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Unmasked: Flames goalie coach perseveres with MS

Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- The journey goalie Joni Ortio endured after being recalled to the Calgary Flames from Adirondack of the American Hockey League was arduous. It took the better part of two days and involved a snowstorm, a detour, and an overnight stop in Toronto, plus a connection in Winnipeg before he reached Calgary from Glen Falls, N.Y., last week.

Plus, his luggage did not arrive at the same time as the goalie. Ortio was in Calgary and back in the NHL, but his clothes, goalie sticks and contact lenses, which come in handy when your job is stopping pucks being shot up to 100 mph, were missing.

If Ortio needed a reality check on perseverance, he needed to look no further than Flames goalie coach Jordan Sigalet.

"A couple lost bags is nothing compared to what [Sigalet] has to go through," Ortio told NHL.com. "I've got so much respect for him."

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Analytics bolster Selke candidacy of Bruins' Bergeron

Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

With the first half of the 2014-15 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of its biggest storylines and award contenders.

The Boston Bruins spent part of the first half of this season without defenseman Zdeno Chara and forward David Krejci, and without goaltender Tuukka Rask stopping shots at his previously elite level.

Boston did still have center Patrice Bergeron, and one of the team's top four players performing at an elite level helped keep the Bruins from freefalling out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs chase. Chara and Krejci are back, Rask is playing well again and the Bruins are churning toward safety and an eighth consecutive postseason appearance.

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Bittner's size makes him appealing 2015 draft prospect

Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO – One of the bigger forwards eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft is Paul Bittner.

Bittner, a 6-foot-4, 202-pound left wing, plays for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. He's in his third season with the Winterhawks after coming out of Crookston High School in Minnesota and he was listed as a first-round candidate by NHL Central Scouting Service in their 2015 "Players to Watch" list.

A forward his size will earn attention from NHL scouts regardless, but it's the other skills he has to go along with it that can make him a first-round pick.

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Wild's Suter suspended two games for elbowing

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 7:52 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NEW YORK -- Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter has been suspended for two games, without pay, for elbowing Pittsburgh Penguins forward Steve Downie during NHL Game No. 633 in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, January 13, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 4:22 of the second period.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and based on his average annual salary, Suter will forfeit $81,058.72. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Blues goalie Brodeur granted leave of absence

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 7:27 PM / News

NHL.com

St. Louis Blues goaltender Martin Brodeur was given a one-week leave of absence from the team Wednesday.

A statement from the Blues said, "Brodeur will rejoin the club in one week and his future will be addressed at that time."

Brodeur, the winningest goaltender in NHL history, has played in seven games for St. Louis with a 3-3-0 record, 2.87 goals-against average and .899 save percentage.

He has been a healthy scratch the past five games after goalie Brian Elliott returned from a lower-body injury, behind him and Jake Allen.

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'Fragile' Wild believe mindset needs to change

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 6:58 PM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO – The Minnesota Wild looked like they were on the rise in 2013-14. This season, things have been anything but hopeful.

The Wild have lost six consecutive games and 12 of the past 14. They're in last place in the Central Division and 12th in the Western Conference.

"I think we should stop referencing last year," Wild forward Zach Parise said. "We've been doing that way too much. We give up one, two goals and mentally right now, we quit. We've been fragile and we change the way we play. That's what's killing us right now."


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All-Star captains eager to get down to business

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 6:29 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL.com

When Patrick Kane joined Jonathan Toews in coach Joel Quenneville's office before practice Wednesday, he was worried something had gone awry during the Chicago Blackhawks' brief break since last playing Sunday against the Minnesota Wild.

"I thought we were in trouble," Kane said.

Quite the opposite, actually. Quenneville called the meeting to tell Toews he would be named a captain for the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend and Kane that he would be named an assistant to captain Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Toews will be joined by Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Rick Nash of the New York Rangers. Foligno and Kane will be joined by Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings.

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Wild acquire goaltender Dubnyk from Coyotes

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 5:16 PM / News

NHL.com

The Minnesota Wild acquired goaltender Devan Dubnyk from the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday for a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Dubnyk is 9-5-2 with a .916 save percentage in 19 games for the Coyotes this season. He had a poor 2013-14 season split between the Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators and Montreal Canadiens organizations, but the 28-year-old had at least a .914 save percentage in each of his previous three seasons with the Oilers.

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Penguins find new spot for Rust's clothes

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 2:22 PM / News

PittsburghPenguins.com

Before Sidney Crosby stepped onto the ice for Wednesday’s practice, he looked up – and immediately began shaking his head and laughing.

Many of his teammates had the same reaction as they noticed what was dangling from the rafters of CONSOL Energy Center: rookie Bryan Rust’s street clothes. The 22-year-old forward’s coat, shirt, jeans and shoes were all hanging from a hook that had been lowered from the ceiling, with his nickname taped across the back of his jacket.

Unlike his teammates, Rust didn’t notice right away. After he got on the ice, Rust be-bopped around for a few minutes, just skating in circles without a care in the world before he finally realized he had been the victim of a prank.

“I looked up and knew it was mine because I’m pretty sure I’m the only one with those shoes on the team,” laughed Rust, in his first professional season after four years at Notre Dame. “I was kind of just skating around laughing. It’s just one of those things where you’re a rookie, so things are going to happen. It’s all in good fun.”

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Rangers' Stepan day-to-day with upper-body injury

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 1:37 PM / News

NHL.com

New York Rangers center Derek Stepan is day-to-day with an upper-body injury and likely will not play against the Boston Bruins on Thursday.

Stepan, who was injured in the first period of a 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday, will accompany the Rangers to Boston.

Stepan, who was reportedly slashed on the right hand by Islanders left wing Matt Martin in the first period, played three second-period shifts and was not on the bench in the third. He did not practice Wednesday. J.T. Miller took Stepan's spot on a line with Chris Kreider and Martin St. Louis.

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Quote of the Day

I'm here to develop a winning culture and a winning team. There is a bright future ahead of this team.  A lot of young, great hockey players here and on the way … a fan base that's passionate about the game of hockey.

— Dan Bylsma after being introduced as new coach of the Buffalo Sabres