Per the Chicago Sun-Times, a league source confirmed that former Blackhawks assistant Mike Haviland has interviewed for Washington’s head coaching position.
Haviland was controversially fired in May after a rumored rift within the Chicago coaching staff. The move was surprising because many viewed Haviland as one of the league’s best assistants — he was a finalist for Winnipeg’s head coaching gig last summer — and he was revered by players.
‘‘Havy was an awesome coach,’’ former ‘Hawk Colin Fraser told the Sun-Times. ‘‘I had him for three years as a head coach in the minors. We got along great. He was my favorite coach.”
It’s unclear who else Caps GM George McPhee has interviewed for the head coaching gig, though it’s not the only position he needs to fill. After stating it was unlikely that assistants Dean Evason and Jim Johnson would return for 2012-13, McPhee saw Evason take the head coaching gig with Nashville’s AHL affiliate in Milwaukee.
Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.
On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.
But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.
The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.
Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.
Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.
Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”