- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
Joe Sacco had the good fortune of finding employment with the Buffalo Sabres last summer after being fired by the Colorado Avalanche, who hired Patrick Roy and turned their franchise’s fortunes around.
Alas, Ron Rolston, who hired him in Buffalo, was fired after winning just four of his first 20 games. Ted Nolan was hired, kept Sacco around and then turned the franchise’s fortunes around.
And then he fired Joe Sacco after the season.
Well, OK, he was “re-assigned” as a scout, although he never scouted anything but other job openings since the end of the season. He finally found a fit: Sacco was hired by the Boston Bruins to work under Claude Julien.
Normally, the hiring of an assistant coach is worth a note in Puck Headlines, but this one’s significant for three reasons:
1. It’s a former NHL head coach latching on as an assistant with a potential Stanley Cup contender.
2. He replaces Geoff Ward on the Bruins’ staff, who left for a higher-paying head coaching job with the Mannheim Eagles of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany. Ward was the architect of the Bruins’ power play, which was third in the NHL last season at 21.7-percent.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
The Pittsburgh Penguins are the most intriguing team in the Eastern Conference headed into next season, if only to see what Mario Lemieux has wrought after he slammed his hand on the detonation button.
We assume Sidney Crosby is on board with the hiring of Mike Johnston, or else Mike Johnston wouldn’t have been hired. Evgeni Malkin’s a different story, and Johnston clearly understands that he needs both noggins of this two-headed monster nodding in unison.
So Mr. Johnston will go to Russia, according to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, who explains the importance of this trip thusly:
Malkin never has done anything but play, and playtime is over because the Penguins need more from their other future Hall of Fame center.
Nashville Predators general manager David Poile usually pitches free agents on joining his team. He didn’t expect to be pitched by a free agent.
After taking a humiliating buyout from the Arizona Coyotes, in which GM Don Maloney cited “behavioral issues” in eating the last three years of their deal, Mike Ribeiro called Poile to inquire if there was a match between the team and the 34-year-old free agent. The Predators’ offensive needs, specifically in the middle, were no secret. Neither were Ribeiro’s personal issues, including problems in his marriage.
So Poile, Ribeiro and his wife Tammy all got on a Skype call and spoke candidly. Poile wasn’t sure where they left things. Ribeiro, meanwhile, made another bold move: Calling Peter Laviolette, the Predators’ new coach, to further discuss his potential role with the team. Laviolette then called Poile, and said they had a good chat.
The Nashville Predators were desperate for help at center. Mike Ribeiro and Derek Roy were desperate for new homes in the NHL.
Both players signed 1-year deals with Nashville on Wednesday, bolstering a roster that resembled a donut up front. Roy signed for 1 year and $1 million; t he Preds signed Ribeiro to a 1-year, $1.05-million contract, as he found an NHL team willing to take him on after his reputation was slaughtered by the Arizona Coyotes when they bought him out.
Said GM David Poile on Roy, who played for the St. Louis Blues last season:
“Derek brings us added depth, playmaking ability and experience at center, helping complement our young, developing wingers,” Poile said. “He has played in a number of roles, averaging about 19 minutes of ice time throughout his career, and is effective on the power play. He provides our coaching staff with some added skill and maturity down the middle when putting together our lineup for the coming season.”
On Ribeiro, Poile said:
A week ago, Sidney Crosby was reportedly days away from having arthroscopic surgery on his injured right wrist.
It never happened.
According to the Pittsburgh Penguins, their star captain is going to heal himself through physical therapy and happy thoughts, rather than go under the knife, as GM Jim Rutherford said:
“After seeking additional medical advice, doctors have decided not to perform surgery on Sidney Crosby’s wrist. Sid will continue treatments and be evaluated regularly while he prepares for training camp in September.”
Crosby’s injury was labeled “terrible” by a source and no doubt contributed to the putrid one goal in 13 games performance we saw from Crosby in the postseason. (The other factors being Jack Johnson, Brandon Dubinsky, Henrik Lundqvist and a decided lack of Pascal Dupuis.)
The assault on the Washington Redskins’ name has ripped open the scab on the Native American mascot debate, with everyone from former players to President Obama asking that owner Dan Snyder change the name.
This led to some speculative (read: click-baiting) articles about whether the same debate might be sparked in the NHL over the Chicago Blackhawks’ logo; articles that (a) misunderstood the crux of the Redskins controversy and (b) didn’t understand the origins of the Blackhawks’ name and logo.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t logos of questionable taste, given the current climate, in the hockey world; and one of them may be on its way out.
We don’t want to say Mike Babcock has leverage with the Detroit Red Wings, but we understand his initial offer on a contract extension is everything they asked for in “Armegeddon”, a baby dinosaur and that no one in the franchise smiles for the next five seasons.
Assuming that’s rejected, the two sides will get down on a new deal for arguably the NHL’s best coach* as he enters the last season of his contract. But Babcock made it clear on Monday, via the Detroit Free Press, that those talks can happen before the season and then again in the spring, but not during the 2014-15 season.
"We get it done by fall, or I won't bother. I'm not doing it during the season,” he told the paper.
Helene St. James of the Free Press indicates that Holland and Babcock will talk in September about both of their deals, as Holland has one more year and an option on his contract. From St. James:
Remember that awesome viral video in which Patrick Kane stick-handled a puck around other pucks?
The one everyone thought was CGI but then everyone realized it wasn’t and all our minds were blown?
Well, a 9-year-old boy attempted to pull off the stunt.
Here’s Tommy Murray, starring in one heck of a Hockey Dad-produced video, attempting the Patrick Kane Puck Stunt:
This young player was inspired to attempt the stunt after Kane and Jonathan Toews signed their eight-year extensions with the Chicago Blackhawks last week.
“He says he has a chance to play with them now,” the boy’s father, Tom Murray, wrote in an email to NBC Chicago. “I love his determination.”
And you thought your Hockey Dad was cool because he’d get up at 4:30 in the morning to load the SUV. Where’s your super cool puck-trick trailer, huh?!
Detroit Red Wings associate coach Tom Renney is the new president and CEO of Hockey Canada, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. Which seems like a nice upwardly mobile career move.
He replaces Bob Nicholson, who is now the vice-chairman of the Katz Group, putting him at the head of the Edmonton Oilers empire.
Renney has history with Hockey Canada, coaching the national team from 1992-94, including Canada’s silver medal in the 1992 Lillehammer Games (thanks, Peter Forsberg). Renney has coached in 10 world championship competitions for Canada, capturing three gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals. He served as vice president of hockey operations for Hockey Canada in 1998 and ’99, under Nicholson.
He’s also credited for a sea-change in the way Canada selected its world junior teams, advising Hockey Canada to end the practice of players dropping into the tournament without attending selection camp.