Cam Tucker

Sharks’ Hertl says he won’t require surgery for injured right knee

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Specifics about the knee injury that kept Tomas Hertl out of the last four games of the Stanley Cup Final haven’t been revealed, but it appears he won’t have to undergo surgery, according to multiple reports Monday.

The 22-year-old Hertl had been enjoying an impressive post-season performance, playing on a line with Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton.

However, he was hurt on a Patric Hornqvist hit late in Game 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and didn’t play another game in the series.

From CSN Bay Area:

Tomas Hertl doesn’t need surgery on the injured right knee that kept him out of the final four games of the Stanley Cup Final. The 22-year-old, wearing a large brace, limped his way into the dressing room on Monday to speak with the media on team getaway day.

Hertl said that he suffered the injury late in Game 2 of the series in Pittsburgh after a run-in with Patric Hornqvist with approximately five minutes left in the third period.

In 20 post-season games, Hertl scored six goals and had 11 points.

The Sharks were never able to cope with the speed of the Penguins, who had dominant stretches throughout the series before winning the Stanley Cup in six games.

Reports: Randy Carlyle expected to return to Anaheim as Ducks new coach

MONTREAL, CANADA - MARCH 3:  Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Randy Carlyle speaks to the media during a press conference to introduce him at the Bell Centre on March 3, 2012 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
AP Photo

Randy Carlyle is returning to coach the Anaheim Ducks, the team he won a Stanley Cup with in 2007, according to two reports Monday evening.

The Ducks have not yet made an official announcement.

Carlyle was into his seventh season as head coach of the Ducks when he was let go in 2011. His second season as bench boss in Anaheim proved to be his most successful, as the Ducks won the Stanley Cup after boasting a 48-20-14 regular season record.

Despite a championship in Anaheim, Carlyle endured plenty of difficult times as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs before he was fired in January, 2015. Sure, he was behind the bench when the Leafs made it back to the playoffs in 2013. But their foray back into the post-season ended with a Game 7 third-period collapse to the Boston Bruins in the opening round.

They never made it back.

From Sportsnet after Carlyle was fired:

Last season the Leafs laid claim to one of the worst defensive efforts in NHL history. The number of shots they allowed rivaled that of expansion teams like the 1973-74 Islanders, the ’74-75 Capitals and the ’92-93 Sharks.

Despite all the off-season discussion of change with new coaches, shifts in systems, and a revamped supporting cast, this year’s Leafs are actually doing worse defensively than they did last season. And Carlyle has now paid the price.

The timing of this news is interesting, after Ryan Kesler recently sounded off on the type of coach he felt the Ducks needed to hire after letting Bruce Boudreau go after a first-round exit.

During the second lockout, Kesler, then a Canucks prospect, had a 30-goal season with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, coached at that time by Carlyle.

“We just need a good bench coach, a coach that does things on the fly and makes changes during the game and not just between periods,” Kesler said earlier this month. “We need a coach that holds everybody accountable — not just certain guys. We need a coach to come in and just be a good motivator and do what a coach does.”

Carlyle has long had a reputation for being a demanding coach. That style seems to have worked against him in the past, including while he was in Anaheim.

Carlyle once told the CBC of his time in Anaheim: “Some of things that took place with our team in Anaheim should have been [dealt with] outside the scrutiny of the media. If I was unhappy with what was happening at practice I stopped the drill and expressed myself in a way in which everybody in the building heard versus keeping it more private between yourself and the players.”


Report: Canucks assistant Gulutzan one of three finalists for Flames coaching job

Glen Gulutzan, Willie Desjardins, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Alex Burrows, Linden Vey
AP Photo

With the Stanley Cup Final now completed, a pair of Western Conference teams appear closer to hiring new head coaches with the draft approaching.

“That’s coming to a conclusion here rather quickly. We’re hopeful to have that buttoned down fairly soon,” said Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving. “We’re down to the short strokes right now.”

According to a report on Monday, Vancouver Canucks assistant coach Glen Gulutzan, who interviewed for the gig in Calgary, is one of three finalists for the Flames coaching position.

Prior to joining the Canucks, Gulutzan was head coach of the Dallas Stars for two seasons.

Related: Two weeks before the draft, still no head coach in Calgary or Anaheim



Penguins to hold Stanley Cup parade on Wednesday


Hockey fans in Pittsburgh partied into the night Sunday, as their Penguins captured the 2016 Stanley Cup.

They’ll have another chance to celebrate, as the Penguins have their Stanley Cup parade scheduled for Wednesday.

Here are the details:

The parade route will follow a similar route as previous championship parades that took place in 2009. The route will begin on Grant Street at Liberty Avenue, travel along Grant Street to the Boulevard of the Allies, turn right onto the Boulevard of the Allies and will end at the intersection of the Boulevard of the Allies and Stanwix Street. A stage will be set up at Stanwix Street for celebratory remarks from Pittsburgh Penguins personnel.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the city is expecting a crowd of more than 375,000 for the parade.

“Given the level of enthusiasm that Pittsburgh fans have presented so far we’re expecting the crowd to be larger that what appeared in 2009,” Katie O’Malley, spokeswoman for Mayor Bill Peduto, told the Tribune-Review.


Stanley Cup winners again, Penguins have a shot at lengthy run at the top


PITTSBURGH — When the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2009, a dynasty appeared to be in the offing. It didn’t quite work out that way. Injuries and inconsistent postseason play sent the franchise into a full-fledged identity crisis.

The long, seemingly interminable wait for Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to bookend the championship the helped capture seven years ago came to a blissful, euphoric end on Sunday night in San Jose. Their six-game triumph over the Sharks in the final capped a meteoric six-month sprint under Mike Sullivan, whose arrival in mid-December provided the wake-up call the talented but erratic roster desperately needed.

“It’s not an easy win in this league,” Malkin said. “Every team in the league deserves to win. We play against San Jose and they haven’t won in 25 years. It’s not easy.”

Maybe, but for the Penguins the path might be smoother than most. The group that poured over the boards and onto the ice when the horn sounded at the end of a 100-game plus marathon that spanned from September to June appears to be well-appointed for the future thanks to a series of moves by general manager Jim Rutherford to build around his two stars.

Oddsmakers made Pittsburgh an early favorite to win it all again next year, heady territory considering there hasn’t been a repeat champion in nearly two decades. Then again, there’s reason to be optimistic the run at the top that seemed a near certainty in 2009 could still come to fruition, if later than expected.


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On the evolution of Crosby, Pittsburgh’s ‘consummate leader’

The core of Crosby, Malkin, forward Phil Kessel and defensemen Kris Letang and Olli Maatta are all 30 or under and all signed through at least 2022. Goaltender Matt Murray – whose 15 wins in the playoffs tied an NHL rookie record – turned 22 last month. Young forwards Bryan Rust, Conor Sheary and Tom Kuhnhackl are in their mid-20s. Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Patric Hornqvist will be back.

So will Sullivan, who began the season molding prospects for Pittsburgh’s American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He ended it posing at center ice with his sport’s biggest trophy as the centerpiece after taking the pieces given to him by Rutherford and creating a relentless, swarming team that often tilted the ice for long stretches.

“We felt as though, if we were a team that could play fast in every aspect of the game, it could be our competitive advantage on some of our opponents,” Sullivan said. “I thought Jim Rutherford did a tremendous job in acquiring some guys along the way that enhanced that speed for us.”

The only real questions heading into the offseason surround goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and forward Matt Cullen.

Fleury kept the Penguins afloat early in the season, then played the role of dutiful mentor to Murray after a concussion suffered on March 31 limited him to one playoff appearance, an overtime loss to Tampa Bay in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. Fleury has three years left on a deal with an average cap hit of $5.75 million, a high price to pay for a player who just watched his backup backstop the team to its fourth title.

Rutherford insists Fleury remains a part of the team’s future, though Fleury acknowledged at times during the playoffs he wasn’t sure what the future will hold. Ditto the 39-year-old Cullen, who pledged that this season would be his last. It’s hard to imagine finding a sweeter way to go out than skating around with the Cup. Yet he also looked and played like a guy a decade younger, and he didn’t miss a game in the regular season or playoffs.

For now, the chance to savor a triumph few saw coming when Sullivan took over is enough

“It’s pretty amazing,” Cullen said. “We went through an awful lot this year and we really became a close knit group. It was pretty cool how everybody seemed to play a special part as we went through the end of the year and into the playoffs. Everybody shares a big piece of it. It’s truly a team win.”

As if to emphasize the point, the first Penguins outside of Crosby to lift the Cup on Sunday night were those who played a vital role in the run but didn’t play a minute during the final, going from injured defenseman Trevor Daley to retired forward Pascal Dupuis to Fleury.

“It took everybody to get this,” said Crosby, who earned the Conn Smythe as the playoff MVP.

And it will almost certainly take everybody to get back. The Penguins are optimistic but also pragmatic. They know 2009 was supposed to be the first of many, which is maybe why they didn’t cherish it as much as they should have. They have no plans to make the same mistake this time around.

“It’s a great year,” said Malkin, who welcomed a son last month. “I have lots of emotion, I’m glad the season is over like this. It’s going to be a great summer.”