I’ve long been a proponent (but also a naysayer) when it comes to the psychological impact of a contract year on an athlete, but let’s not forget that coaches and general managers aren’t immune to that either. When it comes to bargaining power, you cannot get much better than winning a Stanley Cup.
Joel Quenneville clearly got that memo. TSN reports that the Blackhawks are primed to announce Coach Q’s contract extension and Mike Brophy reports that Chicago will wrap him up for the next three years.
This follows the trend of the club rewarding front office people for the Cup run, coming on the heels of GM Stan Bowman adding vice president to his title earlier this summer.
Much like Bowman, this season should present a bigger challenge than last season for Coach Q. It’s never easy to defend a championship, but as many will tell you, the Blackhawks lost valuable pieces such as goalie Antti Niemi, Dustin Byfuglien and Kris Versteeg among others. Sure, Chicago still boasts Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith, but they won’t bombard people with wave after wave of talent like they did last season.
It’s a smart move overall for Chicago, but the club faces some fascinating hurdles in the future. Quenneville is competent-to-outstanding coach, so I think the team is in good hands. After all, his mustache alone probably earns him at least a two year grace period.
Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.
Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.
Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.
Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)
While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)
Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)
With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)
The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (NHL.com)