Author: Mike Halford

Chicago Blackhawks v Minnesota Wild - Game Four

‘Hawks take Rozsival (ankle) off LTIR, send Gustafsson to minors

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Michal Rozsival‘s comeback is nearly complete.

Rozsival, who hasn’t played an NHL contest since fracturing his ankle in last year’s playoffs, has been taken off long-term injured reserve and is now part of Chicago’s active roster, the club announced on Friday.

To make space for Rozsival, the ‘Hawks sent Erik Gustafsson to AHL Rockford, meaning towering Swedish blueliner Viktor Svedberg remains — for now.

But back to the veteran Czech for a moment.

The comeback is a feel-good story for Rozsival, who wasn’t guaranteed to continue his NHL career following a pretty serious injury. At 37, he was already slowing down prior to getting hurt, but the ‘Hawks saw value in the experienced rearguard and signed him to a one-year extension this summer.

Rozsival could draw back into the lineup on Saturday, when the ‘Hawks take on the Blues at Scottrade.

Here are your ’16 World Cup coaching and management teams


On Friday, the NHL made Sportsnet’s initial report official — Jon Cooper, Peter DeBoer, Dave Tippett and Jay Woodcroft would serve as Todd McLellan’s assistants on the North American “Young Stars” team at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

In that same release, the NHL also compiled all eight management and coaching staffs.

It should be noted that, as seen below, not all teams are complete. The Czechs, for example, have yet to name their head coach while several countries still need to fill out their assistant coaching staffs.

Regardless, here’s what we’ve got:

Team Canada
Tom Renney, President
Scott Smith, Chief Operating Officer
Scott Salmond, Hockey Operations
Doug Armstrong, General Manager
Marc Bergevin, Assistant General Manager
Rob Blake, Assistant General Manager
Ken Holland, Assistant General Manager
Bob Murray, Assistant General Manager
Mike Babcock, Head Coach
Claude Julien, Assistant Coach
Bill Peters, Assistant Coach
Joel Quenneville, Assistant Coach
Barry Trotz, Assistant Coach

Team Czech Republic
Tomas Kral, President
Martin Urban, General Secretary
Slavomir Lener, General Manager
Jan Cerny, Director of Operations

Team Europe
Franz Reindl, President/Team Leader
Miroslav Satan, General Manager
Ralph Krueger, Head Coach
Paul Maurice, Assistant Coach
Peter Bondra, Scouting Staff
Sean Burke, Scouting Staff
Lorne Henning, Scouting Staff
Vaclav Nedomansky, Scouting Staff
Ricky Olczyk, Scouting Staff
Myles Fee, Video Coach

Team Finland
Kale Kummola, President
Matti Nurminen, Executive Director
Jere Lehtinen, General Manager
Jarmo Kekalainen, Assistant General Manager
Lauri Marjamaki, Head Coach

Team North America
Peter Chiarelli, General Manager
Stan Bowman, Associate General Manager
Ryan Jankowski, Director of Operations
Adam Graves, Special Assistant to the General Managers
Pat Verbeek, Director of Player Personnel
Paul Fenton, Director of Player Personnel
Todd McLellan, Head Coach
Jon Cooper, Assistant Coach
Peter DeBoer, Assistant Coach
Dave Tippett, Assistant Coach
Jay Woodcroft, Assistant Coach

Team Sweden
Tommy Boustedt, General Secretary
Peter Forsberg, Vice President/Team Leader
Rickard Gronborg, Head Coach
Johan Garpenlov, Assistant Coach
Peter Popovic, Assistant Coach
Daniel Alfredsson, Advisory Board
Nicklas Lidstrom, Advisory Board
Mats Sundin, Advisory Board

Team Russia
Vladislav Tretiak, President
Roman Rotenberg, First Vice President
Dmitry Kurbatov, Executive Director
Oleg Znarok, Head Coach
Harijs Vitolins, Assistant Coach

Team USA
Jim Johannson, Hockey Operations
Dean Lombardi, General Manager
Paul Holmgren, Assistant General Manager
Brian Burke, Senior Advisor
John Tortorella, Head Coach

Finland’s Marjamaki is an interesting character — he’s only 38 years old, and considered one of the brightest up-and-coming coaches in the country. He worked under Erkka Westerlund at the ’14 Olympics in Sochi, and has led Karpat of the SM-liiga for the last three seasons.

Elsewhere, longtime NHL defenseman Sergei Zubov was named assistant coach of Russia’s national team back in July, but that appointment may have been for the 2016 World Championships, not necessarily the World Cup. Currently, the only assistant coach listed is Vitolins, who briefly played with the Winnipeg Jets during the ’93-94 campaign.

The next big announcement, you’d think, will be when USA Hockey names Tortorella’s assistant coaching staff.

For second straight year, Silfverberg goalless through 16 games

Jakob Silfverberg
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Failing to find the back of the net through the first 16 games of a season is tough.

So imagine doing it in consecutive years.

Amazingly, that’s what Anaheim forward Jakob Silfverberg has, um, “accomplished” — following Wednesday’s 4-3 OT defeat to the Oilers, the Ducks’ 16th game of the year, Silfverberg remained goalless, just like he did last year before busting out in game No. 17.

(In ’14-15, he bumped the slump with a goal and assist in a 6-5 OT win over the Kings.)

“Right now it’s just a matter of getting that first goal,” Silfverberg said, per the OC Register. “I just got to make sure to get that first one, and once I get that one, I hopefully can keep building on that.”

So, same plan as before… only there are some serious differences between this year and the last.

The first is that, as has been well-documented, all the Ducks have struggled to score in ’15-16 and, subsequently, have been a major disappointment.

Last year, Anaheim was 10-3-3 through its first 16 games. This year, they’re 5-7-4.

Silfverberg’s drought is also exacerbated by his shiny new contract. Last year, he was playing on a cost-effective $850,000 deal and, after scoring 18 points in 16 playoff games, was considered one of the league’s best bargains.

Now? He’s in the first of a four-year, $15 million deal with a $3.75M annual cap hit — and his lack of production is a lot more noticeable.

The 25-year-old Swede has just two assists thus far, though metrics suggest he’s due for a breakout. He has some of the best possession/shot-driving metrics on the team and, in just six games this month, has already matched his shots on goal (20) output from the entire month of October.

So just like everybody else in Anaheim, he’s hopeful the goals will come soon.

Nikolai Khabibulin calls it a career

Nikolai Khabibulin

Fare thee well, ‘Bulin Wall.

On Friday, Russian news outlet Championat reported that longtime NHL netminder Nikolai Khabibulin officially ended his playing career, announcing his retirement in conjunction with his desire to move into management.

Khabibulin, 42, will go down as one of the greatest Russian netminders in NHL history. He sits second to only Evgeni Nabokov in career wins — 333 to Nabokov’s 353 — but garnered some serious hardware and accolades during a 20-year playing career.

Most famously, Khabibulin backstopped Tampa Bay to its first-ever Stanley Cup in 2004, leading those playoffs in wins and shutouts.

A four-time All-Star, Khabibulin played for Winnipeg, Phoenix, Tampa Bay, Chicago and Edmonton over his career and was a decorated international participant, playing in three Olympics (helping the Unified Team capture gold in ’92, and Russia win bronze in ’02).

His last NHL action came during the ’13-14 campaign, when he appeared in four games with the Blackhawks.

Slumping Miller says ‘I blew it’ in loss to Sens


Jacob Markstrom’s return might’ve come just at the right time.

On Thursday night in Ottawa, Canucks netminder Ryan Miller lost his fourth straight contest, allowing a suspect game-winning goal in Vancouver’s 3-2 loss to the Senators.

Afterward, Miller shouldered responsibility for the loss.

“I let the guys down on that last one, pretty critical error on my part,” he said, per the club’s Twitter. “Not a good goal.”

The goal — surrendered to Sens d-man Chris Wideman on the power play — was somewhat indicative of Miller’s play of late. While he hasn’t been letting in a bunch of softies, he’s certainly been leakier than at the beginning of the year.

Just consider the numbers from his last four games:

miller stats

It’s fair to suggest Miller — who’s carried a huge workload thus far, leading all NHL goalies in games and minutes played — knows he’s not playing exceptionally well at the moment, because he really owned tonight’s loss.

That’s a bit of a cry from his previous outing, an overtime loss to New Jersey, in which he asked for tighter defense from his teammates.

On Thursday, the backbreaking goal was all on him.

“It hit the top of my pocket,” Miller said, per “It’s really not a good goal on my part. No matter what would have happened at the end, we had to have a chance, and that kind of ruined that.

“So, yeah, I blew it.”