Author: Jason Brough

Doug Wilson

Wilson safe in San Jose; Carlyle the next coach?


In case it wasn’t obvious earlier this week when he was entrusted to hold a press conference and talk about the future of the team, San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson will be back next season.

From CSN Bay Area:

On Thursday, team owner Hasso Plattner issued a lengthy, and at times vague letter to fans, in which he touched on a number of topics regarding his club that missed the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons.

Although it wasn’t explicitly worded, according to a Sharks source, the letter partly serves as an endorsement for Wilson to return as the team’s top hockey executive for a 13th year.

Obviously, Wilson has some work to do this summer. At the top of the list is hiring a new coach to replace Todd McLellan.

Speaking of which…

San Jose also has eight picks in the upcoming draft, including the ninth overall selection.

The Sharks haven’t had a top-10 draft pick since they took Logan Couture ninth overall in 2007.

Kunitz family nanny accused of stealing jewelry

Chris Kunitz

From WPXI in Pittsburgh:

The family of one of the top players for the Pittsburgh Penguins fell victim to theft by someone whom they knowingly let into their home, authorities said.

Andrea Forsythe, 26, who worked as a nanny for Chris Kunitz and his family, has been charged with theft.

Police said Forsythe stole a pair of diamond earrings from the Kunitz’s Collier Township home and then sold them at a jewelry store in Robinson Township months later.

Click here for the video report of the story. It sounds like Forsythe is more than an alleged jewelry thief. She’s also been accused of fraud and arson.

(Video) PHT Extra: Blues get big win, but pressure’s still on

St. Louis Blues v Minnesota Wild - Game Four
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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — they may not get a ton of national attention, but the St. Louis Blues have one of the most tortured fan bases in all of North American pro sports.

From Bernie Federko to Brett Hull to Al MacInnis and even (briefly) Wayne Gretzky, the franchise has not lacked for great players since entering the league in 1967. Yet the Blues are still searching for their first Stanley Cup.

Couple the franchise’s long history of postseason disappointment with the first-round losses they’ve suffered the past two years and the Blues entered these playoffs with arguably the most pressure of any of the 16 teams participating.

That’s why last night’s win in Minnesota was so huge.

We discuss:

Related: Columnist says if Blues lose to Wild, there should be ‘consequences’

Hal Gill has retired

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers - Game Five

After 16 seasons and 1,108 NHL games with six different teams, defenseman Hal Gill has retired.

“I am so thankful to have played for such great organizations,” said Gill, 40, in an NHLPA release.

“I was lucky to have made amazing friendships throughout my career and live in so many beautiful cities. I would like to thank the fans for their support, the coaches for their direction, the team staffs for their efforts, and most of all, my teammates for their camaraderie (and keeping me in line).”

Gill also played 111 playoff games, winning a Stanley Cup with the 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins.

A Boston draft pick in 1993, the Providence College product played for the Bruins, Maple Leafs, Penguins, Canadiens, Predators and Flyers.

Related: Hal Gill is funny

Facing elimination, Canucks turn to Ryan Miller

Ryan Miller, Mason Raymond

Two periods of “clean” and “calm” goaltending have earned Ryan Miller the start for the Vancouver Canucks when they try to stave off elimination tonight against the Flames.

Miller replaced Eddie Lack Tuesday, stopping all 15 shots he faced in the 3-1 loss.

“He’s been in big games before, but the biggest thing is how he played in Calgary. I thought he looked really sharp,” Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said this morning.

“He just made some clean saves. They had some good chances. We were pressing, so we gave up some clear-cut chances, and I thought he was really clean on quite a few of his saves. And he looked calm, too.”

The risk is that Miller has only played five periods of hockey since getting hurt in February. The 34-year-old conceded yesterday that he was still recovering from the sprained knee he suffered on Long Island two months ago.

And certainly Lack has not been the reason Vancouver finds itself trailing the series 3-1. Only one of the three goals he surrendered in Game 4 — the third one, by Sam Bennett — could be categorized as bad.

Desjardins said it wasn’t an easy decision.

“Eddie’s played really great for us,” he said. “He did a great job down the stretch.”

But now it’s up to Miller, the free agent the Canucks signed to a three-year, $18 million contract this past summer.

“I think playoffs always comes down to goaltending,” said Desjardins. “If you get great goaltending, you always have a chance.”

Related: Baertschi to play Game 5; Burrows out for series