Mike Halford

Detroit Red Wings v Columbus Blue Jackets
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Quincey would rather re-sign in Detroit than test free agency


Kyle Quincey‘s spent eight of his 11 NHL seasons with the Red Wings organization and, to hear him explain it, he’d like to push it to nine.

Or even more.

“If Kenny [general manager Holland] offers me something I’d love to come back,” Quincey, a pending UFA, told Mive this week. “We love it here. But if not, just see what happens.”

Quincey, 30, was drafted by the Wings in 2003 and returned to the organization in 2011, following a three-year stint in Los Angeles and Colorado. He’s become a regular fixture on Detroit’s back end in his second go-around but, this year, he missed a ton of time to injury and didn’t emerge as one of Jeff Blashill’s personal favorites.

Blashill scratched Quincey in Game 3 of Detroit’s opening-round playoff loss to Tampa, and didn’t provide a reason why.

Despite that, Quincey did form a pretty solid pairing with Danny DeKeyser this season, something that could prove valuable when Holland and Blashill decide how they want to address the defense moving forward.

Whatever the case, it’s pretty clear the ball’s in Detroit’s court.

That’s a similar situation to two summers ago when Quincey, a UFA, had to wait until July 1 for the Red Wings to make their move. Holland ponied up on the opening day of free agency with a two-year, $8.5 million deal, presumably after looking at the rest of the options out there — and not being overly thrilled.

Quincey expects this summer to go the same way.

“Two years ago I didn’t know anything until July 1,” Quincey said. “I’m assuming it’s probably going to be the same thing.”

Stralman practices fully — could he return for Eastern Conference Final?

Tampa Bay Lightning's Anton Stralman (6), of Sweden, avoids the check of Detroit Red Wings' Joakim Andersson, also of Sweden, during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, March 20, 2015, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

Welcome sight at Bolts practice on Wednesday as Anton Stralman — who’s missed all of the postseason with a broken leg — returned to partake in his first full session since suffering the injury in March.

Stralman participated in all drills and skated on a pairing with regular defensive partner Victor Hedman, leading some to speculate Stralman could draw into the lineup when the Bolts take on the Pens in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final on Friday.

Head coach Jon Cooper tried to tap the brakes on that theory, though.

“I will just set the record straight now, all injured players are indefinite,” Cooper said, per the Tampa Bay Times. “Don’t read anything into anything until you see them at the game. It’s unfair to the players. When they’re in, we’ll let you know when they’re going to be in.

“No use in putting timelines on guys. They usually turn out to be wrong anyway. It’s all speculation.”

A 22-minutes-per-night guy that’s among the Bolts’ best possession d-men, Stralman is a valuable right-handed shot, on a blueline that doesn’t have many.

It’s why the club has been anxious to get him back in the mix, especially against a Pittsburgh team he’s fared well against this season.

Stralman was a key piece of last year’s Stanley Cup Final run, scoring nine points in 26 games.

Pens-Bolts Eastern Conference Final opens Friday

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 5:  Tyler Johnson #9 of the Tampa Bay Lightning stickhandler past Trevor Daley #6 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the Amalie Arena on February 5, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
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From the league:

The National Hockey League today announced that Game 1 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning has been scheduled for Friday, May 13, at 8 p.m. ET in Pittsburgh. The game will be televised exclusively on NBCSN in the U.S.

Additional information regarding the schedules for the Eastern Conference Final and Western Conference Final will be released tonight after the conclusion of Game 7 of the Second Round series between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues.

This marks Tampa Bay’s second consecutive appearance in the Eastern Conference final, having defeated the Rangers in seven games last year to advance to the Cup Final.

For the Pens, this is their first trip to the ECF since 2013, when they were swept by the Bruins.

Ex-Pens coach Johnston expected to return to WHL Portland

Mike Johnston
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Things have come full circle for Mike Johnston.

Johnston, fired by Pittsburgh midway through the regular season, looks like he’s headed back to the place he’s enjoyed the greatest success of his coaching career — WHL Portland.

Johnston will reportedly be introduced as the Winterhawks’ new head coach and general manager on Wednesday, per various outlets. The move returns Johnston to the same club he coached from 2008-14, sending a number of talented youngsters to the NHL: Seth Jones, Ryan Johansen, Nino Niederreiter, Sven Baertschi and Derrick Pouliot, to name a few.

Hired by Pens GM Jim Rutherford two years ago, Johnston never really clicked in Pittsburgh. He had a respectable record — 58-37-15 — but the team always seemed to be underachieving with him in charge, and was hovering on the edge of the playoff picture upon his dismissal.

Since taking over for Johnston, Pens head coach Mike Sullivan has enjoyed tremendous success, and has the club back in the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2013.

Report: Flames asked Wild permission to interview Yeo

St. Louis Blues v Minnesota Wild - Game Three
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Mike Yeo’s in demand.

Just one day after reports claimed Anaheim had received permission to interview him for its head coaching gig, the Star-Tribune is now reporting another team has gotten permission to speak to Yeo as well — the Calgary Flames.

Yeo is currently serving as an assistant for Team Canada’s entry at the Worlds.

Treliving is Canada’s GM.

Should he interview with the Flames (and Ducks), Yeo will have essentially completed the circuit of available head coaching gigs. Yeo previously interviewed with Ottawa — that job ultimately went to Guy Boucher — and, obviously, wasn’t going to be in line for the Minnesota position.

During his time with the Wild, Yeo earned a reputation for his strong defensive system (“defense-first Yeobots” is how one columnist described the players.) That could be attractive to the Flames, who finished dead last in the NHL in goals allowed per game (3.13) last season.

Teams are require to ask Minnesota permission to interview Yeo, as the contract extension he signed two years ago runs through 2017.