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Halifax's Ehlers earns promotion by Central Scouting

Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 10:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer


It was five months ago that three players from the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League were making waves at the 2013 NHL Draft.

Nathan MacKinnon was the center of attention as the No. 1 pick by the Colorado Avalanche. Dynamic Jonathan Drouin was chosen two picks later by the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Zachary Fucale was the first goalie selected when he was taken in the second round (No. 36) by the Montreal Canadiens.

According to NHL Central Scouting, another prominent forward is making news for the Mooseheads this season: left wing Nikolaj Ehlers. Born in Aalborg, Denmark, the 5-foot-11.5, 162-pound left-handed shot perfected his game in Switzerland for Biel the past six seasons before joining Halifax this season.


Maple Leafs' Kadri to have hearing Thursday

Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 7:50 AM / Department of Player Safety News


Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety Thursday afternoon for a hit on Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center.

while theAt 7:07 of the first period, Kadri hit Backstrom while driving to the net. Backstrom initially remained in the game after being attended to on the ice, but was replaced by Josh Harding at 10:31 of the first period and did not return.


Predators look forward to going home after long trip

Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Perspective often comes into play when a team is on an extended road trip. Take the Nashville Predators, who haven't seen their home ice since a 6-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 26. With the Country Music Association Awards held at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 6, the Predators headed out of town.

The Predators had to keep themselves mentally tough and physically focused for a road trip that included a franchise-record seven games and 17 days through four time zones before they return home to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. Long road trips can be grueling; just ask a New York Rangers team that started the season 3-6-0 while playing nine games and spending 25 days away from Madison Square Garden. On the other hand, extended journeys offer the chance for a team to bond and to focus on the business at hand without the distractions that can come during a homestand.

"You get to eat, sleep and breathe hockey 24/7," Predators forward Matt Hendricks told NHL.com. "You can turn your mind off when you want to, but for the most part you get to play hockey and that's it. I just worry about myself, worry about hockey. That's the good part of being on the road."


Bruins taking calm, measured approach with Krug

Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- A player who scores four goals in his first five games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs can earn a lot of future good will from his coaching staff.

Unfortunately, that good will is not a free pass.

That's what Torey Krug has learned as the first couple months of his second professional season have unfolded. After emerging as a surprise offensive producer in the postseason last year, Krug made the Boston Bruins roster this season out of training camp for the first time.


Lightning's Hedman wants Olympics on his résumé

Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman has traveled the world and played a key role for his country on an international scale throughout his impressive career.

He helped Sweden to a first-place finish at the 2007 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament. He won silver medals while patrolling Sweden's blue line at the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championship. And he earned a bronze medal at the 2010 World Championship after totaling one goal, two points and a plus-5 rating in nine games.

The one tournament missing from his résumé is the granddaddy of them all: The Olympics.

"It would mean a lot to be a part of the [Swedish team] at the 2014 Olympics," Hedman told NHL.com. "The Olympics are as good as it gets on the international level so it would be a big honor for me to go [to Sochi, Russia] and bring gold home for Sweden."


Daily Primer: Conference leaders meet in Tampa Bay

Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 1:21 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The two best teams in the NHL will be on the ice Thursday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, though neither the Anaheim Ducks nor the Tampa Bay Lightning will be at their best.

Anaheim's 31 points put them atop the League standings, but the Ducks have played their past two games without captain Ryan Getzlaf. Coach Bruce Boudreau said Wednesday that "it doesn't look very good" for a Getzlaf return Thursday.

Getzlaf is part of a lengthy Ducks injury list that includes forwards Saku Koivu (head) and Jakob Silfverberg (broken hand). The Ducks do hope to have starting goaltender Jonas Hiller available; he's been battling an illness.

The Lightning, the top team in the Eastern Conference, are missing their big gun as well. Steven Stamkos underwent surgery Tuesday to stabilize a fractured tibia in his right leg sustained a day earlier against the Boston Bruins. Tampa Bay lost defensemen Keith Aulie and Sami Salo in the same game.

Here's a complete look at Thursday's action:


Wild goalie Backstrom leaves game after collision

Wednesday, 11.13.2013 / 8:16 PM / News

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom left the game Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs midway through the first period with an apparent head injury.

With a little less than 13 minutes remaining, Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri skated into the crease and collided with Backstrom, appearing to contact the goaltender’s head with his elbow.


Sabres hire LaFontaine, Nolan in front-office shakeup

Wednesday, 11.13.2013 / 6:39 PM / News


The Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday revamped their front office, firing general manager Darcy Regier and coach Ron Rolston, and hiring Hockey Hall of Fame member and former Sabres star Pat LaFontaine to fill the newly created role of president of hockey operations and Ted Nolan as their interim coach.

Sabres owner Terry Pegula said the decision to fire Regier and Rolston was made Tuesday, following a 3-2 shootout win against the Los Angeles Kings.

"Why now? I guess I just decided it was the time," Pegula said. "We worked together. Sometimes you get to the point where a change is needed. Darcy Regier had a heck of a run with the Buffalo Sabres. … It's not like he was a failure."

LaFontaine has full control of all aspects of the hockey operations department. He had been working with the NHL since October as the League's vice president of development and community affairs.


Nolan happy to be back where he started, with Sabres

Wednesday, 11.13.2013 / 5:02 PM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- The last time Ted Nolan coached the Buffalo Sabres was during the 1996-1997 season. The team finished first in the Northeast Division and Nolan won the Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year. That summer he was out of a job after refusing to sign a one-year contract to continue coaching the team.

Now, 16 years later, Nolan is back with the Sabres as their interim coach following the firing of coach Ron Rolston and general manager Darcy Regier on Wednesday.

Nolan, 55, has been around the world since being let go by the Sabres. He's coached Canadian junior hockey, the New York Islanders, and most recently the Latvian national team, which he will lead at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.


Kings send injured Quick back to Los Angeles

Wednesday, 11.13.2013 / 2:49 PM / News

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick likely suffered a hamstring or groin-related injury during overtime of their game Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres and has left the team's road trip.

"We sent Jonathan back to Los Angeles to see our doctors," coach Darryl Sutter said after the Kings practiced Wednesday in Buffalo, where they lost 3-2 in a shootout. "Our trainers think it's either a hamstring or groin-related, so it's a muscle [injury]. He's not going to play on this trip, so he might as well be home and we make sure we know what it is and then go from there."

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For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory