Rick Nash expects to be booed at the All-Star Game

Rick Nash1/24/15 | 7:17PM: Nash was booed heavily during introductions at the skills competition. He had a big smile on his face.

1/23/15 | 12:39PM: Rick Nash is an alternate captain for team Jonathon Toews at the All-Star game this weekend but said that he was not offered the role of captain in his return to Columbus. (Portzline)

He said that he would have accepted the role of being captain had it been offered, saying “it would have been great.” (Portzline)

Nash said that much like his return to Columbus with the Rangers, he expects to be booed but added that he wouldn’t expect anything different. Nash said that he is the enemy now and didn’t have the “cleanest” way of leaving the Blue Jackets.  (NHL.com)

He has been booed when he touches the puck during the Rangers/Blue Jackets games in Columbus.

Nash said that he is going to the game to have fun and hopes that the fans have fun as well. (Dispatch)

Recap: The latest episode of the AV Squad

Alain VigneaultThe latest episode of the AV Squad debuted on 1/22/15:

  • On the All-Star break, “a time to recover, our last break before a final push where we will play 36 games in 74 days, something like that and it’s gonna be a time for our players to get rest and time off, refresh and comeback energized for the final push.”
  • How do you stay even keeled, “experience has a little bit to do with it, I have a couple of games under my belt. I understand that in an 82 game schedule you won’t be firing on all cylinders all the time. We were a little off in the NYI/Bos games but knew that we had the internal leadership to bounce back and we showed it. We bounced back in Columbus on back to back nights and the game that impressed me the most was the Pittsburgh game, it was our third game in 3 in a half days, we were playing a divisional opponent who is ahead of us in the standings and we scored and got energy early and we never looked back. Our 4th game in 5 1/2 days and our guys did a tremendous job.”

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The World Cup of Hockey is returning in 2016

The NHL announced that the World Cup of Hockey is returning in September of 2016.

The tournament will feature Canada, USA, Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Rest of Europe team, North American 23 and under team.

Players who are 23 and under can only play for the 23 and under team, they can not play for USA or Canada.

The tournament will feature two groups (4 teams each) playing a round robin tournament before a one-game semifinal and a best of three final.

Early projections have Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh on Team USA, Rick Nash on Canada, Henrik Lundqvist on Sweden and Mats Zuccarello on the Europe team. (Sportsnet, ESPN, THN)

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Buzz: The Salary Cap should be at least $72 million

money1:16PM: If the Canadian dollar was at 88 cents the salary cap would be $73 million. At 82 cents the cap will be $72.2 million and at 80 cents it would be $71.7 million. (Amalie Benjamin)

1:02PM: The NHL has assured the Board of Governors that the salary cap will be at least $72 million for the 2015-16 season. (The Score)

  • That would be an increase of $3 million over the cap this season.

The NHL has said that the slumping Canadian dollar is not having as much of an impact on salary cap projections as was expected. (LeBrun)

In December the NHL projected a salary cap of around $73 million for 2015-16.

The Rangers should have around $19.6 million in cap space based upon a cap of $72 million.

Carl Hagelin

Carl Hagelin’s season/his role on a good team

Carl Hagelin is averaging 15:27 per game which is just about what he averaged last year when he saw 15:31 per game.

So far this season, Hagelin has spent most of his time playing with Kevin Hayes and Lee Stempniak. (Stats.HockeyAnalysis)

He has started 39.96% of his shifts in the neutral zone, 31.22% in the defensive zone and 28.82% in the offensive zone. (Puckalytics)

Hagelin said that he always takes pride in his defensive game and that it’s important to be solid in your own end so as not to get scored on. He said that his focus is always playing as well as he can no matter where his shift starts.  (NHL.com)

Alain Vigneault said, “I see Hags as, on a good team, a good third-line penalty killing player. You need that type of guys, some guys can do it as a physical presence, others can do it with speed and smarts. Carl has been a very effective PKer, last night might have been a little more challenging but in that role, I like him in that role.

Dave Maloney said recently that Hagelin is a guy that you can count on because of his speed, how he is quick on the puck and how he has gotten more comfortable with the puck. (MSG)