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Tampa Bay Lightning’s Victor Hedman is finally coming into his own five years after being chosen No. 2 overall in the NHL draft.
This season, he has leapt forward, and the Lighting leapt with him. Going into Game 2 of Tampa’s first-round playoff series with Montreal, he has become a critical chess piece. 
“It just took a long time for me to grow into the player I knew I could be,” Hedman says. “But my career has just started, hopefully. Still young, still learning, and I’m trying to get better every day.” (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images) 
Tampa Bay Lightning’s Victor Hedman is finally coming into his own five years after being chosen No. 2 overall in the NHL draft.
This season, he has leapt forward, and the Lighting leapt with him. Going into Game 2 of Tampa’s first-round playoff series with Montreal, he has become a critical chess piece. 
“It just took a long time for me to grow into the player I knew I could be,” Hedman says. “But my career has just started, hopefully. Still young, still learning, and I’m trying to get better every day.” (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images) 
Hanging on: Ryan Getzlaf spent the final seconds of the Anaheim Ducks’ playoff opener in the dressing room with a large ice bag pressed to a nasty cut on his left cheek.Playoff success usually requires a little discomfort, and the Ducks got a good taste of both in their opener.Getzlaf had a goal and an assist, Frederik Andersen made 32 saves to win his NHL playoff debut, and the Ducks held on for a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.Getzlaf, Kyle Palmieri and Mathieu Perreault scored in a dominant first period for the top-seeded Ducks, who began their playoff run on a dead sprint. Anaheim led 4-0 midway through the second period before Dallas got rolling in its first playoff game since 2008. (Photo: Jae C. Hong/The Associated Press)

Hanging on: Ryan Getzlaf spent the final seconds of the Anaheim Ducks’ playoff opener in the dressing room with a large ice bag pressed to a nasty cut on his left cheek.

Playoff success usually requires a little discomfort, and the Ducks got a good taste of both in their opener.

Getzlaf had a goal and an assist, Frederik Andersen made 32 saves to win his NHL playoff debut, and the Ducks held on for a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.

Getzlaf, Kyle Palmieri and Mathieu Perreault scored in a dominant first period for the top-seeded Ducks, who began their playoff run on a dead sprint. Anaheim led 4-0 midway through the second period before Dallas got rolling in its first playoff game since 2008. (Photo: Jae C. Hong/The Associated Press)

'It just pisses me off': Canucks coach fumes at Flames counterpart after Daniel Sedin stretchered off iceA miserable season for the Vancouver Canucks ended with a scary incident on Sunday night, and more frustration from their combustible coach.Daniel Sedin scored twice before leaving the game on a stretcher following a hit from behind that saw Sedin stay down after being driven into the boards by Calgary’s Paul Byron. Sedin was taken to hospital as a precaution and later released.Byron was assessed a five-minute penalty for boarding and a game misconduct. Flames head coach Bob Hartley appeared agitated at the call, something that incensed his Vancouver counterpart, John Tortorella, who struggled to bite his tongue when speaking to the media afterwards.“The year that we’ve had, and I am the head coach of this team, you tuck your tail between your legs and you leave,” said Tortorella. “It’s been a rough year, but it’s embarrassing to coach against the guy across from me tonight. Some of the things that went on when Danny was hurt, it’s embarrassing.” (Photo: Rich Lam/Getty Images)

'It just pisses me off': Canucks coach fumes at Flames counterpart after Daniel Sedin stretchered off ice
A miserable season for the Vancouver Canucks ended with a scary incident on Sunday night, and more frustration from their combustible coach.

Daniel Sedin scored twice before leaving the game on a stretcher following a hit from behind that saw Sedin stay down after being driven into the boards by Calgary’s Paul Byron. Sedin was taken to hospital as a precaution and later released.

Byron was assessed a five-minute penalty for boarding and a game misconduct. Flames head coach Bob Hartley appeared agitated at the call, something that incensed his Vancouver counterpart, John Tortorella, who struggled to bite his tongue when speaking to the media afterwards.

“The year that we’ve had, and I am the head coach of this team, you tuck your tail between your legs and you leave,” said Tortorella. “It’s been a rough year, but it’s embarrassing to coach against the guy across from me tonight. Some of the things that went on when Danny was hurt, it’s embarrassing.” (Photo: Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Canucks fire GM Mike Gillis: The Vancouver Canucks will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and it has cost their general manager his job.The team fired Mike Gillis on Tuesday, a day after a loss to the Anaheim Ducks eliminated Vancouver from playoff contention.“I would like to sincerely thank Mike Gillis for his hard work and the many contributions he made on and off the ice during his tenure,” Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini said in a release posted to the team’s website. “The Vancouver Canucks had success under Mike’s leadership, and we nearly reached our ultimate goal; but I believe we have reached a point where a change in leadership and new voice is needed.” (Photo: Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Canucks fire GM Mike Gillis: The Vancouver Canucks will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and it has cost their general manager his job.

The team fired Mike Gillis on Tuesday, a day after a loss to the Anaheim Ducks eliminated Vancouver from playoff contention.

“I would like to sincerely thank Mike Gillis for his hard work and the many contributions he made on and off the ice during his tenure,” Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini said in a release posted to the team’s website. “The Vancouver Canucks had success under Mike’s leadership, and we nearly reached our ultimate goal; but I believe we have reached a point where a change in leadership and new voice is needed.” (Photo: Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

The Ottawa Redblacks unveiled their new mascot at an Ottawa 67’s pre-game ceremony at the Canadian TIre Centre, where the new Redblacks coach and some of the new CFL players participated in a ceremonial faceoff.  (Photo: Julie Oliver/Postmedia News)

The Ottawa Redblacks unveiled their new mascot at an Ottawa 67’s pre-game ceremony at the Canadian TIre Centre, where the new Redblacks coach and some of the new CFL players participated in a ceremonial faceoff.  (Photo: Julie Oliver/Postmedia News)

Alex Ovechkin called Tuesday night’s 3-2 win in Anaheim “a huge game” for the Washington Capitals, who have won three straight to pull into a tie for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.But the game’s playoff implications didn’t stop one photographer from having a little fun with it.Getty Images photographer Bruce Bennett took a few shots of the game using an infrared camera, giving the photos an eery, ghost-like feel.

Alex Ovechkin called Tuesday night’s 3-2 win in Anaheim “a huge game” for the Washington Capitals, who have won three straight to pull into a tie for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

But the game’s playoff implications didn’t stop one photographer from having a little fun with it.

Getty Images photographer Bruce Bennett took a few shots of the game using an infrared camera, giving the photos an eery, ghost-like feel.

Terry Trafford is being remembered by family, friends and teammates at a funeral for the Ontario Hockey League player whose body was discovered last week in a parked car.Some of his Saginaw Spirit teammates are among the mourners at today’s service in east-end Toronto.An autopsy determined Trafford died of self-inflicted asphyxiation.The Toronto native’s body was found last Wednesday in his SUV in a parking lot in Saginaw Township, Mich.The 20-year-old forward disappeared eight days earlier after being disciplined by the club for a violation of team rules. (Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Terry Trafford is being remembered by family, friends and teammates at a funeral for the Ontario Hockey League player whose body was discovered last week in a parked car.

Some of his Saginaw Spirit teammates are among the mourners at today’s service in east-end Toronto.

An autopsy determined Trafford died of self-inflicted asphyxiation.

The Toronto native’s body was found last Wednesday in his SUV in a parking lot in Saginaw Township, Mich.

The 20-year-old forward disappeared eight days earlier after being disciplined by the club for a violation of team rules. (Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Terry Trafford is pictured on the March 12, 2014 Saginaw Spirit ticket held by season ticket holders. The Spirit confirmed Tuesday that police found the body of Trafford, who disappeared eight days earlier. Stefan Legein was in Sweden when he found out a 20-year-old had ended his life after getting kicked off a hockey team. Legein did not know Terry Trafford, did not know all the circumstances surrounding his death. But upon reading his story, the 25-year-old Legein could not help but think of what he went through when he was Trafford’s age.“What happened in Saginaw is a tragedy,” Legein wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning. “We need to educate kids on the fact that life doesn’t end with a game and there’s so much more … this is a subject very close to my heart … and I hope we can put a stop to disastrous situations like this … rest in peace.”Legein was about the same age as Trafford when his hockey career veered off its natural course. At the time, he was a top NHL prospect with the Columbus Blue Jackets who had just helped Canada win a gold medal at the world junior hockey championships. The future appeared to be laid out in front of him. All he had to do was continue on the same path many others have travelled. Read more… (Photo: Jeff Schrier/The Saginaw News/The Associated Press)

Terry Trafford is pictured on the March 12, 2014 Saginaw Spirit ticket held by season ticket holders. The Spirit confirmed Tuesday that police found the body of Trafford, who disappeared eight days earlier.

Stefan Legein was in Sweden when he found out a 20-year-old had ended his life after getting kicked off a hockey team. Legein did not know Terry Trafford, did not know all the circumstances surrounding his death. But upon reading his story, the 25-year-old Legein could not help but think of what he went through when he was Trafford’s age.

“What happened in Saginaw is a tragedy,” Legein wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning. “We need to educate kids on the fact that life doesn’t end with a game and there’s so much more … this is a subject very close to my heart … and I hope we can put a stop to disastrous situations like this … rest in peace.”

Legein was about the same age as Trafford when his hockey career veered off its natural course. At the time, he was a top NHL prospect with the Columbus Blue Jackets who had just helped Canada win a gold medal at the world junior hockey championships. The future appeared to be laid out in front of him. All he had to do was continue on the same path many others have travelled. Read more… (Photo: Jeff Schrier/The Saginaw News/The Associated Press)

Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley is undergoing testing to determine what caused him to collapse during a game.General manager Jim Nill said Tuesday that Peverley is in stable condition and has been communicating with teammates and friends since he was admitted into hospital Monday night. The Stars’ game against Columbus was postponed in the first period after Peverley went down on the bench, stunning the crowd and players.Once the game stopped, the Stars players stood in silence, clearly in distress, wary of what happened to one of their own. Some players from both teams dropped to one knee on the ice.“I was scared,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. (Photo by Sharon Ellman/The Associated Press)

Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley is undergoing testing to determine what caused him to collapse during a game.

General manager Jim Nill said Tuesday that Peverley is in stable condition and has been communicating with teammates and friends since he was admitted into hospital Monday night. The Stars’ game against Columbus was postponed in the first period after Peverley went down on the bench, stunning the crowd and players.

Once the game stopped, the Stars players stood in silence, clearly in distress, wary of what happened to one of their own. Some players from both teams dropped to one knee on the ice.

“I was scared,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. (Photo by Sharon Ellman/The Associated Press)

Among the several giant heads that loom over the Front Street entrance of the CBC’s Toronto Broadcast Centre is that of George Stroumboulopoulos.It was a bit odd, then, to walk past his smiling visage to get to a news conference where his new bosses at Rogers, who bought exclusive NHL broadcast rights out from under the noses of the CBC (and TSN) in November, announced that Stroumboulopoulos would be the new host of Hockey Night in Canada, the 60-year CBC staple that Rogers essentially scooped up for nothing in exchange for allowing the public broadcaster to keep some hockey on the public airwaves.Generally, when media companies poach high-profile talent from one another, the organization that the talent is leaving keeps quiet about it. But there was Strombo, as he is known at the behest of spell-checkers everywhere, alongside Don Cherry and Ron MacLean, three fellows who were as identifiable as CBC types as anyone this side of Peter Mansbridge, taking to a stage at the CBC to say that they were happy to now be working for Rogers. The village had been sacked, and the conquering army was adding a few of the vanquished to its side.“Don’t screw this up,” MacLean joked when he shook hands with Stroumboulopoulos on stage, after being introduced by Scott Moore, president of Sportsnet and Rogers’ NHL Properties. While the initial impression was that Rogers had opted for youth in hiring the former MuchMusic veejay to become the first-ever hipster host of an NHL studio show, Strombo, at 41, is 15 years older than was MacLean when he took over Hockey Night from Dave Hodge, who had also been given the job while in his 20s. (Photo: Darren Calabrese/National Post)

Among the several giant heads that loom over the Front Street entrance of the CBC’s Toronto Broadcast Centre is that of George Stroumboulopoulos.

It was a bit odd, then, to walk past his smiling visage to get to a news conference where his new bosses at Rogers, who bought exclusive NHL broadcast rights out from under the noses of the CBC (and TSN) in November, announced that Stroumboulopoulos would be the new host of Hockey Night in Canada, the 60-year CBC staple that Rogers essentially scooped up for nothing in exchange for allowing the public broadcaster to keep some hockey on the public airwaves.

Generally, when media companies poach high-profile talent from one another, the organization that the talent is leaving keeps quiet about it. But there was Strombo, as he is known at the behest of spell-checkers everywhere, alongside Don Cherry and Ron MacLean, three fellows who were as identifiable as CBC types as anyone this side of Peter Mansbridge, taking to a stage at the CBC to say that they were happy to now be working for Rogers. The village had been sacked, and the conquering army was adding a few of the vanquished to its side.

“Don’t screw this up,” MacLean joked when he shook hands with Stroumboulopoulos on stage, after being introduced by Scott Moore, president of Sportsnet and Rogers’ NHL Properties. While the initial impression was that Rogers had opted for youth in hiring the former MuchMusic veejay to become the first-ever hipster host of an NHL studio show, Strombo, at 41, is 15 years older than was MacLean when he took over Hockey Night from Dave Hodge, who had also been given the job while in his 20s. (Photo: Darren Calabrese/National Post)