Author: Joe Yerdon

Claude Julien

Bruins coach Julien conflicted by hybrid icing


With hybrid icing being tested out during preseason, some coaches are going to find the adjustment to the potential new rule a little tricky. One coach who’s not sure what to make of it is Boston Bruins bench boss Claude Julien.

Joe Haggerty of hears from Julien and finds the coach dealing with “mixed feelings” on the new rule.

“For coaches, I think [the hybrid icing] is a bit of a mixed feeling. We’re very supportive of it when it comes to the safety of the players,” said Claude Julien. “I think what it does sometimes is take away some of the plays [you can make]. You’ve seen us use at time before, right from inside our blue line we’d rim the puck in and had our fore check just to get the puck in deep.”

Ah, the old “safety vs. strategy” debate. Wait, that’s actually a new one.

Dumping the puck in is nothing new when it comes to strategizing the game and the Bruins can dump-and-chase with the best of them. While Julien’s team might lose out getting to do some of what they want to do, one would have to think being able to keep players off the injured list would be worth the sacrifice.

After what’s happened to Carolina’s Joni Pikanen as well as Kurtis Foster and Taylor Fedun in recent years, getting rid of the race to beat icing isn’t so bad.

Done deal: Cowen signs four-year, $12.4 million extension with Sens

Jared Cowen
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The Ottawa Senators and Jared Cowen have managed to find common ground after all.

The Ottawa Senators announced they’ve come to terms with their restricted free agent defenseman on a four-year deal. As Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun initially reported, the deal is worth $12.4 million over the term and good for a $3.1 million cap hit.

Cowen played in just a handful of games last season thanks to offseason surgery, but two seasons ago he had a major breakout with the Senators playing in all 82 games of the 2011-2012 season.

In the seven games he played in last year, he had one goal and averaged over 20 minutes of ice time per game. At 22 years old he’s got a lot of time ahead of him.

Now that Cowen is locked up, that leaves just two more major restricted free agents left to be signed.

New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson need to sign deals and both players’ teams have cap issues. Cowen’s new deal may not do much to help Franson get what he’s seeking from the Leafs.

Pronger balancing life as scout and NHLPA member

Chris Pronger

Chris Pronger’s new role as a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers may as well have him being called a double agent.

Thanks to post-concussion syndrome, he’s yet to find his way back on the ice but he’s finding it tricky to be part of both management and a member of the Players’ union as he tells Tim Panaccio of

“I have yet to be told what my duties are,” said Pronger. “As still an active player and a dues-paying member of the [NHLPA] and all that, I know my role will be somewhat limited still in what I can and can’t do.”

Pronger goes on to say being a scout is “something anyone can do” and he doesn’t see an issue reporting on team’s systems and what players do on the ice. Besides, it’s not as if he’s ever had an issue being straight on any subject.

As for his concussion recovery, it’s slow and he’s still having issues with dizziness. The team will be putting him on long-term injured reserve once again this season so as to not take on his $4.9 million cap hit. He has four years left on his contract with the team.

Sedins have first discussion with Canucks about extensions

Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin

Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin could be free agents next summer, but the Vancouver Canucks would like to avoid seeing that happen.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports  the twins met with Canucks management on Friday. While neither side exchanged offers, Dreger reports the discussion was good and that’s a great sign for Canucks fans.

The Sedins have been Vancouver’s one-two punch offensively for the past 12 seasons and the thought of seeing them pack up and head elsewhere should be enough to scare GM Mike Gillis into making matching deals for the two of them.

The pair are coming to the end of matching five-year, $30.5 million deals and the main question Gillis will have to get answered is just how much to pay the both of them to, presumably, keep them Canucks for life. That doesn’t exactly put him in an enviable position even with the salary cap expected to jump next summer.

Hurricanes fire assistant GM Karmanos after 15 seasons


Apparently being the son of the owner doesn’t guarantee keeping your job.

The Carolina Hurricanes announced they’ve relieved assistant general manager Jason Karmanos of his duties after 15 seasons with the organization. He’s the son of team owner Peter Karmanos who offered this as the only explanation, courtesy of ‘Canes PR man Mike Sundheim.

“This is a family matter. I have no further comment at this time.”

The team will fill the position from within by Vice President of Hockey Operations Ron Francis and Video Scout/Hockey Operations Darren Yorke.

The timing of this firing is, to say the least, curious. The Hurricanes are set to open training camp in four days and considering the amount of time Karmanos has spent with the organization and who is father is, it’s easy to let your imagination run away in trying to figure out what went wrong.