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Lidstrom, Alfredsson, Sundin to advise Sweden

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 9:35 AM / World Cup of Hockey 2016


Former NHL players Nicklas Lidstrom, Daniel Alfredsson and Mats Sundin have been named to Sweden's advisory board for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Lidstrom, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 9 in Toronto, won the Norris Trophy seven times. He was a First-Team All-Star 10 times and played in the NHL All-Star Game 11 times. He had 264 goals and 1,142 points, all with the Detroit Red Wings. In 20 NHL seasons, he never missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs and won four championships and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs in 2002. He became the first European captain to hoist the Stanley Cup in 2008.

Red Wings expect Franzen ready for camp: report

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 8:22 AM / News


The Detroit Red Wings are hopeful forward Johan Franzen will be able to participate in training camp after sustaining a concussion last season.

"My expectations and hopes are he's going to be cleared when he takes his physical at camp," general manager Ken Holland told Mlive.com on Monday. "Ultimately, it's in the hands of [the doctor]."

Holland told the website he spoke to Franzen two weeks ago. Franzen has been working out at Joe Louis Arena for more than a week, the report said.

Oilers' Ference believes he'll remain their captain

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 8:13 AM / News


As far as Andrew Ference knows, he'll be the Edmonton Oilers captain again this season. If he's not, he knows who it should be, but he's not saying.

"It's not like I'm going to give you a list, but I definitely know who I'd pick," Ference told the Edmonton Journal on Monday. "It's not my anointment.

"Some guys are rounding into that. You need multiple guys in a leadership role, though, with or without the letter, to where they can take the reins. You can't just have one guy carrying the flag. You need a mob mentality to be successful."

Lindbohm, Fabbri among Blues' top five prospects

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues have built themselves into a perennial top-echelon NHL team based on their ability to develop from within while allowing their prospects to grow without rushing them.

They waited patiently for Alex Pietrangelo, David Backes, Jaden Schwartz and Dmitrij Jaskin to get acclimated in the American Hockey League before bringing them to the NHL. Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera got their experience playing in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Here is a look at the Blues' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:

Starting goalie, Brouwer pose questions for Blues

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues are looking for Stanley Cup Playoff success, and will look to a familiar source.

Citing the styles of the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks and Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said that playing with pace and speed is the way games are won in the NHL.

"What's happened here in quick order, this League has sped up," Hitchcock said. "This League has pace like never before. ... I think internally, we can really quicken our team and make our pace a lot higher, and we're going to have to, to keep up to where the League's at right now."

Here are three questions facing the Blues entering this season:

Tarasenko, Stastny give Blues reasons for optimism

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Despite Stanley Cup Playoff failure in each of the past four seasons, the St. Louis Blues don't feel they've taken steps backward.

It likely will be more difficult to qualify from the Western Conference this season, so getting off to a quick start will be pivotal to remaining at or near the top of the standings. St. Louis started last season 9-3-1, including a seven-game winning streak.

After opening at home Oct. 8 against the Edmonton Oilers, the Blues head out for their longest road trip of the season: six games, including five to Canadian cities.

"The players themselves feel like we underperformed in the playoffs from what we did in the regular season," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "There's real disappointment, and I think we're going to see a higher level of focus than we've ever seen here before from the people that this really, really matters to. I think you're going to see a whole other gear get performed by some people who don't want this to ever happen again."

Here are four reasons for the Blues to be optimistic:

Blues hope minor changes lead to playoff wins

Tuesday, 08.25.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

ST. LOUIS -- When the St. Louis Blues were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the first round for the third consecutive season, there wasn't a doubt there would be change. The question was, when would it happen?

Blues fans were expecting a massive overhaul after losing to the Minnesota Wild in six games, with questions about the core leadership group and how many of them would return. Coach Ken Hitchcock's contract expired June 30, and there was question whether he would return for a fifth season.

The reigning Central Division champions shuffled the deck to an extent, with the most notable offseason move coming in a trade. The Blues traded popular forward T.J. Oshie to the Washington Capitals for a package that included right wing Troy Brouwer.

St. Louis Blues fantasy hockey outlook

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Vladimir Tarasenko and Kevin Shattenkirk

Tarasenko, a right wing, will be referenced as a fantasy breakout example for years to come after being taken with the 160th pick on average in Yahoo drafts and finishing with 37 goals (T-5th), 73 points (T-10th), a plus-27 (T-7th) and 264 shots on goal (T-11th). Despite missing a few games down the stretch because of injury, he was one of four players (Jamie Benn, John Tavares, and Tyler Seguin) with 35-plus goals and 35-plus assists and finished third in goals per 60 minutes (1.64) among those with 52-plus games behind Alex Ovechkin (1.93) and Rick Nash (1.83).

Blue Jackets' Johansen throws out Reds first pitch

Monday, 08.24.2015 / 10:44 PM / News

Sean McCullen - NHL.com Staff Writer

Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen threw out the first pitch before the Cincinnati Reds hosted the Detroit Tigers at Great American Ballpark on Monday.

"It was great. I got to know a few of the guys," Johansen told FOX Sports Ohio. "We were just talking about the difference between the sports and things like that, and schedules and travel and those kinds of things. It's interesting how many similarities there are between us and the two sports and really every sport. First time down on a field and getting to know a few of the guys, it was a pretty cool experience today."

Oilers move rookie game to Rexall Place

Monday, 08.24.2015 / 9:26 PM / News


The annual game between Edmonton Oilers rookies and the University of Alberta has been moved to Rexall Place and will be played Sept. 16.

It was not announced if forward Connor McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, will play for Edmonton in its home arena.

The previous 24 games in the series were played at Clare Drake Arena, the university's 2,700-seat rink. This is the final season for the Oilers at Rexall Place.

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