clement jodoin

Overhaul complete? Habs name Jodoin assistant coach

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Since coming on as Montreal GM, Marc Bergevin has made more moves than a U-Haul truck.

So, no surprise he’s at it again.

Today, the Canadiens announcedanother position has been filled at the NHL level — this time it’s the second assistant coaching gig, which will go to former AHL Hamilton bench boss Clement Jodoin.

The news came shortly after Montreal named ex-Columbus head coach Gerard Gallant the first of Michel Therrien’s two new assistants.

Jodoin is a decorated junior coach known for grooming young players. He won gold as an assistant coach with Canada at the 2008 World Junior Championship and had been on gold medal-winning Canadian teams at the WJC in 2006 and 2007 as well. After a successful four-year stint with QMJHL Rimouski, Jodoin went behind the Bulldogs bench last season.

This will be his second stint as a Habs assistant, having served under Therrien and Alain Vigneault from 1997-2002.

Like Therrien, Jodoin speaks French (Gallant isn’t fluent, but says he “understands” the language.) So since coming aboard, here are the guys Bergevin has hired/promoted. Tell me what they have in common:

Michel Therrien
Gerard Gallant
Clement Jodoin
Martin Lapointe
Patrice Brisebois
Sylvain Lefevbre

To be fair, he also hired Scott Mellanby and Rick Dudley, who — contrary to reports — have not changed their names to Scott Mellanbois and Richard Dudlé.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.