Scott Gomez announces retirement after 16 seasons

Scott Gomez is calling it a career.

The veteran forward announced his intention to hang up his skates after 16 seasons in the NHL on Wednesday, telling Doyle Woody of the Alaska Dispatch News.

"This has been my life,'' Gomez said. "It's so weird to think I'm never going to play hockey again.

"People say, 'You'll find something.' But saying that, there will never be that feeling again, of even playing a preseason NHL game. You're playing at the highest level there is.

"But I'm done. I'm done.''

Gomez started his career with the New Jersey Devils where he won a pair of Stanley Cups and the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year in the 1999-2000 season. He'd go on to play for the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, and Ottawa Senators, as well as a second stint with the Devils.

The last few years saw Gomez battling for a roster spot and he split time between the Blues, Senators, and Hershey Bears of the AHL during the 2015-16 season.

Gomez, who was a member of the 2006 U.S. Olympic team and a two-time All-Star, finishes with 181 goals and 756 points over 1,079 career games.

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Bednar promises ‘definite changes’ to improve Avalanche

Jared Bednar has some catching up to do.

Hired by the Colorado Avalanche two weeks after the abrupt resignation of former head coach Patrick Roy, the new bench boss is getting straight to work following his formal introduction in Denver on Wednesday.

First up will be watching video with a view to uncovering what he needs to address in training camp to get the most out of the team's core players.

"There's going to be definite changes and I want to know what (the players) are used to so if things are going on on the ice maybe they're in habits that they're used to and I want it done a different way," Bednar said, according to Rick Sadowski of "And just to familiarize myself with players in certain situations, specialty teams and whatnot."

The possession game is one area that's clearly in need of improvement, as evidenced by Colorado's 29th-ranked cumulative Corsi For rating of 44.74 in five-on-five play over the past three seasons, according to Corsica Hockey.

"The biggest thing for me is working as a group of five," Bednar said. "One of the big keys for me to being a good possession team is you've got to touch the puck first. I think there's times when you're arriving in your (defensive) zone where you have an opportunity to go and touch the puck first and put it in an area where your team knows it's going, and you can all be on the same page and there's a plan there that our coaches put in place so we can exit our zone."

A similar "touch first" philosophy in the offensive zone (in the event of a dump-in) and better organization through the neutral zone in order to move the puck up the ice quickly and effectively were among the other keys Bednar cited to becoming a positive possession team.

It's late in the offseason to be starting his tasks, but Bednar appears to have a level-headed approach to a whirlwind August. While he's achieved his goal of becoming a head coach at the NHL level, the career minor-leaguer coach acknowledged he hasn't arrived at the ultimate destination quite yet.

"To me, this is just another step. Coaching the Avalanche isn't the be-all and the end-all for me. It's the success that I want to have, and I want our team to have here in Denver. That's the ultimate goal. I think that getting here is certainly achieving something, but it's what you do when you're here that's more important."

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Ladd congratulates Wheeler on being named Jets captain

The torch has officially been passed.

Former Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd took to Twitter on Wednesday to congratulate Blake Wheeler on being named his successor.

The two played together in Winnipeg for five years before Ladd was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks prior this past season's trade deadline.

Ladd, who since signed with the New York Islanders, did leave an impression on Wheeler, who will try to model at least one aspect of the former captain's leadership technique.

"Being the captain, you don’t want to hear yourself too much and have guys tune you out because you’re talking all the time," Wheeler said Wednesday. "That’s what (Ladd) was really good at. When he spoke, people really listened; it was really powerful."

Ladd served as team captain from November 2011 to the time of his trade in February, and will make his return to MTS Centre on Dec. 31.

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‘No doubt’ Subban would bring Cup to Montreal Children’s Hospital

Back in Montreal on Wednesday to mark the one-year anniversary of his $10-million fundraising commitment to the city's children's hospital, P.K. Subban reiterated he has every intention of visiting regularly now that he's a Nashville Predator.

Even if he's able to accomplish a level of success that eluded the Canadiens during his tenure with the club.

One of the kids in attendance asked Subban what he would do if the Predators won the Stanley Cup this season.

His answer?

"If I win a Stanley Cup this year, there is no doubt it's coming back here."

To date, Subban has helped raise $1.4 million for the hospital. He admitted he wasn't sure he'd be able to keep up the momentum following the trade.

He's found the opposite is true.

"When I got traded, my bond with the community and people in the community only grew stronger," Subban said, according to Arpon Basu of "It was like everybody kind of rallied around me rather than ran away. It speaks volumes of the city of Montreal and the province of Quebec and the people here.

"Throughout the trade I think a lot of people forgot what this was all about. It's about the kids and the families and nothing else."

While donations continue to pour in, Subban hopes some extra silver - raised over his head - will also appear at the Montreal Children's Hospital in the future.

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Howe’s ashes to be interred at base of Saskatoon statue

Gordie Howe's final resting place has been determined.

An official from Saskatoon confirmed permission has been received from the province of Saskatchewan to inter the cremated remains of Howe and his wife, Colleen, at the base of a statue that honors him, according to The Canadian Press.

A request had been made by the Howe family, and the city was then required to make an application to have the statue and a small surrounding area declared a cemetery. There, the ashes will be encased in a special concrete vessel with a commemorative plaque on top to protect them.

Some of Howe's ashes will also be spread in Michigan's Bear Lake, where the family spent time during the hockey legend's days with the Detroit Red Wings.

Howe, who sits second on the NHL's all-time goals list, was born in Floral, Saskatchewan, but his family moved to and settled in Saskatoon less than two weeks after his birth.

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Hall doubts free-agent return to Edmonton: ‘I did my time there’

Taylor Hall doesn't see a return to Edmonton in his future.

Traded to the New Jersey Devils earlier this summer, Hall has four years remaining on his current contract, but doesn't see a reunion with the Oilers upon becoming an unrestricted free agent.

At least that was his response when TSN 1260's Jason Gregor asked him in about it Tuesday.

"No, I don’t think I would," Hall said. "Right now, my focus is Jersey and playing my four years there. But I don’t think I would come back."

He added, "I think that I gave it a good run and I don’t have any regrets about what happened. I certainly think that I’m focused on what I can do in Jersey. It’s so far away, but I don’t think - maybe something comes up and I’ll change my mind, but ... I did my time there, and it’s time to move on."

The 24-year-old can become an unrestricted free agent in 2020, and will likely be paid more than his current $6-million salary if he continues to be one of the most productive wingers in the game.

- With h/t to Today's Slapshot

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Giroux excited to be healthy after hip surgery

Good news, Philadelphia Flyers - and Team Canada - fans, Claude Giroux revealed Wednesday he's 100 percent recovered from the hip surgery he underwent in May, according to Adam Kimelman of

"I don't feel like I have a 60-year-old hip anymore," Giroux said. "That's pretty exciting,"

Exciting, indeed, with Flyers training camp and the World Cup of Hockey a part of Giroux's upcoming schedule.

Last season, Giroux led the Flyers with 67 points in 78 points, and will represent Canada for the third time in his pro career in September's tournament.

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Canadiens’ Byron: We’re Stanley Cup competitors

Paul Byron is motivated to win.

Finding a home with the Montreal Canadiens last season after being placed on waivers by the Calgary Flames, the diminutive winger had a breakout season, reaching a career-high 11 goals, which earned him a three-year extension.

Byron has since settled in Montreal, after previous stops in Calgary and Buffalo, and stints between the NHL and AHL over the past few seasons.

"It was a little weird watching free agency on July 1 and not worrying about it or panicking," Byron told the team's official site. "My whole life, my whole story has been about perseverance and fighting through tough situations."

Entering the season, Bryon looks to continue last year's early success. He highlighted Montreal's core as one that stacks up against any competitor.

"With our core group, we can beat any team in the league," Byron said. "We can compete for the Stanley Cup.

"I think last year it was just a start for me. I really feel like I fit into the style of play here. I think I‘m just going to continue getting better."

Byron observed the highs and lows of last season, from the Habs' 9-0 start, to the early knee injury that caused goalie Carey Price to miss most of the year.

Still, Byron is confident the Canadiens can get back to the winning ways they showed early last season.

"We had a taste of (winning) at the start of the year. I think everyone’s excited to get back to that," Byron said. "The fans have the expectation for us to win, and that's the expectation that I have personally, too.

"No one really picked Pittsburgh to win it last year. You watch what they did in the playoffs, and that could be us this time around. That’s my motivating factor, for sure."

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Wheeler named Jets captain

Blake Wheeler is the new captain of the Winnipeg Jets, the team announced Wednesday.

Wheeler assumes the captaincy from Andrew Ladd, who was dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks at last year's trade deadline.

The 30-year-old winger, signed through the next three seasons, led the Jets in scoring last year with 78 points in 82 games.

The team also named Dustin Byfuglien and Mark Scheifele as alternate captains.

"For me, this is obviously a huge honor," Wheeler said. "I really look forward to being the leader of this team. It's not just going to be us three, we have a great group of men in our room."

Wheeler becomes the second team captain since the franchise's relocation from Atlanta in 2011.

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theScore’s 2016 Fantasy Hockey Draft Kit

With fantasy drafts just around the corner, theScore has all the fantasy hockey advice you'll need to dominate your league.

The draft kit will be updated daily until the start of the NHL season.

2016 Fantasy Rankings

Standard Leagues: Top 200 | C | LW | RW | D | G
Banger Leagues: Top 200 | C | LW | RW | D | G

Positional Primers

Goalies: Who moved? | Unrepeatable seasons | Rookies | Breakouts

Defensemen: Who moved? | Unrepeatable seasons | Rookies | Breakouts | Over the hill

Wingers: Who moved? | Unrepeatable seasons | Rookies | Breakouts | Over the hill

Centers: Who moved? | Unrepeatable seasons | Rookies | Breakouts | Over the hill

Fantasy Roundtables




  • Rookie Power Rankings

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