Pittsburgh Penguins logo

Oddsmaker: Hynes favored as next Pittsburgh head coach


According to online oddsmaker Bovada, John Hynes is the odds-on favorite to be the next head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Hynes, 39, is currently the coach of the Pens’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and will interview for the vacant head coaching gig next week — one of the first head coaching candidates identified by new GM Jim Rutherford.

As such, Bovada has listed Hynes at 2/1 (+200) to get the gig. The rest of the coaches in the mix?

Mike Keenan 5/2 (+250)

Willie Desjardins 4/1 (+400)

John Stevens 4/1 (+400)

Jeff Daniels 6/1 (+600)

Todd Nelson 6/1 (+600)

Ron Wilson 9/1 (+900)

Interesting to see a couple of new AHL coaching names surface in Jeff Daniels and Todd Nelson — Daniels currently works as the bench boss and GM of Carolina’s AHL affiliate in Charlotte, while Nelson is currently coaching Edmonton’s AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City.

As for Hynes, he’s certainly an interesting candidate, having coached at a number of different levels over the last decade — NCAA (Wisconsin), the US National Team Development Program, USA Hockey at both the U-18 and World Junior level and, of course, in the American League.

He’s also a product of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coaching tree.

The AHL club has enjoyed tremendous success sending bench bosses through to the NHL over the last 10-15 years. Todd Richards had the job before moving onto Minnesota and then Columbus; his successor was Byslma, who had the job for two years before jumping to the Penguins.

Bylsma’s successor, Todd Reirden, spent one year in WBS before moving to an assistant coaching gig with the Penguins, a job he still (tentatively) holds.

Other WBS coaches currently in the NHL include Wild bench boss Mike Yeo (who spent six seasons as an assistant) and Montreal’s Michel Therrien, who won the AHL’s Eastern Conference championship in 2004.

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

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
1 Comment

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, CSNPhilly.com 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 CSNPhilly.com 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.