• Matthews defies odds to crack Team North America lineup

    Auston Matthews  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

    So just how good is the consensus No. 1 overall pick in the NHL draft, Auston Matthews? Well, he’s so good that apparently he can skate uphill.

    When Peter Chiarelli and Stan Bowman, the two men most responsible for putting the North American roster for the World Cup of Hockey together, announced their initial selections for the 23-and-under team less than three months ago, Chiarelli declared that Matthews had an “uphill road” in his attempts to be on the roster. But with an impressive World Championship to his credit where he was one of the best players in the tournament, Matthews bucked the odds and will find himself part of what will easily be the most intriguing team in the tournament.

    Read more

  • Greiss joins Islanders teammate Halak on Team Europe

    Dhiren Mahiban
    (Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Thomas Greiss has been rewarded for his good first season with the New York Islanders. The German puck stopper was one of seven players added to Team Europe’s final roster for the World Cup of Hockey on Friday.

    Greiss, who joins fellow Isles’ goaltender Jaroslav Halak, had a solid post-season posting a 2.46 G.A.A. and a .923 save percentage in 11 games filling in for Halak. The 30-year-old was 23-11-3 in 41 regular season appearances to go along with a .925 save percentage and a 2.36 G.A.A. Internationally, Greiss represented Germany at the most recent world championship in Russia.

    Read more

  • Thornton and Burns added to Canada and nobody should be surprised

    Ken Campbell
    Joe Thornton (left) and Brent Burns  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

    With the addition of the final seven players to the roster, Canada’s team for the World Cup of Hockey just got a lot hairier. And if the San Jose Sharks can manage to win the Stanley Cup, you’ll have to wear sunglasses in the dressing room just to deal with the bling from the Stanley Cups and Olympic gold medals.

    The additions of the hirsute Joe Thornton and Brent Burns should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched this year’s playoffs. Both enter the Stanley Cup final as legitimate frontrunners to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, but they were also dominant in the regular season for the Sharks. In the case of Thornton, this was most certainly not a feel-good bone-throw to a guy who has been a class act and outstanding player for a long time. Thornton has earned every bit of this and has proved that even though he’ll be 37 – and will be Canada’s oldest skater – when the tournament begins, he can still play an effective game at both ends of the ice and remains one of the league’s elite passers.

    Read more

  • Kessel left off American roster for World Cup

    Dhiren Mahiban
    Photo credit: ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images

    Phil Kessel’s name was noticeably absent as Team USA added the final seven players to its World Cup of Hockey tournament roster on Friday. The Pittsburgh Penguins forward had 59 points in 82 regular season games – his lowest total in an 82-game season since 2009-10.

    However, the 28-year-old has picked up his production in the playoffs scoring nine goals and nine assists in 18 games helping the Penguins reach the Stanley Cup final. Since 2008-09, Kessel leads all American-born players with 243 goals.

    Read more

  • The Hockey News Podcast: Stanley Cup final preview, and predictions

    The Hockey News
    Stanley Cup (Getty Images)

    On this edition of the podcast, the THN gang breaks down the Stanley Cup final. We discuss who has the edge in five important categories — plus three bonus intangible categories.

    It also features a special appearance by the office alarm. There was a fire drill during the recording of the podcast, but we decided to power through to bring you this episode. Enjoy.

    Download and subscribe on iTunes, and on Soundcloud.

    [Music: Metz-Headache; Quicksand-Omission]

  • Longtime Jets assistant Pascal Vincent named coach of the Manitoba Moose

    Jared Clinton
    Pascal Vincent (Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Pascal Vincent has been a mainstay of the Jets since the franchise moved to Winnipeg from Atlanta, and now the 44-year-old Quebec native is turning his assistant coaching gig with the Jets into a spot as the bench boss for the Manitoba Moose.

    The Jets announced Friday that Vincent has been named the AHL club’s eighth coach and second since the club returned to Manitoba from Newfoundland.

    The position with the Moose opened up following the somewhat surprising release of Keith McCambridge following this past season. McCambridge’s contract was up, and the Jets announced they would not be renewing McCambridge’s contract following the 2015-16 season. Manitoba finished with the third-worst record in the AHL in 2015-16, but also had one of the youngest and most inexperienced rosters in the league. That’s not to mention that McCambridge lost starting goaltender Connor Hellebuyck to the big club early in the campaign. Read more

  • Report: Kings to strip Brown of captaincy — who wears the ‘C’ next season?

    Jared Clinton
    Dustin Brown celebrates with Drew Doughty, Brayden McNabb, Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik (Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Dustin Brown still has six years and $32.5 million remaining on his contract with the Kings, but it appears as though he’s about to spend the rest of his days in Los Angeles without the captaincy.

    TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported Friday afternoon that Brown, 31, has been told he won’t be the Kings’ captain next season and that Los Angeles plans to “go in a different direction” with the captaincy moving forward. Brown, the 15th captain in Kings franchise history, has worn the ‘C’ for the past eight seasons and took on the role just three seasons into his NHL career. It’s his no longer, however.

    There are likely a number of factors involved in the Kings stripping Brown of the captaincy, but the foremost is certainly the downturn in production he has seen over the past several seasons. Brown was named captain following a 33-goal, 60-point season in 2007-08, but he hasn’t been able to recreate that production since. Read more

  • Five storylines that make the Lightning the off-season’s most interesting team

    Jonathan Drouin and Steven Stamkos.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    The Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t quite match last year’s brilliance but, considering the obstacles they faced this spring, they should be darned proud of what they accomplished.

    They won two playoff rounds and reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final without Steven Stamkos, their best player. They went 9-2 without their second-best defenseman, Anton Stralman, before getting him back in for Game 2 against Pittsburgh. They lost their franchise goalie, Ben Bishop, in Game 1 against the Penguins and still pushed them to the brink. With a little more luck on the health front, the Bolts easily could’ve matched last season’s Stanley Cup final appearance and maybe even won it all.

    The 2015-16 season should thus be considered a resounding success. The Lightning also have a lot to look forward to going forward. Before we anoint them serious 2016-17 contenders, however, they have many problems to solve this off-season. Few if any GMs have a longer, more significant laundry list than Steve Yzerman. Tampa is the summer’s most interesting team. Here are five crucial storylines to watch.

    Read more