Sean Burke is movin’ on up.
That was the word out of Phoenix on Tuesday as ‘Yotes GM Don Maloney promoted Burke to assistant (to the) general manager.
Burke signed a three-year contract extension with the club, one that will see him undertake a new gig while still serving in his previous roles as goalie coach and director of player development.
“For the past three years, Sean has done a tremendous job working with all the goaltenders in our organization helping them improve and succeed on the ice,” Maloney said in a statement. “We look forward to him continuing in this role and also assisting our hockey operations department in all areas of the business.”
Burke has been largely credited with Mike Smith’s remarkable turnaround, arguably the defining act of his time in Phoenix.
Last season, Smith reached career highs in games played (67), wins (38), goals-against average (2.21), save percentage (.930) and shutouts (eight) — this after he was allowed to walk from Tampa, where he served as Dwayne Roloson’s backup.
What’s more, the Coyotes signed Smith for $2 million — a bargain basement price considering he finished fourth in this year’s Vezina voting (earning two first-place votes) and 11th in Hart Trophy voting.
From the Southampton Press:
Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.
According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.
Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.
As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”
He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.
Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?
Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.
Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.
The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.
“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.
The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.
Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.