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NHL Insider

Laraque inspired by O'Ree's courage, grace

Former NHL forward admires how NHL's first black player broke color barrier 60 years ago

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

MONTREAL -- Towering Georges Laraque, 6-foot-3 and knocking on the door of 300 pounds, makes it clear that he could never fill the skates of reed-thin, 5-10 Willie O'Ree.

It was O'Ree who broke the NHL's color barrier when he stepped onto Montreal Forum ice with the Boston Bruins on Jan. 18, 1958, roughly 17 years before Laraque was born.

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NHL Insider

Julien looking forward to Boston homecoming with Canadiens

Coach who guided Bruins for 10 seasons returns to TD Garden for first time

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

The 2017-18 NHL season has passed its midway point and the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 26 is less than six weeks away. With that in mind, NHL.com is sitting down this week with some of the biggest names in the game. Today, Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien, who guided the Boston Bruins for 10 seasons before being fired Feb. 7, talks about going back to TD Garden for the first time Wednesday. 

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Five Questions With...

Five Questions with Bill Wennington

Montreal native, three-time NBA champion discusses love of hockey, career that never took off

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

Bill Wennington loved hockey as a boy growing up in the suburbs of Montreal, but when you wear size-13 skates at age 11, you suspect you won't make it in the NHL.

So he turned to basketball, naturally enough. Wennington coupled his affection for hoops with his 7-foot, 240-pound frame to play 13 seasons in the NBA, a career that would see him win three world championships as a member of the Chicago Bulls playing alongside Michael Jordan.

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NHL Insider

Chara shaken by injury to Canadiens' Danault

Bruins defenseman hoping he can speak with Montreal forward he hit in head with slap shot

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

MONTREAL - Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara doesn't hold a hockey stick as much as he wields a cannon, his thunderous slap shot often just a blur to the goaltenders who feel its breeze and hear it hit the mesh behind them without ever having seen it.

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Canadiens, Bruins to become even more familiar foes

Old rivals will face each other in Montreal, play three times in eight days

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

MONTREAL -- One of the beautiful things about hockey is that two teams moving in opposite directions can find themselves on a collision course.

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Robinson a hit in Canadiens debut 45 years ago

Hall of Fame defenseman followed AHL coach's advice at start of NHL career

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

It was in the first days of 1973 when Larry Robinson was summoned to his coach's office at the Halifax Forum, leaving a post-game team meal to make the short walk alone to the arena.

There, Nova Scotia Voyageurs coach Al MacNeil had some news and advice for his American Hockey League defenseman. With injuries depleting the defense of the Voyageurs' parent Montreal Canadiens, Robinson was to catch a flight to Montreal the next morning.

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Bower remembered as 'beautiful man' during memorial service

Legendary Maple Leafs goalie praised by friends, former teammates, foes

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL Columnist

TORONTO -- So many stories were shared at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday, the life and career of late, legendary goaltender Johnny Bower celebrated by family, friends, former teammates and old foes.

One that was untold was about the seven stitches Bower had sewn into his forehead in Toronto on April 25, 1964, the happiest sutures of any he took.

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NHL Centennial

Blackhawks voted Greatest NHL Uniform

Hull, Hall, Esposito, Toews say fans made right choice in choosing Chicago's look since 1958 as No. 1

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

You'll get no argument from four Chicago Blackhawks icons about the fans' choice for Greatest NHL Uniform. 

Forwards Bobby Hull, Jonathan Toews and goalies Glenn Hall and Tony Esposito, all members of the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian, were delighted Tuesday to learn that the Blackhawks' 1956-2018 jersey had been voted by fans as the Greatest NHL Uniform. Nearly 6 million votes were cast from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31 in the online balloting sponsored by Visa in Canada. 

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Bower was champion on ice, beloved gentleman off it

Friends, family, former foes to celebrate life, career of Hall of Fame goaltender, who died Dec. 26

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

TORONTO -- The late Jean Beliveau faced dozens of NHL goaltenders during his Hall of Fame career. But in some ways, there was none who posed a greater challenge than Johnny Bower of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a man who would become a dear friend.

On Wednesday afternoon, thousands will gather at Air Canada Centre -- family, friends, fans, former teammates and opponents, members of the Maple Leafs current team and organization, and NHL and civic dignitaries -- to celebrate the life and career of Bower, who died on Dec. 26 at age 93.

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Sunday Long Read

2017 was Centennial year to remember in NHL

Looking back at celebration filled with hockey legends, historic events, lifetime's worth of memories

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

Glenn Hall was looking around the Toronto hotel ballroom last New Year's Eve, the NHL's year-long Centennial celebration quietly underway with an elegant dinner hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and the man known as Mr. Goalie was softly taking inventory of four men.

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