Latest NHL Eastern Conference News

Hurricanes agree to arena lease extension through July 2029

May. 28, 2020 6:12 PM EDT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes have reached a five-year lease extension to remain in PNC Arena through July 2029. Arena owner Centennial Authority and Hurricanes parent company Gale Force Sports and Entertainment announced the agreement Thursday. The current lease agreement runs through the...

FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2019, file photo, Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel (9) looks on during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues, in Buffalo, N.Y. Eichel kept his frustrations in check for the first 14 minutes of an end-of-season interview with Buffalo-area reporters on Thursday, May 28, 2020. It wasn’t until he was asked to assess the future of a team that’s not made the playoffs during his five year tenure, when Eichel finally let loose by saying:

Eichel lets loose: Sabres captain `fed up' with losing

May. 28, 2020 5:23 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Sabres captain Jack Eichel kept his frustrations in check for the first 14 minutes of an end-of-season interview session with Buffalo-area reporters Thursday. It wasn’t until he was asked to assess the future of a team that’s not made the playoffs during his five-year...

FILE - In this April 19, 2019, file photo, Steve Yzerman walks into the news conference where he was introduced as the new executive vice president and general manager of the Detroit Red Wings NHL hockey club in Detroit. The Red Wings could actually benefit from an adjusted draft lottery that gives him better odds at the top pick, likely Alexis Lafreniere. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Yzerman-led Red Wings sticking to long-term plan to rebuild

May. 28, 2020 5:22 PM EDT

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is sticking to his rebuilding plan, which includes not making a coaching change or attempting to pull off a splash in free agency. Yzerman is not interested in short-term fixes such as firing coach Jeff Blashill or outspending other NHL teams to add available...

FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2019, file photo, Boston Bruins' David Pastrnak shoots during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks in Boston. Washington's Alex Ovechkin and Boston's David Pastrnak share the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy the league announced Thursday, May 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File)

NHL awards regular-season trophies for season cut short

May. 28, 2020 2:07 PM EDT

Since the NHL is planning to go straight to the playoffs, it's handing out a handful of trophies for the regular season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. Not long after unveiling a 24-team right to the playoffs format, the league on Thursday announced the winners of its regular-season awards. Play was halted...

FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2020, file photo, Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo (13) tries to get around Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic, left, and guard Terrence Ross (31) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla. Reporters from The Associated Press spoke to more than two dozen athletes from around the globe -- representing seven countries and 11 sports -- to get a sense of how concerned or confident they are about resuming competition. What emerged, above all, was a sense that they are going through the very same sort of calculus that much of the rest of society is: What is safe nowadays? (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

'We have to touch each other': Sports in the COVID-19 world

May. 28, 2020 11:27 AM EDT

A sampling of thoughts from some of the more than two dozen athletes from 11 sports that The Associated Press spoke to about resuming competition amid the coronavirus pandemic: ___ “Some players like Steve Nash used to lick his hands. Some people still have that in their routine. Some people wipe the sweat...

FILE - In this Feb. 24 2020, file photo, fans leave the Staples Center after a public memorial for former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in Los Angeles. Staple Center is one of the possible locations the NHL has zeroed in on to host playoff games if it can return amid the coronavirus pandemic. The league will ultimately decide on two or three locations for games, with government regulations, testing and COVID-19 frequency among the factors for the decision that should be coming within the next three to four weeks. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

NHL monitoring situation before choosing where to play games

May. 27, 2020 8:12 PM EDT

Concerns about Canadian coronavirus restrictions could push hockey south of the 49th parallel into the U.S. this summer. Seven of the 10 locations the NHL has zeroed in on to hold playoff games if it resumes are American cities not restricted by Canada’s 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival. As 24...

FILE - In this June 25, 2018, file photo, Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill addresses the media during an NHL news conference in Buffalo N.Y. Buffalo Botterill has ownership’s backing to return for a fourth season despite overseeing a team that extended its playoff drought to a ninth consecutive year, team president and co-owner Kim Pegula told The Associated Press on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes, File)

Criticism doesn't alter Sabres GM's plan to build with youth

May. 27, 2020 5:52 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Jason Botterill is very much aware of the criticism he’s attracted overseeing a Buffalo Sabres team that extended its playoff drought to nine years by failing to even qualify for the NHL’s expanded 24-team format. That doesn’t mean the general manager is going to...

Pens F Bjugstad out for season after having spinal surgery

May. 27, 2020 4:30 PM EDT

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins will head into whatever becomes of the NHL postseason without forward Nick Bjugstad. The team announced Wednesday that Bjugstad underwent spinal surgery to repair a herniated disk. General manager Jim Rutherford said the surgery was necessary after Bjugstad had a...

Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill, center, talks with referee Mike Hasenfratz (2) during the first period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Steve Yzerman says Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill keeping job

May. 27, 2020 2:13 PM EDT

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is keeping coach Jeff Blashill despite another lackluster season. Yzerman told reporters on Wednesday his previously announced plans to keep Blashill behind the bench have not changed. Blashill's record over five seasons in Detroit is 153-194-52. The NHL abandoned...

FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2019, file photo, Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (34), of the Czech Republic, blocks New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast, of Sweden, with Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin (74) slowing Fast during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C. Carolina was one of two teams (along with Tampa Bay) that voted against the current playoff format, which doesn't reward it for being in a playoff spot when the season was paused. But the Hurricanes shouldn't need emergency goaltender David Ayres anymore with Mrazek and James Reimer healthy in net. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Sweet 16: NHL playoffs qualifying round tough to predict

May. 27, 2020 2:58 AM EDT

The NHL's regular season is over and the chase for the Stanley Cup is on if hockey returns this summer. The league settled on a 24-team postseason format that Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano supported back in March as the coronavirus was shutting down sports. “You can’t eliminate teams who are...