Cam Tucker

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Daly: NHL adding more concussion spotters this season

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WASHINGTON (AP) The NHL is revamping its concussion monitoring system for the upcoming season.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says the league will have four concussion spotters watching all games from a centralized location in either Toronto or New York, as well as spotters at each game to check for visible symptoms. Those spotters will have the authority to have players removed from games.

Previously, there had been team-affiliated concussion spotters in each arena and they could recommend but not require players be removed from a game.

Daly says the new concussion policy goes into effect for the eight-team World Cup of Hockey, which begins Saturday in Toronto, and that the NHL will release more details closer to the start of the regular season.

Related:

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Czechs slow down high-flying Team North America

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 14: Tomas Plekanec #14 of Czech Republic looks on against Latvia during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group C game on day seven of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
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After scoring at a healthy rate in two pre-tournament games against Team Europe, the speedy Team North American squad ran into a pair of hot goalies when facing the Czech Republic on Wednesday.

It started with a 25-save performance through 30 minutes for Michal Neuvirth and finished with 19 saves from Petr Mrazek, who came off the bench for the second half of the game. 

Despite a third-period comeback from the young guns, who dominated possession and the shot clock with 44 shots on goal, the Czech Republic scored a 3-2 win thanks to a late goal from Tomas Plekanec.

Parked at the side of the net, Plekanec re-directed a pass out front, beating goalie Connor Hellebuyck from a difficult angle. The goal came just 53 seconds after Auston Matthews tied the game with his first goal of the pre-tournament.

It’s also a goal Hellebuyck would certainly want back, but the Czechs will take it in their first game on North American soil since pre-tournament play began last week.

The Czechs will now enter the tournament with back-to-back wins.

Their games certainly haven’t been pretty at times. They lost by one goal to Russia to begin the exhibition portion of the schedule, then came back with a shootout victory against the same team two days later.

And now they’ve beaten the North American team, which could be a fan favorite in this competition with its abundance of speed and talent.

The Czechs will be in tough, however, when the tournament begins. They’ve got Canada for an opener on Sept. 17, and Team USA on Sept. 22.

 

Blackhawks, Penguins listed as co-favorites to win 2017 Stanley Cup

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 15:  Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates during the Victory Parade and Rally on June 15, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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The Pittsburgh Penguins now have company when it comes to favorites to win the 2017 Stanley Cup.

After winning the silver chalice in June, the Penguins were initially listed as 8/1 favorites to repeat as champions the following year. On Wednesday, Bovada released its latest Stanley Cup odds, with the Penguins joined at the top of the list by the Chicago Blackhawks.

They are both 9/1 favorites to win. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals are right behind the Penguins and Blackhawks, listed at 10/1.

Meanwhile, the Arizona Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets and Vancouver Canucks didn’t receive a lot of love in this latest list. All four clubs are listed at 66/1 odds of winning it all.

Here’s the full list:

Chicago Blackhawks  9/1

Pittsburgh Penguins  9/1

Tampa Bay Lightning  10/1

Washington Capitals  10/1

Dallas Stars  12/1

St. Louis Blues  14/1

San Jose Sharks  14/1

Anaheim Ducks  16/1

Florida Panthers  16/1

Los Angeles Kings  16/1

Nashville Predators  16/1

Boston Bruins  25/1

Detroit Red Wings  25/1

Minnesota Wild  25/1

Montreal Canadiens  25/1

New York Islanders  25/1

New York Rangers  25/1

Edmonton Oilers  33/1

Philadelphia Flyers  33/1

Buffalo Sabres  50/1

Calgary Flames  50/1

Colorado Avalanche  50/1

New Jersey Devils  50/1

Ottawa Senators  50/1

Toronto Maple Leafs  50/1

Winnipeg Jets  50/1

Arizona Coyotes  66/1

Carolina Hurricanes  66/1

Columbus Blue Jackets  66/1

Vancouver Canucks  66/1

Kings’ Nolan has something to prove at camp after season-ending back surgery

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 16: Jordan Nolan #71 of the Los Angeles Kings moves the puck in front of Nate Schmidt #88 of the Washington Capitals in the third period of the Capitals 3-1 win at Verizon Center on February 16, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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After failing to score a goal in 52 games last season, Jordan Nolan‘s already difficult campaign came to a premature conclusion.

He underwent surgery in March to repair a herniated disc in his back, putting him out indefinitely. However, after an offseason of rehabbing and working out, the hard-hitting L.A. Kings forward has been cleared to participate in training camp when it opens later this month, according to LA Kings Insider.

Nolan, 27 years old and with an annual cap hit of $950,000, isn’t known for his offensive contributions. He scored a career-high six goals and 10 points in 2013-14. But the Kings have 15 forwards under contract for the upcoming season, which points to more competition for spots in the lineup once camp opens.

Where Nolan, who was used on the penalty kill an average of 1:17 a game, can make his impact on the Kings roster is as a bottom-six winger that can play a physical style in the physical Pacific Division.

“I’m looking forward to starting the year,” Nolan told LA Kings Insider.

“Obviously it’s disappointing having to end your season in March and have back surgery, but I feel great. We have a few new players coming in this year, so I’m looking forward to getting back on the ice and proving what I can do and getting back to that level where I was last year.”

Still no decision on Patrik Elias, but Devils keeping an ‘open mind’

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 06:  Patrik Elias #26 of the New Jersey Devils waits for a faceoff during an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers at Prudential Center on December 6, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
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New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero said a decision about whether or not to re-sign forward Patrik Elias would be made later this summer.

It’s now the middle of September, training camp is approaching and still no decision has been made.

Now 40 years old — he hit the milestone birthday in April — Elias played in only 16 games last season, scoring two goals and eight points in the final year of a three-year, $16.5 million contract. He’s currently an unrestricted free agent. He also underwent surgery on his right knee in May, so you can understand why there would be questions about if he’s able to still play at the NHL level.

Shero told NorthJersey.com that there is still no deadline to make a decision.

From NorthJersey.com:

Shero said the time for a decision will come when Elias is able to test his knee harder in drills. Part of that will be whether Elias can physically handle the rigors of another NHL season.

Part of it is whether the Devils have a spot on the roster for him, or a need.

“When he does [push it harder], how is it going to react?” Shero said. “And we’ll see exactly where we are as a team at that point, anyway. So we’re going to keep an open mind both ways, but it’s great having Patrik around.”

The Devils currently have 14 forwards under contract on their NHL roster for the upcoming season, as per General Fanager.

Elias has played his entire NHL career with the Devils. That includes 1,240 regular season games, with 408 goals and 1,025 points, and two Stanley Cup championships.