2014 NHL Draft - Portraits

Be afraid: Brendan Lemieux wants to follow father Claude’s footsteps

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Future opponents probably don’t want to hear this, but Buffalo Sabres second-round pick Brendan Lemieux is more than fine with following in the (in)famous footsteps of his father Claude Lemieux.

If that doesn’t inspire people to keep their heads on a swivel, he also seems a little vengeful about falling to the Sabres at the 31st spot today.

“He was definitely disappointed. He was crushed last night,” Claude said to the Newark Star-Ledger.

Of course, that opens the door to the common draft storyline of having added motivation to “prove his doubters wrong.” Roll your eyes at the trope as much as you want, but it’s a scary thought to imagine an angry player who’s more than fine with emulating his notorious father, isn’t it?

Brendan Lemieux definitely didn’t shy away from his father’s legacy of controversial hits and antagonizing behavior, as Puck Daddy’s Sean Leahy reports.

“I’m proud of the way he played and how hated he was,” Brendan said. “I just love that about him. I definitely want to follow in his footsteps and I want to be that guy that can step up in the playoffs and really be that playoff performer. To me, that’s what’s most important is the postseason and that’s the kind of player I want to be. I want to come up big when it counts.”

The 18-year-old prospect certainly showed signs of that snarl during his career, especially during the 2013-14 season. He amassed 145 penalty minutes to go with 27 goals and 53 points in 65 games with the OHL’s Barrie Colts.

Much like Henrik Samuelsson to his father Ulf, it doesn’t sound like Brendan Lemieux has any issues emulating his father’s style.

He won’t wear the same duds as Claude, at least not to start. His father believes the New Jersey Devils made a mistake passing him up at the very end of the first round, yet Brendan seems most steamed about missing out on the chance to play for the Colorado Avalanche (who chose Conner Bleackley with the 23rd selection instead).

“There were a few teams there that really stung,” Brendan told Puck Daddy. “I’m definitely to love going in their arenas and really making it hard on their guys because they decided to pass me over, so I’m just going to use this as fuel.

“They gave one of the more fiery guys in the draft, I’d like to say, a lot more fire.”

Uh oh, indeed.

Caggiula expected to sign shortly, Canucks could be front-runners

during the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championships at Amalie Arena on April 9, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.The North Dakota Fighting Hawks defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats 5-1 to win the national title. Getty
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College free agent Drake Caggiula is expected to pick a team shortly, possibly even today.

The University of North Dakota winger had originally shortlisted six teams, according to a report. Those teams were Philadelphia, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver, Chicago and Buffalo.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie said this morning on Edmonton radio that the Canucks are “maybe” the front-runners to land the 21-year-old. Vancouver signed Caggiula’s teammate, defenseman Troy Stecher, a couple of weeks ago, and Caggiula’s linemate, Brock Boeser, was drafted by the Canucks in the first round last year.

Recently, Boeser told Postmedia that he was trying to convince Caggiula to sign with Vancouver, where there will be plenty of opportunities for young forwards in the next couple of years.

If it’s not the Canucks, McKenzie said he’s heard the Oilers have a “puncher’s chance” of getting Caggiula.

Vigneault will be behind the Rangers’ bench in 2016-17

New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault runs a practice at NHL hockey training camp Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, in Greenburgh N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
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The New York Rangers may have been bounced in the opening round of the 2016 playoffs, but they aren’t looking to make a coaching change. In a phone interview with Montreal’s LaPresse newspaper, Alain Vigneault confirmed that he’ll be back behind the Rangers’ bench next season.

“I’ve had discussions with the club’s front office and they told me that they wanted me to come back next season,” Vigneault told LaPresse (quotes have been translated by PHT).

Vigneault and Rangers management will meet in Palm Springs next week to discuss what went wrong in 2015-16.

Even though the season didn’t go the way the Rangers had hoped, Vigneault insists he was never worried about losing his job.

“I don’t really worry about that stuff,” Vigneault said of the rumors surrounding his job security. “There’s 82 games in a season plus the playoffs and you can’t start thinking about your fate after each game. After a loss, you forget it and start thinking about the adjustments you need to make. In regards to our situation, we still managed to pick up 101 points this season. That’s a good season, but we still expected more from our team in the playoffs.”

Like every off-season, there will be changes, but Vigneault isn’t expecting any major ones.

“There’s definitely going to be changes. I don’t know if there’ll be big changes because today, it’s hard to make big changes. With the salary cap, it’s not realistic to think that way.”

When pressed about potential changes, Vigneault wasn’t willing to elaborate.

Vigneault also touched on the way Dan Boyle went after two reporters at the team’s year-end media availability. It’s safe to say he wasn’t thrilled about the way the whole thing went down.

“It’s a lesson for me and our whole team,” added Vigneault. “It’s disappointing because Dan had a really nice career. He won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay, but all people will remember him for is this incident. What happened with him really surprised us. It’s too bad. I hope people will remember him for the career he had.”

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight

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The Stanley Cup playoffs continue with one game on Friday night. You can catch tonight’s action via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

Tampa Bay at NY Islanders (7:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 4 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here. The Lightning lead the series 2-1.

Here’s some relevant reading material you might enjoy:

No hearings scheduled for Boyle on Hickey hit, or Hickey on Drouin hit

Lightning take dramatic OT win vs. Islanders, go up 2-1 in series

WATCH LIVE: Canada-USA (IIHF World Hockey Championship)

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A huge tilt on day one of the World Hockey Championships, as Canada and the USA clash in Russia. You can watch the game online using the NBC Sports Live Extra app.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Canada came away with a gold medal in last year’s tournament while the United States took home the bronze. Of course, each team’s roster changes significantly every year.

The USA’s next game is tomorrow against Belarus. Canada will play Sunday against Hungary.