Sharks GM Wilson tells Oates to ‘worry about coaching his team’ after Hertl critique


Never afraid to share his thoughts, San Jose general manager Doug Wilson has some advice for Caps coach Adam Oates:

Focus on your team, not ours.

That’s what Wilson told CSN Bay Area on Saturday in the wake of Oates criticizing Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl for a between-the-legs goal against the Rangers.

“I think [Oates] should worry about coaching his team, and not worry about being a caretaker of the game,” Wilson said. “I would not allow our coaches to make comments about other team’s players.”

Midweek, Oates said he was “upset” by Hertl’s goal, saying “don’t disrespect the league.” The comments set off a firestorm of questions about Hertl’s actions, potential showboating and the NHL’s unwritten rules — and ultimately led to Joe Thornton making some, ahem, colorful remarks in Hertl’s defense.

Wilson had remained largely silent on the topic until today, which is a tad surprising.

The longtime Sharks GM is known for defending his players publicly, most recently during the 2013 NHL playoffs. After forward Raffi Torres was suspended for the duration of San Jose’s second-round series against L.A., Wilson posted a scathing critique of the league’s disciplinary decision…which cost the organization $100,000 in fines.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.