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Devils hire Ruff, keep Fitzgerald as GM

(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Lindy Ruff impressed the New Jersey Devils with his experience from decades of coaching. Tom Fitzgerald wowed ownership with his moves in a few short months as general manager.

The Devils on Thursday hired Ruff as coach and removed Fitzgerald's interim tag to give him the full-time GM job. Ruff, who coached the Sabres from 1997-2013 and took Buffalo to the Stanley Cup Final in 1999, got the job over interim coach Alain Nasreddine and fellow veteran coaches Gerard Gallant, Peter Laviolette and John Stevens.

"The group needs a teacher - someone who's going to come in and teach and the message is going to be extremely clear," said Fitzgerald, who ran the coaching search. "As the process continued to move forward, Lindy just continued to step to the forefront. One, I was looking for experience: NHL head coaching experience. Two, presence: someone who has been there, done that and could walk into a room and actually grab the attention of our young team."

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Blackhawks: Name honors inspiring leader

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Blackhawks say they will continue to use their team name because it honors a Native American leader who has been an inspiration to generations.

"The Chicago Blackhawks name and logo symbolizes an important and historic person, Black Hawk of Illinois' Sac & Fox Nation, whose leadership and life has inspired generations of Native Americans, veterans and the public," the NHL team said in a statement Tuesday.

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NHL, NHLPA agree on return, extend CBA

The NHL is in position to resume playing in less than a month - with 24 teams in action, all in Canada - and could be on the verge of enjoying labor peace through 2026.

The National Hockey League and the NHL Players' Association on Monday announced a tentative deal on a return-to-play format and a memorandum of understanding on a four-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement.

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Layoff helps Ekman-Larsson get healthy

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Oliver Ekman-Larsson had knee surgery last summer, fully expecting it to help him have a healthy 2019-20 season.

The Arizona Coyotes captain instead played with lingering pain, never able to fully recover.

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Gannon gets green card, Sabres drop suit

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Sabres dropped their lawsuit against the federal government after immigration officials reversed course by approving the team's strength and conditioning coach's petition for a green card.

"The matter has been resolved amicably between both parties," with Ed Gannon receiving approval for an EB-1 visa, the Sabres announced in a text message Wednesday.

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IIHF hopeful of potential Olympic return

International Ice Hockey Federation chief Rene' Fasel is encouraged after learning the NHL's pending labor deal opens the possibility of the world's best players returning to the Olympics.

Aside from the uncertainty raised by the coronavirus pandemic, Fasel told The Associated Press he doesn't foresee any major stumbling blocks that could derail negotiations leading up to the 2022 Beijing Games.

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NHL: 35 new virus cases in last month

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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Toronto, Edmonton to be named hub cities

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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Flyers F Lindblom completes radiation

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom has completed radiation treatments for a rare form of bone cancer.

The Flyers tweeted video Thursday showing Lindblom ringing the bell at Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital, which signifies that he has completed his radiation treatments. The 23-year-old was diagnosed in December with Ewing's sarcoma, a cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or in the tissue around bones.

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Coyotes seek boost from healthy Kessel

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The start of Phil Kessel's desert tenure did not go according to plan, for him or the Arizona Coyotes.

Expected to give the Coyotes a scoring jolt, Kessel instead labored, in large part due to a string of injuries.

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