Kings prospect Brayden Schenn has no structural damage in his knee

braydenschenn2.jpgWe told you a couple days ago about the injury to Kings prospect Brayden Schenn and Helene Elliott of the LA Times has the update on his condition. Feel free to breathe easier Kings fans.

The best news that might emerge from the Kings’ rookie camp arrived Friday, before the first prospect took the ice in El Segundo.

According to General Manager Dean Lombardi, an MRI exam performed Friday on the knee of prized prospect Brayden Schenn showed no structural damage, leaving Schenn’s status day to day.

Schenn, a contender to center the second line, hurt his knee Tuesday while practicing with his junior team. The mishap sparked rumors he would be out weeks or months, which apparently isn’t true. Lombardi said Schenn will continue treatment and rehabilitation and will be reevaluated daily.

In other words, the initial worries were much ado about nothing. Given the reaction by Kings fans, perhaps we’ve now got a new contender for most panicky fan base in the NHL. The expectations are high this year for the Kings and while it’s a toss-up whether or not Schenn would make the Kings this year or be sent back to Brandon for another year of junior development, it’s unclear. With this injury not being serious the Kings get to still evaluate him as to whether or not he’s pro-ready and we all get to needle Kings fans for being worrywarts.

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    Gerard Gallant, Lindy Ruff and Barry Trotz named finalists for Jack Adams Award

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    The list of finalists for the Jack Adams Award has been released. Gerard Gallant (Florida Panthers), Lindy Ruff (Dallas Stars) and Barry Trotz (Washington Capitals) are the three NHL head coach said to have “contributed the most to his team’s success.”

    The winners will be announced June 22 during the 2016 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

    Gallant was behind the bench for a Panthers team that included an interesting blend of youth (Aaron Ekblad, Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck and Aleksander Barkov) and experience (Jaromir Jagr and Roberto Luongo), locked into a franchise-record 12-game winning streak and took the Atlantic Division with a 47-26-9 record — another new standard for the franchise. The Panthers’ season ended with an opening-round playoff loss to the New York Islanders.

    After missing the playoffs last season, Ruff coached the Stars to top spot in the Western Conference standings with a 50-23-9 record and a team that includes top-end talent from the likes of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza and John Klingberg, playing a game of speed and skill. The Stars led the league in goals for (265) and goals-for per game (3.23).

    Trotz, in his second season in Washington, helped the Capitals to a Presidents’ Trophy for the 2015-16 regular season, besting the second-best team, the Stars, by 11 points. The Capitals finished the season with a record of 56-18-8, setting them up as Stanley Cup contenders when the playoffs began last month. Armed with 50-goal scorer Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals also finished second in the league in goals for (248).

    This is Gallant’s first nomination for the award. Ruff and Trotz are each three-time award finalists, with Ruff winning in 2006, as per NHL.com.

    Last season’s winner, Bob Hartley, was fired by the Calgary Flames earlier this week. He’s not the first Jack Adams Award winner to be dismissed from his job the following year.

    WATCH LIVE: Stars at Blues – Game 4

    St. Louis Blues center Kyle Brodziak, right, fights with Dallas Stars left wing Curtis McKenzie in the first period of Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinals against the Dallas Stars, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in St. Louis. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)  EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
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    The St. Louis Blues can move to within one win of the Western Conference final with a victory on home ice at Scottrade Center tonight. The Dallas Stars will be hoping to send this series back to Texas all even. You can catch Game 4 between these teams on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET) or the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

    Here are some links to check out for this game:

    ‘Just worried about safety of friends and family’: NHL donates $100K to Fort McMurray fire relief effort

    If the Stars don’t get some better goaltending, their GM will have some explaining to do

    Fights, hits and a blown kiss: Stars and Blues get nasty

    ‘Just worried about safety of friends and family’: NHL donates $100K to Fort McMurray fire relief effort

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    With more than 80,000 residents forced to evacuate the Alberta city of Fort McMurray due to a raging wild fire, the National Hockey League is donating $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross relief effort.

    “The National Hockey League family stands with all who have been affected by the devastating fires in Fort McMurray,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement on Thursday.

    “We send thoughts of support and encouragement to our neighbors as they confront the physical and emotional impacts of this disaster.”

    The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers are also each donating $100,000 to the relief effort, as per the Associated Press.

    The evacuation is the largest fire evacuation in Alberta’s history, according to the Globe and Mail.

    From the Globe and Mail:

    Alberta Emergency Management Agency estimated that 80,000 people had fled Fort McMurray; the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo said the figure could be closer to 90,000. Of those forced to evacuate, approximately 10,000 are north of the city, where they have been directed to shelter at work camps.

     

    St. Louis Blues forward Scottie Upshall is from Fort McMurray, which is north of Edmonton, and he recently spoke about the devastation of that community.

    “I saw the freeway that I used to drive in from the airport. And both sides of the roads were kind of just 100-foot flames. I saw a couple restaurants that I used to go eat at and those were gone,” Upshall told Postmedia.

    “Yeah, there was a lot of things going through my head yesterday. Most of my family was trying not to overplay it at all, but there was nothing to really overplay when something like that happens. Just worried about the safety of friends and family, more so at the time my nieces, who were still in Fort McMurray while my brother and his fiancé are here watching us play.”

    Related: Blues aim to raise money for victims of Fort McMurray fires 

     

     

    With four vacancies, the NHL coaching carousel is ‘spinning out of control’

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    Bob Hartley watched bosses come and go three times as coach of the Calgary Flames. He will need one more general manager to believe in him to stay in the NHL.

    Fired Tuesday by the Flames, Hartley is itching to get back at it and he’s not alone. The Anaheim Ducks’ last two coaches, Bruce Boudreau and Randy Carlyle, are also in the mix for current vacancies.

    “Right now, the coaching carousel is spinning out of control,” Hartley said. “It’s the time of the year. So obviously there’s lots of jobs, there’s lots of names and there’s going to be lots of speculations.”

    The Flames, Ducks, Minnesota Wild and Ottawa Senators all have openings. All four teams have different expectations for next season and beyond, and different requirements for their next head coach.

    Anaheim is perhaps in the middle of its Stanley Cup window after winning four consecutive Pacific Division titles but failing to reach the final under Boudreau. GM Bob Murray dismissed Boudreau, citing “the way” the Ducks have been eliminated.

    A team with star forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, a bright young blue line and goaltender John Gibson is an attractive destination. Winning in the playoffs is the expectation.

    Paul MacLean, who coached the Senators to two playoff appearances during three-plus seasons in Ottawa, was on Boudreau’s staff this season, and former Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins took the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies to the Calder Cup final in 2012. Then there’s Carlyle, who won the Cup with the Ducks in 2007 and has been out of work since the Maple Leafs fired him in January 2015.

    Minnesota has also made the playoffs four years in a row and is looking for more. GM Chuck Fletcher fired coach Mike Yeo and replaced him in February with interim John Torchetti, who is a candidate after a first-round exit.

    Fletcher flew to California, reportedly to meet with Boudreau, and is looking for a strong hockey person behind the bench.

    “I think it’s important that we find a coach that can hold the players accountable and put a system in place and get them to execute the system and hold them accountable to it,” Fletcher said.

    In some places, just consistently making the playoffs is the standard.

    The Flames missed the playoffs after a surprise postseason run a year ago, and problems that were there all along doomed Hartley. Calgary is the biggest wild card in the entire process because Boudreau knows how to get the most out of young talent, but GM Brad Treliving could think outside the box.

    Calgary needs a coach who will improve its special teams. Hartley, who won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year last season, knows his power-play and penalty-killing units weren’t good enough, but he sees the potential of forwards Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, and knows his successor will have success.

    “I really believe that this team is just a couple of players away from being a great hockey club despite the fact that they’re still a very young hockey team,” Hartley said Wednesday. “We have done lots of good things that maybe didn’t show in the standings but will show in the very near future.”

    Like the Flames, the Senators made the playoffs against long odds in 2014-15 and fell backward in the standings this year, costing Dave Cameron his job. NHL head-coaching experience is a prerequisite, so Boudreau, Hartley, Yeo, Carlyle, Kevin Dineen, Marc Crawford and Guy Boucher are all legitimate candidates.

    Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said on Toronto’s AM-590 that the team was down to its last couple of interviews.

    “It’s gone well,” Melnyk said. “There’s some great talent (available).”

    Hartley, Boudreau and MacLean have all been named coach of the year, Carlyle and Crawford have each won the Cup, and Dineen helped the Chicago Blackhawks win it as an assistant.

    Then there are hot names like Washington Capitals assistant Todd Reirden and Philadelphia Flyers minor-league coach Scott Gordon, as well as college coaches like Providence’s Nate Leaman of and Denver’s Jim Montgomery.

    Of course, Hartley and his counterparts won’t go quietly.

    “Coaching is my passion, coaching is in my blood, there’s no doubt that I want to coach,” Hartley said. “I’m only 55 years old, and I believe that I’m in great shape and I love this game, I love teaching, I love competing to win hockey games.”

    Related: Sens will interview Boudreau on Friday