Dallas Stars forward Eric Nystrom has been selected as the assistant coach for Team USA in the upcoming 19th World Maccabiah Games, which will be played in Israel in July, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
NHL Network analyst Billy Jaffe will serve as the team’s head coach.
“It’s an exciting day for Maccabi USA to have an NHL player and analyst as the coaching staff for the Open Men’s Ice Hockey Team,” co-chair Devra Schorr said. “Their contribution to the team will elevate the Games as a whole, along with the support of professional players participating in the return of Ice Hockey at the Maccabiah Games.
“The selection of Billy and Eric was not easy, given the significant number of highly qualified applicants for these coveted coaching positions. Many elite players will participate as members of the USA Open Men’s Team due to the appointment of Billy and Eric as coaches.”
Nystrom is joining a growing list of NHLers who have accepted coaching gigs during the lockout. The list includes:
— Florida’s Kris Versteeg is behind the bench for the University of Lethbridge. (link)
–- Columbus’ RJ Umberger is doing volunteer work at his alma mater, Ohio State. (link)
–- Colorado’s Ryan O’Byrne joined the staff of the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies. (link)
–- Toronto’s John-Michael Liles is behind the bench at Culver Academy in Indiana. (link)
— Columbus’ Mark Letestu is serving as an assistant coach with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Bonnyville Pontiacs. (link)
Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.
Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.
And what a look it was.
In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.
It was, in a word, fun.
Lots of fun.
A quick sampling of reviews:
Of course, not everybody was a fan:
Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.
But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…