James O'Brien

Guy Boucher Getty

Report: Hynes may be front-runner for Devils job (while Boucher’s out)

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The New Jersey Devils’ pursuit of a new head coach continues, and while they may once again come out and refute the latest reports, it sounds like we can cross off some names and promote another.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that John Hynes (coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) may be the current front-runner. Meanwhile, McKenzie notes that one can probably cross former Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher (pictured) off the list of possible candidates, as it appears that he’ll continue to coach in Switzerland.

That last bit of news may be a bummer to some, as many found some entertainment in hypothesizing about the source of Boucher’s Bond villain-style scar. The guy also tended to make some humorously dramatic facial expressions, as you can see from this post’s main image.

(You could also make a joke about upping the use of the 1-3-1 trap in New Jersey, if you’re into especially nerdy hockey humor.)

Hynes certainly makes sense from a familiarity standpoint, as new Devils GM Ray Shero is quite familiar with him. Beyond that, he’s enjoyed quite a bit of success in the AHL and seemed to have a good chance to nab the Penguins’ gig last summer, at least according to betting odds.

By no means is this official, but McKenzie does discuss what would happen next if the Devils do make the decision:

Report: Islanders will let prospect Russo walk

2011 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits
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The New York Islanders won’t sign prospect Robbie Russo, instead allowing him to become a free agent, according to Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

Russo, 22, was a fourth-round pick (95th overall) in 2011. He just finished up his collegiate career at Notre Dame, where the team viewed the defenseman as a “key catalyst in the Irish attack.”

It seems like Russo is just getting lost in the shuffle, with what was not an especially impressive standing in the Islanders’ defensive prospect ratings at Hockey’s Future. Still, his numbers were solid at Notre Dame (41 points in 40 games last season), so perhaps he’ll draw some interest on the free agent market.

Timonen trade now nets Flyers two second-rounders

kimmotimonen
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Even in a different uniform, it seems like Kimmo Timonen is producing the best results for the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Score points out that the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup Final run bumps a conditional 2016 fourth-round pick involved in the Timonen trade to a second-rounder instead. The deal already included a second-round pick in 2015, so that’s a heck of a haul for the Flyers considering the fact that Timonen was teetering on the brink of retirement all season.

After the 2014-15 campaign ended for Philly, Jakub Voracek and Mark Streit lamented the 40-year’s absence, yet this is an obvious boon for Flyers management.

(Timonen hasn’t exactly been a smash success for the Blackhawks either, despite playing in most of their playoff games so far …)

GM Ron Hextall and the rest of his staff deserve some serious kudos for focusing on the draft as a route of improvement, especially since the team’s past salary cap mistakes limit their ability to make the flashy additions that once seemed like annual occurrences for the franchise.

Just look at how many of their 2015 NHL Draft selections come from other teams (via General Fanager):

source:

Stacking up draft picks diverts from the path of instant gratification, yet it could be a recipe for success, especially if Hextall’s trying to take a page from NFL coach Bill Belichick’s playbook.

It might sting to think of the past, and the present may be a little murky, but it’s refreshing to observe a Flyers GM so focused on the future.

Video: Markstrom’s sick stick save in the AHL

Los Angeles Kings v Vancouver Canucks
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It’s unclear what the future holds for current Vancouver Canucks No. 3 goalie Jacob Markstrom, but at least he’s not hurting his trade value in the AHL.

Feast your eyes on the ridiculous stick save the 25-year-old made for the Utica Comets last night in an AHL conference final match against the Grand Rapids Griffins:

Impressive, right?

The Comets point out that the stop is already in big-time highlight reel rotation.

… While the AHL shared it in GIF form, if that’s your thing:

Of course, whenever Markstrom’s name crops up, people wonder about his future in the Canucks organization. (Their own GM wondered as much, while PHT speculated about the possibility of Markstrom being traded, for instance.)

Canucks Misconduct argued that Eddie Lack may be the one who gets traded, at least if Vancouver makes a movie with its three goalies.

It should be an interesting situation to watch, even if that save video edges it out.

PHT Morning Skate: Sorry, Garth Brooks

50th Academy Of Country Music Awards - Roaming Show
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Tampa Bay Lightning making the 2015 Stanley Cup Final is bad news for New York Rangers and Garth Brooks fans, as those home dates prompted the country music star to cancel three shows in Tampa this coming week. He said he’ll watch the series, though, so that’s good! (Tampa Bay Tribune)

The importance of prospects in building Cup contenders. (The Hockey News)

Emilio Estevez extends his moment back in the Mighty Ducks limelight:

Speaking of Ducks of the past, Teemu Selanne was ready to go before Saturday’s Game 7, apparently:

Quite a few notable people congratulated those involved in the 2015 Memorial Cup Final from Sunday night. Here are a couple highlighted tweets:

(Jeremy Brodeur was the Oshawa Generals’ backup.)

Also: Aww.

Finally, the NHL really nailed this Stanley Cup promo. Wow: