Ovechkin, Capitals Unveil Winter Classic Uniforms – Yahoo Sports

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The Chicago Blackhawks’ Blueprint to Solving Salary Cap Dilemma | Bleacher Report

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis’ lobbying for a Winter Classic in his NHL team’s home city began with an email sent to Commissioner Gary Bettman the moment the league’s first New Year’s Day game was played in 2008. ”The first emails I see any morning, on any typical day, are from Ted on any of a variety of subjects but he has been both persistent and passionate in pursuit of this event,” Bettman said at Nationals Park on Tuesday, when the Capitals unveiled the uniforms they’ll wear when they host the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 1. ”We’re thrilled to be fulfilling his wish.” On a sunny, start-of-autumn day with the temperature at about 70, Alex Ovechkin wore flip-flops and a borrowed pair of baseball pants, Nicklas Backstrom donned shorts, and Braden Holtby sported sunglasses while modeling the deep red jerseys with a blue ”W,” three white stars and the word ”Capitals” across the chest. Hockey nets and boards showing the outline of a rink were set up across the back of the dirt diamond and the shallow outfield grass at the baseball stadium where the NL East champion Nationals play their home games. ”One of the things I did for Commissioner Bettman a few years back (was) I had a rendering done of what the Winter Classic would look like here. So this is pretty cool to see,” said Mark Lerner, son of the Nationals’ principal owner and a part-owner of the Capitals, as he looked at the setup. ”Every time I saw him, I said, ‘What about it?’ Ted and I were both on a mission since Jan. 1, 2008, that we wanted to have it in D.C.” Leonsis called landing the game ”a big moment” for hockey in Washington. View gallery An outline for a hockey rink is shown on the field at Nationals Park in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ovechkin-capitals-unveil-winter-classic-uniforms-192633936–nhl.html

Blackhawks vs. Red Wings final score: Jonathan Toews scores OT game-winner, Chicago wins 2-1 – Yahoo Sports

It took a while for everyone to get going, but a breakaway score from Patrick Kane in the second period and a deflected shot from Jonathan Toews in extra time were enough to get the meaningless win. Both teams looked to be shaking off the rust from a long summer in the first period, struggling to put together quality scoring chances despite disorganized defense. Passes missed targets, pucks bounced over sticks and there was generally just a lack of intensity as both teams tried to establish some tempo. The only goal of the first 20 minutes came on a shot from the blue line deflected by Luke Glendening . Corey Crawford couldn’t get his blocker out in front, but it felt very much like the kind of out-of-rhythm goal you’d expect to kick off a preseason game. An 8-7 advantage in shots on goal during the period hardly mattered for Chicago, which had few quality chances. Things didn’t change much for the Hawks after the intermission. The team mustered only four shots in the second period, and for the most part, fought off attacks in their own end. However, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Kane gave us the highlight of the night with a spectacular breakaway finish to tie the game at 1-1: Kane breakaway goal. So beautiful. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/blackhawks-vs-red-wings-final-031934564.html

Blackhawks’ fourth line has the potential to be a lot of fun in 2014-15 – Yahoo Sports

Its a far better idea than trading Johnny Oduya, who is much less replaceable in his key role on the Blackhawks shutdown pairing. But even with Leddy gone, the Blackhawks are going to be close to the ceiling. That gives them limited ability later in the year to take on salary to address any weaknesses that have developed or simply to load up with rentals for the playoffs. It means that theyll need to watch every penny, perhaps going with a 22-man roster rather than a full 23-man list at points in the year. It might mean promoting Michael Leighton to the backup role at times and sending waiver-exempt Antti Raanta to the minors (there is a $200,000 difference in the cap hits of the two, and while Raanta is on a one-way deal its cheap enough to bury if needed). The solution is to jettison luxuries. Oduya doesnt qualify; he plays a critical role for the team. Better candidates can be found up front. USA TODAY Sports Kris Versteeg is often mentioned, largely because he fell sharply out of favour in the 2014 postseason. Chicago got him from Florida with the idea that hed be a cheap scorer; the Panthers retained half of his salary to make him go away. source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2206351-the-chicago-blackhawks-blueprint-to-solving-salary-cap-dilemma

The biggest reason that the Hawks should keep Brandon Mashinter out of the lineup is that we’d have simply too much fun with the alternatives. Yesterday, I talked about why the Chicago Blackhawks shouldn’t necessarily force Brandon Mashinter into the lineup just to replace the presence vacated by Brandon Bollig . That was mostly from the perspective that he doesn’t bring the type of skill to the bottom six that some other forwards might be able to. Let’s be real, though, any plea to keep Mashinter as far away from the lineup is going to fall on very deaf ears, given the coaching staff’s insistence on having that type of player in the lineup. Perhaps the largest reason that the Hawks should keep Mashinter out of the lineup is the fact that a fourth line without him in there could just be too much damn fun. In their scrimmage on Monday night, the Hawks rolled with a line that featured Jeremy Morin next to a familiar combination of Marcus Kruger and Ben Smith . There’s still an entire preseason to go, and plenty can still change, but it’s hard to imagine a fourth line that Hawks fans would love to see more than that trio. Last year, the combination of Bollig-Kruger-Smith was constantly used after the top line. They didn’t add much of anything to the stat sheet as far as offense is concerned, but they were an outstanding group a good deal of the time, even with Bollig in tow. They helped to shift momentum in the Hawks’ favor, generating a strong forecheck and playing a strong defensive game from that front line. Substituting Jeremy Morin in there for Bollig has the chance to add another level of excitement to that line. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/blackhawks-fourth-line-potential-lot-190537323.html


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