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  • Canucks' Boeser expected to be ready for training camp
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 25, 2018

    Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser is expected to be ready in time for training camp in September as he continues to recover from back and wrist injuries.

    • Boeser, 21, injured his wrist Feb. 8 and then added a back injury on March 5 when he hit an open bench door. He sustained a broken transverse process, which is a spur that projects off the side of each vertebra.

      "My understanding is he'll be 100 percent for training camp," Canucks general manager Jim Benning told TSN 1040 on Thursday.

      "My understanding is the cast was taken off a week ago. I haven't talked to Brock about it, but I believe the cast had to be on a month. The doctor that he went back to see in Minnesota is the Vikings' hand specialist, and that's the doctor that did Brock's surgery two years ago.

      "We were able to get an appointment for him and we wanted to get him in there and have the doctor have a look at him. The worst-case scenario was that he would require another surgery, but he didn't need to do that."

      Boeser led all NHL rookies with 29 goals when his season ended. The Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Connor finished with 31 as Boeser missed the final 16 games of the season.

      Vancouver forward prospect Elias Pettersson is also expected to be ready for camp after needing surgery to repair a broken thumb sustained while playing for Sweden in the 2018 IIHF World Championship. However, Benning said he did not know if the 19-year-old would participate in prospects camp in July. Pettersson has not signed an entry-level contract after being the No. 5 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

      "Our medical staff took a look at the X-rays, and the surgery he needed was a pretty straightforward surgery," Benning said. "They did it over there (in Sweden) and everything went well. As far as any physical therapy is concerned, we'll be in constant contact with his therapists over there to make sure everything is on schedule."

      --Field Level Media

  • Wild D Suter (ankle) aims to return for opener
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 25, 2018

    Ryan Suter has a target date in mind.

    • The defenseman, recovering from right ankle surgery, hopes to be ready for the Minnesota Wild's season opener in October.

      "It's getting better every day," Suter told the Saint Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press on Tuesday. "We won't know for sure until I'm back playing. That said, the goal is to get back for Game 1."

      Suter added that he is eager to begin his rehab even though he has yet to put weight on the foot since the operation.

      "I can't wait," he told the newspaper. "I feel like once I start walking, then it's kind of behind me. ... There's a few more weeks for that, and once that happens, hopefully I'll be ready to go."

      Suter, 33, was hurt during a March 31 game against the Dallas Stars. The broken ankle ended his season, costing him the last four games of the regular season and all four of the Wild's playoff games in a first-round loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

      In 78 games this year, Suter produced six goals and a career-high 45 assists. He had a minus-1 rating, just the second time in his 13 NHL seasons that he didn't post a positive mark. Suter had a career-best nine goals the previous season.

      Suter spent his first seven season with the Nashville Predators, the past six with Minnesota. He has 75 goals and 418 assists in 991 career games.

      --Field Level Media

  • Avs re-sign F Bourque to 1-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 24, 2018

    The Colorado Avalanche re-signed forward Gabriel Bourque to a one-year contract for the 2018-19 season on Thursday.

    • Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

      Bourque, 27, played 58 games with the Avalanche this season after spending nearly all of the 2016-17 campaign with the American Hockey League's San Antonio Rampage. He had five goals and six assists and averaged nearly 11 minutes of ice time per game with Colorado.

      Bourque added two goals in six playoff games before the Avalanche were eliminated by the Nashville Predators in the first round.

      "Gabriel brings leadership and a veteran presence to our team," Avalanche executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic said in a team release. "He plays hard minutes, kills penalties and is reliable at both ends of the ice."

      Bourque joined the Avs as a free agent in October 2016. He has 36 goals and 53 assists in 306 career games, appearing in a single-season-high 74 contests with the Predators in 2013-14.

      Bourque was a fifth-round pick by the Preds in the 2009 draft.

      --Field Level Media

  • Sharks, F Kane finalize seven-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 24, 2018

    The San Jose Sharks announced the signing of forward Evander Kane to a seven-year contract on Thursday.

    • Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, though it is reportedly worth $49 million.

      Kane was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

      "At only 26 years old, Evander has established himself as one of hockey's true power forwards and an impact player," said Sharks general manager Doug Wilson in a statement. "We think his abilities mesh perfectly with our group of skilled, young players and veteran leaders. It's extremely heartening to have Evander join a trend of elite players who have chosen to remain in San Jose. It speaks volumes as to how players view this organization and further illustrates the continued commitment to our fans by our owner Hasso Plattner."

      Kane joined the Sharks via a midseason trade with the Buffalo Sabres. Under the terms of the deal, the Sabres will receive a first-round pick in 2019 instead of a second-rounder as a result of Kane re-signing with San Jose. The selection is lottery-protected and could move to 2020.

      Kane, who turns 27 in August, recorded nine goals and five assists in 17 games with the Sharks. Kane had 29 goals and 25 assists on the season between the Sharks and Sabres. He added four goals and an assist in the playoffs before San Jose was eliminated in the second round by the Vegas Golden Knights.

      Kane has 186 goals and 168 assists across nine seasons in the NHL since being selected fourth overall in the 2009 draft.

      --Field Level Media

  • Caps' coach Trotz subs in for Game 7 'hot lap'
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz's quest to lead his team to the Stanley Cup Final with a Game 7 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning began early on Wednesday when he stepped up to skate the "hot lap" prior to morning practice.

    • The "hot lap" is a full-speed lap around the rink that has become a tradition for the Capitals prior to their road games this postseason. Captain Alex Ovechkin had done the honors since Game 6 of the team's second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but a loss on the road in Game 5 against the Lightning on Saturday meant someone else needed to do it.

      Ovechkin nominated Trotz, and the 55-year-old obliged.

      "That came out of nowhere," Trotz told reporters. "Obviously, we had to change it. We lost here last time. Put it this way: Real simply, they called my number. At this time of year, you're all in. I was ready. I was surprised."

      In taking the ice and skating his lap, Trotz was cheered on by his players, who were banging their sticks. He slowed during the turns and did his best Ovechkin impression at the end by going to one knee, though he nearly fell in the process.

      "I almost bit it at the end there trying to imitate Ovi," Trotz said. "I was worried about the turns. The rudders haven't been sharpened all year. So you didn't see a lot of crossovers there. I used body mass and weight. It was a bit of a slow lap, but you're all-in. They call your number, you step up to the plate, gotta do it. Obviously, we're pretty loose."

      For his part, Ovechkin was impressed.

      "It was pretty fast," Ovechkin said. "He was good."

      "You need a sun dial for me," Trotz said when asked how fast he was going.

      The tradition, which began with center Jay Beagle during the team's first-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, has helped Washington keep things light ahead of Wednesday's win-or-go-home Game 7. After Trotz's skate, it was back to business for the Capitals.

      "Everybody recognizes the importance of the game," Trotz said. "Great opportunity, not only for our team but the other team. It's an experience that 40 players and two organizations are going to have today. You'll leave everything out there. If you do that, you won't have any regrets, no matter what."

      --Field Level Media

  • Rangers officially tab Quinn as coach
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    The courtship between the New York Rangers and David Quinn has led to the latter accepting the franchise's coaching job.

    • The Rangers officially announced Quinn's hiring on Wednesday. A press conference is expected to be held on Thursday.

      The 51-year-old Quinn coached at Boston University for the past five seasons. He is the second college coach in three weeks to land an NHL coaching gig, as Denver University's Jim Montgomery made a similar move to become coach of the Dallas Stars.

      "I am very pleased to welcome David Quinn to the New York Rangers," Rangers owner James Dolan said in a statement. "David brings a diverse and successful coaching resume that includes extensive work in developing young talent. I am confident he is an excellent fit for our team, and know he will work tirelessly with Glen, Jeff and our entire organization to execute our plan to build the next Rangers Stanley Cup contending team."

      Quinn guided Boston University to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including a spot in the 2015 national championship game. The Terriers lost that contest to Providence.

      Overall, he was 105-68-21 at Boston University.

      New York general manager Jeff Gorton said Quinn is the type of coach the franchise was hoping to land.

      "In a coaching career that has spanned over two decades at the collegiate, pro, and international level, David has helped his teams achieve success while simultaneously teaching the game and helping his players develop on and off the ice," Gorton said in a statement. "He is the ideal choice to bring our loyal and passionate fans the winning hockey they deserve."

      Quinn played college hockey at Boston University and was the 13th overall pick in the 1984 NHL Draft by the Minnesota North Stars. But his playing career ended when he contracted a blood disorder called Christmas Disease.

      Quinn replaces the fired Alain Vigneault, who finished his five-year tenure with a 226-147-37 regular-season record and a 31-30 mark in the postseason. Vigneault took the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013-14 in his first season at the helm.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Sharks, F Kane close to 7-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    The San Jose Sharks and forward Evander Kane are nearing agreement on a seven-year contract, according to multiple reports.

    • The financials of the deal could be in the range of $7 million annually, according to Sportsnet.

      Kane joined the Sharks via a midseason trade with the Buffalo Sabres. Under the terms of the deal, the Sabres would receive a first-round pick in 2019 instead of a second-rounder as a result of Kane re-signing with San Jose. The selection is lottery-protected and could move to 2020.

      The 26-year-old recorded nine goals and five assists in 17 games with the Sharks. Kane had 29 goals and 25 assists on the season between the Sharks and Sabres. He added four goals and an assist in the playoffs before San Jose was eliminated in the second round by the Vegas Golden Knights.

      Kane was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. The talented-yet-enigmatic forward has 186 goals and 168 assists across nine seasons in the NHL since being selected fourth overall in the 2009 draft.

      Also set to become a free agent for the Sharks is 20-year veteran Joe Thornton. The 38-year-old said earlier this month he would like to return to San Jose.

      --Field Level Media

  • NHL notebook: Lamoriello named Isles' president of hockey ops
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    The New York Islanders officially named Hall of Fame executive Lou Lamoriello as president of hockey operations Tuesday.

    • Lamoriello will have "full authority over all hockey matters with the organization." The 75-year-old spent the past three seasons as the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and previously guided the New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cup titles.

      Lamoriello stayed on as an adviser with the Maple Leafs after team president Brendan Shanahan announced last month that the team would transition to a new general manager. Kyle Dubas was named the Leafs' GM earlier this month, and Lamoriello's name soon surfaced as a candidate to take over the Islanders' operations.

      The Islanders have missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons and currently employ Lamoriello's son, Chris, as assistant GM. Garth Snow, the team's current GM, said after the season that he felt his job was secure, but his future is now uncertain with Lamoriello calling the shots.

      --The Toronto Maple Leafs have mutually parted ways with assistant general manager Mark Hunter, the team announced.

      Team president Brendan Shanahan said at the time of Kyle Dubas' hiring as GM that his decision came down to Dubas and Hunter, but that he hoped to keep the rest of the team's management staff in place. Less than two weeks later, Hunter is leaving the organization.

      "Following extensive discussions with Mark, he and the Toronto Maple Leafs have mutually agreed to part ways," Shanahan said in a statement. "I'd like to sincerely thank Mark for everything he's done for this organization over the last four years and I wish him nothing but the best in the future."

      --The Montreal Canadiens have re-signed goaltender Antti Niemi to a one-year, $950,000 contract, the team announced.

      Niemi was scheduled to become a free agent July 1. The 34-year-old had a 7-5-4 record with a 2.46 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage in 19 games for the Canadiens last season.

      However, the one-way contract does not guarantee Niemi a roster spot for next season. He will battle with Charlie Lindgren for the backup job to Carey Price. Lindgren is also on a one-way contract.

      --Field Level Media

  • Canadiens re-sign G Niemi
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    The Montreal Canadiens have re-signed goaltender Antti Niemi to a one-year, $950,000 contract, the team announced Tuesday.

    • Niemi was scheduled to become a free agent July 1. The 34-year-old had a 7-5-4 record with a 2.46 goals-against-average and a .929 save percentage in 19 games for the Canadiens last season.

      However, the one-way contract does not guarantee Niemi a roster spot for next season. He will battle with Charlie Lindgren for the backup job to Carey Price. Lindgren is also on a one-way contract.

      Niemi signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins last year after having his contract bought out by the Dallas Stars. However, he was waived by the Penguins after posting an 0-3 record with a 7.50 GAA and a .797 save percentage as Matt Murray's backup.

      The Florida Panthers put in a waiver claim on Niemi, but he played in just two games before being waived again, paving his way to hook on with Montreal.

      Niemi has played in 447 career NHL games, posting a 234-134-55 record with a 2.52 GAA and .913 save percentage over 10 seasons.

      --Field Level Media

  • Islanders officially hire Lamoriello
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    The New York Islanders officially named Hall of Fame executive Lou Lamoriello as president of hockey operations Tuesday.

    • Lamoriello will have "full authority over all hockey matters with the organization." The 75-year-old spent the past three seasons as the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and previously guided the New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cup titles.

      "We are grateful to Larry Tanenbaum and the Toronto Maple Leafs for their courtesy in allowing this move," Islanders managing partner Scott Malkin said in a statement. "We are committed to giving Lou every resource and the full support of the entire organization as we pursue our program to compete at the highest level."

      Lamoriello stayed on as an advisor with the Maple Leafs after team president Brendan Shanahan announced last month that the team would transition to a new general manager. Kyle Dubas was named the Leafs' GM earlier this month, and Lamoriello's name soon surfaced as a candidate to take over the Islanders' operations.

      "I am excited to join such a storied franchise and look forward to working with Scott Malkin and the entire New York Islanders organization," Lamoriello said in a statement."

      Talks between Lamoriello and the Islanders about a role with the team reportedly began earlier this month.

      The Islanders have missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons and currently employ Lamoriello's son, Chris, as assistant GM. Garth Snow, the team's current GM, said after the season that he felt his job was secure, but team co-owner Jon Ledecky said in a statement that ownership would be "evaluating all aspects of our hockey operations."

      The futures of Snow and Islanders coach Doug Weight are now uncertain. Snow has been the team's GM since 2006, but the Islanders have made the playoffs just four times in his tenure and won only one playoff series.

      With Toronto, Lamoriello helped oversee a rebuilding process that began with the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and saw the Maple Leafs return to the Stanley Cup playoffs the following season. Toronto went 49-26-7 during the 2017-18 regular season to finish third in the Atlantic Division with 105 points, but was eliminated by the Boston Bruins in seven games in the first round of the playoffs.

      Lamoriello spent 27 seasons as the New Jersey Devils' general manager before stepping down to accept the Toronto job.

      In joining the Islanders, Lamoriello's No. 1 priority will be star center John Tavares' impending free agency. The two have reportedly already spoken.

      Tavares, 27, scored 84 points (37 goals, 47 assists) this season and is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

      --Field Level Media

  • Maple Leafs part ways with assistant GM Hunter
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    The Toronto Maple Leafs have mutually parted ways with assistant general manager Mark Hunter, the team announced Tuesday.

    • The Maple Leafs named 31-year-old Kyle Dubas as the team's 17th general manager earlier this month, replacing Lou Lamoriello, who left the job last month after three seasons. However, no announcement was made about Hunter's future until Tuesday.

      Team president Brendan Shanahan said at the time of Dubas' hiring that his decision came down to Dubas and Hunter, but that he hoped to keep the rest of the team's management staff in place. Less than two weeks later, Hunter is leaving the organization.

      "Following extensive discussions with Mark, he and the Toronto Maple Leafs have mutually agreed to part ways," Shanahan said in a statement. "I'd like to sincerely thank Mark for everything he's done for this organization over the last four years and I wish him nothing but the best in the future."

      Hunter, 55, spent the past three seasons working alongside Dubas. He was credited by Shanahan for pushing the team to select Mitch Marner with the No. 4 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

      Still under contract, Hunter will not be permitted to join another team until after the 2018 draft and free agency period, according to TSN.

      Lamoriello stayed on as a senior advisor, but he is leaving the team after being announced as the new head of hockey operations for the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Blues arena renamed Enterprise Center
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    The home of the St. Louis Blues will be known as Enterprise Center effective July 1 following a 15-year naming-rights agreement announced Monday.

    • Financial terms were not disclosed.

      The building has been called Scottrade Center since 2006.

      "We are thrilled to have two St. Louis institutions extend their partnership with this naming-rights agreement," Blues chairman Tom Stillman said in a statement. "The Blues and Enterprise were born in St. Louis and have enjoyed more than a half century of success in this community. Jo Ann Taylor Kindle and Andy Taylor have been key members of our all-local ownership group since 2012, and this new agreement is yet another example of the Taylor family's commitment to the Blues and to the entire St. Louis community. We are excited that the home of the Blues, and the site of so many high-profile sports and entertainment events, will soon be Enterprise Center."

      Before it was Scottrade Center, the venue was previously known as Kiel Center (1994-2000) and Savvis Center (2000-06).

      --Field Level Media

  • NHL notebook: Lamoriello to reportedly joins Isles
    By Field Level Media / Monday, May 21, 2018

    Hall of Fame executive Lou Lamoriello will take over as head hockey of operations for the New York Islanders "in a number of days," according to a report from The Athletic on Monday.

    • Talks between Lamoriello and the Islanders about a role with the team began earlier this month, according to a Sportsnet report on May 11. Lamoriello was transitioned out of his general manager job with the Toronto Maple Leafs in late April to become a senior advisor, which he reportedly was not satisfied with. The Maple Leafs have since named Kyle Dubas their new GM.

      The Islanders have missed the playoffs the last two seasons and currently employ Lamoriello's son Chris as an assistant GM. Garth Snow, the team's current GM, said after the season that he felt his job was secure, but team co-owner Jon Ledecky said in a statement that ownership would be "evaluating all aspects of our hockey operations."

      In joining the Islanders, Lou Lamoriello's No. 1 priority will be star center John Taveres' impending free agency. The two have already reportedly spoken.

      --The Minnesota Wild have hired former Nashville Predators assistant general manager Paul Fenton to be the team's new GM.

      Fenton, 58, becomes the third general manager in the Wild's 18-year history. He remained the primary candidate for the job after interviewing last month, which is when Minnesota decided not to renew the contract of previous GM Chuck Fletcher.

      Fenton had been in Nashville's front office since the franchise's inception under Wild owner Craig Leipold, who founded the Predators in 1998. Fenton served as director of player personnel until 2006, when he was promoted to assistant GM. Leipold sold the team in December of 2007 before buying the Wild in January of 2008.

      --While Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper agrees that the Vegas Golden Knights' outstanding season is "a wonderful story," he doesn't see it as a Disney-made miracle, instead giving credit to team owner Bill Foley, general manager George McPhee and head coach Gerard Gallant.

      "It's a success story is what it is. It's not a Cinderella story," Cooper told reporters. "There's been talk of 'how could that happen' or whatever. I'll tell you how it happened: They got an owner that hired an unreal GM and they got an unreal GM that hired an unreal coach. They were all left to do their jobs. They were given a framework to work with. They could've screwed it up or they could've done really well, and they chose to do really well. They played within the rules that were given to them, and this is what you get."

      The expansion Golden Knights have followed up a Pacific Division title with a 12-3 run through the playoffs to reach the Stanley Cup Final in their first year of existence.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Lamoriello to head hockey ops with Islanders
    By Field Level Media / Monday, May 21, 2018

    Hall of Fame executive Lou Lamoriello will take over as head hockey of operations for the New York Islanders "in a number of days," according to a report from The Athletic.

    • Talks between Lamoriello and the Islanders about a role with the team began earlier this month, according to a Sportsnet report on May 11. Lamoriello was transitioned out of his general manager role with the Toronto Maple Leafs in late April to become a senior advisor, which he reportedly was not satisfied with. The Maple Leafs have since named Kyle Dubas their new GM.

      The Islanders have missed the playoffs the last two seasons and currently employ Lamoriello's son Chris as an assistant GM. Garth Snow, the team's current GM, said after the season that he felt his job was secure, but team co-owner Jon Ledecky said in a statement that ownership would be "evaluating all aspects of our hockey operations."

      Lou Lamoriello's position in relation to Snow has yet to be determined.

      With Toronto, Lamoriello helped oversee a rebuilding process that began with the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and saw the Maple Leafs return to the Stanley Cup playoffs the following season. Toronto went 49-26-7 during the 2017-18 regular season to finish third in the Atlantic Division with 105 points, but was eliminated by the Boston Bruins in seven games in the first round of the playoffs.

      Lamoriello, 75, spent 27 seasons as the New Jersey Devils' general manager before stepping down to accept the Toronto job.

      In joining the Islanders, Lamoriello's No. 1 priority will be star center John Taveres' impending free agency. The two have already reportedly spoken.

      Tavares, 27, scored 84 points (37 goals, 47 goals) this season and is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

      --Field Level Media

  • Wild hire Predators' Fenton to be new GM
    By Field Level Media / Monday, May 21, 2018

    The Minnesota Wild have hired former Nashville Predators assistant general manager Paul Fenton to be the team's new GM.

    • "Paul is uniquely suited for this job having played 10 years of professional hockey and holding 25 years of management experience in the NHL," owner Craig Leipold said in a statement. "His gift of evaluating talent is obvious in Nashville's roster and recent success.

      "My relationship with Paul goes back to my early days in Nashville and I know that Wild hockey fans are going to love Paul's infectious passion for the game and unsurpassed work ethic. He's the right person to deliver a Stanley Cup to the State of Hockey."

      Fenton, 58, becomes the third general manager in the Wild's 18-year history. He remained the primary candidate for the job after interviewing last month.

      Fenton had been in Nashville's front office since the franchise's inception under Leipold, who founded the Predators in 1998. Fenton served as director of player personnel until 2006, when he was promoted to assistant GM. Leipold sold the team in December of 2007 before buying the Wild in January of 2008.

      Minnesota decided not to renew the contract of Chuck Fletcher, the previous GM who also served as executive vice president, after the team was eliminated from the postseason in the first round for the third consecutive season. The Wild finished the regular season third in the Central Division at 45-26-11 (101 points).

      Fenton also spent five years in the Anaheim Ducks' front office and has served as GM of the American Hockey League's Milwaukee Admirals. As a player, he totaled 183 points in 411 career games with seven different teams.

      --Field Level Media

  • Lightning's Cooper: Vegas run 'not a Cinderella story'
    By Field Level Media / Monday, May 21, 2018

    Though the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals are preparing for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday, coaches and players from both teams couldn't help but praise the club that has already punched its ticket to the Stanley Cup Final.

    • Lightning head coach Jon Cooper was particularly effusive with his praise for the Vegas Golden Knights, who have followed up a Pacific Division title with a 12-3 run through the playoffs to reach the sport's biggest stage in their first year of existence.

      While he agreed that the Knights' outstanding season is "a wonderful story," Cooper doesn't see it as a Disney-made miracle, instead giving credit to team owner Bill Foley, general manager George McPhee and head coach Gerard Gallant.

      "It's a success story is what it is. It's not a Cinderella story," he told reporters Monday. "There's been talk of 'how could that happen' or whatever. I'll tell you how it happened: They got an owner that hired an unreal GM and they got an unreal GM that hired an unreal coach. They were all left to do their jobs. They were given a framework to work with. They could've screwed it up or they could've done really well, and they chose to do really well. They played within the rules that were given to them, and this is what you get.

      "I know the gentlemen well that are involved, the GM and coach, and I couldn't be prouder of the guys of the job they've done. They deserved to get there, and I only hope we're the team they get to play."

      Others preparing for Thursday night's Game 6 in D.C. chimed in, with Lightning winger Chris Kunitz calling the Knights' run a "crazy storyline."

      "If you're on the other side of it, it's bad," he said. "You want to beat them. You want to win. But they did a great job of putting their game plan together and executing it."

      Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik added that "everyone is impressed" by the Knights.

      His head coach, Barry Trotz, has personal experience running an expansion franchise, having been the Nashville Predators' first head coach in 1998. Trotz credited McPhee and Gallant for excelling in player acquisition, albeit under slightly friendlier rules than previous expansion teams had.

      "They got a lot of players from other hockey teams that we didn't want to lose," he said. "I know they always say we didn't want those players. Well, we all did. The rules were the rules. They did a great job."

      Trotz also recalled the "galvanizing" effect that an expansion team's unique circumstances can have on a group of teammates.

      "I've been a part of that process," he said. "There's nothing tighter than that first-year group. There's no preconceived notion. There's no leadership in place. Nobody knows where to live. It's galvanizing."

      If Trotz's Capitals can win Games 6 and 7 against the Lightning, the Knights would hold home-ice advantage in the finals, where they tied for the third-best home record in the NHL this season at 29-10-2. If the Lightning advance, they would hold home-ice advantage instead.

      --Field Level Media

  • U.S. tops Canada 4-1 for bronze at world championship
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, May 20, 2018

    New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider scored two goals as the United States beat Canada 4-1 to win bronze at the world championship at Herning, Denmark on Sunday.

    • The U.S. squad had reeled off six straight wins to start the tournament, but a 6-0 loss to Sweden on Saturday relegated them to the consolation game. Canada lost to Finland and the U.S. in group play, but saw its hopes end in a 3-2 loss to Switzerland in the semifinals.

      Kreider opened the scoring with a goal in the second period and added an empty-netter late in the third period.

      After Kreider got the U.S. on the board, Marc-Edouard Vlasic tied it up with a shot that slipped through New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid's pads late in the second period.

      The teams remained tied until Nashville Predators center Nick Bonino scored the game-winner on a rebound of Patrick Kane shot with under seven minutes to go in regulation.

      Anders Lee and Kreider then added empty-net goals in the final three minutes after Canada lifted goalie Curtis McElhinney for an extra skater.

      Canada had won gold in 2015 and 2016, before settling for silver in 2017 and was considered a favorite heading into the tournament.

      Sweden and Switzerland play for the gold in the title game later Sunday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: BU's Quinn to become Rangers head coach
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, May 19, 2018

    Boston University coach David Quinn is expected to become the next head coach of the New York Rangers, according to multiple reports on Saturday.

    • ESPN reported that Quinn informed the school of his plans to leave on Saturday morning. The Rangers and Quinn have discussed a five-year contract worth around $2.5 million annually, according to multiple reports.

      Quinn, 51, has gone 105-67-21 in five seasons at his alma mater, leading the Terriers to three regional finals and a runner-up finish at the Frozen Four in 2015. He had previously served as an assistant for Boston from 2004-09 before joining the then-Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League as head coach from 2009-12.

      Quinn was an assistant for the Colorado Avalanche during the 2012-13 season before taking the head job at Boston, and he has also been a Team USA assistant several times during his career.

      New York missed the playoffs this season for the first time since 2009-10, and only the second time since '03-04. The Rangers finished with 77 points, 10 fewer than they had in any other non-lockout-shortened season since '03-04.

      The team fired Alain Vigneault, who took the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013-14 in his first season at the helm, in April. Vigneault finished his five-year tenure with a 226-147-37 regular-season record and a 31-30 mark in the postseason.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rantanen looks to build upon breakout season with Avalanche
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, May 19, 2018

    Mikko Rantanen enjoyed a breakout campaign as the Colorado Avalanche surprised many observers by reaching the playoffs for the first time in four years.

    • Now, the 21-year-old forward from Finland is hungry for more success.

      "It was a good year for us," Rantanen said to NHL.com. "I think nobody really expected us to be in the playoffs, first of all. We knew we had the potential to be there. Everything just went our way. ...

      "It gives us a lot of confidence for next year. We still have a really young group. It's good."

      Rantanen took the league by storm with 84 points (29 goals, 55 assists) in 81 games in his second full season. That effort dwarfed his production from one season earlier, when he notched 38 points (20 goals, 18 assists) in 75 games.

      Colorado surged in similar fashion, improving from 48 points (22-56-4) in 2016-17 to 95 points (43-30-9) in 2017-18. The Nashville Predators eliminated the Avalanche in six games in the first round of the playoffs.

      Teammates insist that Rantanen has even more to offer next season.

      "He's absolutely amazing," Avalanche forward Sven Andrighetto said to NHL.com. "We all knew before what he could do. He busted out this season, big time. He's a really good friend of mine. We hung out a lot this year. He deserves all of it.

      "There's a lot more to come. He's still really young."

      --Field Level Media

  • Blackhawks' Hossa says he's done playing
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, May 19, 2018

    Marian Hossa is ready to say goodbye to hockey, telling Slovakian media outlet Novy Cas, "I will not play hockey anymore," in an interview published Saturday.

    • Hossa has been battling a skin disorder and reaction to medications cost him the 2017-18 season for the Chicago Blackhawks. He has three years left on his current contract.

      A 19-year NHL veteran, he has also played for the Ottawa Senators, Atlanta Thrashers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings and won three Stanley Cup championships in his time.

      Hossa, 39, had a stellar career by any measure. He tallied 525 goals (35th all-time), 609 assists (82nd) and 1,134 points (54th) in 1,309 regular-season games (61st). He added 52 goals, 97 assists and 149 points in 205 playoff games.

      Hossa has put his Chicago condominium up for sale and told the publication he would move back to Slovakia, although he would be interested in a job with the Blackhawks.

      --Field Level Media

  • Penguins sign Finnish D Riikola
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 18, 2018

    The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Finnish defenseman Juuso Riikola to a one-year, entry-level contract, the team announced Friday.

    • The 24-year-old Riikola had two assists in eight games for Finland at the 2018 IIHF World Championships in Denmark this month. Finland was eliminated on Thursday after a 3-2 loss to Switzerland in the quarterfinals.

      Riikola has spent the past six seasons with KalPa Kuopio of Finland's top-level league, SM-liiga.

      The left-handed shooting Riikola played 59 games each of the last two seasons, averaging seven goals and 17.5 assists.

      The Penguins were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals in six games by the Washington Capitals.

      --Field Level Media

  • Islanders uncertain of Tavares' next step
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 17, 2018

    New York Islanders captain John Tavares' free agent intentions are anyone's guess -- and his teammates are just as curious as fans and media members to see where he ends up.

    • On Thursday, Islanders center Mathew Barzal said he tried and failed to quiz Tavares about whether he would return. Tavares can re-sign with New York any time before July 1, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

      "I had dinner with him a couple weeks ago and was just joking a little bit about him and what he wanted to do," Barzal said, according to NHL.com. "He didn't give me anything. He's a pretty quiet dude when it comes to that stuff."

      Tavares, 27, has led the Islanders in scoring in seven of his first nine seasons. However, the team has failed to make the postseason six times in those nine years, including each of the past two campaigns.

      New York selected Tavares with the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. Tavares has not disappointed, registering 621 points (272 goals, 349 assists) for fifth place in franchise history.

      Barzal, 20, hopes that Tavares sticks around to build upon his accomplishments and help the team become a contender.

      "If he came back, we'd have a pretty good foundation," Barzal said. "We know what we need to get better at next year, and we can take that next step. I really hope he stays, but if not, no hard feelings from me. It's a business at the end of the day, and he has to do what's best for him."

      --Field Level Media

  • Kane's heroics lead U.S. into world hockey semis
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 17, 2018

    Patrick Kane scored two goals to lead the United States to a 3-2 victory over the Czech Republic on Thursday to reach the semifinals of the world championship at Herning, Denmark.

    • Cam Atkinson also scored for the Americans, who will face either Sweden or Latvia on Saturday.

      Canada also reached the semis on Thursday with a 5-4 victory over Russia. The Canadians will face see either Finland or Switzerland.

      Kane has scored a U.S.-record 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) during the world championship.

      "It's my job to produce," the Chicago Blackhawks star said afterward. "It's always nice to contribute offensively. ... We came here to put ourselves in a position to win gold. We're on the right path."

      Michal Repik and Martin Necas scored for the Czech Republic.

      Meanwhile, Ryan O'Reilly scored 4:57 into overtime to give Canada the victory over Russia.

      Connor McDavid had three assists for Canada.

      --Field Level Media

  • Caps' Backstrom progressing, still not cleared to play
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 17, 2018

    Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom took part in line rushes and saw time on the power-play unit at practice Thursday for the first time since injuring his hand, but has still not medically been cleared to play.

    • Backstrom, who has missed the Capitals' past four games since suffering the injury blocking a shot in Game 5 of the team's second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, will be a game-time decision for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

      Capitals coach Barry Trotz said he has yet to speak to the team's trainers about whether Backstrom would be cleared by puck drop. Trotz has said the 30-year-old Swede is likely to return this series.

      Thursday marked Backstrom's third morning skate since he was injured. He centered the third line between Chandler Stephenson and Brett Connolly and worked with the first power-play unit.

      Backstrom was a game-time decision but didn't play in each of the first three games of the best-of-seven series, which Washington leads 2-1. In his absence, Lars Eller has successfully centered the second line, with two goals and three assists against the Lightning.

      Backstrom has three goals and 10 assists through 11 playoff games this spring. He notched 21 goals and 50 assists while playing all but one game in the regular season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Knights' McPhee up for GM of the Year
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 17, 2018

    George McPhee, who built the Vegas Golden Knights into the most successful expansion franchise in NHL history, is one of three finalists for the league's General Manager of the Year award.

    • The others vying for the honor are the Winnipeg Jets' Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Tampa Bay Lightning's Steve Yzerman.

      Voting by the league's 31 GMs plus five other executives and five media members was conducted after the conference semifinals. All three candidates have their teams in the conference finals.

      The winner will be announced June 20 at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

      The Golden Knights became the first expansion team among the four major North American sports to claim a division title in a debut season (excluding the Philadelphia Flyers in 1967-68, as the NHL's entire West Division consisted of expansion teams that year). Vegas went 51-24-7, the best winning percentage for any North American first-year team not joining from another league.

      Vegas then became the first expansion team to sweep its opening playoff series, wiping out the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Golden Knights got past the San Jose Sharks in six games in the Western Conference semifinals, and they took a 2-1 lead on the Winnipeg Jets in the West finals with a 4-2 win Wednesday.

      Cheveldayoff has Winnipeg in the conference finals for the first time in the city's NHL history -- either for the franchise that eventually moved and became the Arizona Coyotes or the current franchise that relocated after starting as the Atlanta Thrashers.

      The Jets posted the second-highest point total in the NHL this season, behind the Central Division rival Predators, and Winnipeg knocked Nashville out of the postseason in a seven-game Western Conference semifinal series.

      The Lightning won the Atlantic Division and posted the highest point total in the Eastern Conference, a franchise-record 113. They then cruised to five-game playoff series wins over the New Jersey Devils and the Boston Bruins, but they currently trail the Washington Capitals 2-1 in the Eastern Conference finals.

      Yzerman won the GM of the Year award in 2014-15. Neither McPhee nor Cheveldayoff has captured the honor.

      --Field Level Media