Latest NHL Western Conference News

Calgary Flames' players take to the ice during NHL hockey practice in Calgary, Alberta, Monday, July 13, 2020. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)

Pucks and masks prevalent as 24 NHL teams open training camp

Jul. 13, 2020 6:06 PM EDT

St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington is so accustomed to wearing a mask, he didn’t mind doing so for the past four months during the coronavirus pandemic. “Sometimes, I forgot I’m wearing it while driving,” Binnington said Monday, when the Blues were among the NHL’s 24 teams...

FILE - In this Sunday, March 8, 2020, file photo, Minnesota Wild interim head coach Dean Evason, above center, directs players behind the bench during the overtime period of an NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks in Anaheim, Calif. The Minnesota Wild made Dean Evason their full-time head coach on Monday, July 13, 2020, 
 signing him to a two-year contract extension at the commencement of training camp for the restarted NHL season.(AP Photo/Alex Gallardo, File)

Wild drop interim tag to make Dean Evason full-time coach

Jul. 13, 2020 5:46 PM EDT

The Minnesota Wild began training camp with a bang, formalizing Dean Evason's status as their full-time head coach and plans to bring prized Russian prospect Kirill Kaprizov to training camp. Evason, who signed a two-year contract extension through the 2021-22 season, took the ice on Monday for the first...

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Collin Delia defends against left wing Alex Nylander during NHL hockey practice at Fifth Third Arena on Monday, July 13, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

No Corey Crawford as Blackhawks begin practicing again

Jul. 13, 2020 5:25 PM EDT

Corey Crawford was absent Monday when the Chicago Blackhawks practiced for the first time since the NHL season was suspended, casting doubt on the goaltender's availability for their qualifying series against Edmonton. The 35-year-old Crawford was “unfit to play or to participate,” coach Jeremy...

FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2020, file photo, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Mike Green (27) fights for the puck against the Vegas Golden Knights during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Las Vegas. Green and Vancouver’s Sven Baertschi are opting out. Dallas defenseman Roman Polak is not reporting for now. And Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos is not reporting at full strength. Green and Baertschi joined Calgary defender Travis Hamonic in choosing not to participating in the resumption of the NHL season. Green, like Hamonic, decided not to play for family reasons. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Oilers' Green joins list of players opting out of NHL return

Jul. 11, 2020 9:46 PM EDT

Roman Polak of the Stars and Mike Green of the Oilers are opting out of playing, and Lightning captain Steven Stamkos will try to play after recovering from injury. In the aftermath of a deal being struck to resume the NHL season, Aug. 1, Green, Polak and three other players joined Calgary defenseman Travis...

New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman, left, leaves the field after a bullpen session with catcher Gary Sanchez after a bullpen session during a baseball summer training camp workout Sunday, July 5, 2020, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The Latest: Pop keeping eye on Japan, and Olympic hopes

Jul. 11, 2020 8:15 PM EDT

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world: ___ San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, the U.S. men’s basketball coach, says he is watching how Japan — the site of the next Olympics — is handling the coronavirus. “They seem to be doing a pretty good...

FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2018, file photo, Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Michael Kopech throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, in Detroit. White Sox prospect Michael Kopech missed the start of summer camp Frida, Ju;y 3, 2020, due to a personal matter. General manager Rick Hahn said he doesn't have a timeline for the return of the 24-year-old right-hander. “Given the time we're living through together I will try to answer the question that's probably now at the top of everybody's mind and just share the fact that currently Michael is healthy,” Hahn said on a video conference call.(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

The Latest: Pac-12 Commissioner LarryS

Jul. 11, 2020 12:54 AM EDT

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world: ___ Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has tested positive for COVID-19. The 55-year-old tested positive late this week after experiencing flu-like symptoms and is self quarantining at the direction of his doctor, according to a...

FILE - In this March 12, 2020, file photo, crews cover the ice at American Airlines Center in Dallas, home of the Dallas Stars hockey team, after the NHL season was put on hold due to the coronavirus. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press on Sunday, July 5, that the NHL and NHL Players’ Association have agreed on protocols to resume the season. Daly said the sides are still negotiating a collective bargaining agreement extension. A CBA extension is still crucial to the process. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News via AP, File)

NHL, players approve plan to resume season, extend CBA

Jul. 11, 2020 12:16 AM EDT

Hockey became the latest sport to finalize a return during a global pandemic after NHL owners and players approved an agreement Friday to resume the season — and with it an assurance of labor peace through September 2026. Games are scheduled to begin Aug. 1 in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, with...

Longtime Stars executive Lites moving from CEO to chairman

Jul. 10, 2020 4:59 PM EDT

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Longtime Dallas Stars executive Jim Lites is transitioning from his role as CEO to chairman, a move that will lessen his day-to-day duties with the team. The Stars announced the move Friday. Brad Alberts, the Stars president since March 2018, will remain in that role while also adding...

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2017, file photo, then-Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff watches play against the Minnesota Wild in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas. A person with knowledge of the talks tells The Associated Press that the New Jersey Devils are hiring veteran coach Lindy Ruff to take over one of the NHL’s youngest teams and removing the interim tag off Tom Fitzgerald’s title as general manager.  (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Ruff hired as NJ Devils coach, Fitzgerald stays on as GM

Jul. 9, 2020 3:19 PM EDT

Lindy Ruff impressed the New Jersey Devils with his experience from decades of coaching. Tom Fitzgerald wowed ownership with his moves in a few short months as general manager. The Devils on Thursday hired Ruff as coach and removed Fitzgerald's interim tag to give him the full-time GM job. Ruff, who coached the...

FILE - This Jan. 6, 2019, file photo shows Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson skating against the New York Rangers during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Glendale, Ariz. Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson labored through the first part of the 2019-20 season as a knee injury lingered. The time off during the NHL's shutdown and a trip home to Sweden allowed the defenseman a chance to heal, giving the Coyotes a boost as the postseason nears. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)

Healthy Ekman-Larsson ready to give Coyotes a playoff boost

Jul. 8, 2020 12:55 PM EDT

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Oliver Ekman-Larsson had knee surgery last summer, fully expecting it to help him have a healthy 2019-20 season. The Arizona Coyotes captain instead played with lingering pain, never able to fully recover. The NHL's shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic was a huge letdown, but it...