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Five Questions: Blues' Armstrong on deadline moves

Tuesday, 03.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong:

St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong was on his way home from a long day -- more accurately a long couple of weeks -- when he was reached by phone Monday afternoon.

Armstrong seemed relaxed and satisfied, calm and measured. He also was very willing to put his feet up and let other people dissect what he and his fellow general managers did before the NHL Trade Deadline.

"Now you guys have got to make sense of it all," Armstrong said to NHL.com. "This is the fun time of the year now. My experience shows that when the players have their first practice after the deadline there is more heightened awareness. This is their team. This is what it is. Let's get our game in order now. You're past the dog days and you're into really why we played the game as kids and why we follow the game. You're into the most enjoyable time."

Vezina favorite Price elevating game for Canadiens

Tuesday, 03.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

With three-quarters of the 2014-15 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders.

The Montreal Canadiens won their fourth straight game Saturday and are building on their lead atop the Atlantic Division. One could make a strong case their goaltender is the biggest reason why.

Carey Price has been sensational all season long and was named the NHL's Second Star for the month of February after going 9-1-1 with a 1.34 goals-against average and .949 save percentage in 11 games. He closed out the month by shutting out the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4-0 win at Bell Centre on Saturday when he made 30 saves.

Laviolette, leading Predators, still Adams favorite

Tuesday, 03.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

With three-quarters of the 2014-15 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders.

Not even an injury to a Hart and Vezina Trophy contender could derail Peter Laviolette and the Nashville Predators.

Goalie Pekka Rinne was leading the NHL with 29 wins when he sustained a sprained knee Jan. 13, but the Predators held steady to maintain their place at the top of the Central Division. When Rinne was injured, the Predators led the Chicago Blackhawks by two points and the St. Louis Blues by five points. When he returned Feb. 5, they were two points ahead of the Blues and eight in front of the Blackhawks.

At the quarter pole of the season, Nashville leads the race for the Presidents' Trophy and Laviolette remains the favorite to win the Jack Adams Award given to the NHL's top coach.

Around the League notebook for Monday, March 2

Tuesday, 03.03.2015 / 1:42 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

RANGERS DEFEAT LEAGUE'S TOP TEAM, TAKE FIRST IN METROPOLITAN

The New York Rangers defeated the League-leading Nashville Predators by a score of 4-1 and have earned points in nine straight home games (7-0-2) and in 11 of their past 12 games overall (9-1-2). The Rangers are 39-17-6 (84 points) this season and tied the idle New York Islanders for first in Metropolitan Division standings points. However, the Rangers hold two games in hand and own the ROW tiebreaker (NYR: 36, NYI: 34).

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the most-recent time the Rangers earned points in nine or more consecutive home games was from Feb. 16-April 4, 2008 when they earned points in 11 straight games on home ice (8-0-3). The Rangers have also earned points in seven straight games against Western Conference opponents (5-0-2). Elias says that the most-recent time they earned points in seven or more consecutive games versus Western Conference teams was from Nov. 26, 1996-Jan. 21, 1997 when the Rangers earned points in 10 straight games against Western Conference opponents (8-0-2).


Coyotes looking to future after busy week of trades

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 11:03 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When the Arizona Coyotes traded center Antoine Vermette and defenseman Zbynek Michalek leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline, there was little surprise. Each can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and the Coyotes needed to get what they could before losing them.

But in between, Coyotes general manager Don Maloney pulled the trigger on a trade that sent shockwaves through the dressing room and signaled that a retool had become a total rebuild.

Coyotes leading scorer Keith Yandle, who spent his entire eight-season career in Arizona, most of it in the locker next to captain Shane Doan, was traded to the New York Rangers, with Maloney content that the promise of young center Anthony Duclair and a first- and second-round draft pick would be a big part of a future that needed to begin as soon as possible.

Canadiens add five quality players at low cost

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 10:05 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin likes to say that championship teams are built at the NHL Draft, not at the NHL Trade Deadline.

For a second year in a row, the success of the Canadiens forced Bergevin to act against that principle on deadline day.

Bergevin traded four draft picks and a prospect to acquire Edmonton Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry and Buffalo Sabres forwards Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn in three trades Monday, filling a major need on the blue line and shoring up the Canadiens' depth up front.

Last year, Bergevin traded a second-round pick and a prospect to acquire forward Thomas Vanek from the New York Islanders, nabbing the most coveted rental forward on the market minutes before the deadline.

This time, Bergevin traded a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and a conditional fifth-round pick that reportedly could become a third- or fourth-round pick depending on the Canadiens' success in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to acquire Petry, who was one of the most sought after rental defensemen available.

For someone who doesn't believe in the value of moving at the deadline, Bergevin is proving to be quite good at it.

"I'm really happy with our group, what we've done so far this year the first 60-some games, the way we compete, the way we played, where we are in the standings," Bergevin said. "I think it's great for our players first of all and our coaching staff, the way they've done. So I'm proud of them, and [Monday] we brought help."

Defenseman Zidlicky traded to Red Wings by Devils

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 9:27 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

NHL.com

The Detroit Red Wings acquired defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the New Jersey Devils on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

The Red Wings will send the Devils their third-round pick in 2016 and a fifth-round selection in 2015 if they advance to the Eastern Conference Final. If Detroit reaches the Stanley Cup Final, New Jersey will receive a second-round pick in 2016.

"A right-handed shot, we haven't had that since [Brian Rafalski in 2001-12], really, powering in from the point on the power play," Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "So I think that's something we've been looking for and we're going to be really excited to have him here."

Ducks GM Murray pleased with deadline trades

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 9:17 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

Perhaps the most telling part of Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray's conference call with reporters Monday was a reference to what happened last season and not the whirlwind hours leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline.

Murray remembers Anaheim nearly being taken to a Game 7 against the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference First Round, and how the Ducks couldn't match the Stanley Cup champion vigor of the Los Angeles Kings in a seven-game loss in the second round.

"I didn't think we were as close in the seven-game series with L.A. as everyone else thought," Murray said. "I thought we were lucky against Dallas."

That's why Murray made the Ducks more prepared for the rugged Western Conference path with the addition of defensemen James Wisniewski and Simon Despres at the deadline Monday.

Leopold's daughter asked for trade to Wild in letter

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 8:26 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Maybe Jordyn Leopold has a future in hockey management.

A handwritten letter from the 11-year-old daughter of Jordan Leopold to the Minnesota Wild coaching staff surfaced Monday shortly after the defenseman was traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Wild.

The Wild added Leopold, a Golden Valley, Minn., native, from the Blue Jackets for defenseman Justin Falk and a fifth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

"I didn’t even know she wrote it," her mom Jamie Leopold told KFAN radio in Minneapolis. "She left it on the counter, went to school one day, and I read it and just started bawling."

Jordyn Leopold's letter was a plea for the Wild to start winning more games (it was sent before goaltender Devan Dubnyk arrived and Minnesota became one of the hottest teams in the NHL), because her father was lonely in Ohio without her, her mother and her three siblings.

"My dad is very [lonely] without his family," Jordyn Leopold wrote. "We are living in Minnesota right now and I am lost without my dad and so is my mom, my two sisters and my brother."

Five teams that dealt with deadline the best

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 8:14 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The 2015 NHL Trade Deadline has passed and the dust is starting to settle around the League, which means it's time to analyze who got what, for what, and what it all means.

Some teams were trading to bolster what could be a legitimate Stanley Cup contending roster. Some were trying to acquire players who can help them get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Others were in full sell mode because of massive rebuilding projects.

Here are the five teams who did the best for the situation they're in:

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Quote of the Day

After being through it and seeing the other [outdoor] games on TV, just the atmosphere is spectacular. To stand here -- and we are essentially almost on the blue line -- and look up [into the stands] and knowing it is going to be packed and playing our biggest rival in this setting is going to be pretty special.

— Bruins president Cam Neely on the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between Boston and Montreal at Gillette Stadium on
Jan. 1, 2016