bylsma jack adams

Report: U.S. to name Olympic coach on June 29

8 Comments

Despite no formal agreement for NHL participation at the 2014 Olympics, countries are continuing to prepare as if NHLers are going to Sochi.

USA Hockey is set to announce its head coach for the winter games on June 29, according to Sportsnet (by way of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi.)

The news comes just a week after Sweden announced its Olympic camp roster.

Rossi reached out to USA Hockey for a response to the report, but the organization declined comment.

It’s expected USA Hockey will go with a different staff than the one that captured silver in 2010, when ex-Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson served as bench boss, assisted by ex-Islanders head coach Scott Gordon and ex-Rangers coach John Tortorella.

Ex-Leafs GM Brian Burke was the general manager.

(Notice a theme there?)

In late May, a report claimed Burke had already been ruled out as a potential GM for ’14, and it seems unlikely Wilson would be brought back to reprise his role.

Gordon and Tortorella seem unlikely as well, though less so.

So, replacements?

Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma is thought to be the leading candidate for the head coaching gig. Since taking the Pens job in 2009, he’s won a Stanley Cup and Jack Adams award and advanced to this year’s Eastern Conference final.

Assuming USA Hockey wants active NHL coaches for assistant positions, the likes of Philadelphia’s Peter Laviolette, Columbus’ Todd Richards and New York Islanders’ Jack Capuano will garner strong consideration.

As for the GM job, it sound as though Nashville’s David Poile — a three-time NHL GM of the Year award nominee — is a frontrunner.

Pittsburgh’s Ray Shero, who currently sits on the USA Hockey advisory board, could also be in the mix, though as of last week he said he hadn’t been asked about running the team.

Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 9.02.42 PM
Leave a comment

A day after getting traded out of Toronto, Dion Phaneuf made his Ottawa Senators debut.

It ended with a 3-1 road loss for the Senators, and Phaneuf getting burned by Henrik Zetterberg on the eventual game winner early in the third period.

Zetterberg picked up the puck near the Ottawa blue line, beat Phaneuf to the outside, slipped the puck under the stick of the Sens’ newest blue liner and quickly roofed his shot on Craig Anderson.

“He made a real good play and you’ve got to give credit when credit is due,” Phaneuf told the Ottawa Sun.

“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”

Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.

Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.

DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

1 Comment

The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

Leave a comment

There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”

Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 6.45.35 PM
Leave a comment

Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.