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NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15

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Click here for the press release outlining all the details.

— Season kicks off with an NBCSN doubleheader on Wednesday, Oct. 8. Philly-Boston is first, followed by Sharks-Kings.

— 2015 Winter Classic goes Jan. 1 on NBC, with the Capitals hosting the Blackhawks.

— All games will be streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra.

Following is the full schedule:

Wed., Oct. 8 Philadelphia Boston NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 8 San Jose Los Angeles NBCSN 10 p.m.
Thurs., Oct. 9 Colorado Minnesota NBCSN 9 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 14 Buffalo Carolina NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 15 Boston Detroit NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 21 Philadelphia Chicago NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 22 Philadelphia Pittsburgh NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 28 Minnesota Boston NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 29 Detroit Washington NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 4 St. Louis New Jersey NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 5 Detroit N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 11 Buffalo St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 12 Boston Toronto NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 12 Los Angeles Anaheim NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 18 San Jose Buffalo NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 19 Philadelphia N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 8 p.m.
Mon., Nov. 24 Pittsburgh Boston NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 26 Philadelphia Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 28 N.Y. Rangers Philadelphia NBC 1 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 2 Tampa Bay Buffalo NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 2 Philadelphia San Jose NBCSN 10 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 3 St. Louis Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 9 Los Angeles Buffalo NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 10 Toronto Detroit NBCSN 8 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 15 Tampa Bay Pittsburgh NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 17 Boston Minnesota NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 23 St. Louis Colorado NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 27 Washington Pittsburgh NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 27 San Jose Los Angeles NBCSN 10 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 29 Detroit Boston NBCSN 7 p.m.
Thurs., Jan. 1* Chicago Washington NBC 1 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 4 Dallas Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 6 San Jose Minnesota NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 7 Boston Pittsburgh NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 7 N.Y. Rangers Anaheim NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 11 Minnesota Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 13 Minnesota Pittsburgh NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 14 Philadelphia Washington NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 18 NY Rangers Pittsburgh NBC 12:30 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 18 Buffalo Detroit NBCSN 8 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 19 Colorado St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 20 Pittsburgh Philadelphia NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 21 Chicago Pittsburgh NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 21 Los Angeles San Jose NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 27 Tampa Bay Carolina NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 28 Pittsburgh Washington NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 28 Chicago Los Angeles NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Thurs., Jan. 29 Montreal N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7 p.m.
Thurs., Jan. 29 Anaheim San Jose NBCSN 10 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 1 St. Louis Washington NBCSN 1 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 3 Chicago Minnesota NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 4 Boston N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 8 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 5 Detroit Colorado NBCSN 9 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 8 Chicago St. Louis NBC 12:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 8 Montreal Boston NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 9 Arizona Chicago NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 11 Detroit Pittsburgh NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 11 Washington San Jose NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 15 Pittsburgh Chicago NBC 12:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 15 Philadelphia Buffalo NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 17 Buffalo New Jersey NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 18 Detroit Chicago NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 18 Los Angeles Colorado NBCSN 10 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 19 Columbus Pittsburgh NBCSN 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 21 Los Angeles San Jose NBCSN 10 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 22 Washington Philadelphia NBC 12:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 22 Boston Chicago NBC 3:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 22 Dallas Minnesota NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 24 Philadelphia Carolina NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 25 Pittsburgh Washington NBCSN 8 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 26 Minnesota Nashville NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 28 N.Y. Rangers Philadelphia NBC 8 p.m.
Sun., March 1 Anaheim Dallas NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., March 3 Buffalo Tampa Bay NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., March 4 N.Y. Rangers Detroit NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., March 8 Detroit Boston NBC 12:30 p.m.
Sun., March 8 N.Y. Rangers Chicago NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Mon., March 9 Pittsburgh San Jose NBCSN 10 p.m.
Tues., March 10 Los Angeles Colorado NBCSN 9 p.m.
Wed., March 11 N.Y. Rangers Washington NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., March 15 Detroit Pittsburgh NBC 12:30 p.m.
Sun., March 15 Boston Washington NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Mon., March 16 Washington Buffalo NBCSN 7 p.m.
Tues., March 17 Buffalo Boston NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., March 18 Chicago N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., March 18 Los Angeles Anaheim NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Sun., March 22 St. Louis Detroit NBC 12:30 p.m.
Sun., March 22 Anaheim N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., March 24 Los Angeles N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., March 25 Chicago Philadelphia NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., March 29 San Jose Pittsburgh NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Mon., March 30 Los Angeles Chicago NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
Wed., April 1 Philadelphia Pittsburgh NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., April 1 Colorado San Jose NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Thurs., April 2 Boston Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Sun., April 5 Pittsburgh Philadelphia NBC 12:30 p.m.
Sun., April 5 St. Louis Chicago NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., April 7 Minnesota Chicago NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
Wed., April 8 Boston Washington NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., April 8 Dallas Anaheim NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Thurs., April 9 Chicago St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sat., April 11 Minnesota St. Louis NBC 3 p.m.
Sat., April 11 San Jose Los Angeles NBC 3 p.m.
Sat., April 11 Boston Tampa Bay NBCSN TBD

*Denotes NHL Winter Classic

Jacob Trouba requests trade from Jets

CALGARY, AB - MARCH 16: Jacob Trouba #8 of the Winnipeg Jets in action against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on March 16, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
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While every hockey fan in Canada was focussed on their national team’s World Cup semifinal game against Russia, there was some pretty significant NHL news coming out of Winnipeg.

It was at that point that the agent for Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba announced that his client has requested a trade from the team.

Trouba, the Jets’ first round pick in 2012 (No. 9 overall), is currently unsigned as a restricted free agent.

With NHL training camps starting to get underway, Trouba has informed the Jets he will not attend camp and would like a trade so he can have “the opportunity to reach his potential as a right shot NHL defensemen.”

The statement also mentions that the trade request is not about money.

Here is the complete statement from Trouba’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, via Sportsnet.

“Our client, Jacob Trouba, will not be attending the Winnipeg Jets NHL training camp. Since May, we have been working with the Jets management in an effort to facilitate a trade of Jacob’s rights. Both parties continue to work on this matter.

There has been no negotiation regarding the terms of a contract between our client and the Jets over the course of the last several months. The situation is not about money; it is solely about our client having the opportunity to realize his potential as a right shot NHL defenseman.

To the Jets credit, the club has two outstanding right shot veteran defensemen and our client simply wants the opportunity to have a greater role. As a consequence of the Jets depth on the right side, we believe it is in both parties’ best interest to facilitate a mutually advantageous trade.

Our client has nothing but respect for the people and City of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Jets, its fans, management and ownership – our desire to get him moved has everything to do with opportunity. We will continue to work with the Jets in good faith to achieve this end.”

This certainly creates an interesting preseason storyline in the NHL.

Even though a trade request would seem to hurt the Jets’ hand when it comes to negotiating a deal with another team, right shot defensemen are an extremely valuable commodity in the NHL, and it’s not often that a good one that is still only 22 years old becomes available. There should be no shortage of teams lining up looking to acquire his rights. The New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche immediately come to mind as three teams that could definitely use a player like him.

In 211 career games Trouba has scored 23 goals and added 49 assists. He appeared in 81 games for the Jets this past season and logged more than 22 minutes of ice-time per game.

Pavel Datsyuk will not play for Russia vs. Canada

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 22:  Pavel Datsyuk #13 of Russia skates against USA at Ice Palace on May 22, 2016 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Anna Sergeeva/Getty Images)
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Pavel Datsyuk will not play for Russia on Saturday night against Canada in their  World Cup semifinal game.

Datsyuk has been bothered by a lower body injury that also kept him out of their first round game against Finland. He had been a game-time decision leading up to the game, but did not take the ice for pre-game warmups.

It’s a big loss for Russia because Datsyuk is still their top-line center and had been skating on a line with Alex Ovechkin and Vladimir Tarasenko before the injury. He recorded two assists in his two games for Russia.

Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov will center that line instead.

If Russia does not beat Canada on Saturday we could have very likely seen the last of Datsyuk on a North American hockey rink. Datsyuk decided to leave the NHL to return to Russia after spending 14 years with the Detroit Red Wings during a career that saw him win two Stanley Cups and score 314 goals. He was one of the best two-way players in the NHL during his career and one of the best ever

The winner of Saturday’s game will play the winner of Sunday’s Sweden-Team Europe semifinal in a best of three championship series.

Ekblad back on the ice for Panthers after World Cup injury

NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 30:  Aaron Ekblad #5 of the Florida Panthers poses for a 2016 NHL All-Star portrait at Bridgestone Arena on January 30, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Sanford Myers/Getty Images)
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The Florida Panthers had a bit of a scare during the 2016 World Cup when defenseman Aaron Ekblad, while playing for Team North America, was injured in a first-round game against Finland that kept him out for the remainder of the tournament.

On Saturday, Ekblad was back on the ice for the Panthers doing some individual workouts following the injury.

“Ekblad is going to be fine,” Panthers coach Gerard Galant said, via Alain Poupart of NHL.com.  “You see him out there skating already. I think it was a little scary, but he feels real good. He’s going to skate and see how he feels, but everything looks good.”

It was initially reported that Ekblad had a concussion, but it was later reported to be a neck injury.

The Panthers haven’t been overly concerned with the injury over the past week.

Ekblad, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft, has quickly become one of the franchise building blocks for a Panthers team that is on the rise in the Eastern Conference.

Still only 20 years old, he is already a top-pairing defenseman in the league and has scored 27 goals in his career, a number that is pretty much unheard of for a defenseman that young.

According to the hockey-reference database, the only defenseman that has scored more goals at that age through their first two seasons is Phil Housley.

After winning the Atlantic Division in 2015-16 and having a busy offseason that saw them add Keith Yandle and Jason Demers to their defense, the Panthers look like they could be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference this season and Ekblad is going to be a major part of that.

Ilya Bryzgalov’s Canada – Russia take is the best take

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 24:  Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of Russia comes into the game against Canada during the ice hockey men's quarter final game between Russia and Canada on day 13 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 24, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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Admit it: you miss Ilya Bryzgalov.

Saturday presented the latest reminder that hockey’s just a little less fun thanks to the absence of Mr. Universe, as Bryzgalov regaled ESPN’s Craig Custance with his impeccable analysis of the drubbing Russia received from Canada during the 2010 Olympics.

You see, Breezy initially described Canada’s start “like gorillas out of a cage,” but upon further reflection …

… Well:

“Not gorillas,” Bryzgalov said. “More like Orcs from ‘The Hobbit.’ You watch that movie, right? Big. Mean. Scary.”

Fantastic.

Now, it’s possible that Bryzgalov meant “Lord of the Rings” rather than “The Hobbit,” but both series featured “Big. Mean. Scary” orcs, so who knows:

Really though, it paints quite the picture. Imagine, for a moment, Shea Weber or Brent Burns decked out like that one especially big, mean and scary orc. One can only imagine the Photoshop masterpieces that may sprout up thanks to the vivid story Bryzgalov told.

***

Now, there are some great bits leading up to Saturday’s Canada – Russia semifinal. PHT should have more to come tonight.

Sportsnet looked back at a moment in which a seemingly sure-thing Canadian team hit a brick wall in a Russian opponent. NHL.com provided a fascinating look at Mike Babcock and his quest for control. TSN captures a moment of sorts for Steven Stamkos.

There’s a lot of great stuff out there, but Bryzgalov’s takes are truly one of a kind, and they’ve been truly missed.