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Latest Headlines

Penguins' Letang back at practice after stroke

Monday, 03.17.2014 / 2:39 PM / News

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang returned to practice Monday less than two months after having a stroke.

After his latest battery of tests doctors cleared Letang, the 26-year-old defenseman was not limited in any way throughout the session and spent multiple drills alongside defenseman Rob Scuderi, who he has been paired with when healthy.

Two weeks ago, Letang said he was unsure if he would be able to return this season, saying he is targeting "day by day" as opposed to a specific return date. It's still not clear if he'll return this season, but his tune has changed concerning that possibility.

"There's no doubt in my mind [his goal is to return his season]," Letang said. "Even the day I got the stroke, I asked the doctor when I'm going to be able to play again. So there's no doubt about it. If I'm on the ice today, it's because I want to return."

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Blues sign 2013 draft pick Vannelli

Monday, 03.17.2014 / 2:00 PM / News

NHL.com

The St. Louis Blues on Monday signed defenseman Thomas Vannelli, a 2013 second-round pick (No. 47).

Vannelli had 14 goals and 41 points in 59 games for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League, and was second on the team with nine power-play goals. The Tigers start the WHL playoffs Friday against Swift Current Broncos.

A 6-foot-2, 165-pound right-shot defenseman from Minnetonka, Minn., Vannelli was the top-ranked high school player and No. 44 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft.

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Flames sign Agostino to two-year contract

Monday, 03.17.2014 / 1:45 PM / News

NHL.com

The Calgary Flames on Monday signed Yale University forward Kenny Agostino to a two-year entry-level contract. The contract has an average annual value of $900,000.

In 32 games Agostino had 14 goals and 18 assists.

A 2010 fifth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Flames acquired Agostino, along with forward Ben Hanowski and a 2013 first-round draft pick last season in exchange for Jarome Iginla.

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Stajans issue statement on death of newborn son

Monday, 03.17.2014 / 12:59 PM / News

NHL.com

Calgary Flames forward Matt Stajan and his wife, Katie, issued a statement Monday regarding the death of their newborn son, Emerson, on March 3:

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the incredible outpouring of love and support, during this very difficult time. All of you have touched our lives with your kindness and compassion and we truly appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers. Our son, Emerson, will forever be in all of our hearts. Thank you for taking the time to think of us and grieve this unbearable loss with us. It means so much and we are grateful for all of your support."

Stajan has not played since March 1 but was on the ice with the team at practice Monday.

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Fantasy All-Access: Spoilers have value for playoffs

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

With the push for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in full swing there are teams trying play spoiler, and within those teams you can find fantasy gold.

The Calgary Flames have won five out of their past 10 games and Mike Cammalleri has six goals in those games. A youth movement has begun in Florida, but it is veteran Scottie Upshall who is continuing his bounce-back season with nine points in his past 14 games. And in Buffalo, Tyler Ennis has four goals in eight March games.

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Bobrovsky, Okposo, Niemi named 'Stars' of week

Monday, 03.17.2014 / 12:00 PM / News

NHL.com

NEW YORK – Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo and San Jose Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending March 16.

FIRST STAR – SERGEI BOBROVSKY, G, COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

Bobrovsky posted a 2-0-1 record with a 1.58 goals-against average and .950 save percentage to help the Blue Jackets (35-26-6, 76 points) gain five of a possible six points and move into third place in the Metropolitan Division. He began the week by making 39 saves in a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings March 11. Bobrovsky then turned aside 24 shots and denied 1-of-2 shootout attempts in a 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks March 13.

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Stars signal Lehtonen could be returning

Monday, 03.17.2014 / 11:01 AM / News

NHL.com

The Dallas Stars on Monday sent goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp to the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League, a sign that goaltender Kari Lehtonen could be ready to return to the lineup.

Lehtonen has been out since March 8, when he sustained a concussion after a collision with Minnesota Wild forward Erik Haula.

Tim Thomas started the Stars' past three games, with Nilstorp serving as his backup. The Stars are 1-1-1 without Lehtonen.

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Daily Primer March 17: Bruins seek ninth win in row

Monday, 03.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The Boston Bruins will go for a ninth consecutive victory in front of a nationally televised audience Monday night.

Boston plays the Minnesota Wild for the first time in more than two years when it hosts them at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN2). The Bruins lead the Eastern Conference with 95 points and made it eight in a row with a 5-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.

"We [don't] talk about the streak. We just talk about game by game, and it just seems to give us a better feeling and a better focus," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "So that's the way you don't get content or comfortable and you keep plugging away."

Here's a closer look at the action Monday:


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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres