After leading Columbus to the most successful season in franchise history, head coach Todd Richards has been rewarded.
Richards, 47, signed a two-year contract extension on Tuesday, agreeing to coach the Jackets through the 2016-17 campaign. The deal was more than deserved after Richards led Columbus to a franchise-best 43 wins this season, and orchestrated the club’s first-ever playoff victories in a spirited opening-round series loss to Pittsburgh.
“Todd has done an outstanding job for the Columbus Blue Jackets and we’re pleased that he will continue to lead our team,” Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said in a statement. “We believe he is one of the top young coaches in the NHL because of his knowledge of the game, work ethic and ability to communicate well and bring out the best in our players.”
Locking up Richards through the next three years keeps a good chunk of Columbus’ core in place, as the likes of Nathan Horton, Jared Boll, James Wisniewski, Jack Johnson and Fedor Tyutin are locked in through ’17 as well.
That said, Kekalainen still has a very busy summer ahead of him as he needs to reach a new deal with arguably the team’s most important forward — RFA center Ryan Johansen — and may be forced to trade alternate captain R.J. Umberger, who struggled last season and fell out of the rotation, serving as a healthy scratch on a number of occasions.
Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins
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.
“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.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.
Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.
But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.
On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.
Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.
Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.