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Eastern Conference

Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews Says Teams Will Be Prepared For Their ‘Firepower’

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The Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t expecting to catch any teams off guard this upcoming NHL season.

Toronto shocked the league when they made the playoffs for the second time since 2004. But for the 2016-2017 season, they know that the expectations have been raised a couple notches.

“Only 16 teams make it and it’s not going to be easy,” Toronto’s Auston Matthews said, according to the Toronto Sun’s Lance Hornby.

Matthews and the Leafs are determined to prove that they indeed belong in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and that last season wasn’t a fluke.

“We surprised some teams last year. That doesn’t really matter now. It’s a new season, they’re going to know that we have some firepower and they’re not going to take us so lightly.”

Toronto added Patrick Marleau in free agency, which will certainly bring some added depth to the roster.

“He‘s played 19 years, he’s been in the Stanley Cup finals, he knows how to win,” Matthews explained.

“When I talked to him he was pretty excited to be here.”

“All three of those guys we picked up are veterans who can definitely help us now, as a young team. They’re guys who’ve been there. Ron Hainsey won a Cup last year (in Pittsburgh), Dominic Moore is a Toronto native and been in the league a while.”

But Matthews said that Toronto’s goals, like his, are crystal clear.

“As an individual and as a team, we all want to take a step forward this season.”

Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings’ Anthony Mantha Out Four To Six Weeks

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The Detroit Red Wings will be without bright spot forward Anthony Mantha, who has developed impressively this season, will miss four to six weeks with a hand injury and will undergo surgery today, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.

Mantha injured his hand while fighting with Patrik Nemeth of the Colorado Avalanche, a game that resulted in the two-game suspension of Tyler Bertuzzi.

Mantha has picked up 14 points in 27 games this season.

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Eastern Conference

Flyers Hire Chuck Fletcher as General Manager

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The Philadelphia Flyers have announced the hiring of Chuck Fletcher as the team’s new general manager, according to a team announcement on Monday.

Fletcher, who becomes the eighth man to serve as GM in franchise history, will take over for Ron Hextall who was fired back in November.

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Eastern Conference

Devils’ Steven Santini Sent To AHL On Conditioning Loan

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The New Jersey Devils have sent defenseman Steven Santini to the AHL on a conditioning loan as the 23-year old works his way back from a broken jaw, according to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti.

Santini has played in only one game for New Jersey this season, struggling to catch on as a full-time player for the Devils, and has only played in 76 NHL games during his short career after the Devils selected him with the 42d pick in the 2013 NHL draft.

 

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