Archive for the ‘NHL’ Category

The New York Rangers shipped out veterans Ryan McDonagh and Rick Nashduring a fire sale prior to the 2018 trade deadline, but that list could’ve also included franchise goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

“We told Hank that if he didn’t want to ride it out through this process, we’d find a good landing place for him,” James Dolan, executive chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company, told the New York Post’s Larry Brooks. “But he said he wanted to stay and see it through.

“I’m very happy thats the way he feels. I think with him at the top of his game, that gives us our best chance of competing for a playoff spot next year.”

Even prior to the Rangers announcing their rebuilding plans in February, Lundqvist remained committed to the team, stating, “I want to be here and battle through the ups and downs.”

The goaltender is signed through the 2020-21 season with an $8.5-million annual cap hit and a full no-movement clause, per Cap Friendly.

Despite turning 36 on March 2 and having a poor defensive team in front of him, Lundqvist still managed to post a .915 save percentage this past season.

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Chuck Fletcher’s tenure as general manager of the Minnesota Wild is over, as the club revealed Monday that it will not renew his contract.

The search for a new GM will begin immediately. Brent Flahr, the team’s senior vice president of hockey operations, will serve as acting GM until a replacement is found.

Wild owner Craig Leipold said Monday that the coaching staff will remain in place, according to The Athletic’s Chad Graff.

Minnesota made the playoffs in each of the last six seasons, but lost in the first round in each of the last three years and failed to advance past the second round on Fletcher’s watch.

Fletcher shaped the Wild roster for the last nine campaigns after being hired in May 2009.

He signed forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter to dual 13-year, $98-million contracts on July 4, 2012, and drafted the likes of forwards Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker (2010), as well as blue-liners Jonas Brodin (2011) and Matt Dumba (2012).

Fletcher also acquired goaltender Devan Dubnyk from the Arizona Coyotes for a third-round pick in 2015.

He was the second GM in Wild history after Doug Risebrough.

Drew Doughty is looking to begin contract extension talks with the Los Angeles Kings.

Days after the team was swept out of the playoffs by the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, the Norris Trophy finalist reiterated his desire to remain a King for the foreseeable future.

“I always wanted to be an L.A. King and I want to stay an L.A. King,” Doughty said during exit interviews Friday, according to NHL.com’s Dan Greenspan. “I can’t remember what day we can start talking, but I’m sure we will when the time comes.”

Doughty can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2019, but can sign an extension with the Kings beginning the same date this year. A new deal won’t come cheap, though. Doughty is on record saying he and Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators deserve “quite a bit more” money than P.K Subban‘s annual cap hit of $9 million, highest among all defensemen.

Although the Kings exited the playoffs as early as possible, Doughty sees a bright future for the franchise.

“(General manager) Rob Blake and (president of business operations) Luc Robitaille, they took this job because they want to win and they want to transform this team into their winning ways again,” Doughty said. “Whether or not they do a lot in the offseason, I don’t know, but we have these young guys coming up that I think are going to make a difference. I think that shows me how much potential we have in the future and I’m good with it and I’m happy to hopefully re-sign here.”

Edmonton Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson confirmed general manager Peter Chiarelli will retain his role as general manager and president of hockey operations next season, but head coach Todd McLellan’s status is being evaluated.

Nicholson hosted a press conference to address the future of the organization Thursday afternoon – one day after Chiarelli’s meeting with the media, in which he declared he expects a return to the playoffs next season and might deal the club’s first-round draft pick.

Both Chiarelli and McLellan were brought in to revamp the Oilers’ front office and usher in the Connor McDavid era in 2015. After a 103-point season in 2016-17, Edmonton crashed hard this season and missed the playoffs by a long shot despite McDavid leading the league with 108 points.

McLellan owns a record of 114-109-23 in three seasons behind the Oilers’ bench, but Chiarelli’s attracted the majority of fans’ ire for a series of questionable roster decisions.

Under Chiarelli’s watch, Edmonton dealt MVP candidate Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson, and traded longtime Oiler Jordan Eberle for the less productive Ryan Strome. Combine those deals with a number of cap-constraining contracts – most notably Milan Lucic‘s seven-year, $42-million deal – and it’s clear how the organization has dug itself a hole.

Bill Peters resigned his position as head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

“I want to thank (current owner) Tom Dundon, (former owner) Peter Karmanos, and (former general manager) Ron Francis for the trust they put in me to lead the team,” said Peters. “I feel the incoming general manager should have the ability to hire his own head coach.”

Peters added, “I feel like this is a good time to move on, and I am looking forward to my next challenge.”

He had until Friday to exercise an exit clause in his contract, team president and interim general manager Don Waddell confirmed Monday.

“I have a lot of respect for Bill as a person and coach,” Dundon said. “We thank him for his time with the Hurricanes and wish him success in whatever comes next.”

Peters held the position for four seasons, leading the Hurricanes to a regular-season record of 137-138-53 and zero playoff appearances. He’s set to serve as Canada’s bench boss at the World Championship in May.

The Hurricanes will immediately begin searching for a new head coach. The team is also looking for a GM after removing Francis from that position in early March.

New York Islanders ownership group Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky are trying to find a top executive to join the club’s hockey ops department, sources told Chris Botta of SportsNet New York.

It’s believed the potential new hire will replace Garth Snow as general manager, while Snow, the Isles’ GM since 2006, would remain president or be given a new role, Botta adds.

The Islanders will ask other teams for permission to speak to their executives, but will wait until the completion of the first round of the playoffs before narrowing the search.

After missing the playoffs for the eighth time in 12 seasons under Snow’s tenure, the Islanders organization faces a crucial offseason. The Isles are also in the process of building a new arena in Belmont Park, and captain John Tavares‘ future with the club is in question as he faces unrestricted free agency.

After a disappointing 67-point season, changes could be coming in Canada’s capital.

The Ottawa Senators will likely make a decision about head coach Guy Boucher’s future with the club after the draft lottery April 28, general manager Pierre Dorion said at his end-of-season press conference Thursday, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

If Boucher is back behind the Senators’ bench, he’ll have to change two parts of his coaching style.

The Sens took their time bringing along some of their younger players. For example, 21-year-old Colin White – who dominated the 2017 world juniors – received less ice time than Tom Pyatt, and just a tick more than Alex Burrows. Meanwhile, Thomas Chabot – the team’s future on the back end – and veteran castoff Johnny Oduya played nearly identical minutes.

Dorion, unsurprisingly, thinks highly of Chabot.

“We think Thomas Chabot can be a star in this league. We think he’s just scratching the surface,” Dorion said, according to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.

But if Boucher isn’t willing to give Chabot – and the Senators’ other young players – a role that can maximize development, it’s clear Dorion will find someone who will.