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Subban channels Jagr to win breakaway challenge

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NASHVILLE — P.K. Subban Jerseys of the Montreal Canadiens — with an assist to Jaromir Jagr — won the Honda Breakaway Challenge at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

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The winner was decided by fans voting on Twitter. Subban got 31 percent of the vote; narrowly defeating Brent Burns, who wore a Chewbacca mask on his second attempt, of the San Jose Sharks, who had 28 percent.

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On Subban’s second attempt, he dressed in a Jagr No. 68 Panthers jersey, complete with the mullet wig, but did not score on Pekka Rinne.

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“He’s got great hair; he’s a good-looking guy, that’s where it starts,” Subban said. “He’s had a great career and obviously he’s one of the best players of all time … this is probably as close as I’ll get to him.”

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“I have to give the trainers credit; they found this wig, they spray-painted it, they had to dig up a Jofa [helmet], there were some referee pants lying around. It’s a tribute to Jagr and the great career that he’s had so far.”

It was funny:))) I didn’t know he’s going to do it. P.K.-my little brother :) pic.twitter.com/XFvVjbigWh — Jaromir Jagr (@68Jagr) January 31, 2016

Burns — and his 4-year-old son Jagger — were the favorites among those in the arena.

On Burns’ first attempt, he was joined by Jagger, and Sharks teammate Joe Pavelski and his son Nathan. As Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo Jerseys staged a mock argument in the net to leave it empty, Jagger scored, then did a celebratory dance and fist-bumped all of the all-stars as he skated by in his Lil Burns 88 jersey.

Each skater — Brandon Saad Jerseys of the Columbus Blue Jackets; James Neal of the Nashville Predators; Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals; Matt Duchene Jerseys of the Colorado Avalanche; Subban and Burns — was given two attempts.

Among the highlights were Duchene throwing a cowboy hat into the stands; Rinne using a guitar given to him by country singer Dierks Bentley as a goalie stick; and Neal passing to Bentley, who scored on his shot.

Rinne of the hometown Nashville Predators replaced announced goalie Jonathan Quick Jerseys of the Los Angles Kings, pleasing the crowd.

Shooters were allowed to start from anywhere in the neutral zone and could use the entire offensive zone, including behind the net (regular-season shootout rules did not apply).

Buffalo Sabres to host ’18 World Junior Championship

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The IIHF World Junior Championship is returning to Buffalo in 2018, and it will include an outdoor game for the first time in tournament history.

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USA Hockey announced Friday that the 2018 World Juniors will be hosted by the Buffalo Sabres Jerseys. It’s the sixth time the tournament will be held in the United States, but the first time it will be played in the same location in the U.S. twice in a row.

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“In the opportunities we have had to host it in the United States, our most successful experience was in Buffalo in 2011,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey.

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USA Hockey also announced an outdoor game will be held at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills Jerseys. It will be the first game of its kind for the WJC.

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“I need to thank these gentlemen from USA Hockey to get this event,” Sabres owner Terry Pegula said. “I think the first time, two times in a row in the U.S., is quite an honor for us that we accept very graciously. Since we purchased the Sabres in 2011, Kim and I wanted to grow hockey in all levels that we were involved in. I think we’ve shown over the last four years that we’ve done this at the NHL level, AHL level, NCAA level, and now we have the honor of trying to enhance junior hockey in the world. I want to state that we do not do this out of any type of reach for power. We do this because we love the game and we want to help players around the world get better.”

The exact game that will be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium has not been determined, but Buffalo’s proximity to Canada could mean a United States-Canada matchup in the preliminary round could be in the offing.

“The IIHF allows some flexibility if the results of the 2017 tournament are such that [the U.S. and Canada] are not in the same pool so that a country can be moved,” Ogrean said. “Those early discussions on a ‘what if’ basis have happened so nothing is quite certain yet, and there would be other options of course, but we think the U.S.-Canada rivalry is the best in the game and that’s obviously what we’re designing this for.”

Assistant executive director of USA Hockey Mike Bertsch said the date of the outdoor game would be either Dec. 27 or Dec. 29, 2017.

Buffalo is no stranger to hosting outdoor hockey; the first NHL Winter Classic was held at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Jan. 1, 2008. The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Sabres 2-1 in a shootout when Penguins captain Sidney Crosby Jerseys scored the deciding goal against goalie Ryan Miller Jerseys.

“I am very grateful to USA Hockey for giving us the right to host the tournament,” Pegula said. “I know you guys probably took a lot of grief for letting us host it two times in a row and we’re going to make you proud. We’re going to do the best job we can.”

The Sabres beat out the Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys, and Chicago Blackhawks in the final bidding to host the 2018 WJC.

“It was a very, very difficult process,” Ogrean said. “That’s a great problem to have. It was not always like this. Fifteen years ago we were soliciting people to please host this event, but we’ve had a radical sea change in the popularity of the World Junior Championships and in the popularity of our sport. And so as we went through the process this time, we had… some sleepless nights because of friends we would be saying ‘no’ to despite the fact they put in very strong and compelling bids and we want to thank those wholesale nhl jerseys cities and we will be doing events in those cities in the future I am sure. The good thing is there are so many places in America that love hockey, support hockey, and want to have events of this kind there. It makes our decisions very difficult.”

When Buffalo hosted the 2011 tournament, Dwyer Arena at Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y., was used as the secondary venue. With HarborCenter, a facility that includes two NHL-size rinks, attached to First Niagara Center, a central location for the majority of the tournament made Buffalo an attractive spot to serve as host.

“Having the HarborCenter as a facility makes a major difference for us,” Bertsch said. “It brings all 10 teams into the same facility, into the same community, and one of our concerns and the attributes to this is all 10 teams will feel like a major part of the event for the entire event.”

The majority of games will be played at First Niagara Center and HarborCenter, but the possibility of seeing a record crowd at Ralph Wilson Stadium for a World Junior Championship game helped put Buffalo’s bid to host the tournament over the top.

“We had a lot of unique presentations by three of our organizations and I would say that there’s confirmation for elements like this as well from other parties,” Bertsch said. “There’s a lot on the table and a lot of unique items and a lot of overlap as well. Certainly the outdoor game here in this type of a setting was a factor for the Sabres and for us, but I will tell you there were other options that were on the table.”

In addition to Buffalo, previous World Junior tournaments in the U.S. were held in Minneapolis/St. Paul (1982), Anchorage, Alaska (1989), Boston (1996), and Grand Forks, N.D., and Thief River Falls, Minn. (2005).

The 2016 World Junior Championship will be played Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2016 in Helsinki, Finland. The 2017 WJC will be jointly hosted by Toronto and Montreal, with the gold-medal game to be played at Bell Centre in Montreal.

Trade deadline sparks emotions, even with fewer moves

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TORONTO — The 2016 NHL trade deadline has come and gone, and if ever there was a deadline that screamed out “lunch bag letdown,” this would be it.

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Loui Eriksson Jerseys, Dan Hamhuis, Jonathan Drouin and others who were rumored … heck, expected to be traded stayed put as the ongoing narrative of the day was of trade inertia.

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Here are the most compelling points from the day:

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Teams that were quiet and whose fans are enraged

The New York Islanders, who hit the trade deadline with a loss to lowly Edmonton, did little to assuage fears of Isles fans by adding only young winger Shane Prince from the Ottawa Senators. Prince has three goals in 44 total NHL games. Throw in the fact that power forward Kyle Okposo is expected to walk as a free agent in the summer and this trade deadline ranks as a major disappointment for a team that could face the archrival New York Rangers in the first round and frankly looks like it will be overmatched no matter who it faces — assuming it hangs onto a postseason berth. Minnesota Wild fans will likewise be unhappy as the Wild continue to try to scratch and claw their way back into the playoff picture. They still need help down the middle and had assets that could have been moved from the blue line, but it didn’t happen — with the exception of a late-hour deal that brought in David Jones, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent. Is this a team that kept its powder dry to take a run at Jonathan Drouin at the draft?

Jonathan Drouin remains with the Lightning despite many false proclamations of an imminent trade. Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

Teams that made you go ‘hmmm’

Don Sweeney began his tenure as general manager of the Boston Bruins by being pilloried by fans for trading young defenseman Dougie Hamilton Jerseys, and fans had him on the roasting spit again as he navigated his first trade deadline as GM. Sweeney ended up adding veteran defenseman John-Michael Liles from Carolina and veteran forward Lee Stempniak from New Jersey but gave up a boatload of futures. Stempniak has had a renaissance season in New Jersey, and it won’t be a huge surprise if he re-signs with the Devils in the summer. The Bruins sent a second- and a fourth-round pick to the Devils, which is a lot. Even more curious was the payment of prospect Anthony Camara and two picks (a third and fifth) for Liles, who is 35 and does not appreciably upgrade the Bruins blue-line corps. Ergo, Sweeney sent four picks and a prospect for two pending unrestricted free agents. Add in Sweeney’s inability to come to terms with Loui Eriksson Jerseys and/or trade the two-way forward who now may walk away on July 1 as a UFA and it was a less than stellar trade period for the Bruins.

Teams that didn’t do anything but whose fans should chill

The St. Louis Blues were quiet and that wasn’t entirely unexpected given the team’s salary cap and injury issues. In spite of missing key personnel — including Alexander Steen, Brian Elliott, Jaden Schwartz, Kevin Shattenkirk and Jake Allen — the Blues are a lock to make the playoffs and have a shot at first place in the Central. GM Doug Armstrong needed to move dollars out to bring assets in and it didn’t happen — but it might not matter. The Nashville Predators were also quiet, although since acquiring Ryan Johansen in early January, the team is playing its best hockey of the season and looks to have locked itself into the top wild-card spot in the West. The Washington Capitals added around the edge with Mike Weber Jerseys and Daniel Winnik, sending longtime Capitals forward Brooks Laich to Toronto in the Winnik deal, but when you’re the best team in the NHL, maybe there’s no need to shake things up needlessly.

Jonathan Drouin trade imminent

Ha. Ha. Just kidding. How many times since Drouin pulled the chute on the Tampa Bay Lightning were we told a deal was imminent? It didn’t happen in spite of multiple teams expressing interest in the No. 3 pick in 2013. In the end, Tampa GM Steve Yzerman could not find a deal that worked for him and would not force the issue, despite Drouin’s refusal to play for the team’s American Hockey League affiliate. The Drouin situation was complicated by the fact the Lightning were looking to add a right-handed shot along the blue line and could not make that happen without moving out salary. Still, the Lightning were in the enviable position of not having to make a move, because they remain a deep, talented team with the potential to once again go deep in the playoffs. Although Yzerman did open the door to Drouin rejoining the Lightning, it’s hard not to look at this as Drouin and his people having wildly misjudged the situation.

Little deal that we really like

Everyone will focus on the Colorado Avalanche’s acquisition of Mikkel Boedker Jerseys to their already big and fast forward corps, and with good reason — provided he can find a little more finish with the Avs. But the Avs need to be better along the blue line, and we think Eric Gelinas, who was acquired from New Jersey for a third-round pick in 2017, will be a nice fit; he might even make them just enough better to throw a scare into one of the big boys in the Western Conference playoffs.

Jamie McGinn should improve the hottest team in the league with his addition to the Ducks’ lineup. Michael Martin/NHLI/Getty Images

Medium deal that could turn out to be more

The Anaheim Ducks — the NHL’s hottest team, having won eight in a row — added Jamie McGinn from the Buffalo Sabres for a conditional third-round draft pick. The Ducks already boast a formidable defensive corps — in fact, there was much speculation they might package some of that depth up at the deadline in order to make a bigger splash up front — but it turns out they didn’t need to as McGinn will provide nice depth up front, where he can play anywhere among the top nine. The Ducks also added Brandon Pirri from the Florida Panthers for a sixth-round pick, while moving big Patrick Maroon Jerseys to the Edmonton Oilers. Let’s see: deep in goal, deep on the blue line and now appreciably deeper up front. Not a bad trade period for GM Bob Murray.

Teams that cheap sports jerseys maybe didn’t get it all done

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The Los Angeles Kings added Kris Versteeg to bolster the offense, but having repatriated aging Rob Scuderi for under-performing Christian Ehrhoff, the blue line is still an area of concern for the Kings, who can no longer be considered a lock to win the Pacific Division. The Pittsburgh Penguins added Justin Schultz, who is at best a gamble given his disastrous finish in Edmonton. Was that enough for a Penguins’ team that should be playoff bound but still has questions about its ability to move the puck from the back end? As for the Vancouver Canucks, it’s a cautionary tale about the power of the no-trade/no-move clause, as Dan Hamhuis was willing to go to just a handful of teams, and Vancouver could not get a deal to fit; so Hamhuis remains a Canuck at least until this summer, when he can become an unrestricted free agent. Radim Vrbata, another player who should have brought home some assets, can also leave the Canucks as an UFA this summer.

Burnside: Preds’ Rinne is only playing to win

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NASHVILLE — When the Nashville Predators were dispatched in the first round of the playoffs last season by eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, it was both a cautionary tale about the false guarantees of a strong regular season and a reminder of the fleeting nature of greatness.

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The Predators spent the first two-thirds of last season making a case for themselves as the top team in the league.

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They were led by goaltender Pekka Rinne, who was likewise making a case for Vezina Trophy consideration.

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Then, just before the All-Star break, Rinne went down with a knee injury. It wasn’t serious, Rinne recalled. He considered it a speed bump compared to the hip injury and subsequent infection that cost him all but 24 games in the 2013-14 season.

At the time of the injury, the Predators were 29-9-4 and Rinne led the NHL in wins, boasting a 1.96 goals-against average and .931 save percentage.
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But when Rinne returned less than a month later, it was as though the mojo had leaked from the entire team.

He refused to blame the injury, but Rinne admitted the almost inexplicable drop in play that plagued the team as it went 18-16-6 and lost out on the Central Division title remains mystifying.

Pekka Rinne said losing to the Blackhawks in the playoffs was a good learning experience but very painful. Bill Smith/NHLI/Getty Images

“It had an effect on my play, too,” Rinne said. “I wasn’t at that same level right away and took time to get back. Also as a team, I don’t know, we talked about it a lot. It’s tough because you play so well and all of a sudden we start to just win a game, but then lose three games in a row, then win a game, [lose] three games in a row.

“It was mentally hard. At that point you’re like, ‘Oh my God, what’s happening? What’s happening? We’re going into the playoffs and what’s going on?’ ”

The Predators actually played pretty well against the Blackhawks, chasing starter Corey Crawford Jerseys with an explosion of goals, but Rinne wasn’t his normal self and finished the series with a .909 save percentage and 2.68 GAA, as Crawford and Scott Darli

Hall induction was worth the wait for Phil Housley

TORONTO — Phil Housley was presented his Hockey Hall of Fame plaque by Pat LaFontaine, his United States teammate from the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, on Monday.

Housley’s acceptance speech covered his hockey Bulls roots in South St. Paul, Minn., to his lengthy pro career to his tight-knit family.

He waited 12½ seasons since his last NHL game to gain entrance into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The wait was worth it.

At the end of his speech, he reached into a plastic bag and pulled out his round and renowned Jofa helmet.

“I know cheap jerseys I took a lot of grief over the years for this helmet, but I thought I would bring it out one final time,” Housley said, holding the relic high. “I’d like to thank Jofa. You’re going into the Hall of Fame.”

1. His family

Housley was emotional while talking about his late Mom, Mary Lee, and father, Leroy, who for decades ran the family business, Housley Construction.

“I’m sure they’re looking down wholesale nhl jerseys and enjoying this,” Housley said. “I’d like to thank my mom for driving me and my brother to practice on those early frosty mornings, and my dad for my work ethic.

“I love them and miss them very much.”

Housley also thanked his brother, Larry, and sister, Connie, as well as his children Taylor, Reide, Wilson and Avery.

He joked his kids taught him all about hashtags, Twitter and Facebook and remarked his brother and sister “toughened him up.”

He saved the last of the family portion of his speech for his “high-school sweetheart,” his wife Karin. She is a Republican Member of the Minnesota Senate, published a book, runs a real estate company and has her own radio show.

“She’s been the backbone of our family and has had to put up with me for 30 years,” Housley said. “I know that’s hard and I don’t know why she does it. She’s been there for me in good and bad and has as much to do about this day as anyone.”

2. High school to the cheap nhl jerseys NHL
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Before Scotty Bowman and the Buffalo Sabres Jerseys drafted Housley at No. 6 out of South St. Paul High School in 1982, the teenage defencemanwas offered a tryout for the United States National Team to play in the IIHF World Championship in Finland.

Housley had a two-game tryout in Germany before the tournament and made the team. The Americans didn’t win a game that spring and finished last in the eight-team event, but Housley will never forget the experience.

The Soviet Union won gold, then Czechoslovakia cheap nhl jerseys finished second and Wayne Gretzky and Canada won bronze.

“I wanted to make that team and I’ll never forget Chiefs Fans playing against the Red Army and Wayne Gretzky,” Housley said. “It was this experience that was a great measuring stick heading into the draft.”

Housley thanked all his coaches, teammates and trainers, but singled out Bowman for taking a chance on a “165-pound, soaking wet” defenceman, as well as Brian Sutter, his coach with the Calgary Flames Jerseys and Chicago Blackhawks Jerseys.

“He believed in me, and that meant a lot to me,” Housley said of Sutter.

3. The importance of other sports

Housley concluded his speech wholesale jerseys by offering some advice to young hockey players around the world, encouraging them to play other sports and not focus solely on hockey.

“I grew up playing football, hockey and baseball in high school and looked forward to the change of sports and seasons,” he said. “I got the chance to meet friends in different sports, enjoy different sports and I had a chance to build athleticism for the sport you love.”

Blackhawks’ Panarin quickly adapting to NHL life

CHICAGO — Chicago Blackhawks forward Viktor Tikhonov sat in front of his locker stall and smiled.

He was being asked about Artemi Panarin, his friend and teammate. Questions about Panarin have been frequent for Tikhonov since he and Panarin decided to leave SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League and join the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Is Tikhonov surprised by how smoothly Panarin, a 5-foot-11, 170 pound left wing, has transitioned to the NHL?

“No,” said Tikhonov, the grandson of the legendary former Russia national team coach of the same name. “You know, I hate saying, ‘I told you so,’ but I’ve been telling a lot of people the last two months that this kid’s going to be really good and I guess you can kind of see the results. He’s only going to get better and I think everyone should be really excited that he’s here.”

The Blackhawks certainly are happy. The 23-year old rookie wasn’t drafted, likely because of his size, but he’s developed into an elite player. Prior to coming to the NHL, his skill and style in the KHL drew comparisons to Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane Jerseys.

“I always thought [about cheap jerseys my size], because all my coaches were telling me to eat Chicago Cubs more, go to the gym, gain weight,” said Panarin, via Tikhonov’s translation. “I was always eating more. I was eating everything but the silverware and the plate. All my life I’ve been kind of fighting it. Now it’s gotten to the point where I’m over it. I can play without the heavy weight and size. Those coaches that told me I couldn’t play without size, I wanted to prove they were wrong.”

Panarin has accomplished that goal.

He’s found a steady spot at left wing on the Blackhawks’ second line, opposite Kane. Entering the Blackhawks’ game Monday against the Anaheim Ducks (8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SNE, SNO, SNP, PRIME, FS-SD, CSN-CH), Panarin has two goals and eight points in eight games. He’s never rattled with the puck on his stick, thinks the game at a high level and isn’t a defensive liability.

“[Panarin] just goes to the right areas,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews Jerseys said. “He knows where to go to get the puck. And when he gets it, he’s responsible. He thinks on his feet incredibly well. That’s one of the most remarkable aspects of his game, on top of what he can do with the puck.”

And Panarin has excelled at a relatively low salary, which is key for the Blackhawks; according to war-on-ice.com, Panarin’s cheap nhl jerseys two-year contract has an average annual value of $812,500.

Panarin drew contract offers from a list of NHL teams, but the Blackhawks were the best fit.

“I chose this team because it really fits my style,” he said. “I like to play with the puck a lot. My heart fell upon Chicago right away [and] I stuck with that choice.”

The Blackhawks previously had one Russian player since coach Joel Quenneville was hired in 2008-09, goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin. But after signing Panarin wholesale jerseys they signed Tikhonov to a one-year contract and acquired center Artem Anisimov from the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the Brandon Saad Jerseys trade.

Tikhonov, a lanky 6-2 forward, wasn’t assured of a roster spot. His fluency in English and close friendship with Panarin might have played a role in him starting the season in Chicago, but his play earned him a closer look.

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Artemi Panarin Left Wing – CHI GOALS: 2 | ASST: 6 | PTS: 8 SOG: 19 | +/-: 4 Quenneville has tried him at left wing on the top line with Toews and right wing Marian Hossa Jerseys, and he’s determined to stay there. Taken by the Arizona Coyotes with the 28th pick of the 2008 NHL Draft, he played 61 games with the Coyotes in 2008-09. But this is the first time he’s All Star Game been in the NHL since then; he’s spent five of the past six seasons in the KHL.

“I had a little taste of it here years back and I think I might’ve even taken it for granted a little bit,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it was easy getting [to the NHL]. That was obviously cheap nhl jerseys a tough journey. But you kind of start to relax, like, ‘Oh, you’ve made it.’ And all of a sudden the next year you’re not there anymore. It was a lot of hard work, a lot of hard seasons [in other leagues], and this year I’m definitely not going to let the opportunity get away from me.”

Anisimov, playing wholesale nhl jerseys for his third team, is making a good impression as well. The day of the trade with the Blue Jackets, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman gushed about acquiring the 6-4, 198-pound Anisimov to center the second line.

Playing between Panarin and Kane, Anisimov hasn’t disappointed, with three goals in eight games. He retrieves pucks, buzzes the net and translates for his linemates during stoppages. His only struggle thus far is describing what it’s like to play with such elite talent.

“[They] see what’s going on, on the ice, and just react to the situation,” Anisimov said. “In the offensive zone it’s two guys who are like … I don’t have words for this.”

Others will find the right words if that line helps the Blackhawks make another long run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In the meantime, the Blackhawks are just enjoying their new comrades.

“They’re great hockey players and great guys; my type of guys, I guess,” said forward Andrew Shaw Jerseys, whose humor has helped bridge the language gap with Panarin. “We’ve tried to make it an easy transition for [Panarin], and he’s opened up. He’s a funny guy. All of them are actually quite hilarious. So we look forward to playing with them all year.”

Zdeno Chara leaves game with upper-body injury

BOSTON — Bruins jerseys defenseman Zdeno Chara jerseys suffered an upper-body injury during the first period of Thursday night’s 4-3 shootout win against the New York Rangers jerseys at TD Garden and did not return cheap nhl jerseys.

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Coach Claude Julien said Saturday that Chara has been given the weekend off and will be re-evaluated Monday. Chara was listed as day-to-day by Julien on Friday.

In his first exhibition game of the preseason cheap jerseys, the Bruins captain played three shifts and logged 1:57 of ice time before he suffered the injury. He controlled the puck near the Bruins’ bench, and after he dumped it in, the Rangers’ Ryan Bourque jerseys checked Chara into the boards.

Chara had the worst season of his career in 2014-15 after dealing with a knee injury. He never regained his top form after returning to the lineup in December and suffered a broken ankle near the end of the season but continued to play wholesale jerseys. He arrived at training camp healthy and motivated to rebound from last season wholesale nhl jerseys.

The Bruins are already without defenseman Dennis Seidenberg jerseys, who had back surgery jerseys Thursday and will be sidelined for eight weeks.

Sergei Gonchar hoping for 2nd stint with Penguins

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) — Entering his 21st NHL season, defenseman Sergei Gonchar jerseys is focused on earning a second stint with the Pittsburgh Penguins jerseys.

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Gonchar was a defensive leader for the Penguins for five seasons from 2005-2010, including during Pittsburgh’s two Stanley Cup Final appearances in 2008 and 2009.

Gonchar said when he contemplated continuing his career cheap jerseys, he first thought of Pittsburgh.

”I just decided I want to give it another shot. I decided I wanted to play,” Gonchar said. ”You want to go somewhere where you have a chance to win and where you can compete every night. So, Pittsburgh was the obvious choice wholesale jerseys.

”It is strange, a bit (to be back in a Penguins jersey). But it didn’t take me long to adjust to it. ”

The 41-year-old has 220 goals and 811 points in 1,301 NHL games cheap nhl jerseys, but scored just one goal and 13 points with the Montreal Canadiens jerseys last season. But Gonchar feels he has enough skill left to contribute to a young Penguins defense.

”I think I do, otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” Gonchar said. ”Obviously, you have to compensate with your gap, with your read of the game. So, you have to keep it on those things. With your condition, you can only do so much. (The mental side of the game is) the stuff you can always improve.”

The Penguins’ defense, led by 28-year-old Kris Letang jerseys, will depend on a group of inexperienced defensemen after Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff jerseys left.

Because of their lack of experience, Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said the Penguins would like to use eight defensemen wholesale nhl jerseys, which could increase Gonchar’s chances of making the roster.

”We want to start with eight defensemen just based on the competition we have going here,” Rutherford said. ”Each individual will take care of itself, based on how they play. Certainly, Gonchar will be a guy everybody will be watching. He’s had a very good career. We’ll see how much he has left. Can he keep the tempo?

”But he’s a smart player. I think he can contribute to our team. Now, we just have to watch these games.”

Gonchar had 54 goals and 259 points in 322 games with the Penguins. Pittsburgh coach Mike Johnston complimented Gonchar’s career, while remarking that he has a legitimate chance to earn a spot on the opening day roster, if he impresses throughout training camp.

”Sergei Gonchar is a player people know well here,” Johnston said. ”You look at his track record, over 1,300 games, 800 points. He’s had a phenomenal track record at the NHL level. His puck decisions are really good. His poise with the puck is very good.

”(Gonchar) is a player we like because of how he plays. He can fit into our system. I want to see how he handles the camp, and how he handles the games.”

Jack Eichel preparing for ride to begin with Sabres

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Jack Eichel Jerseys, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft, has only a week and a half remaining at home before he embarks on his rookie season for the Buffalo Sabres Jerseys.

Eichel — along with No. 1 overall pick Connor McDavid Jerseys — has been gaining attention for the possible impact he could make starting in the 2015-16 season since before the Sabres selected the 18-year-old forward in the first round. And with the combine, draft and rookie development camp, it’s been a busy summer.

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Now the former Boston University standout, Hobey Baker Award winner and native of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, is finally getting time to enjoy some peace and quiet while focusing on training.

“It’s cooled down a lot and just getting into a daily routine of training and skating, which I’m trying to prepare for training camp,” Eichel said. “From the time of the combine until development cheap nhl jerseys camp it was definitely pretty hectic. It was quite the media circus and it seemed like everyone was dragging you around to do something, so I really didn’t have the time to settle down somewhere and train. Now that it’s all over it’s been nice to just be able to relax and try to prepare.”

Eichel has been spending his days at Edge Performance Systems with nearly 20 other local pro hockey players, including Brian Boyle Jerseys of the Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys, Keith Yandle of the New York Rangers, Jimmy Hayes of the Boston Bruins, Kevin Hayes of the Rangers and Charlie Coyle of the Minnesota Wild.

It’s an intense workout in the morning and it concludes with an on-ice session. EPS owner Brian McDonough has created a competitive environment in which these athletes can push each other during the offseason. It’s this type of atmosphere that’s perfect for Eichel and fellow 2015 first-rounder Noah Hanifin Jerseys, who was selected No. 5 overall by the Carolina Hurricanes.

“It’s a good place to work out and it’s a great atmosphere, a really good environment,” Eichel said. “There are a lot of guys that have played in the league and you learn a lot wholesale jerseys just being around them every day; how to take care of yourself and how hard they work in the gym and it rubs off on you. This is a great place to train.

“It says something about Brian and his training and this gym. People want to come here and train because they know they’re going to get stronger and they know they’re going to prepare well for the season and that’s what makes it a special place, knowing that this is the top gym to train at in the offseason for athletes like us.”

Hanifin, an 18-year-old defenseman from Norwood, Massachusetts, has been training in the offseason with this group since he was 15.

“This is their job and you can tell by how hard they work in the gym every day and it brings the best out of me, it makes me realize how important it is to work hard every day to chase a goal and it’s been a huge privilege over the years,” Hanifin said.

When Eichel participated in Buffalo’s development camp last month at First Niagara Center, Sabres fans came out in droves to see the new-look team with Eichel as the center of attention.

“It was crazy to see how many people showed up to development camp for a scrimmage in July,” he said. “It just says something about the Sabres’ fans and how passionate they are.”

Each organization’s development camp stresses the importance of handling yourself off the ice and how to prepare for the life of a pro athlete.

“Just how to be a pro on a day-to-day basis,” Eichel said. “It’s good to have guys that have done it already around every day to actually help you through that.”

When Eichel leaves home in less than two weeks cheap jerseys, he will attend the NHL’s rookie showcase, rookie orientation and then he’ll participate in the Sabres’ rookie camp before training camp begins.

“We’ll see where it goes,” Eichel said.

Kings host Special Olympics World Games athletes

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Tyler Toffoli, Alec Martinez and Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings Jerseys spent Thursday afternoon welcoming athletes for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.

The event had a loose, fun feel to it, much like the players’ interactions with coach Darryl Sutter Jerseys‘s son Chris, who has competed in the Special Olympics and is such a part of the Kings that he is in the team photo from their 2013-14 Stanley Cup season.

“We see Chris around all the time, and he’s basically one of the guys on the team,” Toffoli said. “He comes in here and makes wholesale jerseys us laugh. We know how Chris is. He’s incredible, and for us to give back and help out here with the Special Olympics and show off our facility, it was a good experience.”

The Special Olympics World Games, which begin Saturday, will feature 6,500 intellectually disabled athletes from 165 countries competing in 25 sports in venues across Los Angeles, which is hosting the international competition for the first time since 1972. It will be the single-biggest sporting event in L.A. since the 1984 Summer Olympics, according to the event website.

In January, Maria Shriver, whose mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founded the Special Olympics, asked Darryl and Chris Sutter cheap nhl jerseys to be torchbearers for the event. Chris has Down Syndrome and has competed in the Special Olympics in Canada for Alberta’s bowling team.

“Chris is around the room all the time,” Martinez said. “It’s really cool. He’s a huge part of our room and he’s in a lot of different things, bowling being one of them … we have that link there too. It’s awesome.”

The Kings gave Special Olympians from Barbados and Macedonia a tour of their practice facility, including its state-of-the-art, skylighted weight room, and showed them video highlights of their 2013-14 season before an entertaining question-and-answer session.

“Who is your favorite hockey player?” a Barbados athlete asked.

Jeff Carter Jerseys,” Toffoli said.

“Is Jeff Carter Jerseys still alive?” the athlete asked.

Carter raised his hand, and everybody laughed.

The Kings seemed more than happy to give their guests a look into their professional lives.

“That’s the best part, when they walk into that weight room and their eyes light up and they start smiling, especially when cheap jerseys they saw that video,” Martinez said. “… There wasn’t one of them that had ever ice-skated before.”

Said Toffoli, “One of the coaches, as they were leaving, said that we made their day. Just hearing those things, it’s pretty incredible and it’s a good experience.”