Nashville Predators v Vancouver Canucks - Game One

Bieksa says he’s rooting for former coach Vigneault


It’s plausible that Alain Vigneault burnt some bridges or at least left some hard feelings behind during his times in Vancouver, yet at least one Canucks player seems to be on his side. Kevin Bieksa told the Canadian Press that he’s pulling for the ex-Canucks coach as he sits two wins from a Stanley Cup Final appearance with the New York Rangers.

“For Alain, I’m happy for him that he got back there so quickly,” Bieksa said. “He’s a good coach and he’s obviously been there before and he took us there. We had a lot of really good years together. Absolutely we’re cheering for him and hope they do well.”

“We” could mean any number of Canucks, as Jason Garrison said, “If anything, we’re jealous.”

(Bieksa denied his own feelings of jealousy, if nothing else.)

Whatever the case may be, it does at least imply yet another contrast with Rangers-turned-Canucks coach John Tortorella.* From Brad Richards to Brandon Dubinsky, it seemed as if Torts experienced strained relationships with a notable number of players in New York.

Sometimes that’s just about people going on the record to slam or praise someone while that doesn’t represent the entire locker room, but if nothing else, it sounds like Bieksa still has plenty of respect for his former coach.

* – Whether it makes you cringe or not, the fact that they basically traded jobs last season means they’ll probably be compared for years. Even if Tortorella might not have the same chance to prove his side of the argument.


Kassian sent to hospital after being involved in car accident

Scott Darling, Zack Kassian

Montreal Canadiens winger Zack Kassian was involved in a car accident early Sunday morning.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Kassian was a passenger in the vehicle that crashed into a tree.

The SUV was being driven by a 20-year-old female at the time of the accident.

Montreal police confirmed that speed didn’t play a factor in the collision, but alcohol may have.

The Canadiens have since confirmed the incident took place and have also mentioned that Kassian was taken to hospital.

A club official described his injuries as being “minor”.

“(Kassian) was all bloodied up and stuff. He was in a daze,” said Steve Petrenko, a resident of the street on which the accident took place. “He had a hard time walking, and he almost took a fall.”

This story will be updated when more information is made available.

Habs and Fleischmann agree on one-year deal

Tomas Fleischmann,
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The Montreal Canadiens announced that they have signed Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract.

According to TVA Sports, the deal is worth $750,000.

The 31-year-old was invited to camp on a professional tryout, but his preseason performance showed that he could still contribute at the NHL level.

Fleischmann found instant chemistry with new linemates David Desharnais and Dale Weise, and it looks like the trio will open the regular season as Montreal’s third line.

The veteran winger started  last season with Florida, but was traded to Anaheim on Feb. 28. He had a hard time cracking the Duck’s lineup and was a healthy scratch in most of their playoff games last spring.

Fleischmann scored eight goals and 27 points in 66 games last season.