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Then and Now: Ville Leino

After spending parts of six seasons in the SM-liiga, Ville Leino became a member of the Detroit Red Wings’ organization for the 2008-2009 campaign. The forward spent time with the Tampereen Ilves, HPK, and Jokerit before he spent most of his first season with the Wings’ franchise in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Leino saw regular season and postseason action for both the Griffins and Red Wings during 2008-2009, as he posted 46 points in 57 games with Grand Rapids and nine points in 13 tilts with Detroit. In the AHL playoffs, Leino totaled three goals and 10 …

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2013 Draft Eligibles: Is Aleksander Barkov the Finnish Eric Lindros?

If the 2013 draft did not headline a trio of top-tier prospects, Aleksander Barkov would be getting a lot more attention. Unfortunately, with the consensus number one overall pick in Portland Winterhawk Seth Jones, and the next two picks coming from the Halifax Mooseheads (Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon) little attention is being focused on European talent. My good friend Tom Zulewski earlier profiled Finnish defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, who is the top-rated defenseman among European skaters. Ristolainen’s countryman Aleksander Barkov is the number one draft-eligible European skater on NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking that was released Wednesday. Despite conflicting rankings …

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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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Atlantic Watch: Season Preview

After a painful 3 1/2 months, the NHL will finally return to action this weekend. That being said, the schedule is much shorter, which makes every game that much more important. If you want to make the playoffs, you most likely won’t be able to afford any losing streak of severe length. Since no games have taken place yet, let’s take a look at the Flyers’ schedule for the next week and recent news related to the team, as well as what the rest of the division has done lately. For the Flyers, several stories have occurred this week that …

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Then and Now: Ossi Vaananen

After playing the 2007-2008 season in the Elitserien, defenseman Ossi Vaananen returned to the NHL to play for the Philadelphia Flyers. The Finn signed a one-year contract worth $1 million for the 2008-2009 campaign. Vaananen participated in a total of 46 games for Philly. He registered nine assists and ten points overall. The blue liner also deposited his final goal in the NHL (go to :55), which came in the first period of the Flyers’ 5-4 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks on January 2nd, 2009. The contest also featured Josh Gratton’s lone goal for the Orange and Black, as …

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