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Hartley, with extension, focused on Flames' rebuild

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 7:51 PM / News

NHL.com

CALGARY -- Bob Hartley is committed. So are the Calgary Flames.

Hartley, who has coached Calgary to a 71-79-13 record over two-plus seasons, has signed a multiyear contract extension, it was announced Wednesday.

"I'm coaching hockey because it's my passion, it's what I like the most," said Hartley, whose contract was to expire at the end of this season. "I wanted to be here, I'm a coach, but I wear the 'Flaming C' with lots of pride. There was not a second, not a minute that I didn't want to continue what we started. It was not the term and it was not about money, it was about getting the opportunity to keep growing in this organization, to keep working with the players we have.

"I've said it many times: I feel very fortunate to be working not only with good players but good people, and that makes our job very enjoyable. Tomorrow it's back to daily business, which is what I love the most. Let's go win some hockey games."

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Blues' Schwartz week-to-week because of foot injury

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 7:47 PM / News

NHL.com

St. Louis Blues left wing Jaden Schwartz is week-to-week because of a right-foot injury, general manager Doug Armstrong announced Wednesday.

Schwartz sustained the injury in the Blues' 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

The Blues put Schwartz on injured reserve and recalled forward Dmitrij Jaskin from the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.

Schwartz, 22, is second on the Blues with 11 goals, tied for second in points (27) and tied for third in assists (16).

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Fleury out for Penguins, being tested for mumps

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 6:56 PM / News

NHL.com

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is being tested for the mumps and will not play Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche.

Fleury and defensemen Robert Bortuzzo and Olli Maatta reported not feeling well and were being tested for the virus as a precaution.

"We will probably get those results back in a three-day period," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said, according to the Penguins website.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was diagnosed with the mumps on Sunday and on Tuesday teammate Beau Bennett was announced to have it.

It was determined Crosby was past the infectious stage of the disease Monday, and the Penguins said Crosby skated Wednesday on his own.

"He looked good on the ice," Penguins coach Mike Johnston said, according to the Penguins website. "It was a full skate. He worked on some extra conditioning drills."

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Predators' Neal fined $2,000 for diving/embellishment

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 5:00 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORKNashville Predators forward James Neal has been fined $2,000 as supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64 (Diving/Embellishment), the National Hockey League announced today.

Revised for the 2014-15 season following offseason approval by the League's Board of Governors and the National Hockey League Players' Association, NHL Rule 64 is designed to bring attention to and more seriously penalize players (and teams) who repeatedly dive and embellish in an attempt to draw penalties.

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Five things to watch in Bruins vs. Wild

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 3:15 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

A lot was expected of the Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild heading into the season, but injuries and lack of production from key players have plagued each team through the first 30 games.

Boston has been without top center David Krejci since Nov. 18 because of a groin injury, and captain Zdeno Chara recently returned to the lineup after missing roughly a month with a knee injury.

Inconsistency has plagued the Wild more than anything else, led by forward Thomas Vanek's four goals in 29 games, but there is still time to figure things out and qualify for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Here are five things to watch when the Wild host the Bruins at Xcel Energy Center in this week's edition of the Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN):

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Ducks defensemen making impact

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Most teams in the National Hockey League have at least one defenseman who can be a valuable contributor to a fantasy roster, but there are a few teams out there that boast two or more options that can help owners.

The Calgary Flames have Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie and Dennis Wideman. The Los Angeles Kings have Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez, and the Pittsburgh Penguins have Kris Letang, Christian Ehrhoff and Paul Martin.

Then there is the team that we are going to discuss today, the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks provide owners with a number of fantasy options on the back end, and they come in the form of Cam Fowler, Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm.

All three players are owned in at least 40 percent of Yahoo standard leagues, but it has been Vatanen and Fowler who have rewarded owners with the most production to this point on the season.

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Forsberg cherished time with Flyers despite injuries

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 10:26 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Peter Forsberg played 100 games with the Philadelphia Flyers but certainly left an impression, remembered as much for on-ice success as persistent injuries.

"It started really good," Forsberg said Tuesday as the Flyers honored him for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame last month. "Me and [Simon] Gagne and that line started really well and we played so well. And it just got worse and worse."

The Flyers selected Forsberg with the sixth pick of the 1991 NHL Draft and attempted to bring him to North America for the 1992-93 season. But when Forsberg said he didn't feel NHL-ready, Philadelphia used him as the sweetener to complete a trade with the Quebec Nordiques in June 1992 for Eric Lindros.

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U.S. faces tough choice in selecting starting goalie

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 9:38 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BOSTON -- What happens when three friends also happen to be in competition for the right to earn the primary role as starting goaltender for the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship?

It comes down to survival of the fittest and the best, quite honestly, during USA Hockey's four-day selection camp at Walter Brown Arena on the campus of Boston University.

The three goalies, all 2014 NHL Draft picks, are Boston College sophomore Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks, No. 36), Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina Hurricanes, No. 37) of the Plymouth Whalers in the Ontario Hockey League and Brandon Halverson (New York Rangers, No. 59) of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the OHL.

"The other two guys are fantastic goalies," Demko said. "I know that if I don't show up ready for a practice they'll be stopping the pucks. It just keeps you on your toes and pushes you."

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Around the League notebook for Tuesday, Dec. 16

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 9:00 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

BLUE JACKETS EARN SEVENTH STRAIGHT WIN

Sergei Bobrovsky denied all 30 shots he faced and stopped two of three shootout attempts and Ryan Johansen and Boone Jenner tallied in the tiebreaker to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to their seventh consecutive victory, 1-0 against the Detroit Red Wings.

* The Blue Jackets have won seven straight games for the second time in franchise history and are within one victory of matching the franchise's longest winning streak, set last season from Jan. 6-23 (8-0-0). Their seven-game run is the longest active streak in the NHL.

* The Blue Jackets have required extra time in five games during their winning streak, including each of their past four (2-0 in OT; 3-0 in shootouts).

* Bobrovsky recorded his 10th career shutout and first since April 6 vs. NYI. At 12-8-1, Bobrovsky has been in goal for 12 of Columbus' 13 wins this season, posting a 2.54 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

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Parise is Wild's leader on and off the ice

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- In a season of injury, illness and inconsistency, Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise has been the one veteran constant.

Statistically, Parise is off to his best start since signing with Minnesota in the summer of 2012. He has 23 points in 24 games entering Minnesota's Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Chicago Blackhawks (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN). If he keeps up that pace for the remainder of the season, he would be on track for his best offensive numbers since he scored 82 points in 81 games with the New Jersey Devils in 2009-10.

But while Parise has held up his end of the bargain as a veteran leader on a team with plenty of youth, it's been hard for the Wild to find a consistent groove this season.

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Quote of the Day

For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Rangers win in Game 6 forced a Game 7 that will be played at Madison Square Garden on Friday