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2014 NHL Draft
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The Front Line: Benn, Nash among bold predictions

Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Being that today is Jan. 14, 2014, it seemed like a good day for some sort of fantasy hockey list surrounding the number 14. So I decided this list could include 14 fantasy predictions for the rest of the season.

At the start of the season I released team-by-team bold predictions. Some still have a shot at happening -- see the St. Louis Blues about Alexander Steen and David Backes, and the Columbus Blue Jackets about Brandon Dubinsky. While others I have been far off on -- see the Florida Panthers about Jonathan Huberdeau, and the Edmonton Oilers about Nail Yakupov. Again, these are predictions so it's not easy to be spot-on with these.

However, the point of all of this is to give you an idea of which players I feel really strongly about or which I think might end up disappointing for the remainder of the season. Use them as you wish. You can make trade offers for the players you agree with me on or you can dump someone to waivers if I'm down on them. These predictions only are for forwards.

Here goes:

1. Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp remains hot for the rest of the season and finishes with 50-plus goals. Only Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will have more.

2. Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn, who enters play Tuesday tied for 30th in the NHL in points with 37, will finish among the top 15 point-getters.

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Florida Panthers to host 2015 NHL Draft June 26-27

Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 10:00 AM / News

NHL.com

NEW YORK – The Florida Panthers® will host the 2015 NHL Draft™ at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., the Florida Panthers, Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, and the National Hockey League announced today. Next year's Draft will be held over two days, Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27, 2015. NHL club executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the NHL Draft floor while more than 15,000 fans and 500 print, television and radio media are expected to attend.

The 2015 event will mark the second time the Panthers and Broward County host the NHL Draft, as the Panthers played host to the 2001 NHL Draft, where Ilya Kovalchuk was selected first overall. The arena was also the home of the 2003 NHL® All-Star Game.

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Daily Primer Jan. 14: Brodeur, Devils visit Canadiens

Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

It's always a special occasion when New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur plays at Bell Centre against the Montreal Canadiens. The 41-year-old grew up in Montreal, and as the son of the team's photographer, Brodeur spent his childhood around the Canadiens.

But one has to wonder if Tuesday will mark Brodeur's final appearance in uniform at Bell Centre, where the Canadiens will host New Jersey (7:30 p.m. ET, RDS, MSG PLUS, TSN-HABS).

"I think you kind of enjoy a little more some of the visits you make because you know you're not going to play forever," Brodeur said after practice in Montreal on Monday, according to The (Bergen) Record. "So, sometimes you catch yourself looking up and being in the moment and really enjoying what's going on at the time."

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Jets GM discusses new coach, building process

Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- The honeymoon has ended for the Winnipeg Jets, and the building will begin.

General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff fired coach Claude Noel, replaced him with veteran NHL bench boss Paul Maurice, and began to outline the building process for his team Sunday. Cheveldayoff also dismissed assistant coach Perry Pearn.

In their first season in the Western Conference since NHL realignment, the Jets are 20-23-5 and last in the Central Division. The franchise has not made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2007, when it was based in Atlanta. More recently, a five-game losing streak, which ended in a 5-1 win Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes in Maurice's debut, helped cost Noel his job and put the Jets 12 points behind the Stanley Cup Playoff line in the Western Conference.

The Jets began the season with high expectations. Cheveldayoff traded for veteran forwards Michael Frolik and Devin Setoguchi to strengthen his second and third lines. Although Frolik has succeeded in Winnipeg, Setoguchi has often been a healthy scratch and ended an 18-game goalless streak Monday.

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Patience key to success for Rangers' Lundqvist

Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist had to rediscover his patience in order to rediscover his Vezina Trophy-winning form. There have been signs in the past two and a half weeks that they're happening simultaneously.

Lundqvist is 5-1-1 with a 2.37 goals-against average and .926 save percentage in his past seven starts. He and the Rangers take a three-game winning streak into their game Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden.

"There's still some work to be done here, but at least it's going in the right direction," Lundqvist said following practice Monday. "I realized a few weeks, or maybe a month back, that I'm not going to turn this around in one game or two games, that it's going to take a while and I have to take it step by step, work hard, and win or lose at least I have to play my game and stick to it.

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Five Questions: Ducks' Boudreau on team success

Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's weekly Q&A feature called "Five Questions With ..." runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game today and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau:

Bruce Boudreau may very well be the envy of the hockey coaching world right now.

His Anaheim Ducks are the hottest team in the NHL and have opened a 13-point lead in the Pacific Division, arguably the best division in the League. The Ducks have a five-point lead on the Chicago Blackhawks in the Presidents' Trophy race. They have won 17 of their past 18 games and are just about unbeatable at home with a 19-0-2 record at Honda Center this season.

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Gretzky gets rock-star treatment at Dodger Stadium

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Construction workers leaned in and took cell phone pictures. Cameras followed him every step of the way, paparazzi-style, as he we walked from the Dodger Stadium parking lot to the infield of the venerable building.

Yes, Wayne Gretzky still retains rock-star status, and his appearance Monday to advance the NHL's first-ever West Coast regular-season outdoor game, between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks on Jan.25, was no insignificant event.

It was 25 years ago in August that Gretzky helped make hockey a part of Southern California culture when he arrived to the Kings from the Edmonton Oilers, standing in a scrum of reporters in a sharp black suit on a glorious 80-degree day.

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Sharks mourn passing of scout Jack Gardiner

Monday, 01.13.2014 / 4:44 PM / News

NHL.com

Longtime San Jose Sharks scout Jack Gardiner died Sunday following a long battle with cancer.

Gardner was a professional hockey scout for nearly 35 years with the Sharks, St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs. He had worked with the Sharks' scouting department since 2004, where his primary focus was the eastern United States.

"Jack will be sorely missed by everyone who crossed paths with him over his many years working in the National Hockey League," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "He had a true love of the game of hockey and his family will be in our thoughts and prayers."

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Blues' Steen joins teammates for practice

Monday, 01.13.2014 / 3:39 PM / News

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- It was the first step in the process of returning to the lineup, and for the red-hot St. Louis Blues it will fortify an already solid lineup when Alexander Steen comes back.

Steen, who has missed nine games with a concussion, was a full participant at practice Monday for the first time since he left the lineup during a Dec. 21 game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Steen, who's tied for fifth in the NHL in goals with 24, still leads the Blues with 38 points. He has stayed active since leaving the lineup with the second concussion of his career (he missed 39 games during the 2011-12 season).

"Good ... better," Steen said when asked about his health. "Obviously hanging around the guys again is a big lift in spirits. With these kinds of injuries you tend to fall away from the team, spend time on your own. That's usually the hardest part of having an injury like this. But I'm staying positive, taking steps forward, and enjoying my time with the team [Monday] and the rest of the week.

"Just feeling better so I figured I'd try [to practice]. Basically just try stuff and analyze and see how you feel and go from there."

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Avalanche goalie Giguere out with back spasms

Monday, 01.13.2014 / 1:48 PM / News

NHL.com

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere is dealing with back spasms and the team has recalled goalie Sami Aittokallio from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League.

The Avalanche play at the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. There was no indication how much time Giguere might miss.

In his third season in Colorado, the 36-year-old is 7-4-0 with a 2.65 goals-against average and .911 save percentage backing up Semyon Varlamov.

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Quote of the Day

It's a little different but it feels amazing. A new chapter in my life and I'm excited. It's been amazing. Better than I expected. The weather is great, the place is just amazing. I can't say enough good things about it. I'm glad to get the season going.

— Ryan Kesler on his transition to the Anaheim Ducks