Growing up as a kid in Minnesota and going on to play pro hockey for the pro team in Minnesota helps a guy like Darby Hendrickson evolve into be a sort of folk hero. Something else that helps that status is becoming the assistant coach of the same team later on in your career. Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune shares the news of a local guy continuing to do well.
Now the 38-year-old Hendrickson, who had to give up his job with Fox Sports North working Wild games and resign from his job with the NHL Players Association, is beginning his coaching career.
“To have the opportunity to coach is something I hoped one day to have,” Hendrickson said. “This whole thing happened fairly quickly. I had a few decisions to make in terms of some other things I was doing. But I’m excited, this is exciting. And I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
It figures to be a popular move, but Richards said that wasn’t the reason he made the hire.
“This is to make our team, our organization better,” Richards said. “We were looking to fill some areas. We hired Darby on his reputation and his credentials.”
Hendrickson wasn’t what you’d call a top-line player but he was popular and being brought on board with Todd Richards’ staff with the Wild is a good move to help calm down parts of the Wild fan base who have grown frustrated over the years. Hendrickson is a savvy guy and hell, getting out of working for the NHLPA with the current state they’re in has to make coaching seem like a welcome break.
After being named Mr. Hockey in 1991 in Minnesota and scoring the Minnesota Wild’s first goal, if Hendrickson can help Todd Richards and the Wild rise from mediocrity in the Western Conference, Paul Bunyan might have a new challenger to most popular Minnesota folk hero.
If the Buffalo Sabres can sign Jimmy Vesey, they may be more willing to trade winger Evander Kane.
That’s what TSN 1040 (Vancouver) radio host Matt Sekeres has been hearing, and what he’s hearing does make a lot of sense.
Kane, whose off-ice issues are once again making headlines, has two years left on his contract before he can become an unrestricted free agent. He plays the same position as Vesey, 23, who’s currently Buffalo property but can sign with any team he chooses on Aug. 15.
Even if the Sabres can’t convince Vesey to join them, Kane could still be traded. GM Tim Murray has already conceded that his patience is wearing thin with the 24-year-old that he acquired from Winnipeg not long ago. Alex Nylander, drafted eighth overall in June, plays the same position as Kane, and Murray has said it’s possible the teenager could make the jump to the NHL next season.
Buffalo, Boston and Toronto have generally been considered the favorites to land Vesey. Chicago and Pittsburgh have also been mentioned.
Related: Cue the Kane-to-Vancouver speculation
The Toronto Maple Leafs won’t require arbitration with forward Peter Holland. They’ve signed the 25-year-old to a one-year deal worth a reported $1.3 million.
Holland had a hearing scheduled for today. Last week, the Leafs sent a message by putting him on waivers, which he cleared.
Holland had nine goals and 18 assists in 65 games last season. With him signed, the Leafs have only defensemen Frank Corrado and Martin Marincin as restricted free agents. Corrado has an arbitration hearing scheduled for tomorrow; Marincin’s is next Tuesday.
Related: Corrado and Leafs aren’t that far apart
This is an important week in the Detroit Red Wings’ offseason, with Petr Mrazek‘s arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday and Danny DeKeyser‘s for Thursday.
GM Ken Holland would prefer to avoid the hearings, which can sometimes result in hurt feelings.
“I think a negotiated settlement is always better than having an arbitrated settlement,” Holland told MLive.com. “Obviously, both sides run (the risk) of somebody’s not going to be happy.”
That being said, in Mrazek’s case, the two sides still have a ways to go. Remember that the 24-year-old netminder was excellent for most of 2015-16, but in Holland’s words, “the wheels came off a little bit in the middle of February.”
Hence, the divide:
DeKeyser, meanwhile, is more of a proven NHL commodity. He’s had three full seasons in the league. In the 26-year-old defenseman, the Red Wings pretty much know what they’ve got.
“There’s way more comparables, I think, in Dan DeKeyser‘s case so it was easier to figure out what was the market place,” said Holland. “That’s certainly not the case of Petr Mrazek’s situation.”
Holland’s work will not be finished once Mrazek and DeKeyser are signed. He still wants to add another defenseman, and he’s got a surplus of forwards to work with.
Related: Holland makes argument to keep Jimmy Howard
The Flyers won’t require today’s scheduled arbitration hearing with Brayden Schenn. They’ve agreed to terms with the 24-year-old forward on a four-year contract with a reported cap hit of $5.125 million.
Schenn had a career-high 26 goals and 33 assists in 2015-16. His 59 points were the third most on the Flyers, behind only Claude Giroux‘s 67 and Wayne Simmonds‘ 60.
The Schenn signing leaves the Flyers with just over $1 million in cap space for 2016-17, but no major free agents remaining. RFA defenseman Brandon Manning still needs a contract, but that’s it, per General Fanager. Manning has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 2.
Related: Coyotes sign Luke Schenn