NHL.com begins streaming international exhibition games today

The NHL is responding to the hypothetical philosophical question of: “If an exhibition game/tree falls in Manheim, Germany/the middle of a forest, but no one sees/hears it … does it really happen?” by offering up a slate of those overseas exhibition games on NHL.com.

The league provided a full schedule of those games, which will stream during the times designated in the press release. Here is that full schedule, with times marked in eastern time (ET).

Saturday, October 2

1:30 p.m. (EST) – San Jose vs. Mannheim from SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany

Monday, October 4

11:30 a.m. (EST) – Carolina vs. SKA from Ice Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia

Tuesday, October 5

1:00 p.m. (EST) – Columbus vs. Malmo from Malmo Arena, Malmo, Sweden

Wednesday, October 6

12:30 p.m. (EST) – Phoenix vs. Riga from Riga Arena, Riga, Latvia

These games lead up to the season openers on Thursday, October 7 (pauses to throw confetti). There will be quite a few actual regular season games that happen in foreign countries, too, which surely will generate some hand-wringing from certain fan bases looking for an edgy new thing to complain about this season.

Want a rundown of those opening games? Thankfully, the league provided that in this paragraph from that release.

Following exhibition play begins the 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere where the Hurricanes and Wild will play two regular-season games against each other at Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, Finland on Thursday, Oct. 7 and Friday, Oct. 8 (VERSUS, TSN, ESPN America, 4 Sport, WCMC – Carolina Radio, WCCO – Minnesota Radio). The Blue Jackets and Sharks will square off for two games at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday, Oct. 8 (VERSUS, TSN, ESPN America, Viasat Sports HD, KFOX – San Jose Radio, WBNS – Columbus Radio) and Saturday, Oct. 9 (NHL Network – except San Jose, CSN California, CBC, ESPN America, Viasat Sports HD, KFOX – San Jose Radio, WBNS – Columbus Radio). Meanwhile, the Bruins and Coyotes will play each other at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, on Saturday, Oct. 9 (Versus, NESN, TSN, ESPN America, Nova Sports, XTRA Sports 910-Phoenix Radio, Sports Hub 98.5-Boston Radio) and Sunday, Oct. 10 (NHL Network – except Boston, NESN, ESPN America, Nova TV, XTRA Sports 910-Phoenix Radio, Sports Hub 98.5-Boston Radio)

You see that wild man skating in your rear view mirror*, people? That’s the rapidly approaching hockey season. It’s OK to get excited.

* – Note: this is a strange metaphor. If a wild man is skating toward your car: 1) stop driving on ice and 2) begin the worrying process.

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    Coyotes agree to terms with first-round pick Keller on entry level deal

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    The Arizona Coyotes have agreed to terms with Clayton Keller, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft, the team announced on Sunday.

    Keller is one of two first-round picks the Coyotes had in 2016, along with defenseman Jakob Chychrun who has been with the team all season.

    The plan for Keller at this point is to join the Coyotes and spend the remainder of the season with the club. Since the team only has seven games remaining on the schedule his presence with the team the rest of the way will not burn one of the years off of his entry level deal (since he is under the age of 19, he would need to play in nine games to lose one year of his entry level contract).

    “We are extremely pleased to sign Clayton to an entry level contract,” general manager John Chayka said in a statement released by the team. “Clayton is a highly skilled, dynamic forward. He is a strong skater who has a powerful shot and great hockey sense. We are excited to have him join our team and finish the regular season with the Coyotes.”

    After spending the previous two years playing for the U.S. National Development Team, Keller joined Boston University for the 2016-17 season and put together a huge season for the Terriers, leading the team in goals (21) and total points (45) even though he only played in 31 games.

    The Coyotes’ next game is in St. Louis on Monday night.

    Keller was born in Swansea, Illinois which is less than 20 miles from St. Louis, so the timing for his debut would be pretty perfect.

    Along with Chychrun, Dylan Strome and Max Domi, Keller is going to be one of the talented young players that is going to be key to the Coyotes’ rebuild.

    WATCH LIVE: Minnesota Wild at Detroit Red Wings

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    The Minnesota Wild are looking to snap out of their recent slump that has seen them stumble down the stretch run of the regular season.

    After getting embarrassed on home ice on Saturday afternoon against the Vancouver Canucks they are back in action on Sunday afternoon in Detroit against the Red Wings. It is their last ever visit to Joe Louis Arena before the building closes at the end of this season.

    All of the action begins at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

    Follow all of the action there, or via our Live Stream.

    Click here for the Live Stream

    Preview: Wild look to bounce back from embarrassing loss

     

    Crosby on criticism from Sens owner Melnyk: ‘He likes to hear himself talk, so let’s just leave it’

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    One day after Ottawa Senators defenseman Marc Methot had the tip of his finger busted apart by a Sidney Crosby slash, team owner Eugene Melnyk made an appearance on Ottawa radio and sounded off on Crosby. Along with calling for a lengthy suspension for the Penguins’ captain, Melnyk referred to Crosby as a “whiner beyond belief.”

    It was all part of a pretty eventful for week for Crosby that saw him not only extend his lead in the NHL goal scoring race, but also be involved in a couple of stick incidents (the slash on Methot, a spearing incident involving Ryan O'Reilly) that should have been penalized.

    On Sunday, Crosby was finally asked about Melnyk’s criticism and he did not really seem to have much interest in addressing it.

    “I’m just going to leave it,” Crosby said following the team’s morning skate. “He likes to hear himself talk, so let’s just leave it. It was four days ago.”

    As bad as the result was (and it was terrible for Methot), the NHL was never going to suspend somebody for that type of slash.

    The department of player safety has only suspended two players for slashing since it came into existence (it has also never suspended a player for spearing).

    The bigger issue is that slashes like that are, unfortunately, accepted as part of the game and get overlooked so consistently during games.

    NHL analyst Mike Johnson put together a pretty lengthy compilation over the weekend of Senators players (including Methot) being guilty of the same type of slashing incidents. They should be penalized, including this one. But the unfortunate result of this particular one was never going to escalate it to any sort of supplemental discipline. Keep in mind that earlier this season Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau had his hand broken in a game after he was on the receiving end of no fewer than 15 slashes from the Minnesota Wild, resulting in no discipline from the league (and only one penalty during the game).

    This is not the first time Melnyk has gone off regarding an incident with the Penguins.

    A few years back he launched a “forensic investigation” into determining whether or not Matt Cooke intentionally sliced Erik Karlsson‘s achilles tendon with his skate blade during the 2012-13 season. He continued to seek out ways to have Cooke punished for the incident following it.

    It sure would be something if these two teams ended up meeting in the playoffs this season.

    NHL on NBCSN: Penguins host Flyers as chase for top spot in Metropolitan continues

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    The second game on the NBC networks on Sunday will feature Keystone state rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.

    Puck drop is at 7 p.m. ET, and you can catch all of the action on NBCSN or on our Live Stream.

    The Penguins, currently in a three-team race (along with the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets) for the Metropolitan Division crown, are still dealing with a mountain of injuries that has them playing without Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Jake Guentzel, Carl Hagelin, Trevor Daley, Olli Maatta, and Ron Hainsey. Even with that injured list they are still finding a way to collect points in the standings and enter Sunday’s game with an 8-1-3 record over their past 12 games.

    They enter the day three points back of the Capitals for the top spot in the division and the entire league.

    They have dropped two consecutive games in a shootout and are looking to avoid what would be their first three-game losing streak since January (it is also their only three-game losing streak of the season).

    Given that they have been without their second best player, pretty much an entire top-four on defense (including their No. 1 defenseman), and a couple of other key forwards this has been an incredible run over the past few weeks. It speaks not only to the depth of the organization, but also to the way the top players, specifically Sidney Crosby, have been able to carry the team through the injuries in recent weeks.

    Crosby has eight goals and 12 points over the past eight games alone as he tries to secure his second goal scoring crown and keep pace with Connor McDavid in the Art Ross race.

    On Sunday evening the Penguins will wrap up their season series with the Flyers and are looking to win it. The Penguins won the first two meetings of the season, including a 4-2 win in the Stadium Series at Heinz Field back in February. The Flyers however won the last meeting, shutting out the Penguins 4-0 in Philadelphia earlier this month.

    While the Penguins are competing for the top spot in the NHL, the Flyers are simply looking to salvage something from a season that has turned into a pretty big disappointment after appearing to be trending in the right direction back in December when they put together a 10-game winning streak. Since that winning streak however the Flyers have gone just 15-22-5 and are going to miss the playoffs for the second time in three years and the third time in the past five.

    The one bright spot for the Flyers this season has been the play of power forward Wayne Simmonds who is just one goal away from recording his second straight 30-goal season.