Jason Brough

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Coyotes part ways with Shane Doan

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Shane Doan‘s Arizona Coyotes career is over.

As first reported by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Coyotes informed Doan over the weekend of their decision to part ways.

Shortly after the report, Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway released the following statement:

“After serious consideration, we have decided to not offer Shane Doan a contract for the upcoming season. The time has come for us to move on and to focus on our young, talented group of players and our very bright future. This was a very difficult decision given what Shane has done for the Coyotes and his unparalleled importance to the organization. With that said, this is necessary to move us forward as a franchise.

“On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to sincerely thank Shane for everything he’s done for the Coyotes on and off the ice the past 21 years. Shane is a Valley icon who had an incredible career and was one of the best captains to ever play in the NHL.

“Shane deserves an enormous amount of credit for keeping the Coyotes in the Valley and for growing the game of hockey in Arizona. He is beloved by our fans, corporate partners and the media and has been a tremendous leader for us in the community, and a great role model for kids. We wish him and his family all the best in the future. He will be a member of our Pack forever.”

What happens next for the 40-year-old forward remains to be seen.

Doan has been with the same franchise his entire NHL career. He was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in 1995, then moved with the team to Arizona in 1996. Over 21 seasons, he’s appeared in over 1,500 regular-season games, plus 55 more in the playoffs.

Earlier this month, his agent said he was  “leaning toward” playing another year. However, it wasn’t clear if that meant he’d be willing to do so with another team.

This past season, Doan had just six goals in 74 games for the Coyotes.

He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

According to Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports, the Coyotes will name Oliver Ekman-Larsson as their next captain.

Doan has been the captain since 2003.

NHL to reveal 2017-18 schedule on Thursday

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Alex Ovechkin thought the NHL was bluffing about not going to the 2018 Olympics.

“Next year’s schedule is not out there yet,” the Russian superstar said in April after the league announced its intention to finalize the schedule without any break for the Games in South Korea.

After all, four years ago, the NHL delayed the release of the 2013-14 schedule before striking a deal to send NHLers to Sochi.

Alas, the 2017-18 schedule will be out there Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. The reveal will be televised by NHL Network, the league announced today.

It will be hard to strike an Olympic deal after that. All the arenas will be booked, and teams will start planning their trips and reserving their hotels, if they haven’t started already.

In other words, it may really be time for everyone to accept that, for the first time since 1994, the Winter Olympics won’t have NHLers in it.

Related: ‘No possibility’ 2018 All-Star Game will be canceled for Olympics

Evander Kane hopes he’s still in Buffalo next season

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Evander Kane has heard the rumors, and knows he could be traded.

But in an interview Friday with the Vancouver Province, the Buffalo Sabres winger said he isn’t hoping for another change of scenery.

“I’m getting prepared to start another NHL season,” said Kane. “Hopefully it’s in Buffalo.”

Kane has one year left on his contract before he can become an unrestricted free agent. Still only 25, and coming off a 28-goal season, he won’t be cheap for the Sabres to keep.

On top of that, Kane could be used as a chip to bolster Buffalo’s much-maligned blue line. And with the charges from last summer’s bar incident having been dropped, his trade value may be higher than it’s been in quite some time.

Kane is eligible to sign an extension with the Sabres on July 1. That could be the moment of truth for both sides.

Related: What will the Sabres do with Evander Kane?

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame announces Class of 2017

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Congratulations to Kevin Collins, Jack Parker, Ben Smith, Ron Wilson and Scott Young, all five of whom will be enshrined into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

From USA Hockey’s announcement:

Officiating at the highest levels of hockey for parts of four decades, Kevin Collins (Springfield, Mass.) became one of the game’s most respected officials, accumulating a résumé that includes more than 2,000 NHL games as a linesman. His 296 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs rank as the most by an American official.

A legendary figure in American hockey, Jack Parker (Somerville, Mass.) coached 1,484 games at the NCAA Division I level with Boston University over 40 seasons and won 897 of them, amassing a .643 winning percentage, three national championships, 11 conference titles and 21 Beanpot Tournament crowns.

Ben Smith (Gloucester, Mass.) served as head coach of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team in 1998, 2002 and 2006, leading Team USA to the first-ever gold medal in women’s hockey at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games

Ron Wilson (Bluffton, S.C.), the all-time winningest American head coach in National Hockey League history, amassed 648 regular-season coaching victories, 48 wins in the Stanley Cup playoffs and an Eastern Conference championship with the Washington Capitals in 1998. On four occasions, Wilson piloted his teams to more than 100 regular-season points.

Scott Young (Clinton, Mass.) spent 17 successful seasons playing in the National Hockey League, winning two Stanley Cup championships (1991-Pittsburgh, 1996-Colorado) while amassing 342 goals and 415 assists in 1,181 regular-season games. The former Boston University Terrier ranks No. 15 among all American players in NHL games played, No. 12 in goals and No. 20 in points.

The Class of 2017 will be inducted later this year. The date of the ceremony will be announced during the summer.

Smith no ‘consolation prize,’ says Flames GM

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Mike Smith is 35 years old and hasn’t put up super impressive numbers for a few years now.

But according to Calgary’s general manager, Smith was the best goalie the Flames could’ve got

“Mike Smith is not a consolation prize,” said Brad Treliving, per the Calgary Sun. “We scoured the market and looked at every goaltender out there and we felt this was the best fit.”

And yet, there have been reports that the Flames pursued Ben Bishop, who went to Dallas, and Marc-Andre Fleury, who’s apparently off to Vegas. Hearing those reports, one naturally wonders where Smith ranked on Treliving’s initial list.

Granted, Smith is only signed for two more years, and the Coyotes are retaining a quarter of his $5.7 million cap hit. So even if he doesn’t work out, it’s not like the situation Dallas will be in if Bishop’s six-year, $29 million contract turns into an anchor.

Still, after making it back to the playoffs in 2017, the Flames should enter next season with reasonably high expectations.

There’s also a certain level of urgency, what with their captain and best defenseman, Mark Giordano, turning 34 in October.

In other words, the Flames’ goaltending better be good next season. Otherwise, it’s going to get quite uncomfortable for Treliving.