Mike Halford

Luke Richardson 3
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Ducks get Sens’ permission to interview Richardson

Another candidate has emerged in Anaheim’s search for Bruce Boudreau’s replacement:

Luke Richardson.

Richardson, the longtime NHLer that’s spent the last four years as the coach of Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton, will reportedly interview for the gig after the Ducks received permission from the Sens, per the Columbus Dispatch:

Richardson, 47, parted ways with the Sens last month, ending a decade-long relationship with the franchise.

He spent the final two years (2007-09) of his playing career there, then quickly transitioned to coaching, serving as an assistant for three years under both Cory Clouston and Paul MacLean.

In 2012, Richardson moved to AHL Binghamton, embarking on a four-year stretch in which he was widely praised for helping players transition to the big league level: Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, most notably.

When he was ruled out of the running for Ottawa’s head coaching gig — one that eventually went to Guy Boucher — Richardson decided to try and land an NHL job elsewhere.

This ambition should hardly come as a surprise. At one point, he was believed to be the frontrunner for the Buffalo job that eventually went to Dan Bylsma.

Richardson will be facing some stiff competition for the Ducks job. Travis Green, the coach of Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Utica, is believed to be in the running and reports from earlier this week claimed GM Bob Murray also received permission from the Wild to speak with Mike Yeo.

Your Nashville-San Jose Game 7 officials are…

After consulting with the video judge, referee Dave Jackson waves off an apparent goal by Vancouver Canucks' Henrik Sedin, of Sweden, against the Phoenix Coyotes during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz.  The Coyotes defeated the Canucks 1-0. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The NHL has announced its referees and linesmen for tonight’s big Game 7 in San Jose between the Sharks and Preds.

Three referees are on the sheet: Dan O’Rourke, Brad Watson and Chris Lee.

Scouting The Refs, a terrific resource for all things officiating, is leaning towards an O’Rourke-Watson combo, but does note that Lee was O’Rourke’s partner through the first two playoff rounds.

The NHL has listed three linesmen as well for tonight’s game: Jay Sharrers, Michel Cormier and Steve Miller.

Quick rundown on what the the aforementioned zebras have experienced this postseason:

O’Rourke: Part of the officiating crew (along with Lee) that failed to penalize Caps forward Tom Wilson for his knee-on-knee hit on Connor Sheary during the Pens series. Wilson was later fined $2,400 for the incident.

O’Rourke was also part of the crew that correctly judged T.J. Oshie’s OT winner in Game 1 of that series.

Lee: See above re: Wilson hit. Lee also worked Game 1 of the Pens-Caps series with O’Rourke.

Watson: Called that crazy Game 3 of the Isles-Bolts series, the one that featured the Thomas Hickey-on-Jonathan Drouin hit and the Brian Boyle-on-Hickey hit. Neither were called penalties on the ice, and neither was subjected to supplemental discipline.

Of course, that didn’t stop Isles head coach Jack Capuano from singling out Watson after the game.

A reminder that Preds-Sharks goes tonight at 9 p.m. ET, on NBCSN.

Schneider (core muscle), Elias (knee) undergo successful surgeries: Devils

NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 11:  Patrik Elias #26 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates the win with teammate Cory Schneider #35 after the game against the Minnesota Wild on November 11, 2014 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.The New Jersey Devils defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-1.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Today’s release, from New Jersey’s PR staff:

“On Wednesday, Patrik Elias underwent successful surgery on his right knee. The procedure was performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City by Dr. Riley Williams. We will continue to monitor Patrik’s rehabilitation and progress.

“On Tuesday, Cory Schneider underwent successful surgery to repair a core muscle injury. The procedure was performed by Dr. William Meyers of the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia. His expected recovery time is approximately six weeks.”

Schneider’s procedure seems pretty straightforward, and his recovery time is unlikely to interfere with his participation in training camp.

Which makes Elias’ surgery the more intriguing of the two.

The Czech winger turned 40 in April and, with no contract for next season, there’s major uncertainty regarding his playing future. There was some speculation Elias would retire after returning from a lengthy absence in April, and scoring three points in a season-ending victory over Toronto.

It certainly would’ve been a nice sendoff.

But it’s possible this latest knee procedure is designed to allow Elias to return, and potentially re-sign with the only NHL club he’s ever known. He’s spent his entire 20-year career in New Jersey and is the franchise’s all-time leader in goals, assists and points.

Only Ken Daneyko and Martin Brodeur have played more games in a Devils uniform than Elias, but that could change should Elias return next season. He would need to appear in 44 games to pass Daneyko for first all-time.

Related: Elias (knee) feels ‘as good as I’m going to feel,’ wants to play again this season

Report: Detroit expected to interview ex-Columbus coach Richards

Todd Richards

The remodel of Jeff Blashill’s coaching staff in Detroit is already underway — earlier this week, the Red Wings hired longtime Boston assistant Doug Houda.

And now, they’ll reportedly speak with another veteran coach.

Per MLive, the club is “expected” to interview former Wild and Blue Jackets bench boss Todd Richards for an assistant’s role on Blashill’s staff.

Richards is currently the assistant coach of Team USA at the World Hockey Championships, and would (presumably) be unavailable for interview until the end of the tournament.

But it’s easy to see why Detroit would wait to speak with him.

Blashill is reportedly looking for an “innovative” coach to spark the team’s power play, which was average at best during the regular season and went completely south in the playoffs, going 1-for-25 in an opening-round loss to Tampa Bay.

During Richards’ last full season in Columbus, the ’14-15 campaign, his club boasted the NHL’s fifth-best power play, connecting at 21.7 percent.

The year prior, the Jackets finished 11th in the league with the man advantage, en route to just the second playoff appearance in franchise history.

Richards, 49, would also meet the other criteria Blashill wants out of an assistant — NHL experience.

MORE: Marc Crawford was tied to the Red Wings job, prior to accepting in Ottawa

“A number of the candidates that I’d like to talk to are guys that have had NHL head coaching experience,” Blashill said, per MLive. “It certainly won’t be restricted to just that but there’s decisions throughout the year and throughout games that if somebody’s been through those roles they’ve got a unique perspective and one that I’d like to be able to learn from and grow our staff as a result of.”

Richards has coached in three different NHL markets — he was an assistant in San Jose prior to his time in Minnesota and Columbus — and has over 400 games on his resume.

He’s also worked with NHLers on various international platforms. Richards was an assistant coach on the U.S. team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and was the head coach of last year’s bronze medal-winning team at the Worlds.

The coaching vacancies in Detroit came after former assistant Tony Granato took the head coaching job at the University of Wisconsin, and Pat Ferschweiler — who ran the power play last season — was re-assigned to work out of the press box.

Canucks won’t say if Ducks have asked to interview Travis Green

5 Apr 1998:  Center Travis Green of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in action during a game against the Calgary Flames at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California.The Ducks and Flames tied 3-3. Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn  /Allsport
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Anaheim has a pretty deep list of candidates for its vacant head coaching gig, but one guy continues to stand out among the rest:

Travis Green, the head coach of Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Utica.

Green, who’s been under Vancouver’s employ for the last three years, has already been floated as a potential replacement for Bruce Boudreau in Anaheim — but it remains unclear whether or not the Ducks have asked the Canucks permission to speak with him.

If they have, well, the Canucks aren’t saying. From the O.C. Register:

[Green] has some Ducks ties, having played 108 of his 970 NHL games with Anaheim over two stints in the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons and the 2006-07 season.

A Canucks spokesman said Vancouver general manager Jim Benning would not comment on whether the Ducks have asked for permission to speak to Green, but they showed interest in him early last season when the team got off to a slow start with Boudreau.

Greene, 45, would be a really intriguing hire. He’s been a winner at both the junior level (with WHL Portland) and at the AHL level, having led the Comets to the Calder Cup Final last season.

And though he was a bit player during that aforementioned ’06-07 campaign — appearing in just seven games — Green was teammates with Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Todd Marchant (now the director of player development) and Scott Niedermayer (now a special assignment coach).

So needless to say, his ties to the organization run deep.

Green, widely considered to be one of the brightest young coaching candidates in the American League, is under contract for one more season in Utica, but reportedly has an out-clause to pursue an NHL job.

He’s on record saying he thinks he’s ready to make the leap to the big leagues.