, it would have been impossible for him to be totally prepared.

This was hard.


Flyers' Lecavalier discusses Jean Beliveau's impact

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 6:32 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- The picture has a timeless quality to it, even if Jean Beliveau's brown suit and green-and-red tie harken back to another era. There is Beliveau sitting on the boards, holding a young Vincent Lecavalier against a dark background of a hockey rink. Both are smiling.

The photo was taken at a hockey tournament Lecavalier's older brother was playing in, and it was the first time Lecavalier met Beliveau.

"I was very young, so I don't remember the moment exactly, but that picture's in my house back in Montreal signed by him," Lecavalier said. "It was a great honor to meet him. Obviously when I made it to the NHL, I met him a few times after that. [He's] just a nice person. He has a lot of respect for everybody, the way he treats people."

Lecavalier had a unique bond with Beliveau, the beloved Montreal Canadiens legend who died Tuesday at 83. He wore Beliveau's No. 4 since he was about 3 years old until he joined the Philadelphia Flyers -- the Flyers retired the number in honor of Barry Ashbee -- because Beliveau was his grandfather's favorite player. Lecavalier also played Beliveau in 2005 film "The Rocket: The Maurice Richard Story," which is about Beliveau's former Canadiens teammate.


Kings sign Martinez to six-year extension

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 6:20 PM / News

Alec Martinez
Defense - LAK
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 5 | PTS: 7
SOG: 43 | +/-: 9
The Los Angeles Kings re-signed defenseman Alec Martinez to a six-year contract, the team announced Wednesday. The Kings did not disclose financial terms, but Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported that the deal is worth $24 million.

Martinez would have been eligible to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Martinez was selected by the Kings in the fourth round (No. 95) of the 2007 NHL Draft. He has 62 points in 221 games, including seven points in 18 games this season. He had a career-best 22 points in a career-high 61 games last season.


Penguins' Bortuzzo suspended two games

Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 5:15 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NEW YORK - Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo has been suspended for two games, without pay, for interference against New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr during NHL Game No. 364 in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, December 2, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 17:57 of the second period.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Bortuzzo will forfeit $6,451.62. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Quote of the Day

He's a special guy. Obviously we are lucky to have him. Just his talent, I'm not surprised anymore. You get to see this guy every practice, and you know what he's able to do. Obviously, it's pretty special for a guy that young to score a hat trick in playoffs, this type of a game too. Really happy for him.

— Predators goalie Pekka Rinne on Filip Forsberg, whose hat trick led Nashville to a Game 5 win vs. Chicago on Thursday