Author: Mike Halford

Montreal Canadiens v Arizona Coyotes

After ‘unacceptable’ year, Doan thinks ‘urgency is going to be high’ in Arizona


Coyotes captain Shane Doan said several times last season he wasn’t pleased with how things transpired.

Turns out his offseason message has a similar tone.

“We can’t allow what happened last year to linger and be a part of this year because that was unacceptable in so many ways,” Doan said, per the Arizona Republic. “I think the urgency is going to be high.”

The 2014-15 campaign was a largely forgettable one for the Coyotes. The team won just 24 games — it’s lowest total in 11 years — and traded away two key veteran presences in Antoine Vermette and Keith Yandle. Those deals, especially the Yandle one, upset Doan to the point where he basically sounded off whenever he felt like it.

After the Yandle trade, he said the rebuild in Arizona was “not my idea” and “not my ideal situation.”

Not long after that, he said the situation was “kind of embarrassing,” adding “we’ve been bad.”

The critiques eventually forced GM Don Maloney to respond.

“I get it, I understand it, but we’re not in the Girl Scout business,” Maloney said, per Arizona Sports. “We’re in the business of winning. That’s why we’re here, that’s why we’re getting paid.

“Shane’s a pro, he’ll get through it, he’ll understand it when he sees where this can take us.”

All of this angst, as you’d expect, has led to talks of Doan potentially being moved. He turns 39 in October, at which time he’ll be at the start of the last of his four-year, $21.15 million deal (that carries a $5.28M cap hit.) For now, though, both sides are saying all the right things — Maloney said “we certainly want him back,” while Doan said Arizona is the place for him.

“I definitely want to be competitive, and I want to be on a team that has a chance,” he explained. “Obviously, I want to do it here.”

Caps announce Fehr, a pending UFA, underwent successful elbow surgery

Washington Capitals v Minnesota Wild
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Veteran forward Eric Fehr, who flourished in his role as Washington’s third-line center this season, has undergone successful elbow surgery, the club announced on Thursday.

Per a release, Fehr will be healthy for the start of next season “if rehabilitation goes well.”

Fehr, who missed 10 of Washington’s 14 playoff games with a shoulder injury, will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. There does appear a mutual desire from both sides to have Fehr return to the Caps next season, especially after he scored 19 goals and 33 points this season while posting a career-high 14:51 TOI per night.

“Obviously, I have a lot of friends here and I’ve been here a lot of years,” Fehr told CSN Washington. “I think this is a special group. Obviously, I’d love to be back here, but looking at the amount of guys we have unsigned right now you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Fehr is one of seven Capitals scheduled to go UFA, along with Mike Green, Joel Ward, Jay Beagle, John Erskine, Curtis Glencross and Tim Gleason. GM Brian MacLellan also needs to strike new deals with important RFAs Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov and goalie Braden Holtby.

Did Shaw bite Hedman? ‘It felt like it’ (Updated)

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One

TAMPA — Four years ago, it was Alex Burrows on Patrice Bergeron.

This year? Andrew Shaw on Victor Hedman.

Yes, biting is once again a thing at the Stanley Cup Final, after Hedman suggested postgame that Shaw chomped down on him during a first-period scrum during Chicago’s Game 1 victory.

“It felt like it,” Hedman said. “I have a little bruise, so maybe.”

UPDATE: Statement from a league spokesman…

Hedman did complain to officials following the incident, a normal course of action for someone who feels he’s just been bit. And in that regard, it’s not unlike what happened four years ago.

Back in the Vancouver-Boston series of 2011, the Burrows-Bergeron bite — which occurred almost at the exact same time as Hedman-Shaw, right at the end of the first period of Game 1 — became one of the major early talking points. Burrows denied the act and wasn’t suspended, but the normally stoic Bergeron was livid, and took Burrows to task following the game.

“I don’t mind rough play and scrums at the end, as long as it’s just pushing and shoving and all that,” Bergeron explained. “But biting? I mean come on.”

It doesn’t seem as though this situation will go the way of B’s-Canucks. Things between the Bolts and ‘Hawks (and, more specifically, Hedman and Shaw) don’t appear to be as heated, and discipline from the NHL’s department of player safety is unlikely.

The NHL does review all in-game incidents. PHT has reached out to the league for comment.