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Fantasy top 60 'D': Flames' Giordano tops rankings

Wednesday, 11.12.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

The Calgary Flames have been one of the most interesting stories through the first month of the NHL season. They have gotten off to a 9-6-2 start and sit just three points behind the Western Conference-leading Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division. There have been many reasons for that success, but one of the biggest has been the play of Mark Giordano.

Giordano, who jumps to the head of the line in our rankings this week, leads all defensemen in assists (14) and points (19), and ranks second in goals (five) and points per game (1.12). He collected 10 of those points (three goals) over his past five games and is probably the hottest player in the league not named Sidney Crosby.

He might not have been the first name you thought of when drafting defensemen for your fantasy team, but he probably should have been, especially when you consider he rolled up 47 points (five goals) over the 64 games he played last season.

That production translated into .73 points per game and was good enough to rank him behind the Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson (.90) and the Chicago Blackhawks' Duncan Keith (.77) in that category.

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Canadiens assign defenseman Tinordi to AHL

Wednesday, 11.12.2014 / 11:02 AM / News

NHL.com

The Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday assigned defenseman Jarred Tinordi to Hamilton of the American Hockey League.

The Canadiens acquired veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar on Tuesday in a trade with the Dallas Stars, making it likely either Tinordi or another young defenseman, Nathan Beaulieu, would be sent to the AHL.

Tinordi, a first-round pick (No. 22) by the Canadiens in the 2010 NHL Draft, had two assists in nine games this season. He has six assists in 39 games over three seasons with Montreal.

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Five things to watch in Rivalry Night games

Wednesday, 11.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to string wins together. The Boston Bruins are thriving, not just surviving, without their captain and top defenseman, Zdeno Chara.

They're each in Stanley Cup Playoff position one month into the 2014-15 season, separated by two points in the Atlantic Division. With a handful of teams in the Eastern Conference improving their rosters during the offseason, every point, even this early in the season, is critical.

The Original Six clubs will get together in the first game of a NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader at Air Canada Centre (8 p.m. ET), when the Bruins will be seeking their sixth straight win. The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, will try to make it three in a row.

On the other side of North America, the Los Angeles Kings will head down the freeway to take on the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. ET) in the first game between the teams since the Western Conference Second Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which the Kings won in seven games.

Anaheim has lost its past three games, but it enters Wednesday with a five-game point streak (2-0-3). Los Angeles is on a three-game point streak (2-0-1).

Here are five things to watch in the Wednesday Night Rivalry games:


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Quick continues to excel despite depleted Kings roster

Wednesday, 11.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Every four years Dustin Brown gets a reminder of why he appreciates Jonathan Quick. It happens when Brown and Quick are playing for the U.S. Olympic team instead of the Los Angeles Kings.

Brown has been with Quick throughout the 28-year-old goalie's NHL career, so he's used to seeing Quick carry the Kings and hide their weaknesses during rough patches.

"But going to the Olympics and him making saves over there and seeing guys react on the bench that way that haven't played with him on a day-to-day basis [reminds me]," Brown said. "Just seeing guys, how they reacted when he made some saves that probably very few goalies make."

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Maple Leafs seeing incremental progress from Kadri

Wednesday, 11.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- A work in progress.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri has been called that so often it might as well be his middle name.

And yet 15 games into his third full season with the Maple Leafs, Kadri is still working toward establishing himself as a bona fide top-two center with the team. The 24-year-old London, Ontario, native who was the seventh pick in the 2009 NHL Draft started the season as Toronto's No. 2 pivot behind Tyler Bozak, who has skated the last few seasons between left wing James van Riemsdyk and right wing Phil Kessel.

When that trio failed to light it up early, Toronto coach Randy Carlyle replaced Bozak, not a prototypical top-line center, though he has been productive as well as the defensive conscience on the line, with Kadri.

"I haven't gotten too much opportunity over the past couple of years, but it is always nice to play with Phil," Kadri said. "He's a great player. The thing with this team is we need all the lines to contribute and secondary third- and fourth-line scoring is definitely going to increase our chances of winning."

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Modano grew Texas hockey on way to Hall of Fame

Wednesday, 11.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / Hall of Fame

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

When Mike Modano retired in 2011 after playing 1,499 regular-season games, the Dallas Stars great had to have known he had a strong chance to one day be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

But truth be told, there was never any doubt.

Modano, the all-time leader in goals (561) and points (1,374) among players born in the United States, will enter the Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Toronto on Nov. 17. He received the call in June while driving in his car and when he saw who was on the other end, he knew he had to stop.

"Just a little disbelief. You just don't feel like there's a part of you that buys you're going in with the greats to ever play the game," Modano told NHL.com. "You feel like you, in some weird way, you don't belong in there with those guys. But it was quite a call. I just had to pull over to the curb to take that one."

Modano is one of four players who will enter the Hall this year, joining Dominik Hasek, Peter Forsberg and Rob Blake. Former referee Bill McCreary will also be enshrined, along with former coach Pat Burns, who was posthumously elected. Modano's thrilled to be a part of such a tremendous class; he played against Hasek when the Stars defeated the Buffalo Sabres in the 1999 Stanley Cup Final.

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Analysis: Canadiens not ready to go young on 'D'

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 11:26 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- When the Montreal Canadiens entered training camp, the big question facing them was which of their two young, first-round draft picks on defense would be able to claim the final roster spot.

Two months later, it appears neither Nathan Beaulieu nor Jarred Tinordi has been able to convince Canadiens brass he is ready to seize the job.

General manager Marc Bergevin added some veteran help on defense Tuesday when he acquired Sergei Gonchar from the Dallas Stars in exchange for forward Travis Moen.

And the help doesn't get much more "veteran" than Gonchar; at 40, he is the oldest defenseman in the NHL by 22 months.

Gonchar is not likely to be asked to play much more than the 13:01 of ice time averaged in the three games he played with the Stars since returning from a broken foot that kept him out of the first 11 games of the season.

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NHL teams pay tribute to military service

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 8:38 PM / News

NHL.com

St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott wore a special mask Tuesday for the game against the Buffalo Sabres at Scottrade Center, one of many tributes to the military being performed by teams and players across the NHL this week.

The mask, adorned with images of soldiers, the stars and stripes of the American flag, and the maple leaf of the Canadian flag, was given to Elliott after practice Monday by Charles Rohde, 92, a World War II veteran. Rohde participated in the pregame ceremony, next to Elliott.

"It's definitely an honor getting [the mask] from Mr. Rohde, someone that's been through something that we've only read [about] in books," Elliott told the Blues website. "He's a hero. It's an honor to be in his presence, for sure."

Tuesday is Veterans Day in America and Remembrance Day in Canada. Like the Blues, teams across the NHL have been and will be paying tribute with Military Appreciation nights.

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Stars trade Gonchar to Canadiens for Moen

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 6:54 PM / News

NHL.com

The Dallas Stars traded defenseman Sergei Gonchar to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday for forward Travis Moen, a transaction involving two veteran players whose roles had diminished with their previous team.

Gonchar, who turns 41 in April, appeared in three games for the Stars this season and averaged slightly more than 13 minutes of ice time per game. He is in the final year of a contract with an average annual value of $5 million.

The trade frees up a significant amount of NHL salary-cap space in 2014-15 for the Stars, who could look to ease the burden being placed on their top-four defensemen by acquiring outside help.

"We're open to [another move]," Stars general manager Jim Nill said. "But my first thought process here, and [coach] Lindy [Ruff], sitting down with him and our management and coaching staff, is that we have to find out internally what we have first. That's what this trade allows us to do now. … We have some young defensemen coming up and they've earned the right for the opportunity. These are guys that have been playing the last two or three years, they won the Calder Cup. I needed to start opening up some doors and some opportunities for them."

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Kings sign defenseman McBain to one-year contract

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 5:45 PM / News

LAKings.com

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Jamie McBain to a one-year contract, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.

The 26-year-old McBain (born on Feb. 25, 1988) is a 6-1, 181-pound native of Edina, Minnesota who has appeared in 275 career NHL regular season games with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Buffalo Sabres over five seasons, totaling 92 points (25-67=92) and 62 penalty minutes. McBain was originally selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round (63rd overall) at the 2006 NHL Draft. He will wear number five for the Kings; he becomes the 19th player to wear the number (last King to wear number five was Keaton Ellerby; 2/13-11/14).

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Quote of the Day

It's not always going to be pretty, especially against a great goalie [Lundqvist] like that. My goals are never how you draw them up. It's just a matter of grinding it out and trying to create havoc in front and good things happen.

— Capitals forward Jay Beagle on scoring in their Game 3 victory against the Rangers on Monday