“It’s awfully exciting. I spent a lot of time in juniors, always with an eye on the NHL. Had a chance to start discussing with Mike about the opportunity and couldn’t be happier that my first opportunity is with a guy like Mike. I don’t know if there’s any better guy to start with.”
That was new Red Wings assistant coach Jim Hiller (per MLive.com), talking today about the opportunity he’ll have to work under head coach Mike Babcock in Detroit.
Hiller has already been a successful junior head coach, most recently with WHL Tri-City. The 45-year-old is now hoping to be the next Babcock disciple to learn from one of the most successful bench bosses in the game today, then maybe graduate to a head-coaching job of his own in the NHL, a la Todd McLellan, Paul MacLean, and Bill Peters.
“There’s a reason Mike has done a great job,” said Hiller. “He’s got a great network. He mentors them so we can learn from him. For any coach to be around a guy with his strengths and experience in success only makes you better. That’s what we all want to do as coaches; we want to get better and around Mike you can do that.”
Devin Setoguchi, most recently in Leafs camp on a PTO, has signed with HC Davos of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Tuesday.
Setoguchi, 28, was with Toronto following a summer in which he attended rehab in an effort to get sober and start repairing his reputation which, he admitted in August, had been tarnished.
“The amount of times I’ve let people down, there weren’t a lot of takers on me,” he said, per Sportsnet. “Around the league my word has not really meant much.
“I had gotten to the point where I had diminished any merit I had in the league.”
The decision to go to rehab came after a disappointing ’14-15 campaign in Calgary. Setoguchi appeared went pointless in 12 games, but did reasonably well with the club’s AHL affiliate, scoring 10 points in 19 games.
A former 30-goal scorer, Setoguchi now joins one of Switzerland’s biggest and most prolific clubs. Davos has won 31 NLA titles, and is the league’s reigning champion.
Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.
Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.
(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)
Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.
Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.