NHL Power Rankings: Can any team stop the Tampa Bay Lightning?

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CBS Sports 11 October, 2021 - 01:00pm 2 views

NHL Power Rankings 2021-22: Where every team stands on Opening Night

Yahoo Sports 11 October, 2021 - 11:03am

Minty Bets, Nick Bromberg, Pamela Maldonado, Frank Schwab

Andy Behrens, Dalton Del Don, Matt Harmon, Liz Loza, Scott Pianowski

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

You Pod to Win the Game

The puck drops on the 2021-22 NHL season Tuesday night when the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning hang another banner before hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The second matchup of the night features the league's newest expansion team -- the Seattle Kraken. The Kraken will play their first ever game against the Golden Knights in Las Vegas.

After a busy offseason that saw several star players change teams, we're poised to have a very exciting campaign with many different teams capable of taking the next step and becoming contenders.

Here are our first NHL Power Rankings of the new season!

The Jack Eichel situation has gone terribly for everyone involved, and we still don't know how it will turn out. The Sabres stripped him of their captaincy last month and it's unknown how many games he'll play this season (if any).

It's going to be another long season for a Sabres fanbase that hasn't experienced playoff hockey since 2011.

At least they have the Bills.

The Coyotes made several trades this offseason and got a boatload of draft picks in return. Arizona has three first-round picks and five second-round picks in the 2022 NHL Draft. That's a great sign for the Coyotes' future, but the present is very much a mess because of the lack of talent on their roster.

Longtime captain and center Ryan Getzlaf returned to the Ducks. Not much else of significance happened with the Ducks, who were rumored to be a potential landing spot for Jack Eichel but nothing has materialized so far.

The addition of goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic was a nice boost for this rebuilding Red Wings team. 

The Sharks had a difficult 2020-21 season and because of local COVID-19 restrictions they weren't able to play home games in San Jose for about a month into the year. For the Sharks to compete for a playoff spot, they need defenseman Brent Burns to make a larger impact offensively. After tallying 83 points in 2018-19, Burns posted just 29 points (seven goals, 22 assists) in 56 games last year. 

The biggest story surrounding the Senators is the ongoing contract negotiations between Brady Tkachuk's camp and the Senators. Tkachuk, a restricted free agent, is a core player for the Senators and led the team in scoring with 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists) last season. 

Patrik Laine was one of the league's best goal scorers over the first three years of his career. He found the back of the net 102 times from 2017-18 through 2019-20. Offensive success eluded him last season, though, scoring just 12 goals in 40 games between the Jets and Blue Jackets. Laine is in the final year of his contract, and it would help both him and Columbus if he has a bounce-back season. He's way too talented to struggle as much as he did in 2020-21.

The Devils have a lot of promising young talent, including 2019 No. 1 overall draft pick Jack Hughes, whose play took a positive step forward last season. The offseason addition of elite offensive defenseman Dougie Hamilton through free agency addressed a major need on New Jersey's blue line. The future is bright for the Devils, but it's hard to envision this team competing for a playoff spot. 

Top prospect Quinton Byfield suffered a left ankle fracture in a preseason game against the Coyotes last week and will be out indefinitely. It was a tough setback for a very talented player. 

The Kings surprisingly competed for a playoff spot last season before a five-game losing streak to finish the campaign. An abundance of top-tier young talent should make the Kings an exciting team to watch in 2021-22.

Goaltender Juuse Saros literally saved the Predators last season, posting a league-leading .941 save percentage as well as a 1.88 GAA from Feb. 7 through the end of the regular season (May 8), which vaulted Nashville up several spots in the standings and into the playoffs. He also posted an absurdly good 27.17 goals saved above average during that span. Nashville, with its quality goaltending and fantastic blue line, should still be a tough team to beat most nights.

Acquiring reigning Vezina Trophy winner Marc-Andre Fleury for very little via trade in the offseason gives the Blackhawks hope of making some noise in the Western Conference. 

The Rangers are loaded with young talent and played better than many expected last season. One player to watch is 2020 No. 1 overall draft pick Alexis Lafrenière. After a slow start to his rookie year, he finished the 2020-21 campaign strong with seven points over the last nine games.

He's certainly not lacking confidence, that's for sure.

— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) October 5, 2021

The Canadiens made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Final last season and ultimately lost to a much better Lightning squad in five games. They will be without their best player from that playoff push, goaltender Carey Price, to begin the season. It will be up to Jake Allen to keep Montreal afloat in one of the most competitive divisions in the league.

The Flames were another of the league's most disappointing teams last season, failing to make the playoffs in a weak North Division. It's also a huge year for star winger Johnny Gaudreau, who's entering the final year of his contract. He has not produced at an elite level each of the last two years following a breakout 2018-19 season that saw him tally 99 points (36 goals, 63 assists) in 82 games. That's the Gaudreau the Flames need to get back to the playoffs.

The Stars had a really tough 2020-21 campaign, including a COVID-19 outbreak near the start of the season. A (mostly) normal year would be a welcome change for the Stars, who still have enough talent to make the playoffs in the Western Conference. 

The Flyers were one of the league's most disappointing teams last season, and young goalie Carter Hart's horrible play was the biggest reason for that lack of success. Philly needs a huge bounce-back from Hart if this team is going to be a legit contender in the Eastern Conference.

The Kraken probably won't duplicate the Golden Knights' success as a first year expansion team in 2017-18 -- Vegas went to the Stanley Cup Final -- but Seattle should be right in the playoff mix all season. The Kraken have an excellent goaltending duo with Vezina Trophy finalist Philipp Grubauer and backup Chris Driedger. The question is will Seattle have enough goal scoring to beat some of the better teams. 

The Canucks have a lot of exciting young talent, and it's up to players such as Brock Boeser, Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson to take the next step in their development. Vancouver will go as far as these players take it.

The Capitals are a really good team, but after three lackluster first-round exits in a row, it's hard to view them as a legit Cup contender. Alexander Ovechkin's pursuit of Wayne Gretzky's iconic career goals record will be fun, though.

The Oilers' marquee offseason moves were trading for a past-his-prime defenseman in Duncan Keith and overpaying for free agent forward Zach Hyman. Edmonton still isn't a legit contender in the Western Conference, but this team is still must-watch because reigning Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid is so damn talented. 

The Wild took a huge step forward last season, led by Kirill Kaprizov's dominant rookie campaign that earned him the Calder Trophy. The pressure is on Minnesota to keep that momentum going.

There were plenty of offseason trade rumors involving star winger Vladimir Tarasenko, but he's still a member of the Blues as Opening Night nears. A healthy campaign from Tarasenko would be a huge lift for a Blues team that got swept in the first round by the Avalanche last season.

The Penguins are an older team and not a top Stanley Cup contender, but any group led by Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang must be taken seriously.

The Jets are a legit threat to win the Western Conference this season but they must be better defensively. Elite goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was forced to make the most saves in the league last season. We should also expect a motivated Mark Scheifele after the star center's four-game suspension made it difficult for the Jets to beat the Canadiens in the second round last season.

The Hurricanes are a very good team last season -- finishing in the top 10 in several puck possession metrics. The goaltending also was strong, with Alex Nedeljkovic posting a 15-5-3 record, a 1.90 GAA and a .932 save percentage in 23 appearances. James Reimer and Petr Mrazek also played solid in net. But all three of these netminders departed in the offseason, leaving free agent signing Frederik Andersen as the only above-average goalie on the 'Canes roster. Andersen also missed more than half of the 2020-21 regular season due to injury. Carolina's handling of the goalie position was just puzzling, to say the least.

Another question for Carolina is how much will the blue line be impacted by the loss of top-pairing defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who left in free agency to sign a massive deal with the Devils. 

After year's brutal postseason exit -- a Game 7 loss at home to the rival Canadiens after leading the first-round series 3-1 -- this is a massive season for the Leafs, and potentially the last chance for the team's superstar core to find playoff success or major changes will have to be made.

Re-signing No. 1 center and the reigning Selke Trophy winner Aleksander Barkov to an eight-year extension was a huge win for the Panthers franchise. This is a very talented and young team poised to take another step in its development this season. The return of top defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who missed all off the playoffs with an injury, is a massive boost for Florida as well.

Don't just assume the Lightning, Bruins and Leafs will be the top three teams in the Atlantic Division.

The Bruins totally revamped their goaltending over the offseason, transitioning from veterans Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak to Linus Ullmark and rookie Jeremy Swayman. The ideal scenario is Swayman taking over the starting job by the end of the season. 

Boston also was aggressive in free agency, adding plenty of depth to their bottom-six forward group. The team still needs another top-four defenseman, so we'll see what happens near the trade deadline.

The primary question mark is whether Charlie Coyle (or someone else) can adequately replace longtime No. 2 center David Krejci and maximize the offensive production of wingers Taylor Hall and Craig Smith.

Either way, the Bruins will still be one of the toughest teams to play against in the regular season. It'll also be fun to watch David Pastrnak chase 50 goals, if he can remain healthy.

The Golden Knights' run in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs ended in disappointing fashion when they were upset by an inferior Canadiens team in a six-game semifinal series. Vegas had a salary cap crunch this offseason and ultimately traded Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to the Blackhawks for very little. It's now up to Robin Lehner to shoulder most of the responsibility in net. It's still hard to pick against Vegas in the Pacific Division, though. This roster remains loaded.

The Islanders proved a lot of people wrong in the 2021 playoffs -- myself included -- and were so close to reaching the Stanley Cup Final last season, losing 1-0 to the eventual champion Lightning in Game 7 of the semifinal. New York enters the new campaign with Cup Final expectations, and rightly so. The Isles also added veteran defenseman Zdeno Chara and winger Zach Parise to the mix in free agency.

Outside of Tampa Bay, it's hard to find a team with more talent top to bottom than the Avalanche. They are loaded up front with a Hart Trophy-caliber center in Nathan MacKinnon. Top defenseman Cale Makar is the favorite for the Norris Trophy. The question mark again is goaltending. Philipp Grubauer left in free agency, forcing Colorado to pay a steep price to acquire veteran Darcy Kuemper from the Coyotes via trade. Kuemper's performance will be the No. 1 factor in whether the Avs can reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2001.

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champs lost a couple important depth players in free agency, but they still have the world's best goalie in Andrei Vasilevskiy, an elite defenseman in Victor Hedman and one of the deepest and most talented forward groups in the league. The challenge for the Lightning is becoming the first team to win three consecutive titles since the New York Islanders' four-peat in the early 1980s. If any team could do it, it's this Tampa Bay group.

In this week's edition of the NHL Power Rankings we separate every team into different Stanley Cup contender tiers to see where they sit entering the 2021-22 NHL season.

The Detroit Red Wings cut Bobby Ryan after taking a long look at him in exhibition, seemingly paving the way for Lucas Raymond to make the team.

How will the stalemate end for the Sabres star, plus our big picks for the season.

The Bruins announced Monday their initial roster for the first game of the 2021-22 NHL season, and there were a few notable names left off.

Ex-Patriots fullback James Develin officially completed the 2021 Boston Marathon on Monday and received some support from his former team in the process.

Auston Matthews and Ilya Mikheyev will be missing to start the year, while Adam Brooks was claimed off waivers.

The Flyers on Monday claimed Golden Knights forward Patrick Brown off of waivers Monday. By Jordan Hall

The Red Sox got an all-time lucky break on a strange play in the top of the 13th, then ended it with a homer in the bottom of the inning.

Spotlighting Pro Football Focus' studs and duds from the Chargers' win over the Browns.

Inside the conference room, Dave Hakstol was enjoying a quiet lunch with a small group on the cusp of getting started with the first Seattle Kraken training camp. Then came a knock on the window from two random fans who happened to realize Hakstol was in the room — even with the shades partially drawn — and wanted to make sure he saw the University of North Dakota flag in their hands. Seattle is a desirable if daunting stop on an unexpected NHL journey for Hakstol that started in 2015 with his first head coaching opportunity in Philadelphia.

The durability of the Nintendo Switch's controllers remains an open question, four and a half years into the popular console’s existence.Driving the news: Nintendo itself acknowledged that uncertainty in a recent promotional interview in which its hardware designers discussed, but did not fully detail, efforts to improve the device.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.Why it matters: Widespread malfunctions with the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers have led to m

The 44-year-old threw five touchdowns and the Super Bowl champions scored six in total as they improved their season record to 4-1.

The Houston Astros found themselves in familiar territory Monday, brushing aside comments by Chicago White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera after he implied they stole signs while winning the first two games of the AL Division Series in their ballpark. “He can say what he wants to say,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. Baker pointed out the Astros had similar offensive statistics at home and on the road, then offered some advice while mentioning he had listened to Eric Clapton that morning.

Why an NHL team should give the latest small-ish Lightning forward a shot.

Should the Yankees bring back first baseman Anthony Rizzo for the 2022 MLB season, and who can replace him if they don't?

Austin Westlake continues to be the top-ranked team in Class 6A.

Big wave surfer Laird Hamilton, 57, shares with Men's Health how extreme heat or cold exposure first thing in the morning helps to "boost" his system.

Alex Verdugo explains the meaning behind his special Red Sox chain and why he loves playing in the City of Boston.

Cooper signs three-year contract extension to remain Lightning coach

NHL.com 11 October, 2021 - 08:19am

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TAMPA -- Jon Cooper signed a three-year contract extension Monday to remain coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning through at least the 2024-25 season.

Cooper guided the Lightning to consecutive Stanley Cup championships the past two seasons. They will try to become the first team to win at least three in a row since the New York Islanders won four straight from 1980-83.

"To be honest, in this organization [contract negotiations] really never ever becomes an issue," Cooper said. "It's kind of like a family atmosphere and lots of open lines of communication before anything happens. So this was talked about probably four days after we hoisted the Stanley Cup. We got into the nitty gritty part when we started to come to training camp but for me it wasn't about my contract, it was making sure of the whole staff and we're all in this together. I didn't want any of this to be announced or to be done yet until everybody was looked after and that looks likes its happened.

"I'm just excited to be a part of this organization for a few more years and just continue to build on this standard we've set. It's the greatest place to work. I think enough has been said about (owner) Jeff Vinik and how fabulous he is and the relationship (general manager) Julien [BriseBois] and I have had for a number of years now. Tampa is my home and so it's great to be able to be back, to be able to be here for a few more years."

The Lightning begin the season against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS).

Cooper has been the Lightning's coach since March 25, 2013 and is the longest tenured coach in the NHL .Tampa Bay is 383-197-53 in 633 games during Cooper's eight-plus seasons as coach. His .647 points percentage is second in NHL history (minimum 500 games coached) behind Scotty Bowman's .657 in 2,141 games.

Tampa Bay's 383 wins are the most in the NHL since Cooper took over as coach. The Lightning also lead the League with 2,019 goals in that span.

"Unequivocally, 'Coop' is the best person for the job," BriseBois said. "He is a great leader, spokesperson and ambassador for our organization. We are lucky to have him as our head coach and I very much look forward to our continued partnership."

The Lightning have reached the Stanley Cup Final three times under Cooper. They won in five games against the Montreal Canadiens last season and in six games against the Dallas Stars in 2020. They lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015.

They also reached the Eastern Conference Final in 2016 and 2018, losing each in seven games to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, respectively.

Cooper was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award voted as the top coach in the NHL in 2013-14 and 2018-19.

He was named the coach for Canada's men's ice hockey team at the 2022 Beijing Olympics on Aug. 9.

Prior to his arrival in Tampa Bay, Cooper spent three seasons coaching the Lightning's American Hockey League affiliates, going 133-62-26 in 221 games with Norfolk (2010-12) and Syracuse (2012-13).

He led Norfolk to the Calder Cup as AHL champion in 2011-12, when he also won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the top coach in the league. Norfolk set a North American professional sports record with a 28-game winning streak that season.

TAMPA -- Jon Cooper said he wants the Tampa Bay Lightning to embrace their potential to three-peat as Stanley Cup champions.

Mark Giordano was named the first captain of the Seattle Kraken on Monday.

Full arenas. A full schedule. After what we've been through the past two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that's enough to get excited about the 2021-22 NHL regular season starting Tuesday.

The Colorado Avalanche have not gotten past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 2001-02 season, but they will win the Stanley Cup this season, according to a panel of NHL.com writers and editors. 

TORONTO -- Auston Matthews is expected to be out for the Toronto Maple Leafs' first three games of the season.

VANCOUVER -- Travis Hamonic won't start the season with the Vancouver Canucks but general manager Jim Benning said he expects the defenseman to join the team after reporting to their American Hockey League affiliate in Abbotsford after clearing waivers on Monday.

LAS VEGAS -- As the Vegas Golden Knights warmed up for their inaugural home opener at T-Mobile Arena on Oct. 10, 2017, two fans stood against the glass in the Vegas end and stood out amid the black, gray and gold.

When Kirsten Welsh graduated from Robert Morris University in 2019, after her four-year Division I hockey career, she had no real way to continue in the sport and remain in Pittsburgh. Playing overseas didn't work. The National Women's Hockey League didn't work.

Mika Zibanejad agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the New York Rangers on Sunday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Welcome to the 2021-22 NHL training camp buzz. With training camps open for all 32 teams, NHL.com has you covered with all the latest news.

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Alex Ovechkin is day to day with a lower-body injury but could play for the Washington Capitals in their season opener against the New York Rangers at home Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TNT).

The Los Angeles Kings are skating in a new-old style. 

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League and Vegas Golden Knights today unveiled the 2022 Honda NHL® All-Star logo as the Golden Knights and the city of Las Vegas prepare to host the NHL's top talent during the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend at T-Mobile Arena in February.

Olli Juolevi was traded to the Florida Panthers by the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday for forward Juho Lammikko and defenseman Noah Juulsen.

Chris "Boomer" Berman counts down his top 10 NHL nicknames of all-time

What's more ESPN than Chris Berman talking nicknames?

The 2021-22 NHL season begins Tuesday and will see 32 teams each playing 82 games, equaling a total of 1,312 regular-season games to be played before the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs start May 2.

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning are No. 1 in the NHL.com preseason Super 16 power rankings.

Zach Werenski said he wants to take a big step this season for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Jack Johnson signed a one-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

Erik Gustafsson signed a one-year, $800,000 contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

It's preseason for everyone and that includes Chicago Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Austin Watson will be out four weeks for the Ottawa Senators because of an ankle injury.

Carolina Panthers defensive back Jeremy Chinn sent a very clear message heading into a game against the Philadelphia Eagles: Take Warning.

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Trophy Tracker: Calder

NHL.com 10 October, 2021 - 11:00pm

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Cole Caufield is ready to take his game to another level as a fixture in the Montreal Canadiens lineup this season. 

"I want to improve everything," Caufield said on breakup day after the Canadiens lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Final. "It's not just one thing. I think every day you can grow and get better. Guys in this league are really good, and every night you have to bring it."

The 20-year-old right wing scored five points (four goals, one assist) in 10 regular-season games and 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games last season. He became the first rookie in NHL history to score three overtime points in a single postseason and is NHL.com's preseason favorite for the Calder Trophy.

Caufield received 74 voting points (11 first-place votes) from NHL.com's 17-person panel. Florida Panthers goalie Spencer Knight was second with 51 points (two first-place votes), followed by Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras with 45 points (one first-place vote), Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider with 24 points (two first-place votes) and Minnesota Wild forward Marco Rossi with 22 points (one first-place vote).

Knight, the No. 13 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, was 4-0-0 last season with a 2.32 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in four regular-season games (three starts). The 20-year-old was 1-1 when Florida lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games during the Stanley Cup First Round. He made 36 saves in his NHL postseason debut, a 4-1 win against the Lightning in Game 5.

"I think for me the biggest thing was just going in and having fun," Knight said. "When you're in the moment you don't really think, you're just kind of going. And for me, it's good to have that experience in knowing that you've been there and that, going forward, you can lean on that a little bit."

Caufield is trying to become Montreal's first Calder Trophy winner since 1972, when Ken Dryden was named rookie of the year.

"He's dynamic," Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme told The Globe & Mail. "He really pays attention to detail. He's learning quick, [has a] really great attitude. He's got a bright future because he's got that mentality."

Selected by the Canadiens with the No. 15 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Caufield won the Hobey Baker Award as the top men's player in NCAA hockey after leading all college players in goals (30), points (52), power-play goals (11), power-play points (24) and shots on goal (165) as a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin last season.

He also scored five points (two goals, three assists) in seven games to help the United States finish first at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, and four points (three goals, one assist) in two games with Laval of the American Hockey League before being recalled by the Canadiens. 

Caufield missed one week of training camp with an upper-body injury, but was back on a line with Tyler Toffoli and center Nick Suzuki when he returned Oct. 4.

"It's been a ton of fun getting to know him, getting to play with him," Suzuki said. "We have a lot of fun outside the rink and on the ice. He makes every play in the book."

Voting totals (points awarded on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis): Cole Caufield, Montreal Canadiens, 74 points (11 first-place votes); Spencer Knight, Florida Panthers, 51 points (two first-place votes); Trevor Zegras, Anaheim Ducks, 45 points (one first-place vote); Moritz Seider, Detroit Red Wings, 24 points (two first-place votes); Marco Rossi, Minnesota Wild, 22 points (one first-place vote); Jamie Drysdale, Anaheim Ducks, 13 points; Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins, 11 points; Dawson Mercer, New Jersey Devils, three points; Vasily Podkolzin, Vancouver Canucks, three points; Shane Pinto, Ottawa Senators, two points; Kaapo Kahkonen, Minnesota Wild, two points; Connor McMichael, Washington Capitals, one point; Bo Byram, Colorado Avalanche, one point; Alex Nedeljkovic, Detroit Red Wings, one point.

TAMPA -- Jon Cooper said he wants the Tampa Bay Lightning to embrace their potential to three-peat as Stanley Cup champions.

Full arenas. A full schedule. After what we've been through the past two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that's enough to get excited about the 2021-22 NHL regular season starting Tuesday.

The Colorado Avalanche have not gotten past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 2001-02 season, but they will win the Stanley Cup this season, according to a panel of NHL.com writers and editors. 

TORONTO -- Auston Matthews is expected to be out for the Toronto Maple Leafs' first three games of the season.

TAMPA -- Jon Cooper signed a three-year contract extension Monday to remain coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning through at least the 2024-25 season.

Mark Giordano was named the first captain of the Seattle Kraken on Monday.

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League and Vegas Golden Knights today unveiled the 2022 Honda NHL® All-Star logo as the Golden Knights and the city of Las Vegas prepare to host the NHL's top talent during the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend at T-Mobile Arena in February.

Mika Zibanejad agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the New York Rangers on Sunday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

LAS VEGAS -- As the Vegas Golden Knights warmed up for their inaugural home opener at T-Mobile Arena on Oct. 10, 2017, two fans stood against the glass in the Vegas end and stood out amid the black, gray and gold.

Welcome to the 2021-22 NHL training camp buzz. With training camps open for all 32 teams, NHL.com has you covered with all the latest news.

The L.A. Kings are skating in a new-old style. 

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Alex Ovechkin is day to day with a lower-body injury but could play for the Washington Capitals in their season opener against the New York Rangers at home Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TNT).

Olli Juolevi was traded to the Florida Panthers by the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday for forward Juho Lammikko and defenseman Noah Juulsen.

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning are No. 1 in the NHL.com preseason Super 16 power rankings.

The 2021-22 NHL season begins Tuesday and will see 32 teams each playing 82 games, equaling a total of 1,312 regular-season games to be played before the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs start May 2.

Chris "Boomer" Berman counts down his top 10 NHL nicknames of all-time

What's more ESPN than Chris Berman talking nicknames?

Zach Werenski said he wants to take a big step this season for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Erik Gustafsson signed a one-year, $800,000 contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

Austin Watson will be out four weeks for the Ottawa Senators because of an ankle injury.

Jack Johnson signed a one-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

It's preseason for everyone and that includes Chicago Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

A comprehensive list of all 2021 NHL free agents and signings, including stories and analysis.

Carolina Panthers defensive back Jeremy Chinn sent a very clear message heading into a game against the Philadelphia Eagles: Take Warning.

Cole Caufield, coming off a productive Stanley Cup Playoff run with the Montreal Canadiens, leads a group of talented rookies hoping to make an impact when the 2021-22 season begins Oct. 12.

Here are 12 rookies to keep an eye on (listed alphabetically):

VANCOUVER -- Travis Hamonic won't start the season with the Vancouver Canucks but general manager Jim Benning said he expects the defenseman to join the team after reporting to their American Hockey League affiliate in Abbotsford after clearing waivers on Monday.

When Kirsten Welsh graduated from Robert Morris University in 2019, after her four-year Division I hockey career, she had no real way to continue in the sport and remain in Pittsburgh. Playing overseas didn't work. The National Women's Hockey League didn't work.

The 31 players picked in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft have NHL hopes. Some have gotten a start toward that goal by signing a three-year, entry-level contract.

More could sign as we make our way through the 2021-22 season.

Here is a look at which players have signed and the status of the others:

NHL Network has fans covered for fantasy hockey drafts with the "NHL Tonight: Fantasy Special" leading up to the 2021-22 season.

Carter Hart spent a week in July driving around the Edmonton suburbs in a Lamborghini SUV, and the Philadelphia Flyers goalie has Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry to thank for it.

NEW YORK -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman has been fined $1,812.50, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for spearing Columbus Blue Jackets forward Sean Kuraly during NHL Preseason Game No. 97 in Columbus on Saturday, Oct. 9, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

NHL.com is the official web site of the National Hockey League. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup, the Stanley Cup Playoffs logo, the Stanley Cup Final logo, Center Ice name and logo, NHL Conference logos, NHL Winter Classic name, and The Biggest Assist Happens Off The Ice are registered trademarks and Stanley Cup Qualifiers name and logo, NHL.TV, Vintage Hockey word mark and logo, The Game Lives Where You Do, NHL Winter Classic logo, NHL Heritage Classic name and logo, NHL Stadium Series name and logo, NHL All-Star logo, NHL Face-Off name and logo, NHL. TV, NHL Premium, NHL After Dark, NHL GameCenter, NHL GameCenter LIVE, NHL Network name and logo, NHL Tonight name and logo, On The Fly, NHL Network Showdown name and logo, NHL Awards name and logo, NHL Draft name and logo, NHL Mascots, Hockey Fights Cancer, Because It's The Cup, NHL Green name and logo, NHL Vault, Hockey Is For Everyone, NHL Thanksgiving Showdown name and logo, NHL Centennial Classic name and logo, NHL Centennial Season logo, NHL100 Classic name and logo, NHL Global Series name and logo, NHL China Games name and logo, NHL Power Players name and logo, NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe name and logo, and Don't Miss A Moment are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. © NHL 2021. All Rights Reserved. All NHL team jerseys customized with NHL players' names and numbers are officially licensed by the NHL and the NHLPA. The Zamboni word mark and configuration of the Zamboni ice resurfacing machine are registered trademarks of Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc.© Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc. 2021. All Rights Reserved. Any other third party trademarks or copyrights are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

Watson out four weeks for Senators with ankle injury

NHL.com 10 October, 2021 - 04:29pm

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Austin Watson will be out four weeks for the Ottawa Senators because of an ankle injury.

The forward was injured in a 5-4 preseason shootout win at the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 7.

"His physicality, being in the League and leadership, but it's his energy day to day and on the bench, and holding guys accountable, that is stuff you don't see from up top," coach D.J. Smith said Sunday. "How much the guys respect him, how hard he plays, that's where we're going to miss him. ... He's willing to do anything for the team."

Watson scored 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 34 games for the Senators last season. He didn't play after March 22 because of a hand injury.

"'Watty' brings a lot more to the team than the naked eye," Ottawa forward Connor Brown said. "He's such a heart-and-soul guy, and his willingness to block shots with any part of his body. His commitment to doing anything it takes to win is contagious, so we'll miss him and we hope he gets back soon."

The Senators begin their season Thursday at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS2, TSN4, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

TAMPA -- Jon Cooper said he wants the Tampa Bay Lightning to embrace their potential to three-peat as Stanley Cup champions.

Mark Giordano was named the first captain of the Seattle Kraken on Monday.

Full arenas. A full schedule. After what we've been through the past two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that's enough to get excited about the 2021-22 NHL regular season starting Tuesday.

The Colorado Avalanche have not gotten past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 2001-02 season, but they will win the Stanley Cup this season, according to a panel of NHL.com writers and editors. 

TORONTO -- Auston Matthews is expected to be out for the Toronto Maple Leafs' first three games of the season.

VANCOUVER -- Travis Hamonic won't start the season with the Vancouver Canucks but general manager Jim Benning said he expects the defenseman to join the team after reporting to their American Hockey League affiliate in Abbotsford after clearing waivers on Monday.

TAMPA -- Jon Cooper signed a three-year contract extension Monday to remain coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning through at least the 2024-25 season.

LAS VEGAS -- As the Vegas Golden Knights warmed up for their inaugural home opener at T-Mobile Arena on Oct. 10, 2017, two fans stood against the glass in the Vegas end and stood out amid the black, gray and gold.

When Kirsten Welsh graduated from Robert Morris University in 2019, after her four-year Division I hockey career, she had no real way to continue in the sport and remain in Pittsburgh. Playing overseas didn't work. The National Women's Hockey League didn't work.

Mika Zibanejad agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the New York Rangers on Sunday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Welcome to the 2021-22 NHL training camp buzz. With training camps open for all 32 teams, NHL.com has you covered with all the latest news.

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Alex Ovechkin is day to day with a lower-body injury but could play for the Washington Capitals in their season opener against the New York Rangers at home Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TNT).

The Los Angeles Kings are skating in a new-old style. 

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League and Vegas Golden Knights today unveiled the 2022 Honda NHL® All-Star logo as the Golden Knights and the city of Las Vegas prepare to host the NHL's top talent during the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend at T-Mobile Arena in February.

Olli Juolevi was traded to the Florida Panthers by the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday for forward Juho Lammikko and defenseman Noah Juulsen.

Chris "Boomer" Berman counts down his top 10 NHL nicknames of all-time

What's more ESPN than Chris Berman talking nicknames?

The 2021-22 NHL season begins Tuesday and will see 32 teams each playing 82 games, equaling a total of 1,312 regular-season games to be played before the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs start May 2.

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning are No. 1 in the NHL.com preseason Super 16 power rankings.

Zach Werenski said he wants to take a big step this season for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Jack Johnson signed a one-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

Erik Gustafsson signed a one-year, $800,000 contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

It's preseason for everyone and that includes Chicago Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Carolina Panthers defensive back Jeremy Chinn sent a very clear message heading into a game against the Philadelphia Eagles: Take Warning.

The 31 players picked in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft have NHL hopes. Some have gotten a start toward that goal by signing a three-year, entry-level contract.

More could sign as we make our way through the 2021-22 season.

Here is a look at which players have signed and the status of the others:

NHL Network has fans covered for fantasy hockey drafts with the "NHL Tonight: Fantasy Special" leading up to the 2021-22 season.

A comprehensive list of all 2021 NHL free agents and signings, including stories and analysis.

Carter Hart spent a week in July driving around the Edmonton suburbs in a Lamborghini SUV, and the Philadelphia Flyers goalie has Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry to thank for it.

NHL.com is the official web site of the National Hockey League. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup, the Stanley Cup Playoffs logo, the Stanley Cup Final logo, Center Ice name and logo, NHL Conference logos, NHL Winter Classic name, and The Biggest Assist Happens Off The Ice are registered trademarks and Stanley Cup Qualifiers name and logo, NHL.TV, Vintage Hockey word mark and logo, The Game Lives Where You Do, NHL Winter Classic logo, NHL Heritage Classic name and logo, NHL Stadium Series name and logo, NHL All-Star logo, NHL Face-Off name and logo, NHL. TV, NHL Premium, NHL After Dark, NHL GameCenter, NHL GameCenter LIVE, NHL Network name and logo, NHL Tonight name and logo, On The Fly, NHL Network Showdown name and logo, NHL Awards name and logo, NHL Draft name and logo, NHL Mascots, Hockey Fights Cancer, Because It's The Cup, NHL Green name and logo, NHL Vault, Hockey Is For Everyone, NHL Thanksgiving Showdown name and logo, NHL Centennial Classic name and logo, NHL Centennial Season logo, NHL100 Classic name and logo, NHL Global Series name and logo, NHL China Games name and logo, NHL Power Players name and logo, NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe name and logo, and Don't Miss A Moment are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. © NHL 2021. All Rights Reserved. All NHL team jerseys customized with NHL players' names and numbers are officially licensed by the NHL and the NHLPA. The Zamboni word mark and configuration of the Zamboni ice resurfacing machine are registered trademarks of Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc.© Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc. 2021. All Rights Reserved. Any other third party trademarks or copyrights are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

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