NHL

When Nick Bjugstad, the former Blaine High School graduate and Gopher turned Florida Panthers rookie centerman, took to the ice ahead of his first National Hockey League game last April, he noticed a familiar face warming up across the rink in fellow Blaine graduate, Matt Hendricks, then playing with the Washington Capitals.

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Matt Hendricks and his new Nashville Predators teammates made their first stop of the season at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Oct. 22. His first taste of free agency was a bit uncomfortable for Hendricks, a 2000 graduate of Blaine High School who landed with the team that drafted him in the 2000 entry draft.

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