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Flyers' Timonen says return this season is 'slim'

Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 4:32 PM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen will attempt to play during the 2014-15 NHL season but admitted Thursday the chances of that happening are slim due to blood clots that were found in his lower right leg and in both lungs in early August.

"My desire is always I want to play but chance of me playing is really slim," Timonen said during a press conference at the Flyers' practice facility in Voorhees, N.J. "That's the fact. But I'm ready to wait for that chance and see how I feel."


NHL Network-US announces preseason schedule

Starting Sept. 21, NHL Network-U.S. Will Broadcast 22 Live Preseason Games, EJ Hradek, Steve Mears to Anchor Sept. 22 Season Debut of NHL Live

Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 2:00 PM / NHL Network

NEW YORK / TORONTO -- NHL Network™-U.S. will begin its 2014-15 preseason broadcast schedule with the Buffalo Sabres-Washington Capitals game on Sunday, Sept. 21, at 5:00 p.m. ET. Highlighted by rivalries, doubleheaders, player debuts, the Sept. 24 2014 Kraft Hockeyville game featuring the Arizona Coyotes and Calgary Flames in Sylvan Lake, Alta., and the Oct. 4 Colorado Avalanche-Los Angeles Kings matchup at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NHL Network-U.S. will carry 22 preseason game broadcasts live heading into the 2014-15 regular season.

NHL Live™, one of NHL Network's signature programs, makes its return on Monday, Sept. 22, at 5:00 p.m. ET. Hosted by EJ Hradek (@EJHradek_NHL) and Steve Mears (@MearsyNHL), the two-hour live show features commentary, analysis and social interaction with hockey insiders, writers and editors, and special guests. Fans can join the conversation via Twitter (@NHLNetwork) with the hashtag #NHLPreseason.


Penguins getting first look at new coach Johnston

Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 1:41 PM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Wes Crosby - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Change is inevitable.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi echoed those words inside their Consol Energy Center locker room Thursday. And it was a prevalent theme one day before the Penguins take the ice for their first practice of training camp.

The Mike Johnston era has begun in Pittsburgh. Most players don't seem to know what to expect from their new coach yet.

But each player recognized that change was warranted after the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, when the Penguins couldn't hold a 3-1 lead against the New York Rangers in their Eastern Conference Second Round series. In the aftermath, general manager Ray Shero was fired and replaced by Jim Rutherford. Rutherford fired coach Dan Bylsma and hired Johnston on June 25.

"It's going to take a bit to learn a new system and to understand the expectations of our coaching staff," forward Chris Kunitz said. "But I think we're all eager and excited to get into that process. … The one thing I keep hearing is the puck possession, kind of the analytics of the game and being able to hold onto the puck instead of giving it away. If you keep the puck your shots go up, and I think we have a team that can skate up and down the ice.

"We're going to be able to hopefully play into that system."


Crosby, Malkin to miss start of Penguins training camp

Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 12:35 PM / News

Wes Crosby - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will be held out of the start of training camp after sustaining unspecified injuries, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced Thursday.

The Penguins' top two centers sustained injuries in preparation for camp, Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford announced in a press release. Penguins coach Mike Johnston did not go into detail on either injury, except stating that neither is expected to be long-term and that Crosby's is not related to the wrist injury he played through late last season and into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We'll see over the next few days. I don't expect any of them to be long [absences]," Johnston said. "But when the trainers and the doctors inform us at this time of the year that we better be cautious with a few people, then we're going to be cautious."


Red Wings prospect Mantha out with broken leg

Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 12:29 PM / News

Detroit Red Wings top prospect Anthony Mantha will be out 6-8 weeks with a fractured right tibia, the team announced Thursday.

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound forward was injured Monday during a game at the Traverse City Prospect Tournament when his leg caught in a rut on the ice and he got hit.

"The puck was in the corner," Mantha told reporters. "I turned to my right at center ice and I hit a crack in the ice so my foot came back to the left, and me and another guy bumped into each other so my knee went sideways. It happened so fast you can't know exactly what happened."

General manager Ken Holland said surgery is not needed.

"He's going to be in crutches for a while, take the weight off," Holland said. "We think somewhere around six weeks he should be back up and running and skating and from there playing. In the meantime we got lots of other people looking for opportunity."


Analysis of's fantasy hockey mock draft

Fantasy insider Pete Jensen breaks down 12-team, 16-round simulation

Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 9:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider

Over the course of the offseason, we've broken down the fantasy hockey implications of the biggest moves and identified players worth keeping an eye on for a variety of reasons.

Now it's time to put it all together in dissecting's annual fantasy mock draft.

Having a strategy entering your draft is important, but improvising is just as essential to strong decision-making. You should always consider the best player available, fill positional and category needs when possible and be mindful of which players will be attainable in later rounds. Hitting home runs on the waiver wire can bring home fantasy championships, but the bottom line is that how you execute each round of your draft will shape your fortunes this season -- for better or worse.'s fantasy hockey staff of Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen, Matt Sitkoff, Brian Metzer and Justin Goldman joined forces with fellow colleagues Dan Rosen, Corey Masisak, Mike Morreale, Adam Kimelman, Brian Compton, Tal Pinchevsky and Darryl Haberman to participate in this 12-team mock draft. This league has standard Yahoo scoring with 16 players on each roster (192 total draftees).


Islanders' Okposo ready to build off career season

Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Jon Lane - Staff Writer continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo created an identity during his breakout season of 2013-14.

For him to do that, the No. 7 pick of the 2006 NHL Draft first needed a shot of confidence after a disappointing 48-game 2012-13 season when he scored four goals and 24 points.

Halfway through that season, Okposo connected with Darryl Belfry, a skills coach who has worked with Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane and Islanders teammate John Tavares, and found something down the stretch. After scoring 14 points in the season's first three months, Okposo finished with a goal and nine assists in 13 games, including points in four straight. In a six-game loss to the Penguins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Okposo was among team leaders with three goals and four points.


Canucks hope new personnel fosters winning attitude

Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

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

VANCOUVER -- A lot has changed since the Vancouver Canucks were last together as a team.

Since packing up the locker room in April after missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in six seasons, the Canucks have a new general manager, coach and system, and half a dozen new players. As the team gathered to start training camp this week there was also a new sense of optimism, at least within the organization.

Management has talked openly about again competing for a playoff spot despite outside projections and predictions of a continued decline for their aging core.


Canucks need power play, new goalie to click

Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

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

New Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning politely shook his head when talk of a rebuild was raised by a fan during one of the many town hall-style meetings hosted by the team this summer.

Instead, after an offseason that included signing a big-name No. 1 goalie in Ryan Miller, Benning and new president of hockey operations Trevor Linden publicly targeted a return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Canucks' Bieksa used to taking calculated risks

Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Jon Lane - Staff Writer continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

As a teenager Kevin Bieksa had to step back and evaluate his place in hockey.

While playing minor hockey Bieksa was offered a roster spot with the first-year Mississauga (now Niagara) Ice Dogs, the Ontario Hockey League team that selected him in the 19th round of the 1998 OHL draft. A native of Grimsby, Ontario, Bieksa was tempted by, as he put it, the "glitz and glam" of immediately playing in the OHL.

Also on the table was a chance to pursue a full scholarship to Bowling Green State University. While the dream of playing in the NHL was very much alive, so was the desire to have a fallback plan.

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Quote of the Day

It's something that you don't really envision starting this way, but when you put the work in you don't feel like it's unwarranted. You definitely don't envision it unfolding this way, but you do think you can be successful at this level.

— Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who defeated the Jets on Wednesday to improve to 6-0-1 since making his first NHL start on Feb. 18