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Rangers confident they can contend with core group

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 5:26 PM / NHL Insider

David Satriano - Staff Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers have competed in the Eastern Conference Final in three of the past four seasons, but have yet to achieve the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.

Despite being older next season, most of the players feel their chance of winning the Cup with the current group is still very high.

"We have the same core guys here for the last six or seven years and built the team around that," defenseman Dan Girardi said Monday. "Just kind of brought guys in the last 3-4 years. It just seems this team jells. We get a couple of guys at the deadline and they just fit right in. … Hopefully we will be able to get a lot of guys back for next year and have another good run."

Lightning acquire Walcott from Rangers for draft pick

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 4:54 PM / News

The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired defenseman Daniel Walcott from the New York Rangers on Monday for a seventh-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Walcott, 21, had seven goals and 41 points in 54 games for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season. He played in one game for the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League after signing an amateur tryout agreement, but is unsigned for the 2015-16 season.

Rangers' St. Louis unsure about what future holds

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 4:20 PM / News

David Satriano - Staff Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers forward Martin St. Louis said Monday he doesn't know what his future holds, including if he would be playing hockey next season.

St. Louis, 39, will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He spoke with reporters three days after the Rangers lost to his former team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

"As you get older, you always think about the following year, the next year," he said. "For me right now, of course I want to play. I'm not sure which direction this team is going to go in either, so it's tough to comment. I've been blessed to play parts of two years here for a great organization and we'll see where that takes me. The opportunity to play for a Cup last year and one win away again this year … it's an experience I'll never forget."

Coyotes name Chayka, O'Hearn assistant GMs

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 4:12 PM / News

GLENDALE, ARIZONAArizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have signed John Chayka to a multi-year contract to serve as the team's Assistant General Manager/Analytics. The Coyotes also announced that Chris O'Hearn has been promoted to serve as the team's Assistant General Manager/Hockey Operations.

In addition, Maloney announced that Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager Darcy Regier will serve as General Manager of the Springfield Falcons, the Coyotes' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate. As per club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

"John brings a unique skill set to our management team and is an important addition to our staff," said Maloney. "Chris continues to expand his role in our hockey operations department and will play a key role moving forward."

To read more from the Coyotes website, CLICK HERE.

Rangers' Zuccarello had hairline fracture of skull

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 3:38 PM / News

David Satriano - Staff Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello sustained a brain contusion and a hairline fracture of his skull in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins that sidelined him for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he said Monday.

Zuccarello, who was hit in the head by a Ryan McDonagh slap shot on April 24, said he even lost feeling in his arm and was unable to talk for four days. He is expected to make a full recovery.

"I was in the hospital for three days," Zuccarello said Monday at Rangers breakup day. "I couldn't talk for a while. Just had a contusion, some blood in my brain. That affects a lot. Now I go to speech therapy. I'm getting much better. I couldn't say a word for four days. I feel much better.

"I had a small fracture in my head. I lost my talking and some feeling in my arm and stuff."

Penguins defenseman Letang cleared for workouts

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 2:28 PM / News

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, who suffered a concussion late in the 2014-15 season, has been cleared to resume workouts, the team announced today.

Letang will continue to be monitored throughout the off-season.

Letang, 28, was injured March 28 against Arizona. He played 69 games in 2014-15, recording 11 goals and 43 assists for 54 points.

Five reasons Lightning can win Stanley Cup

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 12:06 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The Tampa Bay Lightning have already made history in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs by becoming the first team to defeat three Original Six teams to reach the Stanley Cup Final. Four more wins and they'll break that record.

The Lightning defeated the Detroit Red Wings in seven games, the Montreal Canadiens in six, and the New York Rangers in seven to earn their chance to compete against the Chicago Blackhawks for the Stanley Cup. They even have home-ice advantage.

Game 1 is Wednesday at Amalie Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

In defeating the Canadiens, the Lightning knocked off a team that lost the Eastern Conference Final last season. In defeating the Rangers, they dethroned last year's Eastern Conference champs (New York defeated Montreal in six games in the 2014 conference final).

If the Lightning are to win the Stanley Cup, they'll have to defeat a team that closest represents a modern-day dynasty. The Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup twice and have made four trips, including three in a row, to the Western Conference Final since 2010.

It'll be challenging, no doubt, but the Lightning certainly have the wherewithal to defeat the Blackhawks four times in two weeks. Here are five reasons:

PLAYMOBIL, NHL enter merchandising partnership

New deal marks very first licensed product line for PLAYMOBIL in North America

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 12:00 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

MISSISSAUGA, ON/CRANBURY, NJ - PLAYMOBIL, one of the top global toy manufacturers, announced today a partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) to produce a new line of NHL toys, marking the very first time PLAYMOBIL has struck a deal for a U.S. and Canadian licensed line of products.

The first NHL® playsets are due to market this October – just in time for the start of the 2015-16 NHL® season. The initial PLAYMOBIL NHL figures will focus on the beloved Original Six™ franchises –Boston Bruins®, Chicago Blackhawks®, Detroit Red Wings®, Montreal Canadiens®, New York Rangers® and Toronto Maple Leafs® – with both player and goalie figures for each respective team, and more teams to come.

Goaltender Matchup: Inside Blackhawks' Crawford

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 11:28 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Goaltending plays an integral part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs so broke down the Stanley Cup Final battle between Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks and Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Today the focus is on Crawford.

Much like many goaltending coaches do before a series, correspondent Kevin Woodley, the managing editor of InGoal Magazine, charted every goal scored with the help of a program from Double Blue Sport Analytics. Regular-season goals were recorded in their original Save Review System, and playoff goals, including how they were scored, were tracked in the soon-to-launch SRS 2.0. The graphics showing where goals went in and shots were taken from are nice, but the real value is analyzing the plays that led to them and whether they reveal strengths, weaknesses and tendencies that can be targeted.

Preview: Blackhawks face youthful Lightning in Final

Sunday, 05.31.2015 / 10:49 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen and Corey Masisak - Staff Writers

The Chicago Blackhawks might feel like they're looking at a younger version of themselves when they step onto the ice against the Tampa Bay Lightning for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Each team is driven by star power. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford have carried the Blackhawks through three rounds in the Western Conference, including a 5-3 victory against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of the conference final on Saturday. Tampa Bay's top-six forwards, led by the "Triplets" line of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov, and captain Steven Stamkos, have scored more than 80 percent of the Lightning's goals in the first three rounds, and Ben Bishop leads all goaltenders in this year's playoffs with three shutouts, including 2-0 victories on the road in Game 5 and Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers.

Each team relies on speed and puck possession but can shut down opponents when the game is on the line. Chicago is 32-0-0 in the regular season and playoffs when leading after two periods. The Lightning are 9-0-0 this spring when scoring first, and each of Bishop's three shutouts has been a 2-0 win.

The one major edge Chicago has is postseason experience; the core of this team won Stanley Cup in 2010 and 2013. Tampa Bay hasn't made the Final since 2004, when it won its only championship.

The Lightning have won three playoff rounds for the first time in a decade, but Bishop knows there's still much left to do.

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Quote of the Day

Yeah, I guess so. That empty-netter was pretty lucky, but I'll take it.

— Senators forward Mike Hoffman when asked if his two-goal game was a good way to celebrate his 26th birthday
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