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Buffalo Sabres

Sabres' Ennis feeling confident after offseason moves

Monday, 08.31.2015 /

EDMONTON -- The past two seasons were excruciatingly long for Buffalo Sabres center Tyler Ennis. But he said when it comes to complete rebuilds, this one could be extremely short.

"It seemed like a really long two years, but in the grand scheme of things it could be pretty quick," Ennis said following a session at Vancouver Canucks assistant coach Perry Pearn's 3-on-3 Hockey Camp here. "It might not be as long as you think, but those 160 games felt like 10 years. But there is still lots to improve on. It's not just going to happen on its own. We have to have guys commit to the areas we need to improve on. We're going to be better than last year but there is still a long way to go. But I really like the pieces and where we're headed."

Gretzky remembers Arbour as 'so well-respected'

Sunday, 08.30.2015 /

Wayne Gretzky on Sunday remembered Al Arbour as one of the classiest men in hockey.

Arbour, who coached the New York Islanders to four straight Stanley Cup championships, died Friday at age 82.

"I don't know if hockey has ever had a classier man involved with the game," Gretzky told Newsday. "He was so well-respected. …

"My dad always said, 'One thing in life you can't do is buy respect.' You have to earn respect. Al was the kind of person who everybody really liked and gravitated to, but really respected. And the game of hockey is not the same today without him. Just a good man."

Minnesota Wild

After whirlwind, Wild goalie Dubnyk ready for encore

Sunday, 08.30.2015 /

Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk knows that expectations will be high with fans wondering what he'll do for an encore.

"I've thought about it a ton," Dubnyk told the St. Paul Pioneer Press this week. "It would be nice not to have to go 27-9 again there at the end. We have to get going faster, have a more consistent start."

New York Rangers

Lundqvist motivated to take 'final step' with Rangers

Sunday, 08.30.2015 /

Henrik Lundqvist is determined to lead the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup championship that's eluded them despite three trips to the Eastern Conference Final and one to the Stanley Cup Final in the past four seasons.

"If I look back at the last four years, we've had a lot of great moments, especially in the playoffs," the goaltender told the New York Daily News at The Citi Henrik Lundqvist Hockey ProCamp at Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers on Sunday. "You learn from it and you appreciate it, but obviously the main goal is to take that final step."

Chicago Blackhawks

Panarin, Dano among Blackhawks' top five prospects

Sunday, 08.30.2015 /

CHICAGO -- Knowing a salary-cap crunch was coming in the offseason, the Chicago Blackhawks signed several free agent prospects in the spring to add some depth to their system.

They tapped into the international and collegiate markets to bring in young talent, and the end result is a prospect base that's expected to help Chicago move past the departures of Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp, Johnny Oduya, Brad Richards and others this summer.

Here is a look at the Blackhawks' top five prospects, according to

Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks face questions about top line, salary cap

Sunday, 08.30.2015 /

CHICAGO -- It's been another offseason of change for the Chicago Blackhawks following a Stanley Cup championship.

As was the case in the summer of 2010, the NHL salary cap has forced the Blackhawks to overhaul their roster. Chicago's talent and leadership have been pared through trades and departures in free agency, and more losses could happen before the start of the season.

Here are three questions facing the Blackhawks:

Chicago Blackhawks

Core veterans, new talent keep Blackhawks optimistic

Sunday, 08.30.2015 /

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks once again will defend their Stanley Cup championship without several of the key players who helped them win it.

It will be the third time they go through this scenario, though the challenge looks even more daunting this season. They've lost a lot of talent and championship experience in their latest effort to negotiate the NHL salary cap. However, recent history alone suggests the Blackhawks have a solid chance to repeat as champions.

Here are four reasons for the Blackhawks to be optimistic:

Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks counting on new players to defend Cup

Sunday, 08.30.2015 / continues its preview of the 2015-16 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.

CHICAGO -- The more things change with the Chicago Blackhawks, the harder their front office works to attain the same results.

The Blackhawks have proven during the past seven seasons that sustained success is possible in a salary-cap system, but only for teams that continually prepare for offseason roster turnover.

It helps to have a core group of elite players like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith to build around, as Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman does in Chicago, but that alone won't win anything. Bowman has built the Blackhawks' past two championship teams after parting with established role players and replacing them with players who have thrived in those supporting roles.

"I think change is good, and I think we've embraced that in the past and been able to bring in some players that now are household names … but at one point they were new," Bowman said. "It's going to be the same thing for some of the new guys that are part of this group next year. They might be new to the fans and media, but as you'll see in time, I think we're really going to fall in love with some of these guys."

Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks fantasy hockey outlook

Sunday, 08.30.2015 /

As part of'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: Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews

Kane had easily been one of the best fantasy performers in the game last season prior to missing 21 games because of a broken clavicle sustained Feb. 24. He finished the season with 27 goals, 37 assists, a plus-10 rating, 10 penalty minutes, 22 power-play points and 186 shots on goal in 61 games. Even with the missed time, Kane still finished as the 53rd best fantasy player in Yahoo leagues. Over the past six seasons, Kane has 415 points in 414 games. His 1.002 points per game ranks seventh during that time. He hasn't finished with a rating worse than plus-7 over that span and while the penalty minutes category will never be his strength, he continues to be a dominant force on the power play (averaging 26 PPP per 82-game season over past six seasons). Looking ahead to this season, Kane is a surefire first-round draft pick and one of the few players capable of posting point-per-game statistics.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Stamkos hits, fields with Blue Jays

Saturday, 08.29.2015 /

When it comes to baseball, Steven Stamkos would rather play defense.

The Tampa Bay Lightning captain worked out with the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, taking infield and batting practice prior to their game against the Detroit Tigers at Rogers Centre.

"I think I was more excited to field the balls than to hit them," Stamkos told The Canadian Press. "I've taken BP before, but to actually get on the field and field balls and throw them, that was pretty fun."