Bylsma given two-year contract extension


The Pittsburgh Penguins have given head coach Dan Bylsma a two-year contract extension that runs through the 2015-16 season, general manager Ray Shero announced today.

“I believe in Dan Bylsma and I believe in stability with our coaching staff,” Shero said in a release. “Dan is one of the top coaches in the NHL. His record speaks for itself. We fell short of our goal this year, and we’re all disappointed in that, but I believe – and our ownership believes – that Dan is the man to lead us into the future.”

The club also extended the contracts of assistant coaches Tony Granato and Todd Reirden.

Bylsma’s new deal comes after no shortage of speculation about his job security following the Penguins’ four-game loss to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final.

The New York Rangers were one team that was believed to be waiting for the Penguins to decide on Bylsma’s future. Former Canucks coach Alain Vigneault and ex-Sabres bench boss Lindy Ruff remain among the favorites to replace John Tortorella.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: