2010 NHL Draft - Round One

Carolina promotes Rod Brind’Amour, Ron Francis; adds Dave Lewis to coaching staff

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While the 2011 Stanley Cup finals heat up, inactive NHL teams hope to gear up for the 2011-12 season. That means making signings both big and small, from locking up prospects, pending free agents and tweaking their front office.

The Carolina Hurricanes – or at least their president and general manager Jim Rutherford – seem to make many of their decisions based on previous loyalties. They brought current head coach Paul Maurice back into the fold after firing him once and re-acquired players such as Erik Cole, Cory Stillman and Anton Babchuk after they departed one or more times.

Even when it comes to retired players, the Hurricanes organization seems to be most comfortable with familiar faces. The team made four notable changes to their front office staff today, with two of the parties being obvious bedrocks of the team during their playing days.

  • First, let’s get to one familiar face to the hockey world who isn’t as obvious a choice for Carolina. Former Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins head coach Dave Lewis was added as an assistant coach, according to the team’s release. The team didn’t elaborate on which specific duties Lewis will have, though.
  • Speaking of former Canes captains, revered figure Ron Francis was promoted to director of hockey operations. The well-respected Hall of Famer was an associate coach for the team since December 2008 and also worked as a director of player personnel, director of player development and assistant general manager at different points in his post-retirement career.
  • Finally, the team added Tom Rowe to their scouting department. Rowe served as an assistant coach in Carolina for three seasons, so he’s a familiar face to many even if he probably isn’t immediately identifiable to fans.

Update: Evgeni Malkin is still a bad man

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Sometimes an angry Evgeni Malkin means a stray power play or two for his opponents, but it’s usually not the best idea to make him angry.

Giving a player that big and talented extra motivation just seems like a bad idea, right?

Joel Ward experienced that phenomenon on Tuesday, as Malkin responded to a blow from Ward with the goal you can see above.

This continues a red-hot streak for Malkin. Tonight’s goal and assist (and counting?) stretches his scoring streak to four games, each with at least one goal.

Malkin came into Tuesday with 10 points in his last six games as well, so … yeah, no. 71 is feeling it right now.

Of course: Ryan Suter wins it for Wild vs. ‘Hawks after those wild quotes

NBCSN screen

You know what they say: “What a difference a game makes.”

Even in the 82-game marathon that an NHL regular season is, that can be true.

Ryan Suter admitted he went too far with comments during tough times, yet there he was on Tuesday night, grinning ear-to-ear after scoring the 2-1 goal that ended up being the game-winner.

Heck, people were even joking about things. The healing powers of winning, right?

As of this writing, this win places Minnesota in the last wild card spot, and they’re close to elbowing in on the Chicago Blackhawks (who own a standings point advantage, but have played two more games so far in 2015-16).

Jeremy Roenick labels this 2-1 win as a “team win” for Minnesota, and it showed on that 2-1 goal, as the Wild showed off some picture-perfect passing and a willingness to crash the net for rebounds.

Let’s face it, though; Devan Dubnyk deserves plenty of credit, too.

It won’t be easy in the Central Division, and things may get heated again. Still, this is the sort of win that may just help Minnesota build up some confidence.

Hey look: Flyers reel off three straight wins for first time in 2015-16

Sean Couturier
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When you’re talking about bright sides, most people believe that they boil down to the light at the end of the tunnel for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a little success in the present while waiting for that bright future, though.

The Flyers are providing at least a burst of sunshine lately, as Tuesday’s 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators gives them … (drum roll) their first three-game winning streak of this season.

Joy abounded.

Even in recent darker moments, Philly’s been pretty impressive on offense, so Flyers fans are likely relieved to see a relative offensive outburst.

Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.

If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.

This own-goal captures the start of Dougie Hamilton’s Flames career

Dougie Hamilton
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Here’s an understatement: things haven’t gone very well for Dougie Hamilton early in his first season with the Calgary Flames.

(It must feel like the opposite of Tyler Seguin in Dallas for Boston Bruins fans, but feel free to disagree in the comments.)

You could look at Hamilton’s meager offensive stats and break down his disappointing work through a very of “fancy” and traditional metrics …

… Or you could just fire up a projector and show this own-goal on a loop.

Update: Did Hamilton picture all the negative headlines and harness that energy for a greater good? He scored the game-tying goal as Calgary upset Dallas 4-3 via a shootout.