Trotz keeps beating the odds with 400th win


barrytrotz.jpgFor my money, Barry Trotz is the most underrated coach in the NHL. He reached his 400th career coaching win – all with the scrappy little Nashville Predators – in a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday.

The win seems fitting on a few levels. First, obviously, is the low scoring and defensively stout performance that surely had to please the odd looking coach. But perhaps the most fitting thing about the victory was how lightly regarded the accomplishment was; I just found out about it maybe an hour ago while perusing On the Forecheck.

As a documented meanie, I always feel the need to at least make one joke about Trotz’s appearance even though I’m usually writing something glowing about him. When I wrote about Trotz and Tennessee Titans coach Mike Jeff Fisher’s atypically long coaching runs, I wondered if Nashville was breeding vampire coaches but also made sure to say that Trotz looks more like a  “Dungeons and Dragons” creature than a bloodsucker.

These jokes overshadow a coach whose skills and tenacity allowed him to squeeze all those wins out of a team that gets by more on “pluck” than skill. He’s seen his best players leave through free agency, money saving trades and even – in the case of Alex Radulov – to go to Russia. Trotz has kept the Predators competitive against considerable odds.

So how about this: in a tribute to his 400th win, I’m not going to make fun of Barry Trotz’s appearance anymore. (Or at least I’m going to try really, really hard. Just like coach Trotz would want.)

Kassian sent to hospital after being involved in car accident

Scott Darling, Zack Kassian

Montreal Canadiens winger Zack Kassian was involved in a car accident early Sunday morning.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Kassian was a passenger in the vehicle that crashed into a tree.

The SUV was being driven by a 20-year-old female at the time of the accident.

Montreal police confirmed that speed didn’t play a factor in the collision, but alcohol may have.

The Canadiens have since confirmed the incident took place and have also mentioned that Kassian was taken to hospital.

A club official described his injuries as being “minor”.

“(Kassian) was all bloodied up and stuff. He was in a daze,” said Steve Petrenko, a resident of the street on which the accident took place. “He had a hard time walking, and he almost took a fall.”

This story will be updated when more information is made available.

Habs and Fleischmann agree on one-year deal

Tomas Fleischmann,
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The Montreal Canadiens announced that they have signed Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract.

According to TVA Sports, the deal is worth $750,000.

The 31-year-old was invited to camp on a professional tryout, but his preseason performance showed that he could still contribute at the NHL level.

Fleischmann found instant chemistry with new linemates David Desharnais and Dale Weise, and it looks like the trio will open the regular season as Montreal’s third line.

The veteran winger started  last season with Florida, but was traded to Anaheim on Feb. 28. He had a hard time cracking the Duck’s lineup and was a healthy scratch in most of their playoff games last spring.

Fleischmann scored eight goals and 27 points in 66 games last season.