Chances are, if you hold a job right now, it’s not perfect. I’d be willing to be that almost anyone reading this right now either has a job that’s a) not fulfilling, b) very difficult or c) a combination of both.
Even so, there are some roles that seem downright unenviable. If the NHL has a perfect example of that type of job, it would have to be whatever you want to call Brendan Shanahan’s duties.
In a way, hockey’s equivalent to being the U.S. President is some combination of the high-profile role that Gary Bettman plays and the thankless job that Shanahan has. Perhaps it makes perfect sense, then, that Bettman evokes the startling presidential aging process when explaining Shanny’s work so far:
“I think Brendan is doing a terrific job,” Bettman said. “I think, particularly with the videos, there’s greater clarity as to what’s expected on the ice and what won’t be tolerated. He probably aged five years in the last five months… Well, it’s because he has an extremely difficult job. I think part of what’s happened is people have, on second look, given Colin Campbell a little more respect for the job that he did for 13 years in this field. This is a hard, hard job that he has. The decisions are hard and nobody is ever happy.”
That’s probably the key phrase: “Nobody is ever happy.”
It’s not totally different from being a goal replay judge; no matter what, at least some fans on the other side won’t be happy with your decision. (Even on the goals are painfully obvious to objective eyes.)
Does this mean you shouldn’t be upset if your team is “wronged” in the next Shanahan verdict? Not necessarily, but it might be fair to remember that these decisions – or at least the repercussions – seem to weigh on the man making them.
Tampa Bay has avoided Friday’s scheduled arbitration hearing with forward Vladislav Namestnikov, agreeing to a two-year, $3.875M deal on Tuesday evening, per ESPN.
Namestnikov, 23, had a breakout campaign last year, scoring 14 goals and 35 points in 80 games — all career highs. The former first-round pick also appeared in 17 playoff games for the Bolts, scoring a goal and three points while helping the club to the Eastern Conference Final.
Coming off a one-year deal in which he made $874,125, the diminutive Russian gets a nice pay bump with this latest contract, and a bit of security with the two-year term. He should play a fairly integral role next season, coming off a year in which he finished tied for fourth on the team in goals, with Tyler Johnson.
But while tonight may be about Namestnikov, it’s another Russian forward in Tampa Bay that everybody now has their eyes on — Nikita Kucherov, the playoff scoring sensation that declined to file for arbitration, but still requires a new deal.
Given some of the big-money contracts GM Steve Yzerman has handed out this summer — namely those to Steve Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn — the Kucherov negotiations are definitely ones to keep an eye on.
Talks ongoing between Wild and Dumba, meeting expected soon
A good puck mover with offensive skills — and a right-handed shot — Dumba is definitely a commodity. What’s more, logic suggests the Wild could opt to move him, given the long-term financial commitments to fellow defensemen Ryan Suter (signed through 2025 at $7.53 million), Jonas Brodin (2021 at $4.16M), Jared Spurgeon (2020, $5.18M) and Marco Scandella (2020, $4M).
Minnesota has some other young defensive prospects in the system, too.
There’s former Gophers standout Mike Reilly, Miami of Ohio product Louis Belpedio and Gustav Olofsson, the 46th overall pick in ’13 that’s been honing his game in AHL Iowa (and made his NHL debut last season).
Though he’s slowed down in recent years, Rosehill has long been known as an extremely active fighter. At no time was this more evident than during the ’08-09 campaign, when he fought a staggering 33 times (yeah, thirty-three) while playing for AHL Norfolk.
Rosehill last played in the NHL during the ’13-14 campaign, scoring two goals in 34 games for the Flyers — while racking up 90 PIM.
Here’s an example of some of his most famous handiwork:
As mentioned above, the EIHL has landed a few notable ex-NHL fighters. Cam Janssen, Kevin Westgarth, Paul Bissonnette and Tom Sestito have all played there.
Kurtis Foster, who appeared in over 400 games during a 10-year NHL career, is hanging up his skates to enter the next phase of his hockey life — coaching.
Foster, 34, has rejoined his former junior team in OHL Peterborough as an assistant coach, per the Examiner. The decision comes after Foster spent the last three years playing overseas in the KHL and, most recently, in the German League.
The 40th overall pick in 2000, Foster is often remembered for a horrific leg break while playing for Minnesota during the 2007-08 campaign, in which his femur was shattered by Torrey Mitchell after Mitchell tried to prevent an icing call.