Eric Hartzell, Mike Bales

Penguins name Bales goaltending coach

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After whittling the field down to three, the Penguins have picked their man and he’s a guy familiar with the team already.

The team named former NHL backup Mike Bales as their new goaltending coach and he’ll have his work cut out for him in trying to restore Marc-Andre Fleury’s game to a level fitting a No. 1 guy. He spent the past two years as the team’s goaltending development coach working with guys in the minors.

Penguins GM Ray Shero tells Michelle Crechiolo at the Pens’ website he’s confident Bales can get the job done.

“I’m very happy that we hired him a couple years ago to get him to this point, because you can see what he’s done for our organization and what he has brought,” he said. “So I think it’s a good hire for us and a real good opportunity for Mike.”

If he can get Fleury back into being a top goalie, that’ll go a long way to establishing his credibility. After the way the Pens have seen him play the past two years in the postseason, any kind of help would be appreciated.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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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.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.