Author: Mike Halford

Luke Richardson 3

Report: With Sabres gig gone, Richardson to re-sign in Ottawa


Rumored to be in the running for the now-filled Buffalo head coaching gig, Luke Richardson — the bench boss of Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton — appears primed to stick with the Sens.

More, from the Ottawa Sun:

League sources say the Senators have tabled an offer to the 46-year-old former defenceman and while a deal isn’t in place it could happen soon now that the Buffalo coaching situation has been settled.

It’s believed the two sides need to work out the final details of the contract.

Richardson, at one point the oddsmakers’ favorite to get the Sabres job that eventually went to Dan Bylsma, is held in pretty high regard throughout the NHL. Few his age can match the combination of experience as a coach and player; Richardson appeared in over 1,400 games with the Leafs, Oilers, Flyers, Blue Jackets, Lightning and Senators before immediately moving behind the bench, where he spent three years as Ottawa’s assistant coach (under both Cory Clouston and Paul MacLean) before transitioning to the American League.

During his time in Bingo, Richardson has played a key role in the development of guys like Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Patrick Wiercioch, Cody Ceci and Mark Stone, one of the this year’s Calder Trophy finalists.

But despite Richardson’s good standing league-wide, the Sens hadn’t been asked by any clubs for permission to interview him. That came as a bit of a surprise, especially after Buffalo lost out on the Mike Babcock sweepstakes; there were also (since filled) vacancies in Edmonton, San Jose and Toronto and head coaches are still needed in Detroit and New Jersey.

Report: Sobotka to stick in KHL, won’t return to Blues next year

Vladimir Sobotka

Doesn’t sound like the rumored Vladimir Sobotka-to-St. Louis reunion is happening.

Per KHL Avangard Omsk’s website, Sobotka has reportedly agreed to return to Russia for a second season — despite a stipulation in his contract that allows for an NHL return at the culmination of any KHL campaign.

Sobotka, who parted ways with the Blues following an arbitration hearing last summer, just finished the first of a three-year deal with Omsk. His departure from St. Louis came on the heels of his best NHL season, in which he scored nine goals and 33 points in 61 games.

Blues GM Doug Armstrong has been in contact with the Sobotka camp following his club’s first-round playoff exit to Minnesota, and spoke with agent Petr Svoboda during the World Hockey Championships in the Czech Republic (Sobotka represented the Czechs in the tourney, scoring four points in 10 games.)

“I had a good talk with his agent,” Armstrong said last week. “The agent told me that the money he made last year, they guaranteed him for next year. He’s got two weeks to decide what he’s going to do. I said ‘We’d love to have him back.’ I understand if the economics are so great in the KHL and he has to stay. I respect that. Then we’ll talk again a year from now.”

Sobotka owes the Blues one season at an arbiter-elected salary of $2.7 million. If reports are accurate and he decides to remain in the KHL, he and the Blues will be in a similar position next spring.

‘Canes keep veteran G MacIntyre in fold with one-year, $600K deal

Washington Capitals v Carolina Hurricanes

Drew MacIntyre has been rewarded for his workmanlike effort last season.

MacIntyre, who set an AHL Charlotte franchise record for minutes played in 2014-15, has signed a one-year, two-way extension with the Hurricanes for $600,000, the club announced on Friday.

The deal will pay the 31-year-old MacIntyre $250,000 at the AHL level.

A well-traveled journeyman that’s played professionally in Toledo, Grand Rapids, Manitoba, Vancouver, Milwaukee, Chicago, Hamilton, Rochester, Buffalo, Prague, Reading and Toronto, MacIntyre has six career NHL appearances on his resume and dressed for one game as the ‘Canes backup last year, but failed to see any ice time.

Based on the current state of the Canes’ goaltending depth chart, MacIntyre is expected to spend the majority of next year back in Charlotte. Anton Khudobin and Cam Ward are both locked in to Carolina for the foreseeable future.