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Fiala, Vesey among Predators' top five prospects

Monday, 08.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Robby Stanley - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- A prospect pool that wasn't very deep three years ago has become a luxury for the Nashville Predators.

Long known for talent on defense, the Predators changed their approach in recent years and stockpiled prospects at forward. Some of that young talent, led by forward Kevin Fiala, might get a chance to make an impact in the NHL as soon as this season.

Here is a look at the Predators' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:

Predators expect to build on success of last season

Monday, 08.24.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Robby Stanley - NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators are prepared to stay the course that helped them reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs after a two-season hiatus.

Nashville re-signed center Mike Ribeiro to a two-year, $7 million contract July 1. Keeping Ribeiro was the Predators' No. 1 priority because it ensured their top six forwards would remain intact.

"Mike had a strong season for us last year," Predators general manager David Poile said. "I'm very confident that he'll be an integral part of our organization going forward."

Nashville Predators fantasy hockey outlook

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Pekka Rinne

After a bit of a disappointing and injury-plagued season in 2013-14 (24 games, 10 wins, 2.77 goals-against average, .902 save percentage), Rinne bounced back last season and finished second in the Vezina Trophy voting behind Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens. He ranked as the fifth best fantasy goalie in Yahoo leagues and 33rd best player overall. The Finnish goalie got off to a tremendous start last season and ended up with 41 wins, four shutouts, a 2.18 GAA and .923 save percentage. Since 2008 when Rinne became Nashville's starting goalie, he ranks sixth in the NHL wins (203), sixth in GAA (2.35), sixth in save percentage (.919) and third in shutouts (36) among goalies with at least 250 games played. With Nashville possessing one of the League's strongest groups of defensemen, I think it's safe to put him among the game's elite netminders, which is why I have him ranked 24th overall and third at his position in my offseason rankings.

Kessel thanks Toronto Maple Leafs fans for support

Sunday, 08.23.2015 / 4:21 PM / News

Mike Battaglino - NHL.com Staff Writer

Former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel on Sunday expressed gratitude to fans in the city, his first public remarks since being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 1.

"I want to thank all of the Toronto fans for all the support you have shown me," Kessel wrote on his verified Twitter account. "I will miss you and this city and always consider Toronto home."

Kessel, who is from Wisconsin, is a five-time 30-goal scorer with 227 goals in 668 NHL games, including 181 goals with Toronto during the past six seasons.

Top remaining players available via free agency

Sunday, 08.23.2015 / 2:35 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The first few head-spinning hours after the free agent market opened at noon ET on July 1 featured a plethora of players joining new teams and a trade that has the potential to shift the balance of power in the Metropolitan Division in favor of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who acquired forward Phil Kessel.

The market still has several unrestricted free agents who could make a difference with a new team.

Here is a list of some of the best available (by position and in alphabetical order):

Ehrhoff agrees to one-year contract with Kings

Sunday, 08.23.2015 / 2:25 PM / News

NHL.com

Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff agreed to a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. The Orange County Register reported that general manager Dean Lombardi confirmed the contract was worth $1.5 million.

Ehrhoff had three goals and 14 points in 49 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season, averaging 21:45 of ice time. He missed 28 of Pittsburgh's final 34 regular-season games with a concussion and other injury issues, and did not play after March 24.

Vancouver Canucks fantasy hockey outlook

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Daniel Sedin

Vancouver Canucks forwards Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin formed the best point pair in 2014-15, marking the seventh time in the past nine seasons they've led the NHL (alone in first six times, tied for first once). Although the twins had nearly identical outputs in five of the six standard Yahoo categories (goals, assists, plus-minus, penalty minutes, power-play points) in the same number of games (82), the discrepancy in shots on goal (Daniel: 226; Henrik: 101) made Daniel significantly more valuable.

Virtanen, McCann among Canucks' top five prospects

Sunday, 08.23.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- It wasn't long ago it would have been difficult to come up with a list of five good Vancouver Canucks prospects.

That's no longer the case, thanks in part to general manager Jim Benning, who was brought in last summer because of his scouting acumen.

Benning pointed to all the draft picks traded away before his arrival as the primary reason for the dearth of prospect talent. He did credit the previous regime for a strong 2013 NHL Draft that included Bo Horvat (No. 9), Hunter Shinkaruk (No. 24) and Cole Cassels (No. 85), and said his focus at the 2014 and 2015 drafts was adding skilled players.

"I think the future looks really good now," Benning said. "We're going to have good players come out of these last two draft classes."

Here is a look at the Canucks' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:

Goalies, scoring depth among Canucks questions

Sunday, 08.23.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks reshaped their roster with several trades this offseason after losing in six games to the Calgary Flames in the Western Conference First Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Longtime defenseman Kevin Bieksa is gone, as are goalie Eddie Lack and forwards Zack Kassian and Shawn Matthias. Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin remain as the Canucks' core players.

General manager Jim Benning said the roster shakeup will make Vancouver better equipped for the postseason and open spots for young players. It will be up to second-year coach Willie Desjardins to put the pieces together.

Here are three questions facing the Canucks entering the season:

Horvat, prospects, Sedins have Canucks optimistic

Sunday, 08.23.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 30 package: 2015-16

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER – After a quick exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs and an offseason of hand-wringing after two popular players were traded, Vancouver Canucks fans could use some good news.

Look no further than 20-year-old center Bo Horvat and several promising prospects set to soon follow him into the NHL. Of course, there's also Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin.

Here are four reasons to be optimistic about the Canucks:

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Quote of the Day

That's today's game. That's one of the things you have to deal with when you're a championship team. Guys are going to earn more money based on their performance and what they've achieved, [and] deservedly so. [Saad] falls into that category.

— Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on Brandon Saad, who was traded by Chicago to the Columbus Blue Jackets this offseason