Hockey writer for USA TODAY since 1986.

Sabres fans might get peek at future as McDavid visits

usatoday.com — More than 10,000 Buffalo Sabres fans are expected in First Niagara Center arena Wednesday to see Canadian super prospect Connor McDavid play in what could be a preview of coming attractions. McDavid is considered a franchise prospect, and the rebuilding Sabres are in contention to land the Ontario Hockey League center.

Struggling Oilers start make-or-break homestand

ftw.usatoday.com — The Edmonton Oilers start a seven-game home stand tonight, and the team already seems to be in a win-or-else mode. Counting their shootout loss, the Oilers have not given up fewer than five goals in any of their four games, all losses.

Andre Burakovsky provides Capitals rookie impact

usatoday.com — When Barry Trotz was coaching the Nashville Predators, he saw enough of the Detroit Red Wings' Henrik Zetterberg to appreciate his value as a multidimensional center. Now with the Washington Capitals, Trotz is pleased to discover he has a Swedish rookie with the same mindset. "(Andre) Burakovsky has a very high compete level," Trotz said.

Battle of unbeatens: 3-0 Islanders take on 3-0 Sharks

ftw.usatoday.com — The number of teams with perfect records in the NHL will be reduced by one tonight when the San Jose Sharks (3-0) visit the New York Islanders (3-0) at Nassau Veteran Memorial Coliseum. No one had this game circled as a shouldn't-be-missed encounter before the season began.

Capitals' Barry Trotz sings Alex Ovechkin's praises

usatoday.com — New Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz was glad to discover that the reality of coaching Alex Ovechkin is far more enjoyable than he was led to believe. "For all of the questions I took when I got this job, right through the summer and training camp, I have to be honest and say I wasn't too sure what was going to happen," Trotz said.

NHL’s top 2014-15 rookies aren’t the ones you expected

ftw.usatoday.com — Going into the seventh night of competition, the NHL rookie show has unexpected performers in the lead roles. Instead of Johnny Gaudreau or Evgeny Kuznetsov or Jonathan Drouin leading the rookie parade, it has been less-heralded players such as Toronto's Stuart Percy, New Jersey's Damon Serverson, Washington's Andre Burakovsky, Anaheim's William Karlsson and San Jose's Mirco Mueller.

Mike Babcock's return to Detroit anything but done deal

usatoday.com — Coaching is a bottom-line profession. Performance reviews come in the form of win-loss records in the final standings. A coach must continue to win in the regular season and sometimes the playoffs to have any measure of job security. Unemployed Dan Bylsma, who has a Stanley Cup championship ring in his possession, can testify that's how the system works.

Toronto Maple Leafs already feeling a sense of urgency

ftw.usatoday.com — Even five days into the NHL season, there needs be a sense of urgency for the Toronto Maple Leafs when they play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Coach Randy Carlyle seemed to be on the hot seat coming into this season and his Maple Leafs are 0-2 and have looked leaky in both outings.

Patrick Roy, young Avalanche face even bigger challenge this season

ftw.usatoday.com — Patrick Roy won coach of the year last season because he was able to magically transform the young Colorado Avalanche into a contending team. It was like he turned a fawn into an eight-point buck as spectators watched with amazement. But Roy will need stronger magic this season to achieve the same results.

Chris Pronger a logical choice in player safety role

usatoday.com — The NHL's hiring of Chris Pronger to work in the league's Department of Player Safety seems similar to security companies hiring former hackers to help keep computer systems safe from invaders. Pronger lived on the edge of the rules when he played in the NHL, racking up eight suspensions during his career.
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Oct 22, 2014

RT @ByMikeBrehm: Touted rookies put on a show in Calgary usat.ly/1x73TSw via @forthewin

Oct 22, 2014

Sabres fans might get peek at future as McDavid visits usat.ly/1tJWAmL via @usatoday

Oct 21, 2014

RT @ByMikeBrehm: Kyle Woodlief's first NHL draft preview of the season. usat.ly/1tJOlXN via @usatoday. Gallery of his top 10. usatoday.com/picture-galler…

Oct 21, 2014

RT @ByMikeBrehm: From @hemjhaveri: NHL player shaves his head to support niece battling cancer usat.ly/1CR6Rwf via @forthewin

Oct 21, 2014

RT @ByMikeBrehm: The results of our first power rankings vote. Includes link to team vote and a gallery on player vote. usat.ly/1tH3c57 via @usatoday

Oct 20, 2014

RT @ByMikeBrehm: Breakdown of T.J. Brodie's five-year extension has been added to the story. usat.ly/1tFJarZ via @usatoday

Oct 20, 2014

NHL acts swiftly after Slava Voynov arrest usat.ly/1tFC1HU via @usatoday

Oct 20, 2014

RT @ByMikeBrehm: The latest Connor McDavid-Jack Eichel sweepstakes, including updated graphic usat.ly/1xQ6QIb via @usatoday

Oct 20, 2014

RT @ByMikeBrehm: Preview from @ByKevinAllen: Lightning build the right way, and the Oilers don't usat.ly/1vWnS9G via @forthewin

Oct 20, 2014

NHL suspends Slava Voynov after domestic violence arrest usat.ly/1wfHenP via @usatoday

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