Frank Corrado, Sam Gagner.

Gagner’s goal in Arizona: prove people wrong


In what amounted to a three-team trade, the rumors finally came true, as Sam Gagner was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to (eventually) the Arizona Coyotes. It’s actually kind of hard to believe Gagner is only 24, as it seems like he’s been criticized – and dangled in hypothetical trades – for years.

The Arizona Republic reports that those criticisms serve as a driving force for Gagner:

“It’s not about what people say or what I say about my game,” Gagner said. “It’s about going out there and proving it on a consistent basis. I’m excited to prove some people wrong next year, and I feel like I have a great opportunity to do that in Phoenix and it should be a lot of fun.”

Coyotes GM Don Maloney didn’t really spurn or encourage Gagner’s critics. If anything, he indicated that the franchise believes they (or maybe more precisely, renowned head coach Dave Tippett) can “fix” his problems.

“Really, if you ask me how is he on his defensive-zone coverage, don’t ask me,” Maloney said. “We got him for his offensive instincts and creativity. Players can learn to play better defense. It’s very difficult to learn to be more intelligent and more creative.”

The Coyotes can certainly use that creativity after losing Radim Vrbata to free agency and buying out Mike Ribeiro.

After years of being lost in the shuffle with all the No. 1 picks in Edmonton, Gagner is now one of the most explosive offensive players on the Coyotes roster. From the sound of things, Arizona will give him every chance to prove his critics wrong next season.

No hearing scheduled for Burmistrov after Bergeron headshot

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Winnipeg forward Alex Burmistrov isn’t in line for a disciplinary hearing for his elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman confirmed to PHT.

Burmistrov was tagged with an illegal check to the head minor late in the first period. Bergeron received a minor roughing penalty for retaliating on the Russian forward, but was able to finish the contest.

Afterward, B’s head coach Claude Julien expressed frustration with the hit.

“It will be interesting how that is being reviewed, and especially to an elite player in the league who’€™s had some [concussion] issues in the past,” Julien said, per WEEI. “I hope they look at it seriously. In my mind, I don’€™t see why there wouldn’t be further consequences [for] that.”

Bergeron said that, while it was “definitely a hit to the head,” Burmistrov did come up to him afterward and apologized.

According to sources of CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Burmistrov received a warning from the Department of Player Safety.


After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.