Author: Joe Yerdon

Tim Murray

Sabres name Jakubowski assistant general manager

Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray now has someone to work alongside him.

The Sabres announced they’ve hired Mark Jakubowski as the assistant general manager. He has been with the Sabres already for 10 years, six of those as the assistant to the general manager under former GM Darcy Regier. This makes for a solid promotion.

The hiring is a bit curious as Kevin Devine was already the assistant GM, but according to reports he’s still working with the organization and is still listed as assistant GM on the team’s website.

Having more than one assistant GM isn’t necessarily a big deal — take a look at the Pittsburgh Penguins who have three assistant GMs and a President of Hockey Operations to go along with GM Jim Rutherford.

The Sabres also announced they’ve hired Rob Murphy and Greg Royce as the director of scouting and director of amateur scouting respectively. They worked alongside Murray with the Ottawa Senators.

Radulov says he ‘became a hockey player’ under Trotz

Alexander Radulov

One of the things people are anxious to see in the upcoming season is how things will go in Washington between Alex Ovechkin and Barry Trotz.

Trotz has said things might get uncomfortable under his watch as he brings a new culture and more accountability to the table. Could that be trouble for Ovechkin? Not if you asked former Nashville Predator, and his Team Russia teammate, Alexander Radulov.

Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetsky Sport shared a quote from Radulov (via Dmitry Chesnokov) about what he’d tell Ovechkin if he asked about Trotz. Perhaps surprisingly, it’s all good news.

“Bad coaches don’t work at the same club for 15 years.” Radulov told Lysenkov today. “When I came to Nashville Trotz helped me a lot. I learned a lot. I became a hockey player. The coach trusted me, called me up from the minors. I have only the best memories of Trotz. This is a new challenge for him [in Washington]. Life changed, he had to go. But he has a lot of ideas that he will be able to realize in Washington.”

In case you’ve forgotten, things didn’t exactly end well in Nashville for Radulov after the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He and Andrei Kostitsyn were benched by Trotz for violating curfew while in Arizona and it caused a major distraction for the Preds as they were bounced from the Western Conference Semifinals in five games by the Coyotes.

It’d be easy for Radulov to hold it against Trotz for things going badly. Instead, he’s talking him up in a big way. Perhaps things will go just fine in Washington.

Blues lose another forward to KHL

Sergei Andronov

The St. Louis Blues have reportedly lost another forward to the KHL.

According to RSport out of Russia, forward Sergei Andronov has signed with CSKA Moscow. Andronov spent the past two seasons in the Blues farm system with the Peoria Rivermen and Chicago wolves.

In his two AHL seasons, Andronov scored 21 goals with 24 assists over 112 games. He was recalled three times by the Blues last season but did not appear in a game. He was a third-round pick by the team in 2009. Before coming to North America, he played three seasons with CSKA.

The Blues had already lost forward Vladimir Sobotka to the KHL when he signed a deal with Avangard Omsk. Seeing Jori Lehtera bolt the KHL for the Blues hit hard for the Russian league.

Fanspeak: Bobby Hull voted greatest Blackhawk in franchise history

Bobby Hull

This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.

Chicago Blackhawks

1. Bobby Hull — 1,074 votes

2. Stan Mikita — 528 votes

3. Patrick Kane — 320 votes

4. Jeremy Roenick — 225 votes

5. Other — 368 votes

He’s scored the most goals in Chicago Blackhawks history with 604 and he’s second to Stan Mikita in points and games played. Yes, Bobby Hull, “The Golden Jet”, was the icon in Chicago.

With the Blackhawks, he was the first NHL player to score 50 goals in 1960 and led them to the Stanley Cup in 1961. He also led the NHL in goals seven times before parting ways with Chicago rather acrimoniously to play for the Winnipeg Jets in the WHA. Check out what Hull told Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post in 2010 about how the older Bobby Hull would’ve advised the younger him.

“Um, I would have to say, ‘You’re backed in a corner, son. Go to it.’ That’s exactly what happened. [Chicago] backed me into a corner, they never offered me a contract while they were off floating around in their 110-foot ship in the Caribbean. They didn’t seem like my 15 years of blood, sweat and tears for them made any difference. They pissed me off, a few years before that, on a number of occasions.”

Despite the ugly parting, he’s a man forever etched into the memories of Blackhawks fans for what he did to electrify the city in the 60s and 70s.

Considering all the success the team has had in the past few years, you’d think Kane or Jonathan Toews would’ve earned a few more votes, but it looks like hardcore ‘Hawks fans did their part to recognize the all-time greats.

Trottier, Irbe highlight Ted Nolan’s Sabres coaching staff

Ted Nolan, Darcy Burchell

Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Nolan has filled out his coaching staff and it has a few familiar faces on it.

The Sabres announced they have hired Bryan Trottier, Danny Flynn, Tom Coolen as assistant coaches and Arturs Irbe as the goalie coach. As you might expect, Nolan is excited about the group he’s put together.

“I’m very happy with the group of talented hockey minds we were able to assemble for our coaching staff,” Nolan said. “Each one of these coaches brings an extensive and different background from the hockey world and I’m confident they will help get our team to where it needs to go this season.”

Trottier we’d heard rumors about him being brought on board from before. Same goes for Flynn, as Bill Hoppe at Buffalo Hockey Beat shared, who once worked with Nolan in junior hockey with the Soo Greyhounds and Moncton Wildcats.

Coolen was a part of Nolan’s staff with Team Latvia and was also a former head coach in Moncton, as Willy Pavlov at The Chronicle Herald shared.

Irbe should be familiar to NHL fans. He spent 13 seasons in the NHL most famously with the San Jose Sharks and Carolina Hurricanes. He led the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup Final in 2002 before losing to the Detroit Red Wings. He was also the Washington Capitals’ goalie coach from 2009-2011 where he worked with current Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth.