Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider

Around the rink – Sunday, November 21st

5:00 pm

NY Islanders @ Atlanta

Oh, the Islanders. They dropped their 12th straight game last night to the Panthers and they’re going to try to snap the skid against a rested Thrashers team who’s looking to redeem themselves after losing in gut-wrenching style to the Capitals on Friday night. One thing working in the Isles favor is that Atlanta can’t seem to keep opponents off the board. The Isles offense is in rough shape but not without trying as they managed to put up 40 shots on Tomas Vokoun last night while scoring just once. Will we get to see Rick DiPietro for the Islanders? If for just rest purposes it might not be a bad idea.

Calgary @ Detroit

Calgary comes in riding high after a 7-2 thrashing of the Blackhawks on Friday night while the Wings are hoping to put their stomach-punching overtime loss to the Wild behind them. The Flames will again be without Olli Jokinen but if Jarome Iginla can keep having games like he had the other night, Calgary might be able to get things back together quickly. Iginla’s hat trick against Chicago doubled his goal total for the season. Suffice it to say, they need him to continue stepping up. For Calgary, this is the first game of a five-game road trip out east.

8:00 pm

Edmonton @ Anaheim

Don’t look now, but the Ducks are sneaking up on the top spot in the Pacific Division. They’re three points behind the Kings in the division and with the Sharks still being a bit out of whack, the Ducks are hoping to keep things going. A tough loss to Columbus on Friday night helped keep them off the pace, but the Ducks at home are tough. Playing against an Edmonton team playing poorly and without Nikolai Khabibulin helps make things look good for them heading into the game. The Oilers, meanwhile, will be hoping to avoid a seventh straight loss. They’ve given up the most goals in the league and now they’re not getting the scoring to keep up. And you wonder why they’ve lost so many in a row. Youth will someday be served in Edmonton but so far this year it’s been almost exclusively growing pains.

9:00 pm

Phoenix @ Vancouver

Phoenix is red hot having won five in a row and squaring off with a frustrated Roberto Luongo and the Canucks should provide them with a daunting test in Vancouver. The Canucks were torched for seven goals against the Blackhawks last night leading to post game complaints from head coach Alain Vigneault about Chicago running up the score. Boo hoo. Instead of getting angry with their words, the Canucks will look to take out their frustrations on a hot team. That doesn’t quite sound like a recipe for success. Then again, that’s why they play the games too. Vancouver will be looking to avoid a three-game losing streak.

To be young: Coyotes to hire 26-year-old as GM, give Tippett more say

Arizona Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett watches his team play the Detroit Red Wings during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015.  (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)
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It sounds like the Arizona Coyotes’ youth movement won’t merely be seen on the ice.

ESPN’s Craig Custance reports that the Coyotes will promote 26-year-old assistant GM John Chayka to GM. The team teased a major press conference for Thursday, when that news is likely to be made official.

The presser could be useful for more than the usual quotes and mission statements, as the Coyotes seem like they may parallel the Toronto Maple Leafs in combining an experienced executive, a young up-and-coming thinker and a more empowered head coach.

Dave Tippett is expected to have more of a say in personnel decisions while the Coyotes hope to bring in a Lou Lamoriello-type to assist Chayka, according to Custance.

(Custance’s ESPN Insider article [subscription required] goes in much greater depth, including a comparison to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors rather than the Maple Leafs.)

It’s possible that Dallas Stars assistant GM Les Jackson might come in to help Chayka, although an earlier report suggests that Jackson might stay in Dallas.

Multiple reporters including Puck Daddy’s Josh Cooper back up Custance’s report.

Considering Chayka’s age – he’s primed to become the youngest GM in NHL history – it’s no surprise that people are churning out jokes.

(This post’s author comes with six more years of [life] experience and a resume stacked with impressive video game and fantasy hockey team-building, by the way.)

Marc Crawford coaching in Detroit? Hey, could happen…

Marc Crawford
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Former Avs bench boss Marc Crawford was one of the central figures in the legendary Detroit-Colorado rivalry of the 90s, largely remembered for his screaming match with (well, more like screaming match at) Scotty Bowman.

With that in mind, consider what MLive wrote on Wednesday with regards to Detroit’s search for a new assistant coach.

GM Ken Holland declined to reveal which candidates he and Jeff Blashill have contacted about replacing Tony Granato, who left the Wings for the University of Wisconsin job.

But Holland did say “we lost a guy with a lot of experience in [Granato],” adding, “we want to replace him with someone with a lot of experience.”

MLive then went on to publish a list of potential candidates… starting with Crawford.

Based on the criteria Holland wants, Crawford makes a lot of sense. He’s got a truckload of experience — 15 years in the NHL, to be exact — won a Cup with the Avs, and his 549 wins put him 18th all time.

Crawford also wants back in the NHL.

He left Swiss League club Zurich this offseason after a successful four-year stint — which included the 2014 league title — to try and land a gig. Per the Ottawa Sun, he’s already interviewed for the vacant Sens position.

And per MLive, Crawford said he’s willing to take an assistant’s position if he can’t become a head coach.

That last bit of information is key. The coaching market is flush right now as Bruce Boudreau, Mike Yeo, Bob Hartley, Travis Green, Paul MacLean , Randy Carlyle and Kevin Dineen are all considered viable and quality candidates.

Thing is, there are only a handful of jobs available.

Calgary, Anaheim and Ottawa are entirely vacant, while Minnesota is still unclear with what it wants to do with interim bench boss John Torchetti.

Add it all up, and Crawford’s NHL return might have to come by way of an assistant’s position.

But in Detroit?

Sure, it might look weird.

It also might fit the bill.

Report: AHL’s Portland Pirates moving to Springfield

Portland Pirates goalie Mark Visentin makes a save during an AHL hockey game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (AP Photo/The Citizens' Voice, Andrew Krech) MANDATORY CREDIT
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Looks like the AHL isn’t finished shuffling around teams.

From the Portland Press Herald:

The Portland Pirates are leaving Maine.

Mitch Berkowitz, chair of the board of trustees for county-owned Cross Insurance Arena, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that “the Pirates will be headed to Springfield” Massachusetts, but that he did not know further details.

The city of Springfield has been searching for a team to replace the AHL Falcons, sold last month – although yet to be approved – to the parent Arizona Coyotes, who announced plans to move the franchise to Tucson.

The Pirates are the AHL affiliates of the Florida Panthers. They’ve been in Portland since 1993, when they started out as the Capitals’ farm team and were coached for a number of years by Barry Trotz.

Travis Green: ‘I think I’m ready’ to coach in the NHL

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Travis Green has never coached in the NHL, not even as an assistant.

But a lengthy career as a player, followed by success as a head coach in the WHL and AHL, has left him feeling prepared to take the next step.

“I think I’m ready,” Green told Postmedia yesterday. “Every job in the NHL is worth its weight in gold, and I would have 100 per cent interest at options with every team in the league. You hope all your qualities are enticing for one of them.”

After the Flames fired Bob Hartley yesterday, many are wondering if Green could be a candidate to take over in Calgary. Other head-coaching vacancies exist in Anaheim and Ottawa, and potentially Minnesota.

For the past three seasons, Green has been the head coach of the Utica Comets, the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks. Last year, the Comets made it all the way to the Calder Cup finals, an accomplishment that Green found particularly rewarding since “it wasn’t like we had an all-star team.”

While some GMs won’t risk hiring a coach without any NHL experience — they’d prefer a guy who’s been there before and knows what to expect — it’s worth noting that Jon Cooper didn’t have an NHL track record before he took over in Tampa Bay, and he’s done OK. Heck, Dave Hastol hadn’t even coached professionals before he landed the job in Philadelphia, and the Flyers seem pretty happy with him.

Green is under contract for one more season in Utica, but reportedly has an out-clause to pursue an NHL job.

Related: Will the Sens take a run at Kevin Dineen?