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2014 NHL Draft
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Penguins rookie Gibbons brings speed to top line

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Brian Gibbons knows what life is like in the fast lane.

In a span of three seasons, the undrafted free agent signee in 2011 has gone from collegiate all-star to American Hockey League all-star to riding shotgun with Sidney Crosby on the Penguins top line.

The 5-foot-8, 170-pound left-handed shot has certainly made the quick transition, literally. He might be the fastest player on the team.

"He creates turnovers with his speed, and he's able to get to loose pucks and create pressure," Crosby said. "He competes and works hard and uses the strength that he has."


Lightning's Bishop leads contenders for Vezina

Saturday, 03.01.2014 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Ben Bishop
Goalie - TBL
RECORD: 28-9-4
GAA: 2.00 | SVP: 0.932
With three-quarters of the 2013-14 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders. Today we predict the winner of the Vezina Trophy, an annual award voted by general managers and presented to the NHL's best goaltender.

Ben Bishop is trying to follow in the skate tracks of Sergei Bobrovsky.

Bobrovsky came out of nowhere to win the Vezina Trophy in 2012-13, his first season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, after being traded by the Philadelphia Flyers the previous summer. Bishop, who was stuck in a goaltending logjam with the Ottawa Senators before being traded to Tampa Bay late last season, could be authoring a similar story in 2013-14.


Cole relishing chance to coach against alma mater

Saturday, 03.01.2014 / 3:00 AM / Hockey Weekend Across America

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Former NHL player and Stanley Cup champion Danton Cole can remember his college playing days as if they were yesterday.

Now head coach for the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., he has had March 1 circled on his calendar since the start of the season.

The fact his charges will battle his alma mater, Michigan State University, at Munn Ice Arena on the same day that USA Hockey celebrates "Try Hockey for Free" as part of its Hockey Weekend Across America campaign is an added bonus.

The game will be the final one for the U.S. U-18 NTDP against college competition this season. Cole has led his charges to a 7-8 mark against NCAA foes in 2013-14.


Canucks shift focus to Heritage Classic

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

VANCOUVER -- It's a pretty long flight from Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, to Vancouver. But to see their sons play in an event like the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic, it's worth it for Tommy and Tora Sedin.

The parents of Canucks forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin will be two of the many friends and family members traveling here to see the Canucks take on the Ottawa Senators at BC Place on Sunday (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"My mom and dad are coming over from Sweden," Henrik Sedin told NHL.com. "It's going to be a lot of fun. They come over once or twice [per year]. They timed it to come to the outdoor game."

The Canucks lost 2-1 in a shootout to the Minnesota Wild on Friday night, so now their full focus can shift to preparing for the unique setting of a game at BC Place, the retractable-roof stadium located next door to their usual home, Rogers Arena.


Miller, Ott traded to Blues by Sabres for Halak, Stewart

Saturday, 03.01.2014 / 1:42 AM / 2014 Trade Deadline


The St. Louis Blues on Friday acquired goaltender Ryan Miller and forward Steve Ott from the Buffalo Sabres in a trade for goaltender Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart, forward prospect William Carrier, a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, and a conditional draft pick.

The Sabres say they will receive the Blues' first-round pick in 2014 if St. Louis advances to the Western Conference Final or if Miller re-signs with his new team.

Miller and Ott will join the Blues on Sunday for their road game against the Phoenix Coyotes. St. Louis plays at the Anaheim Ducks on Friday. The players were late scratches from the Sabres' game against the San Jose Sharks at First Niagara Center.

"The thought of getting the grit and determination of player like Steve Ott, and obviously Ryan Miller's resume speaks for itself, we think this gives us a better opportunity for success this year," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said during a media conference call.

Rinne makes 16 saves, wins rehab start for Admirals

Saturday, 03.01.2014 / 12:42 AM / News


Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne had an easy night in his first rehab start, making 16 saves in the Milwaukee Admirals' 9-1 victory against the Iowa Wild in an American Hockey League game Friday.

Rinne played the entire game, the first time he had done so since Oct. 22 against the Minnesota Wild. He has played nine NHL games this season.

"I'm feeling really good," Rinne said, according to The Tennessean. "I'm happy I got to make a few good stops and play the full 60 minutes. I think that was the main goal, just get that game conditioning. It was quite an easy game for myself. I was telling some of the guys after the first period I was still tired even though I had just five shots."


Toews, Crosby set to meet as rivals for first time

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Jonathan Toews remembers watching Sidney Crosby lift the Stanley Cup in 2009 and imagining himself in a similar position.

Toews matched Crosby's feat a year later and climbed to the top of the NHL mountain a second time in 2013. He and Crosby have been two of the premier players in the League for years. They're considered two of the best captains in the NHL and have been collecting individual and team honors at various levels of hockey for the past decade.

One thing Crosby and Toews have not done is play against each other. That will change Saturday when the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks meet at Soldier Field in a primetime Coors Light 2014 NHL Stadium Series matchup (8 p.m. ET; NBC).

"It's kind of weird that it's taken this long," Crosby said. "I think I've been hurt for a few games, but I think just knowing that either we're going to go head-to-head or if not, I think he's a guy who's pretty competitive. That whole group of guys that I've played with for the last few weeks are pretty competitive guys and have a lot of pride, so I'm sure they'll be up for this one."


Toews treats 4-year-old at Blackhawks practice

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- When Nicholas Skretkowski showed up to Soldier Field on Friday night, the 4-year-old had his own stall inside the Chicago Blackhawks locker room.

It was located next to his favorite player, Jonathan Toews, and there was a Blackhawks uniform just his size waiting for him. His number was 19, like Toews, but his last name was written across the back of his jersey.

Then came the biggest thrill of all in his Make-A-Wish evening as a teammate of Toews. Assisted by a pass from his hockey idol, Nicholas scored a goal with a redirection into the net.


Blackhawks focused on win, not setting

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks enjoyed themselves practicing under the lights of Soldier Field on Friday night, but they will be more businesslike Saturday.

The defending Stanley Cup champions host the Pittsburgh Penguins in the final game of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series (8 p.m. ET; NBC), and they can't get swept up in the festive atmosphere.

Not only do the Blackhawks know the feeling of losing an outdoor game, 6-4 to the Detroit Red Wings in the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field, but they need points in the midst of a tight race in the Western Conference.

"We talked about it in the locker room, [and] coming back from the Olympic break we want to start strong and finish the season well, regardless of all the stuff going on and who we're playing against," Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said. "We don't see this team too much, but it will be a good matchup for us. We'll try to enjoy the moment as much as we can but find a way to win a game."


Analysis: Ryan Miller trade could set off chain reaction

Friday, 02.28.2014 / 10:33 PM / 2014 Trade Deadline

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

The Buffalo Sabres made the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline a lot more interesting in one fell swoop Friday night.

As expected, the Sabres moved one of the biggest assets on the market in goaltender and franchise icon Ryan Miller, setting off a potential feeding frenzy before the March 5 deadline.

The destination and the haul for the 2010 Vezina Trophy winner are likely to make the next five days even more interesting. It's also a safe bet that the Sabres will remain one of the primary players in whatever drama develops in the coming days.

Miller and Buffalo captain Steve Ott were sent to the Blues in exchange for goalie Jaroslav Halak, power forward Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a first-round pick in 2015 and a conditional pick that the Sabres say could net them the Blues' first-rounder in June if St. Louis makes the Western Conference Final or Miller re-signs with his new team.

In moving Miller to the Blues, the Sabres may well have set off a chain reaction in the Western Conference by becoming markedly better without losing much from their current depth. Miller has had a Vezina Trophy-caliber season with the struggling Sabres. He could be a significant upgrade playing for Ken Hitchcock, a defensive-minded coach, and in front of a better, more experienced defense corps.

"We just think this gives us a better opportunity to have success this year and it also allows us to keep our prime assets," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "There's a few players that were discussed we wouldn't part with, some of our signed players that are currently with our team. We wanted to keep the guys like Jake Allen, Dmitrij Jaskin and maybe one or two other players. When we were able to keep those players, it seemed like a deal that made sense for us."

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Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp