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Blues' Stastny surging as he sets to face Avalanche

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 4:18 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- The numbers may not have reflected it earlier in the season, but for St. Louis Blues center Paul Stastny, popping up on the score sheet more often recently is the reason why the Blues invested so heavily in him.

And the offensive numbers have accumulated just in time for Stastny to make his first appearance against the team he spent the first eight seasons of his NHL career with, the Colorado Avalanche.

The Blues play the Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Saturday. Stastny missed the Blues' first game against the Avalanche on Nov. 1 after sustaining a shoulder injury, so this will be his first game against the only teammates he knew for eight years.

"You just want to get that first one out of the way, but I'm excited," said Stastny, who has seven goals and 12 points in 21 games with the Blues this season. "I think I have a lot of friends [in Denver], not just hockey-wise.

"Once the puck drops, it'll just feel like a normal game. Sometimes the anticipation takes longer than normal, but it's part of the business."


Sharks unveil new jerseys for Stadium Series game

Larger numbers, a new shoulder patch and bolder, streamlined visuals are the highlights of the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series jerseys unveiled Friday by the San Jose Sharks.

Given the Sharks and Los Angeles Kings will play at Levi's Stadium, a larger venue than typically used for hockey games, Reebok worked with the Sharks to create an amplified version of the hockey jersey with the hopes of looking sharper in the football stadium environment.

San Jose's jersey for the Stadium Series game will feature a horizontal striping look of teal, white and black on the front and all teal on the back. There will be a similar effect on the sleeves.

The numbers on the backs of the jerseys are 13 inches tall instead of the standard 11.5. The numbers on the shoulders are seven inches tall instead of the typical four. The design of the numbers have been simplified to make them easier to see from a distance, and the ones on the shoulders will be higher to help people who are sitting in elevated seats to view them.


Brunner, Devils agree to terminate contract: report

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 1:02 PM / News

Forward Damien Brunner cleared unconditional waivers and his contract was mutually terminated by the New Jersey Devils on Friday, according to

Brunner then signed a contract with HC Lugano in Switzerland, reported.

Brunner had two goals and seven points in 17 games this season for the Devils. The 27-year-old has 25 goals and 58 points in 121 games over three NHL seasons with the Devils and Detroit Red Wings.


Oilers transfer Joensuu to SC Bern of Swiss league

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 12:45 PM / News

Forward Jesse Joensuu was transferred by the Edmonton Oilers on Friday to SC Bern of the National League A in Switzerland, the Oilers announced.

Joensuu played 62 games over the past two seasons with the Oilers, scoring five goals and nine points.


Canadiens prospect Hudon shines in first AHL season

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 12:36 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to

The Montreal Canadiens have made 50 fifth-round draft selections in their franchise history.

Mike Busniuk won a record five Calder Cups playing in the American Hockey League and a sixth as an assistant coach. Bill Nyrop won the Stanley Cup three years in a row during the Canadiens dynasty in the 1970s. Mikhail Grabovski was a member of the Hamilton Bulldogs' 2007 Calder Cup title team who has played more than 450 NHL games. And current Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher has become a rising star in the League.

Charles Hudon joined that impressively productive group as pick No. 122 in the 2012 NHL Draft, and after four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, he is quickly making a mark as a professional rookie with Hamilton.

"It's tough to really follow [players after they're drafted], especially during the season, other than going on the Internet and see how they're doing. Maybe give their coach a call once in a while," Bulldogs coach Sylvain Lefebvre said. "But I knew of Charles, and I knew what he could do on the ice."


Hot fantasy topics: Dubinsky, shooting percentages

Matt Cubeta - Fantasy Insider

Let's get right to it. Here are the five hottest topics in fantasy hockey right now.

1. Brandon Dubinsky expectations

Brandon Dubinsky returned to the Columbus Blue Jackets lineup on Tuesday and finished the game with a power-play assist in 19:09 of ice time. He played 19:31 on Thursday and was a plus-1 with two penalty minutes. Fantasy owners everywhere are wondering what to expect from the 28-year-old power forward. Dubinsky, known for his gritty, get-in-your-face, hard-working style of play, is one of the few players capable of contributing in all fantasy categories.

Brandon Dubinsky
Center - CBJ
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 1
SOG: 3 | +/-: 0
Last season Dubinsky had 50 points and 98 penalty minutes, and only Wayne Simmonds, David Backes and Scott Hartnell had more points among players with at least 95 PIMs. He finished the season as the 81st best fantasy player. Why he's only owned in 63 percent of leagues right now points to the fact people forgot about him because of his lengthy absence. It's time to wake up. Dubinsky is capable of being a difference-maker in any league, and while it may take him some time to get reacquainted, his versatility makes him worth starting on a regular basis.

Toews to travel with Blackhawks, who face Islanders

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 11:24 AM / News

BOSTON -- Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews has an upper-body injury, according to the Blackhawks website. He will travel with the team to Long Island, where they face the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Toews left near the midway point of the second period against the Boston Bruins on Thursday and did not return to the game.

"Yeah, he seemed all right," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after the game Thursday. "We'll see how he is tomorrow. It looks like he’s going to be all right."


Canada goalie Fucale eager for second crack at WJC

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 9:18 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- Zach is back.

Goaltender Zachary Fucale is hoping to improve on his performance at the World Junior Championship a year ago in Sweden and hopes some of the lessons he learned will benefit his team when Canada hosts the tournament starting Dec. 26.

Canada placed fourth at the 2014 WJC.

"We learned a lot," Fucale said. "It was a tough loss, but now it's a new year and a new team, so we're looking forward to it. For me, there are a lot of things I have changed from last year. I have become better mentally, stronger physically, and technically everything has gotten better. I feel great coming to this event. It is a great opportunity, so I am just looking forward to the whole experience and living the moment."


Around the League notebook for Thursday, Dec. 11

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 9:00 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


Patrick Kane scored his team-leading 13th goal and both Ben Smith (1-1—2) and Marcus Kruger (0-2—2) had two points as the Chicago Blackhawks opened a 3-0 lead en route to their eighth consecutive victory, 3-2 against the Boston Bruins. Chicago's winning streak is the longest in the NHL this season and the club's best stretch since it won 11 straight from Feb. 15 to March 6, 2013. The Blackhawks also have posted five straight road wins for the first time since a six-game stretch from Nov. 21-30, 2013.

* The Blackhawks are the first team to reach 20 wins this season. They sit alone atop the Central Division standings with 41 points (20-8-1) and are within two of the Anaheim Ducks (19-6-5, 43 points) for first place in the entire NHL, with a game in hand.

* Kane picked up his fourth game-winning goal of the season to move into a share of the League lead. He has tallied 5-4—9 during Chicago's winning streak and leads the club with 27 points (13-14—27) in 29 games.

* Making his third consecutive shot, rookie goaltender Scott Darling stopped 32 shots to improve to 5-1-0 with a 1.80 goals-against average and .939 save percentage in his career.


Reinhart brings skill, leadership to Canada WJC camp

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- When Sam Reinhart looked around the dressing room at Toronto’s MasterCard Centre on the opening night of the final training camp for the Canada’s National Junior Team, he saw a lot of familiar and friendly faces.

Reinhart is one of seven returnees vying for a spot on the roster that will represent Canada on its home ice in the IIHF World Junior Championship, to be played in Montreal and Toronto beginning Dec. 26.

He said the seven returnees have the benefit of knowing what to expect in such a high-profile event.

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Quote of the Day

I don't think it's really truly going to sink in until we drop the puck, to be honest. I know there's going to be a lot of smoke and mirrors with the media attention and all that. We came [Monday] and it was sort of a light day to get things organized. We just want to focus in on the business aspect, the game itself. That's what we're preparing to do. Get these next couple of days out of the way and it's game on.

— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on playing in his first Stanley Cup Final