Author: Jason Brough

Mike Santorelli

Santorelli would sign with Canucks: agent


Not even 30 years old, Mike Santorelli has already played for five NHL teams.

In fact, the 29-year-old has bounced around so much that he just finished his second stint with one of those teams, the Nashville Predators.

According to his agent, he’d consider a second stint with another of his former teams, the Vancouver Canucks, when he officially becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

“I’m sure he would — he loved playing for his hometown team,” J.P. Barry told News 1130 Sports.

Santorelli, a Vancouver native, had 10 goals and 18 assists in 49 games for the Canucks in 2013-14. But despite “100 percent” wanting to stay in Vancouver, he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Maple Leafs this past summer, as the Canucks lacked a roster spot for the versatile center.

The Canucks may have room now, however, as Brad Richardson and Shawn Matthias are both pending UFAs. And while Henrik Sedin, Nick Bonino, and Bo Horvat are all expected to play center next season, 23-year-old Linden Vey failed to prove he can be an effective, everyday NHL center this past season.

That’s not to say the Canucks will definitely have an interest in Santorelli, but if they can get him for a hometown discount, it may be something they consider.

Related: They were chanting Mike Santorelli’s name last night in Vancouver

PHT arrives in Tampa, gets soaked (oh, and today is Media Day)


So Halford and I arrived in Tampa yesterday. Within hours of our arrival, we learned about Florida thunderstorms:


Lesson learned. Take taxis everywhere.

Anyway, today is Media Day. Both teams will be available for interviews in the concourse area of Amalie Arena.

Among the themes that will probably be pursued by the throng of reporters:

— How the Blackhawks would cement their dynasty status with a victory, making it three Stanley Cups in six years. A pretty tough thing to do in the salary-cap era.

— How the Blackhawks, whether they win or lose, will face a number of tough choices this offseason.

— Is Duncan Keith tired yet? No? …….. OK, how about now?

— How the Lightning have achieved so much with such a young roster. According to the NHL’s media website, Tampa Bay’s average age is 25.6 (compared to Chicago at 28.0).

— How the Lightning will have their own tough choices to make over the next few years. Steven Stamkos can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, Victor Hedman the summer after that. Can they sign those two and keep the “Triplets” too?

People are starting to wonder what’s going on with Claude Julien

Claude Julien

It’s not everyday that ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun goes on a rant, so we thought we’d share an excerpt from his latest blog post, about the Boston Bruins and the decision they still haven’t made about head coach Claude Julien:

I agreed with the Bruins’ original decision after Peter Chiarelli was fired to wait until a new general manager was hired to decide Julien’s fate. That makes sense to me.

And certainly had a new GM been hired from the outside, you would understand that he would need some time to get to know Julien before making a decision.

But the fact that the GM was an in-house promotion — and I think Don Sweeney is going to be a very good GM — what’s the wait now? What does Sweeney not know about Julien now that he didn’t know for the past eight years Julien has been behind the Bruins’ bench?

I mean, it’s getting to the point where it’s almost unfair. Make a decision, fire him or keep him, but decide already.

For the record, Sweeney said last Wednesday that he didn’t want to rush his decision on Julien.

“I have some things that I want to sit down with Claude and go through in a very orderly fashion, as to where I think things need to change, and what direction we need to change as a group,” he said.

“So it’s just about lining up philosophical approaches that I believe in, that he believes in, and that we can move the group forward.”

But that was nine days ago. And as LeBrun points out, Sweeney and Julien have been in the Bruins organization for years and years together. It’s not like they had to get to know each other.

Anyway, it’s unlikely we’ll have to wait much longer for the B’s to make their decision public. We’ll be surprised if they don’t make an announcement in the off days leading up to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, which is scheduled for Wednesday.

Related: Sweeney won’t make ‘impetuous’ decision on Julien’s future