Cam Tucker

OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC - MAY 14:  Julian Walker (2ndR) of Switzerland and his team-mates look dejected after the IIHF World Championship quaterfinal match between USA and Switzerland at CEZ Arena on May 14, 2015 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.  (Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images)
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Former Coyote Fischer gets two-year extension as Swiss national team coach

The Swiss Ice Hockey Federation has given its national team head coach Patrick Fischer a two-year contract extension, the IIHF announced Sunday.

“To be national coach is a challenge I face with pleasure. I’m extremely motivated to continue to be head coach of this team,” said Fischer, the former Coyotes forward, in a statement.

The announcement comes a month after Switzerland placed sixth in the Group A standings with two wins — one in regulation — in seven preliminary round games at the 2016 world hockey championship.

Fischer, 40, was named coach of the Swiss national team in December, replacing Glen Hanlon, who is now GM of the WHL’s Vancouver Giants.

Fischer played 27 NHL games for the Coyotes in 2006-07, scoring four goals and 10 points.

Christian Wohlwend was also signed to a two-year contract as head coach for the Swiss U20 team.

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    Report: Panthers close to long-term deal with Trocheck

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24:  Vincent Trocheck #21 of the Florida Panthers skates against the New York Islanders in Game Six of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Barclays Center on April 24, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders won the game 2-1 in double overtime to win the series four games to two.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    The Florida Panthers have been active since their off-season began, clearing cap space with the trades of Erik Gudbranson and Marc Savard‘s contract to New Jersey on Friday.

    As a result, there could be some big deals in the works.

    That includes closing in on a long-term contract for pending restricted free agent forward Vincent Trocheck, who enjoyed a breakout 2015-16 season, as per George Richards of the Miami Herald.

    The 22-year-old Trocheck scored 25 goals and 53 points in 76 regular season games, with 2.89 goals-for per 60 minutes and 1.83 goals-against per 60 minutes at even strength. His possession numbers — 51.3 per cent Corsi For at five-on-five, as per — were solid, too.

    His production should lead to a substantial raise from the $2.775 million total value for his three-year entry-level contract.

    His play throughout the season also left quite an impression on his teammates, including Jaromir Jagr, who knows a thing or two about leaving a strong impression on the ice.

    “He was our best player for a long time,” said Jagr at the end of March, when Trocheck went down with an apparent foot injury that forced him to miss the remainder of the regular season and reduced his time in the playoffs to just two games of the opening round.

    That says something for a young player on a team that includes more seasoned stars like Jagr and Roberto Luongo, and youthful talents like Aaron Ekblad, Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov.

    Blue Jackets prospects Bjorkstrand, Werenski cap Calder Cup playoffs in style

    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31:  Oliver Bjorkstrand #28 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on March 31, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Blkue Jackets 4-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    The Lake Erie Monsters captured the AHL’s Calder Cup on Saturday, and it was a pair of highly touted Columbus Blue Jackets prospects that combined for the overtime winning goal.

    Oliver Bjorkstrand, taken in the third round of the 2013 draft, scored the winner on a scramble with only two seconds remaining in the first overtime. Zach Werenski, the Blue Jackets’ prized eighth overall pick last year, had the second assist.

    Both cap the AHL post-season in style, and they did so with the Blue Jackets brass in attendance for the clincher.

    Bjorkstrand was named the most valuable player when it was over, after scoring 10 goals and 16 points in the post-season. Werenski, who is still only 18 years old and only made the jump to the AHL on an ATO in March, played at nearly a point-per-game pace in the playoffs, with 14 points in 17 games.

    “He’s doing a little bit of everything,” Monsters head coach Jared Bednar said of Werenski in May. “The skill set he has: his size, strength and poise with the puck, he’s a complete player. To be able to step into our lineup in intense games and get the job done, it’s impressive especially for his age and that’s why everyone’s so excited about him.

    “He’s a young guy. He’s going to grow a lot, but right now, to be able to do what he’s doing at this level at this time of year is pretty impressive.”

    Court upholds $3M verdict for Gordie Howe just before he passed on

    Antti Niemi
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    DETROIT (AP) A day before Gordie Howe’s death, the Michigan appeals court upheld a $3 million verdict in his favor in a lawsuit over the loss of tapes, videos and personal documents belonging to the Hall of Fame hockey player.

    Howe and an affiliated company, Power Play International, had sued former managers over the failure to return certain possessions. Truckloads of merchandise and memorabilia were returned in 2008. But the Howe family learned that more than 1,000 videos, compact discs and DVDs had been destroyed.

    The managers claimed destruction was part of an earlier agreement. But a suburban Detroit jury in 2013 awarded $3 million to Howe and Power Play.

    In a 3-0 decision Thursday, the appeals court said there was no “reasonable excuse” for the destruction. Howe died Friday.

    A key defendant in the lawsuit, Del Reddy, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015.

    Lake Erie Monsters bring the Calder Cup back to Cleveland

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    The Lake Erie Monsters capped off a dominant AHL post-season with a Calder Cup championship on Saturday, thanks to a thrilling 1-0 overtime win over the Hershey Bears.

    Oliver Bjorkstrand scored on a scramble in front with two seconds remaining in the first overtime period to lift the Monsters to a series sweep of the Bears. Lake Erie, AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, finished the playoffs with an overall record of 15-2.

    That includes nine straight wins.

    The Monsters triumphed on home ice in front of a massive crowd of 19,665 fans at Quicken Loans Arena.

    Despite the loss, Bears goalie Justin Peters was sensational as this game turned into a classic goalie duel. He made several key saves, including an amazing desperation stick save on Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano in the second period.

    At the other end, Anton Forsberg wasn’t quite as busy, facing 23 shots, but he was also strong, particularly in overtime when the Bears pressed for the winner to extend the series.

    Related: One win away from Calder Cup, Lake Erie has ‘everybody under contract’ in Columbus on notice