Sep 23, 2013; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) celebrates his goal with teammates against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

NHL News and Links - Quick Shifts: August 15th Edition

NHL Quick Shifts is a daily series where we gather up the latest NHL news and links from the FanSided NHL blogosphere, as well as other NHL / hockey blogs. So with that, here is today’s edition of Quick Shifts!

  • 2014-15 NHL Season Previews – Over the next 30 days, we will be posting a series of previews for the upcoming 2014-15 NHL season was posted yesterday. While it may be hard to believe, hockey is right around the bend. Make sure you are informed for the upcoming season! Included is a look back at the 2013-14 season, as well as an outlook and predications for the upcoming season. [Anaheim Ducks] – [Arizona Coyotes] – [Boston Bruins] – [Buffalo Sabres] – [Calgary Flames]
  • Glen Sather‘s not-so-poor offseason – Here’s something we thought we would never see, some optimism from Rangers fans regarding how Glen Sather is handling the team. The fact the Rangers made their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since 1994 helped, but the Rangers have done a good job replacing depth lost during free agency. The Rangers team taking the ice in September will look different than the one that faced off against the Kings in June. Gone are Brad Richards, Derek Dorsett, Benoit Puliot, Brian Boyle, and Anton Stralman, but returning are Derek Brassard, Marc Staal, and new acquisitions like Tanner Glass and Lee Stempniak. [Blue Line Station]
  • Are we entering the age of the defensive superstar? – The most sought after commodity on the free agent wire, the first overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, the biggest contract extension of the offseason: all of these have one thing in common, they involved a defenseman. When P.K. Subban signed the biggest contract in Montreal Canadiens history, it signified a changing of the guard as far as value goes in the NHL. Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin may still be the marquee players for the NHL and its broadcasting family, but we are entering the age of the defensive super star. [FanSided]
  • NHL gets in on the Ice Bucket Challenge – We always knew that Gary Bettman was ice cold, but he really stepped that up with his Ice Bucket Challenge video. The commissioner joins a slew of other NHL players  and personnel to take part in the challenge to raise awareness of ALS. [TMMOTS] [Puck Daddy]

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