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Kings to host Sharks in 2014-15 home opener

Saturday, 06.21.2014 / 3:00 PM / Schedule

NHL.com

The Los Angeles Kings will begin the defense of their Stanley Cup championship against the team that nearly ended their magical run before it got rolling.

Los Angeles will host the San Jose Sharks to Staples Center as part of a four-game night Oct. 8 to start the 2014-15 NHL season, the League announced Saturday.

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Oshawa's Smith holds high hopes for second draft

Saturday, 06.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Oshawa Generals right wing Hunter Smith is one year removed from slipping through the cracks at the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

The expectations are much greater this year when the 2014 draft is held at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, June 27-28.

"I didn't expect to be drafted after the year I had [in 2012-13], so it just gave me motivation to want it more this year and clearly it has paid off," Smith said. "I wanted to prove to teams [at the NHL Scouting Combine] that even though I'm a year late I still have a lot to bring. I wanted to give them a reason to draft me and show them that I'm going to be a pro one day."

After being passed over at the 2013 draft, following a season in which he played just 30 games after sustaining a hand injury, Smith rebounded in 2013-14 with 16 goals, 40 points and 100 penalty minutes in 64 games for the Generals. He followed that up with a great postseason, generating three goals, 11 points and 25 penalty minutes in 12 OHL playoff matches.

A gifted power forward projected to be a future second-line performer, he has a propensity for dropping the gloves whenever needed to defend a teammate.

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Mental, physical toughness define Middleton's game

Saturday, 06.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Ottawa 67's defenseman Jacob Middleton might be a few years away from beginning his professional hockey career, but he has a good idea on what it might take to reach the highest level.

"You have to be the strongest guy on the ice both physically and mentally," Middleton said. "When you have guys like Sidney Crosby coming down on you, you must be mentally prepared for what's to come and physically prepared to take on someone of his ability."

Does Middleton, who stands 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, feel he's up to the challenge?

"I'm a physical defenseman and pretty aggressive," he said. "I'm a defensive-defenseman, but I was given opportunities on the power play in Ottawa as well because we were a younger team. I was able to showcase some skills up there, but as a pro, I think I'll be a stay-at-home guy."

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Malkin, Ovechkin switch places at top of 2004 re-draft

Saturday, 06.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com will take a look back at the NHL Draft from five, 10 and 20 years ago this week, leading up to the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. How would those drafts look today?

It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since the 2004 NHL Draft gave us three of the best players in the game today.

There was a bit of a delay for the elite crop selected that year in Raleigh, N.C. Players had to wait to make their NHL debut due to the lockout that cancelled the 2004-05 season.

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Team-by-team draft needs: Metropolitan Division

Saturday, 06.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2014 NHL Draft will be a great opportunity for teams to shore up positions of need with an injection of energetic, young talent.

As the first round of the draft draws near, there's no better time to take a glimpse at the possible draft needs of all 30 NHL teams.

While there still may be trades and surprises in the works leading up to the draft, which will be held June 27-28 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, the priorities likely will remain the same. Here's a breakdown of what Metropolitan Division teams could be looking to do when they arrive in Philadelphia. Keep in mind the possible fits for each team are based on draft position.

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Rangers buy out forward Brad Richards

Friday, 06.20.2014 / 11:57 PM / News

NHL.com

Brad Richards of the New York Rangers received a compliance buyout of his contract Friday.

Richards had six years remaining on the nine-year, $60 million contract he signed in 2011; his contract carried a $6.67 million NHL salary-cap charge.

“Tough last few days ... I loved being a Ranger and living in New York and playing at MSG in front of great fans," Richards said in a statement released by the team. "I've met many new friends, excellent teammates and staff, and I have memories that I will cherish for a lifetime."

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Hasek, Forsberg, Modano first-time Hall favorites

Friday, 06.20.2014 / 8:12 PM / Hall of Fame

NHL.com

Dominik Hasek, Peter Forsberg and Mike Modano are among the favorites to earn entry into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 in their first time on the ballot.

The Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee will announce the Hall's 2014 inductees June 23. It will be the first selection meeting for committee chairman John Davidson, the Columbus Blue Jackets president of hockey operations, who was named to the post in April.

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Avalanche aim for right price on Stastny, O'Reilly

Friday, 06.20.2014 / 5:45 PM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche remain hopeful of re-signing key forwards Paul Stastny and Ryan O'Reilly to a new contract, but any deals need to fit into the team's salary structure.

Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic and coach Patrick Roy, who is also vice president of hockey operations, made that clear during a news conference Thursday at Pepsi Center.

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Devils reportedly sign Janssen; Leafs sign Kozun

Friday, 06.20.2014 / 4:59 PM / News

NHL.com

The New Jersey Devils have signed right wing Cam Janssen to a one-year, two-way contract, according to The Record. The report states Janssen will make $575,000 if he's in the NHL next season.

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Kings aren't buying out Mike Richards: report

Friday, 06.20.2014 / 4:34 PM / News

NHL.com

Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards will not receive a compliance buyout, Kings general manager Dean Lombardi told the Los Angeles Times on Friday.

Richards has six seasons remaining on the 12-year, $69 million contract he signed in December 2007 as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. Richards was traded to the Kings on June 23, 2011.

Lombardi said after speaking with Richards during exit meetings after the Kings won the Stanley Cup that he trusts Richards will make the necessary changes in his approach to the game that will allow him to have a better season in 2014-15.

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Quote of the Day

I might have blacked out. I was pretty pumped.

— New Jersey Devils rookie goalie Keith Kinkaid on his first NHL win Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning