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NHL Three Stars: Philly duo downs Leafs; Bob lifts Blue Jackets over Hawks (Puck Daddy)
(Sat, 20 Dec 2014 23:28:32 PST)
  No. 1 Star: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers Scored two goals and added two assists in 7-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. They were Giroux’s first goals in five games. It was his seventh four-point game in his career. Giroux now ranks second in the NHL in scoring – tied with Stars forward Tyler Seguin – behind teammate Jakub Voracek. No. 2 Star: Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers Notched four assists in Philly’s win over Toronto. Three of Voracek’s helpers were primary assists. Voracek was the set-up man on two of Giroux’s goal. His four assists tied a career-high. Philadelphia’s win was the first game of an eight-game roadtrip.   No. 3. Star: Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets Stopped 41 of 43 Chicago shots on goal including six of six on power play shots on goal. Stopped eight of nine Blackhawks in the shootout, including the below move by Chicago shootout ace Patrick Kane. Bobrovsky has not lost in regulation since Nov. 28. Honorable Mention: Colorado’s Jarome Iginla notched three assists in the Avs’ 5-1 win over Buffalo. Teammate Alex Tanguay scored two goals and added one assist … Kings forward Anze Kopitar notched three assists in Los Angeles’ win over Arizona … Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal scored his first goal since Nov. 14 … Kings defenseman Jamie McBain notched two assists … Flyers forward Michael Raffl scored on goal and added one assist … Habs forward Alex Galchenyuk scored one goal and added one assist in Montreal’s 4-1 win over Ottawa … Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty returned with two assists, just two days after a bruising hit by Clayton Stoner … Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin scored an absurd goal in win over New Jersey … Caps goaltender Braden Holtby made 21 saves in his second shutout of the year … Tampa’s Andrei Vasilevsky made 45 saves on 47 Islanders shots on goal in a 3-1 loss to New York … Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby scored his first mump-free goal, and his first score in eight games, in a 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers … The Rangers’ Kevin Klein late third period tally sent New York’s game into overtime against Carolina, an eventual 3-2 shootout win by the Rangers … Chicago’s Patrick Sharp scored a goal and fired seven shots on goal against Columbus … Predators defenseman Shea Weber notched two assists and played 26:43 in Nashville’s 6-5 OT win over Minnesota … Minnesota’s Zach Parise scored two goals and notched one assist in defeat … Wild defenseman Ryan Suter played 31:27 and had two assists against his former team … Vancouver’s Ryan Miller broke a three-game losing skid in a 3-2 overtime win over Calgary … San Jose’s Brent Burns fired the overtime winner for the Sharks in their win over the Blues. It was San Jose’s fifth straight win.   Did You Know?:  With one assist Saturday night (on San Jose’s game-tying goal) Sharks center Joe Thornton moved into a tie with Phil Esposito for 22nd overall on the NHL’s all-time list with 873.   Dishonorable Mention: Buffalo’s Nikita Zadorov was a minus-3 in his team’s loss to the Avalanche …  Arizona’s Devan Dubnyk picked up his third loss of the year, stopping 31 of 35 Los Angeles shots on goal in a 4-1 defeat … Nazim Kadri and Dion Phaneuf were each a minus-4 for the Maple Leafs … New Jersey’s Andy Greene was a minus-3. Devils goaltender Cory Schneider made 17 saves on 20 Washington shots on goal … The St. Louis Blues gave up the game-tying goal at San Jose with 18 seconds left. Then the Sharks won the game in overtime … Montreal’s Carey Price couldn’t field this floater  from Ottawa's Erik Condra.   MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

NHL-Highlights of Saturday's NHL games
(Sat, 20 Dec 2014 23:01:35 PST)
(Adds late games) Dec 20 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Saturday's National Hockey League games: - - Penguins 3, Panthers 1 Sidney Crosby scored his first goal in nearly a month to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to victory over the Florida Panthers. Crosby, who had gone eight games without scoring and missed three contests with the mumps, broke his drought with the game's final goal in the third period. It was his 10th goal of the season. ...

Gallagher helps Canadiens beat Senators, 4-1 (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:57:24 PST)
MONTREAL (AP) -- Brendan Gallagher helped the Montreal Canadiens cap a great homestand with another win.

Senators-Canadiens Preview (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 20 Dec 2014 08:53:45 PST)
When Max Pacioretty lay on the ice following a hard hit earlier this week, the Montreal Canadiens worried not only about their star's health but also the potential of having to move forward without their offensive leader.

O Canada: Holiday gifts and stocking stuffers for the Great White North's seven NHL teams (Yahoo Sports)
(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:32:41 PST)
It's that time of year: We offer one big gift to each of Canada's seven NHL teams, plus a few stocking stuffers for select players.

Maatta's mumps; Foligno on fire; Greatest playoff overtime ever (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:53:43 PST)
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

All-Mumps vs. All-Stars (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 10:23:00 PST)
Michael Finewax looks at the players who lead in All-Star voting and those who have the mumps and except for a lack of a goalie, the mumps are better.

Top 10 most heinous on-ice acts of 2014 (Puck Daddy Year in Review) (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 08:49:27 PST)
(Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.) It hasn't been the busiest year for the NHL's Department of Player Safety, which is good news: It means players are getting it. Alas, as we see in this countdown, many do not. Including some that are one their way to the NHL one day.  Here are the top 10 most heinous on-ice acts of 2014:  10. John Moore’s head-shot on Erik Haula The Rangers defenseman was given a 2-game ban for a hit on Dale Weise on the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Just 12 games later, he was given a 5-gamer for this hit on Erik Haula of the Minnesota Wild that had a little bit of that ‘ol Cooke-on-Savard black magic. 9. Mike Rupp’s head-shot on T.J. Oshie A shoulder to the head on Oshie earned Rupp a 4-game suspension from the NHL, which called it late and too high and totally interference. This incident was memorable for former Minnesota Wild player Wes Walz defending the Wild’s Rupp for the hit, blaming the St. Louis Blues for vowing to send a message to Minny. 8.   Gianluca Curcuruto head-shots Travis Konecny   The Plymouth Whalers defenseman saw an opportunity to lay out Ottawa’s Konecny and took it, nailing the 17-year-old draft prospect in the noggin. The result was a 12-game suspension from the OHL. Watch the hit on the OHL site. 7. Ryan Garbutt gets trippy vs. Winnipeg The Dallas stars pest had a two-fer against the Winnipeg Jets in December, with a straight-legged trip of goalie Michael Hutchinson and then a slew-foot that lifted the 526-pound* Dustin Byfuglien off the ice and then crashing down. He earned a 3-game suspension from the NHL. *Our estimate 6. Matt Cooke goes knee-on-knee with Barrie Matt Cooke had been on his best … well, best for Matt Cooke behavior for a while. Then, in a playoff game against the Colorado Avalanche, he basically did the Captain Morgan pose in going knee-on-knee with Tyson Barrie, taking out the Avs’ No. 2 defenseman. Cooke earned a 7-game suspension and lost the benefit of the doubt. 5. Noah Bushnell elbows Julius Bergman in the head Bushnell skated up to Julius Bergman, raised his arm and elbowed Bergman in the head, earning a 10-game suspension for the Sarnia Sting forward from this September game. ( Watch the video here .) Hey, it’s preseason for dudes who want to elbow other dudes in the head, too… 4. Milan Lucic spears DeKeyser It’s one thing to go tape-to-taint with an opponent. It’s another to do it when he’s got his back turned to you. The Boston Bruins forward was fined $5,000 for this cup-check on Danny DeKeyser of the Detroit Red Wings. Not exactly Milan Lucic’s finest moment, but it would be erased later in the postseason when he threatened to murder most of the Montreal Canadiens. 3. Anthony Stolarz slashes Josh Ho-Sang in the head Windsor’s Josh Ho-Sang gave London Knights goalie Anthony Stolarz a slash at the end of a play in their Memorial Cup playoff game. Stolarz responded by taking his goalie lumber and smacking Ho-Sang in the back of the hear. Inexplicably, outside of “it was Josh Ho-Sang,” Stolarz was only given a 2-minute minor. That was later rectified by the OHL, who gave him an 8-game suspension. Also, Stolarz is a Philadelphia Flyers draft pick. Sometimes the jokes write themselves, folks.  2. Lukas Kaspar throws stick at ref In a KHL game in November, Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk forward Lucas Kaspar was hit with a slap shot. He crumpled to the ice as his opponents controlled the puck. Like, for a while. Kaspar was in ridiculous pain, so he’s thinking this was a serious injury. Yet there was no whistle. So he decided to get a whistle … by hurling his stick like a javelin at the referee. He was kicked out of the game and suspended for five more.  1. Storm Phaneuf, wearing skates, kicks a dude Storm Phaneuf is a goalie for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL. The crease is his domain. The Drummondville Voltigeurs' Dylan Montcalm crashed that crease, and for that was given a goalie interference penalty. At that moment, Phaneuf remembered he was wearing Ginzu knives on his feet, and kicked Montcalm with his skate. Montcalm was injured, but not seriously. Phaneuf was suspended for nine games. But hey, bright side: His was the most heinous on-ice act of 2014. Congrats, or something. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

Highlights of Thursday's NHL games
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:45:00 PST)
(The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Thursday's National Hockey League games: Hurricanes 4, Maple Leafs 1 Cam Ward made 25 saves and the Carolina Hurricanes rode a strong start and solid finish to a 4-1 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs that ended a six-game losing streak. Chris Terry, Justin Faulk, Andrej Sekera and Elias Lindholm scored for a goal-shy Carolina team that struck three times for the first time in nine games. ...

Ducks-Senators Preview (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:40:38 PST)
A five-game swing north of the border could wear on any team, even the NHL's points leader, but the Anaheim Ducks are playing quite well in Canada this season.

NHL-Highlights of Thursday's NHL games
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:38:38 PST)
Dec 18 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Thursday's National Hockey League games: - - - Hurricanes 4, Maple Leafs 1 Cam Ward made 25 saves and the Carolina Hurricanes rode a strong start and solid finish to a 4-1 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs that ended a six-game losing streak. Chris Terry, Justin Faulk, Andrej Sekera and Elias Lindholm scored for a goal-shy Carolina team that struck three times for the first time in nine games. ...

Max Pacioretty hospitalized after Clayton Stoner hit (Video) (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:30:02 PST)
The Montreal Canadiens could have used Max Pacioretty late in their game against the Anaheim Ducks. But as they scrambled to find a way to tie Thursday night’s game – which ended in a 2-1 win for the visiting Ducks – Pacioretty was getting evaluated after a brutal Clayton Stoner hit along the boards. Pacioretty left the game at 4:04 of the third period. He passed the puck up ice and, frankly, admired the pass a bit. But Stoner delivered a hard check to his side, twisting the Montreal forward’s body around. Pacioretty face-planted into the glass. He was helped to the back and was eventually taken to the hospital for precautionary tests.  Expectedly, the two sides had differing views of the incident. From the Gazette: “I didn’t like the hit,” said [Montreal Coach Michel] Therrien, but he refrained from discussing the matter further. The one Canadien who was unequivocal in his assessment of the hit was Pacioretty’s close friend, David Desharnais. “It should have been a penalty,” said Desharnais, who went on to suggest that a five-minute major for boarding was in order.  Said Clayton Stoner: "I think their team wasn't happy about it. … I didn't mean to hurt him but the game's fast and sometimes guys go into the boards wrong, so I hope he's all right and I didn't mean any intentions to hurt him." What do you think? With no penalty on the play, could Stoner get something from the league?

Beleskey scores in 3rd as Ducks beat Canadiens (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:45:37 PST)
MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Canadiens were instantly deflated when Max Pacioretty went down with an injury.

Canadiens honor former captain Koivu (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:11:53 PST)
MONTREAL (AP) -- There was always a special connection between former Canadiens captain Saku Koivu and the fans of Montreal.

Howe improves; Stalberg waived; Koivu's night (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:58:37 PST)
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

Zach Fucale gets the nod for Friday’s exhibition against Russia at the ACC: Thursday’s coast-to-coast (Buzzing The Net)
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 06:39:06 PST)


Ducks-Canadiens Preview (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:42:55 PST)
After allowing their seven-game win streak come to an end with an uncharacteristically bad loss, the Anaheim Ducks have an opportunity to prove that defeat was no more than a minor slip-up Thursday night.

EPIX Road To NHL Winter Classic Ep. 1: That wasn’t cool (Review) (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 17 Dec 2014 01:48:55 PST)


Galchenyuk's hat trick lifts Canadiens over Canes (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:46:36 PST)
MONTREAL (AP) -- Alex Galchenyuk might be indebted to linemate Max Pacioretty for quite some time.

NHL Three Stars: Hat tricks for Galchenyuk, Tarasenko; Bob blanks Red Wings (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:10:00 PST)
No. 1 Star: Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens The young Hab netted his first career hat trick as Montreal downed the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. All three goals were assisted by Max Pacioretty. Galchenyuk’s opening goal was definitely the prettiest one of the night after some slick passing in the Carolina zone: No. 2 Star: Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues  After Marian Gaborik helped the Los Angeles Kings race out to a 2-0 lead, Tarasenko and Blues answered five times en route to a 5-2 victory. The forward netted his second career hat trick and reached the 20-goal plateau for the second straight season: No. 3 Star: Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets The Detroit Red Wings couldn’t solve Bob as the Blue Jackets grabbed the extra point after a 1-0 shootout win. Bobrovsky made 30 saves for his first shutout of the season and 10th of his career. Boone Jenner and Ryan Johansen scored Columbus’ only goals in the shootout.  Honorable Mention: Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 23 shots and won his NHL debut as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1. Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson scored five minutes apart in the second period to help pace Tampa to their sixth straight win over the Flyers … Four third period goals, including a pair from Phil Kessel, helped the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 for their sixth win in a row. Jonathan Bernier made 40 saves for his fourth win in a row. Nazem Kadri had a goal himself in lovely fashion: It took 20 rounds, but Nick Bjugstad finally ended things as the Florida Panthers got by the Washington Capitals 2-1 after a historic shootout … Derek Roy scored the only goal in the shootout and Pekke Rinne made 33 saves as the Nashville Predators defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2 … Mark Scheifele scored twice and assisted on another and Ondrej Pavelec made 27 saves as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-1. Michael Frolik and Evander Kane each chipped in two points … Three points each from Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were enough to survive a Minnesota Wild comeback as the Chicago Blackhawks were 5-3 victors. Annti Raanta made 26 saves and won his fourth straight start. Despite the loss Nino Niederreiter contributed this highlight-reel penalty shot: Rick Nash reached the 20-goal mark with a pair of goals and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 shots as the New York Rangers beat the Calgary Flames 5-2 ... Oliver Ekman-Larsson's goal with 0.3 seconds left in overtime helped the Arizona Coyotes snap a nine-game home losing streak and give them a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.  Did You Know?  "Toronto improved to 14-0 when scoring first and 13-0 after leading through two periods. The Leafs also haven't lost to Anaheim since Oct. 21, 2008, a 3-2 shootout decision." (AP) Dishonorable Mention: Via the AP, Philadelphia is 2-13-1 against the Lightning since 2010-11 … Detroit has dropped four in a row, while Carolina hasn’t won in six …  LA has dropped five of six. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

Q & A: Competitive fire still burns within Hockey Hall of Fame defenceman Larry Robinson (Eh Game)
(Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:18:51 PST)
Larry Robinson is a fierce competitor. Always has been. That burning desire to win fuelled him as a player and drives him as a coach . One of the most talented players in NHL history, Robinson won the Stanley Cup six times as a player, once as a head coach and was also a key member for Team Canada in championship runs at both the 1976 and 1984 Canada Cup tournaments. Recently, Eh Game had a chance to talk with the Hall of Fame defenceman about his new autobiography The Great Defender which was released last month. Robinson, 63, makes it crystal clear that a win or loss means as much to him today as a coach as it did when he burst onto the scene with the Montreal Canadiens over 40 years ago during the 1972-73 season. After spending his first 17 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, he played another three seasons with the Los Angeles Kings before retiring in 1992. His No. 19 was retired by the Canadiens on Nov. 19, 2007. In his post-playing days, he has been the head coach of the Kings (1995-1999) as well as the New Jersey Devils (2000-2002) where he won the Stanley Cup in 2000.  He also served as an assistant coach on their 1995 and 2003 championship teams. He is currently an associate coach with the San Jose Sharks. This will be his last year behind the bench for an NHL team. Robinson says he will spend the final two seasons of his contract with the Sharks in an off-ice role which makes it an opportune time to talk about both the past and present. ===================================================================== Eh Game:   Why did you want to publish a book at this time and what was the writing process like? Larry Robinson:   I did another autobiography before called  Robinson for the Defence about 15 years ago, maybe less.  My kids were after me to get it republished and sold in the U.S. because it was only sold in Canada.  When we started to look into the rights, we couldn’t do it. My son-in-law got approached by a couple of publishing companies to do it and it came to fruition. Kevin Shea did all the research and looked through the original book.  I sat down and did a bunch of interviews.  He took some stuff from the old book and then added the newer stuff. EG:  The book starts off with your account of the infamous body check on Philadelphia Flyers forward Gary Dornhoefer during Game 2 of the 1976 Stanley Cup Final. Why?  When you think of all that you have accomplished in the game, what is it about this play that makes it stand out? LR: I think when you are dealing with the people that are going to read the book, there will be some that will remember that hit and others that are too young to remember it. When they are talking about some of the best hits of all-time that hit still gets played. You look at all the different Stanley Cup finals and you can always look at something that defines that particular series – you can always say “what if that hadn’t happened?” A lot of people remember that hit because of the circumstances that surrounded it. If that hit happened and they weren’t known as The Broad Street Bullies – it may not have always been significant  They scared the crap out of the league because of the type of team they were.  As the Montreal Canadiens we could feel it as a group playing in that series – the whole league was looking at us to change the way the game was played, to show you could win without having to (violently) intimidate , that was the true meaning of what was really going on. (That hit) showed that you can be physical and intimidating without having to drop your gloves.

Hurricanes-Canadiens Preview (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 15 Dec 2014 14:36:46 PST)
Carey Price once again looks like one of the NHL's top goaltenders after a slow start to the season.

JVR is AOK on the pp (Rotoworld)
(Mon, 15 Dec 2014 09:17:00 PST)
James van Riemsdyk led all scorers with three power play goals this past week. This and more in The Power Play Report.

Fantasy All-Access: Cameron's impact on Senators (NHL)
(Mon, 15 Dec 2014 09:00:00 PST)
Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

What We Learned: Is Nashville a giant tease or playoff threat? (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 15 Dec 2014 07:14:00 PST)


Tomas Vokoun announces retirement after 15 NHL seasons (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 15 Dec 2014 07:09:51 PST)
After 700 NHL games over the course of 15 seasons, 38-year old Tomas Vokoun has announced his retirement. "My family is priority. I had some offers but it was like: Maybe. We will see. I didn´t want to travel round the clubs and wait,” Vokoun told iSport , via Zdenek Janda .  Vokoun was the Nashville Predators' fifth choice in the 1998 NHL Expansion Draft after the Montreal Canadiens, who drafted him 226th overall in 1994, left him unprotected. He waited for his chance behind Mike Dunham, and when he finally took on the no. 1 job he turned into a workhorse, averaging 68 appearances over the next three seasons. As part of the small club of right-handed goaltenders in the NHL, Vokoun blossomed into a steady no. 1 under the tutelage of Mitch Korn with the Predators. helping the team make the playoffs twice. After eight years, he was traded to the Florida Panthers, where his work would only increase. Vokoun faced more than 2,000 shots twice in four seasons in Sunrise. He saw 7,902 total shots as a Panther, nearly 900 more than his previous four seasons in Nashville (7,012). The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Vokoun from the Washington Capitals in June 2012, in what would be his final season in the NHL. During the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he would replace Marc-Andre Fleury during their first round series with the New York Islanders and help lead them to the Eastern Conference Final. The following September, the Penguins announced that Vokoun would be out indefinitely after a blood clot was discovered, an ailment that had cut short his 2005-06 season. Vokoun would never play again.  "I can say that it was a successful career," Vokoun said to iSport. "I'm proud of what I did.” Vokoun won 300 NHL games, owns bronze medals from the 2004 World Cup and 2006 Olympics, plus two golds from the 2005 and 2010 World Championships. He appeared in two All-Star Games and is the Predators' franchise record-holder in goaltender appearances (383), minutes played (21,789) and saves (9,657).  - - - - - - - Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY :      

Red Deer Rebels make blockbuster deal with Saskatoon Blades in preparation for 2016 Memorial Cup (Buzzing The Net)
(Mon, 15 Dec 2014 06:10:58 PST)
In a blockbuster trade on Sunday, the Red Deer Rebels took a step forward in building its 2016 Memorial Cup-hosting team while the Saskatoon Blades moved forward in piecing back together its club after selling the farm to host the 2013 tournament. The Rebels acquired Winnipeg Jets pick Nelson Nogier and 18-year-old wing Austin Adamson from the Blades for 17-year-old wing Mason McCarthy , a 2016 first-round bantam pick and a 2015 second-round bantam pick. This is the second significant trade that Red Deer GM-head coach Brent Sutter has made this year for an established 18-year-old. He brought in Tyler Sandhu from the Everett Silvertips in October for a pair of fourth-round bantam picks. Nogier, who has one goal, eight points and a -27 rating in 32 games, has struggled this year, but he will still add skill, composure and Memorial Cup experience to the Rebels’ back end. Moreover, the 6-foot-2, 193-pounder’s stats, especially plus minus, should take a turn back in the right direction now that he’ll be surrounded by high-end talent like Carolina Hurricanes prized pick Haydn Fleury and Colorado Avalanche first-rounder Conner Bleackley . He will also have a lot less pressure on his shoulders in Red Deer now that he’s simply a piece to the puzzle rather than the star defenceman. It seems Sutter may have learned from Saskatoon’s mistake of waiting until the last minute to piece together a team for the CHL’s prestigious tournament. Former Blades GM-head coach Lorne Molleken made multiple big moves at the 2013 trade deadline in an effort to get his roster up to snuff. But since the Blades’ talent level was a major step behind a team capable of winning the tourney, Molleken’s moves were like buying really nice rims for an average car right before a competitive race. He did improve the appearance of his squad, but it would have took a new engine to compete with the 2013 champions, the Halifax Mooseheads. Red Deer is now poised to have at least three NHL draft picks – Nogier, Fleury and Bleackley – on its roster next year as long as none of them jets to the NHL in their 19-year-old seasons. In addition, all indications point to power-forward Adam Musil donning a sweater early on in the 2015 draft. The trade comes just a day after Blades GM-head coach Bob Woods said there would be change after his club lost its 10 th straight game at the hands of the Regina Pats. But the former Anaheim Ducks assistant coach insists this deal has nothing to do with his previous comments because it was a smart long-term trade. The deal to send away two 18-year-olds was made just before the WHL holiday trade freeze kicks in on Monday. “This move has nothing to do with that situation,” Woods said. “This was an opportunity for us as an organization to really improve our future. “When you get picks like that you can really find some pretty good players.” ( StarPhoenix ) The trade puts the Bridge City Boys’ rebuild father ahead. They now has two first-round picks in the next two bantam drafts even though the Spokane Chiefs hold their 2015 first-rounder from one of those 2013 Memorial Cup deadline deals. The Blades hold the Everett Silvertips and Kootenay Ice’s first-rounders in 2015 from trades involving Montreal Canadiens first-rounder Nikita Scherbak and 18-year-old centre Matt Revel (Saskatoon acquired Kootenay’s pick from the Kamloops Blazers). They hold the Rebels and their own top pick in 2016. In addition to that, the Blades drafted a pair of highly regarded prospects – Edmonton, Alta., native Josh Paterson and Yorkton, Sk., native Jake Kustra – in the second round of the 2014 draft. It is tough to get a clear look into the Blades’ crystal ball, though. Since they don’t have a Sam Steel -like talent in their cupboard, it’s too early to say they will be a very competitive team this year or that year. They, however, are bringing in enough draft picks and prospects to give the perception that they will start to blossom into a good young hockey team in 2016-17. It is still a ways away, but it was inevitable that this would be a long process considering Molleken traded five consecutive first-round bantam picks (2011-2015) away in Saskatoon’s two botched runs at a championship. Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KellyFriesen

Kings-Maple Leafs Preview (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 13 Dec 2014 21:25:01 PST)
A recent surge by the Toronto Maple Leafs includes their longest win streak in almost a year, though it's been 12 since they defeated the Los Angeles Kings at home.

Canada, Fucale off to 'good start' in first game of selection camp (Buzzing The Net)
(Sat, 13 Dec 2014 21:08:02 PST)


Carey Price stones the Kings (Rotoworld)
(Sat, 13 Dec 2014 03:10:00 PST)
In Saturday's Dose, Michael Finewax lets you know about the great game from Carey Price in the Montreal net and Sidney Crosby may have the mumps.

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