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Hurricanes move rookie Jeff Skinner to Eric Staal’s top line

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner might be a rookie, but he’s making at an immediate impact on the team.

For one thing, the talented winger is leading the team in points at this moment in time. You’d think Eric Staal would be the club’s top point producer (three goals, four assists for seven points this season), but Skinner is No. 1 so far in 2010-11 with three goals and five assists for eight points.

As a reward for Skinner’s play – and with the goal of giving Staal a boost – Skinner will reportedly be moved up to the Canes’ top line. Chip Alexander of the News & Observer passed along the report.

Rookie Jeff Skinner has replaced Jussi Jokinen on Eric Staal’s line and will be the left winger opposite Chad LaRose tonight against the New York Islanders. The Canes coaches had been reluctant to use Skinner on the top line, wanting the 18-year-old — the youngest player in the NHL — to continue to build confidence and not have to face top defensive pairs.

“Obviously for myself I wasn’t creating enough offense the last couple of games,” Staal said today. “This is a little bit of a change. He’s an offensive guy with some great instincts. I look forward to it. …

“He’s a good kid. He’s got a smile on his face. He competes, he works. … That’s all you can ask for out of a young guy.”

So that will make the team’s top line Staal-Skinner-LaRose. Perhaps giving Staal a more dynamic lineup will help him out, give Skinner even more time on the ice and perhaps even assist Jokinen by allowing him to play against lesser competition.

As you may know, NHL teams shake up their lines as often as every night, so this is by no means a permanent thing. Still, if you need evidence that Skinner is making an impression on his new team, just point to this (and his hot start).

Ducks sign former first-rounder Noesen to one-year extension

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Forward Stefan Noesen has agreed to a one-year contract to stay with the Anaheim Ducks.

Anaheim confirmed the two-way deal Monday.

Noesen (NAY-sun) appeared in one game in each of the past two seasons for the Ducks, who acquired him from Ottawa in 2013.

The 2011 first-round pick by the Senators has spent most of the past three seasons in the AHL with Anaheim’s affiliates in Norfolk and San Diego. He scored 32 points in 65 games for the Gulls last season.

The 23-year-old Texas native’s pro career has been hindered by two major injuries. He missed practically all of the 2013-14 season with torn ligaments in his left knee, and he missed four months of the 2014-15 season after an opponent’s skate blade nearly severed his right Achilles tendon.

Twitter unveils plan to stream NHL games

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07:  In this photo illustration, The Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced it's initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013 in London, England. Twitter went public on the NYSE opening at USD 26 per share, valuing the company's worth at an estimated USD 18 billion.  (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Twitter will live stream for free one Major League Baseball game and one NHL game per week under a new deal.

The agreement announced Monday will allow viewers to watch games nationally that would normally be available only in the two teams’ home markets. Users will not need to be logged into Twitter to see the games.

The baseball games will also be available outside the U.S., with some exceptions. Twitter did not announce the game schedule Monday.

The social media network is attempting to move into live sports streaming through “over-the-top” broadcasts, which do not require a cable subscription. In April, Twitter reached a deal with the NFL to stream 10 “Thursday Night Football” games this fall.

Former Flyers goalie Heeter signs with Detroit’s AHL team

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The Red Wings added some goalie depth on Monday, agreeing to terms with journeyman Cal Heeter.

Heeter, 27, broke in with the Flyers organization a while back and made his big-league debut in ’13-14, appearing in one game.

Since then, he’s bounced around the ECHL, AHL (with the Toronto Marlies) and, last season, split his time between Hamburg of the German League and Zagreb Medvescak of the KHL.

By itself, this signing isn’t especially noteworthy, as Heeter projects to be an American League mainstay next year.

But the contract is kind of interesting when looking and the big-picture goalie situation in Detroit. The Wings now have Heeter, Petr Mrazek, Jimmy Howard, Jared Coreau, Eddie Pasquale and Jake Paterson all under contract for next season, which is an awful lot of goalies.

With that in mind, remember that Howard’s name has been in trade talks for quite some time.


Ex-NHLers Bellemore, Collins sign with KHL’s Chinese club

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HC Kunlun Red Star, the Beijing-based expansion team that will begin playing in the KHL next season, has added a pair of former NHLers.

Sean Collins, who appeared in a pair of games for the Capitals last season, and Brett Bellemore, a veteran of over 100 contests with the Carolina Hurricanes, have agreed to join the club, per Russian news outlet R-Sport.

Bellemore, 28, was originally drafted by the ‘Canes in 2007 and spent most of his professional career with the organization. He signed on with Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence last year, and appeared in 56 games.

Collins, 27, broke in with the Blue Jackets before signing with the Caps last season. He spent the majority of the year in AHL Hershey and fared well — 16 goals and 39 points in 75 games — and scored three times in the playoffs, helping the Bears advance to the Calder Cup final.