It looks like Brendan Shanahan may be responsible for helping find his replacement at the NHL in a roundabout kind of way.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports Claude Loiselle, recently fired former assistant GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is in line to replace Shanahan as the NHL Vice President of Player Safety. Shanahan left that position to become the President of Hockey Operations with the Maple Leafs.
Loiselle had been with the Leafs since May 2010 joining Brian Burke’s staff in Toronto. He was fired on July 22 to make way for 28-year-old former GM of the Soo Greyhounds, Kyle Dubas.
Should Loiselle take over, he’ll be the man front and center on those suspension videos we’ve come to enjoy. He’d also be the guy responsible for deciding how severely (or not) to punish those who have run afoul of the law on the ice. Perhaps he can try resetting the standard Shanahan initially tried to set when he took over for Colin Campbell.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”
Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.
The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.
“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”
Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.
The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.
If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.