Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle, back center, looks over his players while playing against the St. Louis Blues during second period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

Carlyle remains twisting in the wind


Two weeks ago, we wrote a post called “Twisting in the wind,” about the still-undecided futures of NHL head coaches Adam Oates, John Tortorella, and Randy Carlyle.

Since then, Oates and Tortorella have been fired by the Capitals and Canucks, respectively, and this morning Kirk Muller got his walking papers in Carolina as well.

Carlyle, however, remains twisting.

So…will this be the week the Maple Leafs’ bench boss gets the yea or nay from management? According to the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox, it will be. And according to the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons, “the likelihood is the Leafs won’t wait long to confirm that Carlyle will return in his position as coach.”

Only new Leafs president Brendan Shanahan knows for sure.

Carlyle failed to lead Toronto to the playoffs in 2013-14, his team finishing its schedule on a disastrous 2-12-0 run and falling from third in the Eastern Conference to 12th.

The Leafs were also one of the worst possession teams in the NHL, their Fenwick close finishing higher than only Buffalo’s. In a related story, no team surrendered more shots per game than Toronto (35.9).

But Carlyle does have a Stanley Cup ring from his days coaching the Ducks, and certainly not all the Leafs’ problems can be pinned on the coach.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.