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(Page 197 of 211)
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Stars executives experienced in building a winner

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 9:00 AM / Traverse City Prospects Tournament

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill and director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell each know a little something about building the perfect beast.

It starts with the draft and continues with the development stage until that player is deemed capable of withstanding the rigors of an NHL regular season.

This is something Nill was accustomed to doing prior to joining the Stars after spending 19 seasons as a member of the Detroit Red Wings management team, where his responsibilities included directing the amateur scouting department, overseeing all selections at the NHL Draft and managing the development of the organization's prospects.

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Improved scoring, shot prevention top Sabres list

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

BUFFALO – Success can be hard to come by and it has different definitions depending on the point of view. For the Buffalo Sabres, a successful 2014-15 season may not be hard to create.

The Sabres made several veteran additions in the offseason. Forwards Brian Gionta, Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick joined the ranks, along with defenseman Andrej Meszaros, and defenseman Josh Gorges was added via trade with the Montreal Canadiens.

Things could be looking up in Buffalo.

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Sabres aim to bounce back after last-place finish

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres had the worst season in franchise history in 2013-14, but there's hope that things will improve sooner rather than later.

The Sabres head into the 2014-15 season ready to grow for the future after a summer filled with changes. Numerous veteran additions give the Sabres a vaguely familiar look heading into a season that will provide a new set of challenges.

"Last year was a mess," forward Drew Stafford said. "With guys getting moved, getting out of the lineup, signing new guys, there were a lot of tryouts for spots it seemed even later on in the year or mix and matching the lineup quite a bit. … It's still going to be a challenge, it's still going to be a struggle at times, but definitely I expect it to be better than last year."

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Power play, Huberdeau's revival key for Panthers

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

The Florida Panthers put on their hard hats this summer and went to work reconstructing a team that finished 29th in the overall standings. The Panthers signed six veterans on July 1; three (center Dave Bolland, defenseman Willie Mitchell, forward Shawn Thornton) have played on recent Stanley Cup-winning teams. Top-nine forward Jussi Jokinen and backup goalie Al Montoya also were added to a core that has three youngsters (Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad, Jonathan Huberdeau) on the cusp of stardom and a fourth, 2014 No. 1 draft pick Aaron Ekblad, with a chance to make the team at age 18.

The Panthers also have a new coach in Gerard Gallant, who is optimistic the franchise will return to prominence sooner than later, perhaps as soon as this season.

"We're going to work hard and get to know our players real well and put our game plan in place, and hopefully everything takes off from there," Gallant said. "We think we have a real good core here, and it's just a matter of getting off to a good start and getting confidence in our hockey players."

Here are three things that will have to happen for the Panthers' season to be successful:

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Gionta thrilled to be back home with Sabres

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Brian Hunter - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Brian Gionta is eight years removed from scoring a career-high 48 goals, setting a single-season franchise record for the New Jersey Devils.

More recently, Gionta captained the Montreal Canadiens, leading the storied franchise within two wins of an appearance in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.

The offseason saw Gionta become an unrestricted free agent for the second time, and now the 35-year-old native of Rochester, N.Y., has come home to write the next chapter in his career with the Buffalo Sabres.

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Five Q's: Crosby ready after changes to Penguins

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday during the regular season and every other Tuesday in the offseason. We talk to key figures in the game today and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby:

Sidney Crosby returned to Pittsburgh last week, joined his teammates on the ice for informal practices leading up to the start of training camp this week and then proclaimed his wrist healthy and himself ready to start the 2014-15 season.

When the captain arrived in town most everything around him looked familiar save for a few new teammates, except so much about his Pittsburgh Penguins has changed.

The Penguins have a new general manager (Jim Rutherford), a new coach (Mike Johnston), new assistant coaches (Rick Tocchet and Gary Agnew), and a new philosophy about how to play and how to make their way through the 82-game grind that is the NHL's regular season.

A lot of what Crosby and his teammates did under former coach Dan Bylsma and former general manager Ray Shero now has to change. The Penguins still can be called the favorite to finish first in the Metropolitan Division, but how they go about trying to win their third consecutive regular-season division title will be different.

Crosby touched on the new philosophy in Pittsburgh, Johnston and the team in an interview with NHL.com during the League's annual Player Media Tour in New York last week.

Here are Five Questions with … Sidney Crosby:

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New coach, players have Panthers feeling positive

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Gerard Gallant knows what it's like to engineer a quick turnaround.

The Montreal Canadiens hired him as an assistant coach in June 2012 after a season that saw the team finish 15th in the Eastern Conference and 28th in the NHL standings.

Working under Michel Therrien, Gallant helped lead Montreal to a first-place finish in the Northeast Division in 2012-13. Then the Canadiens made it to the Eastern Conference Final last season, sweeping the Tampa Bay Lightning and stunning the Presidents' Trophy-winning Boston Bruins in seven games before falling to the New York Rangers in six.

He's tasked with a similar mission with the Florida Panthers, this time as the 13th coach in franchise history and sixth since 2003-04. Only the Buffalo Sabres (52 points) finished lower in the League standings last season than the Panthers (29-45-8, 66 points). That sparked changes on the ice and behind the bench, where Gallant receives a second chance to lead an NHL team after going 56-76-6 with four ties in parts of three seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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Bjugstad, new-look Panthers, eager to take next step

Tuesday, 09.16.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Florida Panthers center Nick Bjugstad is anxious to begin a new season with a new coach and several new faces sprinkled throughout the lineup ready to make their mark.

"It sounds like everyone is hungry; it's not fun to lose, especially in the top League in the world," Bjugstad said. "You want to do better and I think guys are really committed to that this year. Hopefully we can turn it around and start with a clean slate and not worry about the last couple of years."

The Panthers are looking for improvement in 2014-15 after back-to-back disappointing seasons: a 30th-place finish in the League standings in 2012-13 and a 29th-place finish last season.

"I think bringing in Gerard [Gallant] as head coach and his staff, coupled with the dynamic of what our roster looks like right now and what's coming through the pipeline, will be a springboard moving forward," Panthers director of amateur scouting Scott Luce said. "I think we're going to be a significantly improved team this year but it will be tough to make the playoffs.

"I think if we can find a way to make the playoffs, it will mark the final push for us to be a consistent playoff team for the next 10 years, barring injuries or bad luck."

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Canadiens view goalie Price as one of their leaders

Monday, 09.15.2014 / 8:32 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

LAVAL, Quebec – The word "transition" was used often at the Montreal Canadiens' annual charity golf tournament on Monday.

Carey Price
Carey Price - CAREER
Goalie - MTL
RECORD: 179-137-44
GAA: 2.52 | SVP: .917
General manager Marc Bergevin and coach Michel Therrien used the word immediately to explain their decision to go without a captain for the second time in team history this season, instead naming Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban to serve as alternates.

The group represents the past, present and future of the team, and it's possible a new leader will indeed emerge from that group to replace the departed Brian Gionta and become Canadiens captain next summer.

But it is just as possible, if not likely, that the actual leader of the team was unofficially named when the team decided to forego naming a captain.

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Canadiens opt for four alternate captains this season

Monday, 09.15.2014 / 5:58 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

LAVAL, Quebec -- The general consensus among fans and media attempting to handicap who would become the next captain of the Montreal Canadiens was that there were four primary candidates for the job.

The debate over which of those four would land the role became perhaps the most popular topic of conversation in Montreal during the past six weeks, with each of the top candidates having his fair share of supporters.

As it turns out, the Canadiens had trouble deciding as well.

So instead of naming a captain, the team announced Monday that defensemen Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban and forwards Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec each will serve as alternate captains for the 2014-15 season, and the captaincy issue will be revisited next summer.

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Quote of the Day

I've got a lot of experience and there's a lot of young guys. It's even making me excited a little more. It's kind of a new life. At my age, I feel like I know a lot of things what to do, but I just cannot do it anymore. It's a lot easier to tell them what to do because they've still got the legs and hands to do it. I just know things, but I cannot do them anymore.

— Jaromir Jagr after making his Panthers debut in a win against the Sabres on Saturday
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