Joe Yerdon

Seguin on Dallas: ‘I want to earn the respect of my teammates’

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Newest Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin arrived in his new city after a summer filled with losing in the Stanley Cup Final as well as rumors about his supposed off-ice partying ways.

The 20-year-old star forward tells Kevin Allen of USA Today he knows he’s got work to do to prove he’s ready to focus on hockey and win games.

“First, I want to earn the respect of my teammates,” Seguin said. “That’s a big thing for me because I don’t know many of them … and obviously I want to prove something to my coaches and the Dallas fans. In Boston, I was connected to the fans. I want to find that (connection) in Dallas.”

Seguin also admitted he made some bad choices in Boston but he also won’t “man up” for what was untrue. Take that and apply it to any of the rumors that came up during and after the playoffs since that probably won’t be discussed at length.

Kronwall feels Detroit got their ‘drive’ to win back again

Last season, the Detroit Red Wings looked like a team that might miss the playoffs. Considering they had done that for 21-straight seasons, that was big news.

Instead, they found their stride and made the postseason for an incredible 22nd straight year. As defenseman Niklas Kronwall tells Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, they found their way and don’t plan on losing it again now.

“Last year was a good year for us in that it felt like we had that drive back,” Kronwall said. “I think the years before that, ever since we got into the Finals, for some reason, we didn’t seem to find it. Last year, I thought we really had that drive, and everybody just wanted more and more and more.”

Detroit put things together well enough to upset second-seeded Anaheim in seven games in the first round and pushed eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago to seven games in the Western Conference semifinals.

Kronwall went on to say the addition of Daniel Alfredsson to the team gives them another motivation to play well for an all-time great player who’s dying to win a Stanley Cup. That’s just what teams in the Wings’ new home in the Eastern Conference didn’t want to hear.

Yeo will have Wild more aggressive, hates ‘dump-and-chase’ label

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Many fans hold the belief that the Minnesota Wild are still the stodgy, boring dump-and-chase team Jacques Lemaire once coached.

Current Wild coach Mike Yeo is getting pretty tired of that label as he tells Michael Russo of The Star Tribune.

“I hate that people think that we’re a dump-and-chase team,” Yeo says. “It’s completely false. I count it as a turnover. If we dump the puck in and the goalie touches the puck, that’s a turnover for me.”

What does he see the Wild as instead? An aggressive and exciting one and one that’s going to force teams to turn the puck over to them. More from Russo:

“Our fans will really enjoy this. We’re going to be more aggressive off the rush. We want to be more of a puck possession team, so it’s as simple as asking, ‘Who gets the puck after you have it?’”

Possessing the puck with guys like Ryan Suter, Jonas Brodin, Zach Parise, and Mikko Koivu makes accomplishing that a lot easier. For Yeo, it might be easier to make that happen than it is to shake off the memories (nightmares?) of how ugly hockey used to look in St. Paul.

Leafs prospect Rielly facing tough odds of making team

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Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Morgan Rielly is facing a tough road ahead as he tries to crack the team’s lineup this year.

As of now there are seven defensemen with NHL contracts headed into camp and that’s before Cody Franson gets his deal (eventually?) signed to bring him back. There’s also how things would work under the salary cap to worry about as well.

As Chris Johnston of Sportsnet shares, Rielly is just worrying about what he can do and not what the Leafs’ cap situation is.

“I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t know what Capgeek was,” Rielly said Saturday when asked whether he’s paid any attention to where he might fit on the NHL team’s depth chart. “I’ve checked.”

The cap is already a huge issue for Toronto as they try to find a way to re-sign Franson and budding star forward Nazem Kadri. If Rielly played his way onto the Leafs roster, that would present a new set of issues as his cap hit comes in at $1.74 million.

If Rielly does make the team, it’ll take a can’t-miss, instant top-four kind of effort. Not that he can’t do that, but it would seem likely he winds up back in junior hockey with Moose Jaw at some point this year.

Pens’ Bortuzzo ‘relieved’ by new contract

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When Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo signed a new two-year, $1.2 million deal this summer it did a lot of things for him.

One of those things was making sure he got to stay in the organization that drafted him as Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review shares.

“Relieved, actually,” Bortuzzo said Saturday during a players-organized workout at Consol Energy Center. “Getting the contract done was big for me. It showed they believe in me.”

Bortuzzo has one worry put away and another to take care of on the ice as the Penguins have a host of players fighting for ice time. Guys like Kris Letang, Rob Scuderi, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik, and Matt Niskanen would figure to have jobs locked down leaving one spot in the top-six left to compete for.

That leaves Bortuzzo in a battle with Deryk Engelland, Simon Despres, and Brendan Mikkelson for a spot on the team. Bortuzzo’s low cap hit may give him an edge as the team is a million dollars over the cap, something that needs to be addressed before opening night.