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Six biggest surprises from season's first half

Sunday, 01.11.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

With the first half of the 2014-15 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of its biggest storylines and award contenders.

At the beginning of each season NHL fans will make predictions on what the ensuing season will look like, from where their favorite team will finish in the standings to who will lead the League in scoring to which team will win the Stanley Cup.

Some predictions are easy to make; saying the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks would be among the NHL's top teams really isn't much of a stretch.

But some things have happened during the first half of the 2014-15 season that no one could have seen coming.

Here are six of the biggest surprises of the first half:

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Rogers Hometown Hockey celebrates Moncton

Sunday, 01.11.2015 / 3:00 AM / News

NHL.com

CITY in Canada will televise "Rogers Hometown Hockey" at 6:30 p.m. Sunday prior to the game between the Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers. The location this week is Moncton, New Brunswick, and the half-hour program will celebrate the city's iconic hockey story. The show will also air on NHL Network in the U.S.

Among the features airing on the pregame show:

* Jacob LeBlanc, 12, was born without a right leg, hip, or pelvis, a rare condition with only eight documented cases in the world. After discovering and falling in love with sledge hockey, with the help of The Dave Bolland foundation, Easter Seals, and Hockey New Brunswick, LeBlanc and others are getting a chance to play.

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Kings' Toffoli out with mono; Pearson injured

Sunday, 01.11.2015 / 12:57 AM / News

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings lost two-thirds of "That '70s Line" on Saturday.

Left wing Tanner Pearson sustained a broken bone in his lower left leg against the Winnipeg Jets at Staples Center, according to the Kings website. Before the game, the Kings announced that Tyler Toffoli, Pearson's linemate, is out indefinitely with mononucleosis.

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Red Wings goalie Howard leaves game on stretcher

Saturday, 01.10.2015 / 10:25 PM / News

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard sustained a groin injury in a 3-1 loss against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on Saturday and left the game on a stretcher.

At 1:53 of the first period with the Red Wings killing a penalty, Howard left the puck behind the net, and Capitals forward Troy Brouwer scored to give Washington a 1-0 lead. Howard stretched out in an attempt to make the save and then was unable to get up.

"I've got no update," Red Wings coach coach Mike Babcock said after the game. "He'll go [to Detroit] and get tested and we'll see what happens. Obviously, he looked like he was in great pain."

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Three Blue Jackets highlight 2015 All-Star selections

Saturday, 01.10.2015 / 6:00 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL.com

Forwards Nick Foligno and Ryan Johansen and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will represent the host Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

The three Blue Jackets were among 36 players named by the League on Saturday. Six rookies also were chosen to participate in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition.

The All-Star Game will be played Jan. 25 at Nationwide Arena (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports). Teams will be selected at the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings on Jan. 23 (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports). The two captains who will pick the teams will be announced next week.

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Flyers' Mason leaves game with lower-body injury

Saturday, 01.10.2015 / 5:38 PM / News

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason left the game Saturday against the Boston Bruins with a lower-body injury sustained in the first period.

The Flyers said Mason will be evaluated further Sunday.

Mason went down to make a save on a long, bouncing shot by Craig Cunningham with 12:56 remaining but was unable to get up. After a few moments he skated off the ice and went right to the locker room.

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Around the League notebook for Friday, Jan. 9

Saturday, 01.10.2015 / 12:55 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

NHL UNVEILS UNIFORMS FOR ALL-STAR GAME . . .

The NHL and Reebok unveiled the innovative new uniform system, including the jerseys, that will be worn by the League’s All-Stars during 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus, Ohio, Jan. 23-25.

The jerseys feature a lightweight and emblematic chrome NHL shield and two stars on the crest that represent the two participating teams in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game. Each jersey features chrome and elite green accents with the designated home team wearing black and opposing team in white.

The All-Star jerseys also will feature Reebok's trademark Smoothfit numbering and lettering, and two shoulder patches in a tonal application – the player's home team logo and the All-Star Game logo.

Click here to see more photos of the All-Star jerseys.

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Panthers trade Shore to Flames for Knight

Friday, 01.09.2015 / 8:12 PM / News

FloridaPanthers.com

SUNRISE, Fla.Florida Panthers Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has acquired F Corban Knight from the Calgary Flames in exchange for F Drew Shore.

Knight, 24, made his National Hockey League debut on Mar. 5, 2014 with Calgary and has recorded one goal (1-0—1) in nine career NHL games. The Oliver, BC native was selected by Florida in the fifth round (135th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Knight has played in 92 American Hockey League contests recording 26 goals, 30 assists and 62 PIMs with the Abbotsford Heat (2013-14) and Adirondack Flames (2014-15). Knight was one of ten players named finalists for the Hobey Baker Award in 2013.

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Blue Jackets sign Bobrovsky to four-year extension

Friday, 01.09.2015 / 7:55 PM / News

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is the latest player to make a long-term commitment to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Bobrovsky on Friday signed a four-year contract extension worth $29.7 million. It will pay him $7.425 million per season starting in 2015-16 and makes him the second-highest paid NHL goalie behind Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers.

"We believe he's only going to improve," Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said here after the deal was announced. "It's ultimately up to the player to prove that he's worth the contract that he gets. That's the way we operate, we operate on giving them the futures, and that's [why] we evaluate these players every day, but we believe with his hard work and dedication he's going to be one of the top goalies in this league for a long time."

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Bold jersey designs on tap for 2015 NHL All-Star Game

Friday, 01.09.2015 / 7:00 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

A bold, fresh jersey design is the perfect complement to the speed and agility of those selected to play in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 25 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Reebok believes it has accomplished just that with its state-of-the-art look and modern appeal in the uniforms for the participants at this year's event.

"Fans get to see their favorite players in their typical uniforms every game during the season," said Reebok uniform designer Dave Conetta. "But we wanted to do something with this uniform that made the idea of a hero coming alive."

Fans immediately will notice the green trim on each of the lightweight jerseys, regardless of whether they are the "home" blacks or "away" whites. The "elite green" color, while new to fans as a primary color, actually is in the necklines of all authentic NHL jerseys.

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Quote of the Day

We have to develop into a good team. We have to develop the pieces now that are a little more evident and in place to become a good team. It's not there yet.

— Sabres coach Dan Bylsma on new Buffalo players working together