Bloodlines: 2014 Draft features familiar (last) names

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As much as the 2014 NHL Draft (and everything surrounding it) was about change, seeing children of former players selected – sometimes by the same teams that employed their fathers – brought about a certain feeling of familiarity.

(And, in the case of Brendan Lemieux being more than OK with emulating his controversial dad Claude Lemieux, maybe the occasional foreboding sense.)

If a last name or 10 sounded familiar to you sometime between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, you weren’t hearing things. Consider some of the best “bloodlines” stories from the draft:

  • Eighth overall pick William Nylander might end up being the best offspring of them all. His father Michael isn’t that far removed from his playing days.
  • Another familiar name is Pittsburgh Penguins’ first-rounder (22nd overall) Kasperi Kapanen, Sami’s son.
  • The most charming moments probably came when players were selected for the same teams their fathers once skated for. That happened when the Montreal Canadiens picked Daniel Audette (you might remember his father Donald), the Boston Bruins selected Ryan Donato (son of Ted) and Carolina Hurricanes tabbed Josh Wesley (Glen’s progeny).
  • Josh Wesley is an especially cool story. He represents North Carolina’s homegrown NHL Draft selection. Will we see more from that region as the Hurricanes only get more settled in Raleigh?
  • Again, Brendan Lemieux hopes to bring the same clutch prowess and fury that his father Claude made infamous, even if it’s not with the Colorado Avalanche or New Jersey Devils (Buffalo made him the first pick of the second round). More about that father-son connection here.
  • The Los Angeles Kings nabbed Jake Marchment, son of Bryan … so Lemieux isn’t the only son of a controversial checker.
  • The Arizona Coyotes drafted Ryan MacInnis, son of Al.
  • The Detroit Red Wings drafted Dominic Turgeon with the 63rd pick. He looks remarkably like his father Pierre (insert uncomfortable Dale Hunter joke here).
source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images
  • And, of course, there’s a Sutter. The New York Islanders drafted Lukas Sutter with the 200th pick. He’s Rich’s son.

Father-son connections aren’t the only noteworthy familial bits …

  • Shane Gersich (135th overall, Washington Capitals) has some famous uncles in Neal and Paul Broten. Neal had a great NHL career and was a key member of the fabled “Miracle on Ice” team.
  • If Anton Karlsson is anywhere near the player is brother Erik Karlsson is, the Arizona Coyotes could have a scary combination of offensive defensemen considering Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle’s talents. The Coyotes seemed to draft based on good genes, it seems.
  • John Quenneville is Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville’s second cousin. Coach Q must be glad that he’s in the Eastern Conference (selected 30th overall by the New Jersey Devils), as that will at least limit the awkward storylines.

Aside from maybe one of those first-round picks, it’s unlikely that fans will get many chances to compare and contrast these players with their relatives in NHL games during the 2014-15 season. Still, it’s often fun to see how far these hockey apples fall from the tree.

If the teams that drafted them get their way, the answer will be “not very far.”

Leafs’ Marleau becomes 18th NHL player to reach 1,500-game milestone

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Patrick Marleau’s three-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs will end two months before his 41st birthday, a summer when many believe his NHL career will come to an end.

But as he celebrated game No. 1,500 Wednesday night against the Detroit Red Wings, the veteran forward was talking about reaching another kind of milestone.

“I’m going to keep going as long as I can,” he said Wednesday morning via Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. “I don’t know if my wife’s ready to have me at home full-time yet. If I feel good and still think I can contribute then I’ll keep it going.”

Marleau is the 18th player in NHL history to reach the 1,500 game mark. Should he stay healthy and play the entire 82-game slate or close to that, he’ll enter the 2018-19 season 11th all-time in that category. Gordie Howe holds the record with 1,767 games played.

Health has helped the 38-year-old Marleau reach the mark in his 20th NHL season. He hasn’t missed a regular game since the 2008-09 season and hasn’t played fewer than 74 games in a full season in his entire career.

Marleau has gone from being the youngest player in the league to the sixth-oldest in the span of 20 years and considering his history of good health, better fitness regiments of players and treatment by training staffs, challenging Howe may not be a crazy idea.

Of course, that is unless Jaromir Jagr sticks around. If that happens then Marleau would likely have to settle for No. 2.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Blues

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This week’s edition of NBCSN’s Rivalry Night will feature a central division clash between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues.

It’s still early days, but the two sides are battling atop the Central, with the Blackhawks powered by great starts from a number of players including Brandon Saad and Ryan Hartman. The Blues, meanwhile, are looking to halt a two-game skid after winning their first four games of the season. The game also features the return of NHL on NBC analyst Ed Olczyk to the booth.

You can check out tonight’s game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET) or online via the live stream.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

Blues get Alexander Steen back against Blackhawks

Return to the booth is Eddie Olczyk’s ‘best medicine’

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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Former NHL agent Stacey McAlpine charged in fraud case

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Former NHL agent Stacey McAlpine has been charged with fraud in a case involving former Ottawa Senators players Dany Heatley and Chris Phillips.

Winnipeg police said Wednesday that the 54-year-old McAlpine bilked Heatley and Phillips out of $12 million between January 2004 and June 2011. McAlpine is charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000, two counts of theft over $5,000 and laundering proceeds of crime.

Heatley and Phillips sued McAlpine and McAlpine’s parents, claiming money was being invested in unapproved real estate deals, including an Ottawa condominium. CTV Calgary has reported that Heatley was awarded more than $6 million by an Alberta court.

Rask hurt in Bruins practice; Spooner out 4-6 weeks

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Well, the good news regarding injuries and the Boston Bruins didn’t last very long.

Earlier this week, PHT noted that forwards Patrice Bergeron and David Backes are expected to return in the near future, possibly as soon as Thursday. That’s great, but Wednesday turned out to be lousy thanks to one injury scare and one sure-thing that’s a negative.

The biggest concern is that of Tuukka Rask, and it’s something that might not clear up for a while. Rask was helped off the ice during practice today after being “bowled over” by young forward Anders Bjork.

The Bruins might dodge a bullet there, which would be huge if their backup work in anyway resembles the woes of 2016-17.

While we don’t know the severity of Rask’s issues just yet, there’s flat-out bad news for Ryan Spooner.

The Bruins estimate Spooner’s window of recovery at four-to-six weeks for a (cringe) “right groin adductor tear,” which he suffered on Oct. 15. Adam McQuaid suffered an injury in that same contest, so that could go down as a costly date for a Bruins team that has been fairly described as top-heavy.

Spooner, 25, was off to a slow start so far this season. He didn’t score a goal and managed one assist in five games, averaging 13:17 TOI per game. Even during that time, he was deployed in a very protected way, so the B’s can’t really claim that this is more than a body blow.

Even so, the Bruins might sport a patchwork lineup if Bergeron and/or Backes can’t play on Thursday. They’ll likely chalk it up as a win if Rask avoids anything significant, though.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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