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Then and Now: Nikolay Zherdev

Many of the biggest names in today’s NHL were selected in the first round of the 2003 draft. After Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, and Nathan Horton were picked with the first three overall picks, the Columbus Blue Jackets picked Nikolay Zherdev. Thomas Vanek, Milan Michalek, and Ryan Suter were the next three players to be picked after Zherdev, as the group of Braydon Coburn, Dion Phaneuf, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Brent Seabrook, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, Brian Boyle, and Corey Perry were also taken in the opening round of the draft 10 years ago. …

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Atlantic Watch: Flyers aren’t out yet, Pens clinch the division, Islanders sit in seventh, Devils endure long losing streak

The Philadelphia Flyers entered this week on a winning streak, but they left it on a losing skid and can now only hope they receive some help to make the postseason. With four of their final nine games coming up in the next week, the Orange and Black will likely find out if they will be heading to the playoffs by April 17th. The Flyers won their third straight game on Wednesday night with a 5-3 comeback decision over the Montreal Canadiens in Philly. Wayne Simmonds tied the game with a little over five minutes left before Erik Gustafsson’s first …

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Nash and Stepan help Rangers crush Flyers in Philly

Rick Nash had two goals, one of which was his 300th in the NHL, and an assist, while Derek Stepan had three assists to bolster a career-high four-point performance as the New York Rangers dumped the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-2, on Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center. Brad Richards and Chris Kreider also lit the lamp. Henrink Lundqvist cast his spell once more, making 32 saves as New York picked up a crucial road win in its own race for the postseason. Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek picked up painful scores as the Orange and Black failed to advance their cause …

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Atlantic Watch: Penguins on winning streak, Devils snap losing streak, Islanders’ point streak ends

The Philadelphia Flyers lost their first two games this week to stretch their losing streak to three games before they edged out the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday for a pair of points. Philly will have a home-and-home with a struggling Devils club over the next few days, as they look to gain a spot in the Eastern Conference’s top eight. The Orange and Black had the Pittsburgh Penguins beat on Monday, but they let their hated rivals come back for a 5-4 win at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday. Jakub Voracek had two power-play goals and the tandem of …

Patrick Burke (left), Rick Mercer of the CBC (center), and Brendan Burke (right), marching in the Toronto Pride Parade on Sunday, July 1.

You Can Play: Three small words, one monumental message

This past Sunday, when most hockey GMs were poring over endless notes and taking phone call after phone call regarding potential free agent signings, Toronto’s Brian Burke marched in the Toronto Pride Parade in honor of his late son, Brendan. Brendan’s brother, Patrick, a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers, marched with his father and other family members, alongside members of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). Brendan was the first person who was associated with the hockey world as being openly gay. He was the student manager of the University of Miami hockey team, and had a …

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