Sean Leahy

  • Tim Murray explains Babcock talks; Sabres seeking Bylsma?

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 12 hrs ago

    Did Mike Babcock lead the Buffalo Sabres to believe they had a deal for him to become their new head coach? Some in the organization say yes, but general manager Tim Murray isn’t one of them, at least publicly. 

    Appearing on WGR550 radio with Schopp and The Bulldog Thursday afternoon, Murray refuted the claim that Babcock lied to the Sabres. 

    Murray added he was keeping an open mind during his search and wasn’t limiting himself to candidates who possess vast NHL head coaching experience.

    “How does a guy like Mike Babcock get his start unless you’re open-minded?,” he said.

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  • 2018 PyeongChang Olympic hockey groups: Host Korea draws Canada

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago

    We don’t know yet whether the NHL and NHLPA will send its players to the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea, but we now know where nine of the 12 countries participating in the tournament will be grouped.

    Group A: Canada, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Korea

    Group B: Russia, USA, Slovakia, Qualifer 3

    Group C: Sweden, Finland, Qualifier 1, Qualifier 2

    Sorry, Korea.

    The groups are based on the post-World Championship IIHF rankings, which feature Canada, Russia and Sweden as the top three nations. The final three qualifiers will be determined over three stages of qualification beginning in November.

    IIHF president said during Worlds press conference in Prague that the NHL/PA has until Sept. 2016 to decide if they will send players. That deadline also coincides with the start of the revamped World Cup of Hockey.

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  • Potential liver donors for Senators owner decide to continue process for others

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 15 hrs ago

    Eugene Melnyk underwent a successful liver transplant on Tuesday, and the Ottawa Senators owner and the anonymous donor are resting comfortably as they recover.

    “He is stable and he is not talking, but he is responsive, so when people talk to him he understands,” said team president Cyril Leeder, via the Ottawa Citizen. “His colour is improving, so it looks like the liver is functioning the way it should.” 

    Melnyk released a statement via the Senators on Thursday:

    According to doctors, Melnyk will be released within the next two weeks and will be fully recovered in six months time.

    More than 500 people applied to be a donor for Melnyk, and while one was found quickly, the great news out of all this is that, according to the Senators, more than 20 of them have chosen to be donors for someone else.

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  • NHL Three Stars: 'Triplets' lead the way for Lightning in Game 3

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    No. 1 Star: Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning

    Kucherov was the hero for the Lightning as his goal 3:33 into overtime gave Tampa a 6-5 victory in Game 3 against the New York Rangers. They now hold a 2-1 series lead:

    No. 2 Star: Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning

    One-third of the “Triplets” line chipped in a pair of goals and an assist in the win. The trio of Palat, Kucherov and Tyler Johnson have combined for 25 of Tampa’s 47 playoff goals, including seven in the last two games. 

    No. 3 Star: Jesper Fast, New York Rangers

    Fast was the offensive leader for New York, scoring a pair of goals in the loss.

    Honorable Mention: Tyler Johnson scored his 12th of the playoffs, tying him with Brad Richards and Ruslan Fedotenko for the franchise record for goals in a postseason:

    Did You Know? 

    The @TBLightning have scored 5+ goals five times in the 2015 #StanleyCup Playoffs. The LAK led with 7 such performances last year. #NYRvsTBL

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  • Nikita Kucherov's OT goal gives Lightning wild 6-5 victory over Rangers

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    An overtime goal from Nikita Kucherov helped give the Tampa Bay Lightning a wild 6-5 win over the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final. Tampa now leads the series 2-1 with Game 4 on Friday at Amalie Arena.

    As they’ve done a number of times this postseason, the Rangers struck first and early as Derick Brassard fired home a power play goal after 62 seconds. Jesper Fast would double the lead midway through the first period after a Matt Carle/Derek Stepan collision in the neutral zone opened up space for the forward to come in all alone on Ben Bishop:

    Carle wouldn’t return to the game after suffering what the Lightning described as an upper-body injury.

    Despite the 2-0 deficit, Tampa would respond in a big way by scoring the game’s next four goals, including three in a span of 6:46 in the second period. Tyler Johnson’s 12th of the postseason gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead and tied him with Brad Richards and Ruslan Fedotenko for most playoff goals in a season in franchise history:

    Nikita Kucherov, whose six playoff goals entering Wednesday night all came in Round 2, ended things 3:33 into the extra frame when his wrist shot beat Henrik Lundqvist for the 6-5 victory.

  • New Bruins GM: Claude Julien is head coach ‘as of today’

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    After a “worldwide” search, as CEO Charlie Jacobs described it, the Boston Bruins named Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney as the franchise's eighth GM Wednesday. Team president Cam Neely said the process was narrowed down to four candidates (Sweeney, George McPhee, Jeff Gorton, Ray Shero?) before they chose the man who knew the organization best.

    Now that Sweeney’s in the GM’s chair, all the focus will be on the future of head coach Claude Julien, who’s been left to wonder if he’ll be behind the bench next season. 

    Sweeney said he has spoken with Julien, but wasn’t fully committed to saying he would definitely return.

    “Some of that will involved personnel decisions. Some of that will involve staff member decisions and/or changes. That’s to be determined. He’s the coach of the Boston Bruins as of today, for sure.”

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  • Captain Foligno; Hedman's arrival; 'Uptown Puck' (Puck Headlines)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com. 

    • Nick Foligno has been named captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets. [Blue Jackets]

    • Tyler Johnson is making some history during his rise to stardom. [Lightning Shout

    • The start of this new era for the Tampa Bay Lightning began with the trade of Martin St. Louis. [Sportsnet

    • Returning to Tampa Bay isn’t bothering St. Louis. [NY Daily News]

    • It took a while, but the Blackhawks’ power play finally came through. [OC Register]

  • Andrew 'Hamburglar' Hammond gets triple decker contract extension from Sens

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    We don’t know how much longer the magic of Andrew Hammond will continue, but the "Hamburglar” just received a bit of security.

    On Wednesday, the Ottawa Senators announced they’ve extended Hammond for three years. He was pretty excited about it:

    Fire up the grills! Excited to be coming back to @Senators for 3 more years! 🍔🍔🍔

    A new contract and free MacDonald's for life? Pretty great 2015 for Hammond.

    According to the Senators, the deal is worth $4.05 million, with Hammond receiving $1.2 million in 2015-16, $1.35 million in 2016-17 and $1.5 million in the final year of his deal in 2017-18.

    After Hammond's extension, Ottawa’s cap situation is even tighter, with Murray needing to decide on the futures of UFA Erik Condra and RFAs Mika Zibanejad, Alex Chiasson, Mike Hoffman, J.P. Pageau and Calder Trophy finalist Mark Stone.

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  • Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk undergoes successful liver transplant

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    Days after announcing he was in need of a new liver, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk underwent a successful transplant Tuesday night.

    According to the Senators, the anonymous donor and Melnyk are doing fine and resting comfortably. The University Health Network’s Multi-Organ Transplant Program will release an update on the progress of both later this week. 

    From the Senators:

    After a year in which GM Bryan Murray was diagnosed with cancer and the organization lost assistant coach Mark Reeds to his own battle with the disease, it's great to hear some positive health news coming from the Senators.

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    Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy

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  • Mike Babcock in contract talks with Buffalo Sabres: Report

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    The Mike Babcock sweepstakes will come to a end this week. Finally. And while reports state it's down to two teams, the Buffalo Sabres look to be pulling away from the Detroit Red Wings in the race. 

    According to the Associated Press, Babcock and the Sabres have initiated contract discussions.

    From John Wawrow of the AP

    The person said negotiations were taking place by phone between Babcock and Sabres general manager Tim Murray on Tuesday afternoon. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are private. 

    Wawrow followed up with a Tweet stating nothing is done, but the two sides spoke on Tuesday, which would make sense since Babcock has said he'd like to make a decision by Wednesday.

    When reached by Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press and asked if he’s leaving the Red Wings, Babcock responded, ”Not sure, know by morning."