Despite their last Stanley Cup Playoff appearance and win occurring in May 2009, the Carolina Hurricanes have made changes that have them back on track for a return trip to the postseason. The man playing architect of the Canes’ rebuild is general manager Ron Francis, who was handed a contract extension by the organization on Tuesday that will keep him there through the 2018-19 NHL season. “Ron has rebuilt our organization the right way, stocking our team and system with young players who will help this franchise compete for the Stanley Cup year in and year out,” said Peter Karmanos Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Owner and Governor of the Hurricanes.
In a lot of ways, the 2015-16 season represented more of the same for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The results were nearly identical to 2014-15, right down to finishing in the basement of the East (69 points last season, 68 the one the year before). Indeed, Brendan Shanahan is probably correct in saying that the Maple Leafs earned the No. 1 pick “the hard way,” or at least “earned” the higher draft lottery odds that helped them land Auston Matthews. The big question, really, is how long will fans be patient with the Maple Leafs taking baby steps in the right direction? Off-season Naturally, the team tried to make more a leap forward in seeking Steven Stamkos and, to a less dramatic extent, Jimmy
Former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Adrian Aucoin and his wife, Caroline, on Aug. 3 sold a five-bedroom newly built house in Hinsdale for $2.875 million. During a 17-year National Hockey League career, Aucoin skated for the Blackhawks from 2005 until 2007. Now 43, he works in player development for the Blackhawks. The Aucoins paid $1.2 million in mid-2014 to buy the land that holds the house they just sold. The home they had built has an octagonal cupola, board and batten siding, a cedar shake roof, 6-1/2 baths, 10-foot ceilings on the first floor, 9-foot ceilings on the second floor, a study, a sunroom and a lower level with an entertainment room, an exercise room and a sports bar. Outside