Author: Jason Brough

New York Islander Training Camp

Flyers hire Scott Gordon to coach AHL team

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The Philadelphia Flyers have hired Scott Gordon to coach their AHL affiliate, the club announced today.

Gordon, last employed as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs, will be the new bench boss of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

“We are extremely pleased to add Scott to our organization as head coach of our top affiliate in the Lehigh Valley,” said Flyers GM Ron Hextall in a release. “He brings in a proven track record of success and knowledge as a coach at all levels, and we are confident he can help develop our prospects through our system, as well as lead the Phantoms back to the Calder Cup playoffs.”

A former head coach of the Islanders, Gordon was fired by the Leafs in May of 2014, at the same time Randy Carlyle’s contract was extended.

With the Flyers vowing to focus more on drafting and developing, Gordon’s job will be an important one.

Terry Murray had coached the Phantoms for the last three seasons, but he left last month to take a spot on Dan Bylsma’s staff in Buffalo.

Related: Fired Leafs assistant coach blames complacency of players

The Kostitsyn brothers sign with KHL team

Nashville Predators v Carolina Hurricanes
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The Kostitsyn brothers are reuniting in Russia.

According to Igor Eronko of Sport-Express, both Andrei and Sergei have signed contracts with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod of the KHL.

There had been talk the Kostitsyns could be back in North America next season. Sergei, 28, was reportedly nearing a deal with an NHL team, while Andrei, 30, wanted the same thing.

Torpedo is the same club that just signed Rangers RFA Carl Klingberg.

The Kostistyns were last teammates with the Nashville Predators.

Update:

Related: Apparently Sergei Kostitsyn doesn’t like living in North America

Coyotes hire John Slaney as assistant coach

Philadelphia Flyers v Washington Capitals
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The Arizona Coyotes have hired John Slaney to be an assistant coach on Dave Tippett’s staff.

“We are pleased to add John to our coaching staff,” said GM Don Maloney in a release. “John has done a good job developing our young prospects in the American Hockey League and he will continue to do similar work here in Arizona.”

Slaney has spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach with the Portland Pirates, formerly the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate.

A former first-round pick of the Capitals, Slaney played 268 career NHL games with seven different teams, but is still perhaps best known for the goal he scored for Canada versus the USSR at the 1991 World Juniors.

source:

Hamhuis, Vrbata will not sign extensions this summer

Columbus Blue Jackets v Vancouver Canucks
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With many predicting the Vancouver Canucks will be hard-pressed to get back to the playoffs next season, will defenseman Dan Hamhuis and winger Radim Vrbata be up for grabs at the 2016 trade deadline?

As of today, it’s certainly possible. GM Jim Benning has confirmed that both veterans — the former a 2014 Olympic gold-medal winner with Team Canada, the latter an NHL all-star last year — will enter next season as pending unrestricted free agents.

“We’re going to go into the season and see how it goes,” Benning said, per The Province. “We’ve touched base with their agents a little, but we’ll see how it plays out.”

The Canucks have other pending UFAs — Yannick Weber, Brandon Prust, and Matt Bartkowski — that could fetch them draft picks or prospects at the deadline. Alex Burrows, Chris Higgins, Jannik Hansen, and Nick Bonino could all theoretically be moved too. Such is the outlook in Vancouver that some are wondering if the Sedins should be traded.

As Benning said, it will all depend on “how it plays out.”

After winning 2C audition, Kuznetsov aiming to ‘play better’

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers
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Less than a year ago, the Washington Capitals had no idea who would be their second-line center.

They know now.

It’s Evgeny Kuznetsov, the talented 23-year-old Russian who just signed a two-year extension with the club.

“I played good hockey but I have to play better,” Kuznetsov said, per CSN Washington. “I’ll try to focus on my game and what the coach tells me. If everybody does the right job probably something good will happen.”

Next season, the Caps could have a first line comprised of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie, and a second line featuring Kuznetsov between Andre Burakovsky and Justin Williams.

“[Kuznetsov] filled a hole at second-line center that we’ve been trying to fill for a number of years,” Caps general manager Brian MacLellan said in May.

With a defense headlined by John Carlson and Matt Niskanen, and with Braden Holtby in goal, you’ll excuse Caps fans for finding it difficult to contain their excitement.

Related: Caps landing ‘affordable’ Williams a sign of the new free agency