Author: Mike Halford

Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens - Game Five

Habs rookie de la Rose (wrist surgery) out three months

Jacob de la Rose’s first NHL campaign ended on a sour note.

De la Rose, who celebrated his 20th birthday today, underwent wrist surgery that will sideline him for the next three months, the Canadiens announced. The club didn’t reveal when he sustained the injury.

As mentioned, the procedure is a tough way for de la Rose to finish what was an otherwise good rookie campaign. The 34th overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, he appeared in 33 games for the Habs during the regular season, scoring six points while averaging 13:48 TOI. In the playoffs, de la Rose struggled — no points in 12 games — but still received over 12 minutes per night while playing a bottom-six forward role.

It’s expected that de la Rose will be ready in time for September’s training camp, where he’ll be in the drivers’ seat to retain his spot at the NHL level.

Flyers add to crowded blueline, sign veteran KHLer Medvedev (Update: one year, $3M)


The Philadelphia Flyers made a rather intriguing pickup on Wednesday, signing 32-year-old blueliner Yevgeni Medvedev out of the KHL.

Updated: Per Sportsnet, it’s a one-year pact worth $3 million.

Medvedev has spent the majority of his professional career with Ak Bars Kazan, and is regarded as one of the Russian league’s best defensemen. He’s represented his country internationally on several occasions — including each of the last four World Championships — and, domestically, has captured two Gagarin Cup league championships (2008-09, 2009-10) and has been a three-time KHL All-Star (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14).

Described by GM Ron Hextall as a solid, two-way defenseman that can move the puck, Medvedev is a relatively tall, lanky d-man (6-foot-3, 187 pounds) that has good skating ability for his size.

Given his age and experience level, it’s safe to assume Philly signed Medvedev to play in the top-six. In light of that, GM Ron Hextall has some decisions to make — Philly has six d-men under contract for next year (Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossmann, Nick Schultz, Radko Gudas), still has to decide the future of RFA Michael Del Zotto and also signed Swiss prospect Christian Marti to an entry-level earlier this month.

What’s more, Philly has a crop of talented prospects on the horizon — Samuel Morin, Travis Sanheim, Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg — and it’s possible new head coach Dave Hakstol could be much more aggressive in activating his defense than his predecessors were.

“His teams go at the net, shoot for rebounds, make plays, and really emphasize the defense being an active part of the offense,” NCAA hockey analyst Dave Starman said, per “His use of weak side [defensemen] to pinch and extend plays is a huge component to their offensive success, and defensive as well, as they don’t retreat and regroup as much as other teams did.”

Report: Sharks talking to Oates about coaching gig

Adam Oates

San Jose’s search to replace Todd McLellan continued today, with TSN reporting GM Doug Wilson would speak with former Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils bench boss Adam Oates.

Oates, 52, spent two seasons in Washington, going 65-48-17 while making one playoff appearance (losing in seven games in the opening round of ’13.) He then spent last year as co-coach — along with Scott Stevens and, briefly, Lou Lamoriello — after the Devils turfed Peter DeBoer.

Speaking of DeBoer, he and Oates find themselves connected once again as San Jose casts a wide net in the search for a new coach. The former Panthers and Devils bench boss has also interviewed for the San Jose job, along with Randy Carlyle. Wilson has also reportedly gained permission from Pittsburgh to interview Dan Bylsma.

That Oates is getting an interview in San Jose is slightly amusing, given the minor spat he and Wilson had in the fall of 2013. Following Sharks forward Tomas Hertl’s between-the-legs goal against the Rangers, Oates criticized the rookie for “disrespecting the league,” comments that Wilson quickly fired back at.

“I think [Oates] should worry about coaching his team, and not worry about being a caretaker of the game,” Wilson said. “I would not allow our coaches to make comments about other team’s players.”

Agent: Ebbett getting European interest, but focused on staying with Pens

Pittsburgh Penguins v Dallas Stars

This week, a report from news outlet Berner Zeitung claimed that SC Bern, the powerhouse Swiss league team coached by Guy Boucher, was likely to sign Pittsburgh forward Andrew Ebbett.

Today, Ebbett’s agent clarified the situation.

“Andrew has had a lot of interest from European clubs,” Legacy Global Sports’ Alec Schall told PHT, via email. “At this time we are focusing on returning to the Pittsburgh organization.”

Ebbett, 32, just wrapped the last of a two-year, two-way, $1.1M deal that paid $550,000 at the NHL level. He was up and down between Pittsburgh and AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, scoring six points in 24 games with the Pens; he also lit up the American League, as he’s done throughout his career — Ebbett had 44 points in 44 games for the Baby Pens, and another seven in eight playoff appearances.

With over 200 NHL games on his resume and some very good years in the past — lest we forget that, in 2008-09, Ebbett scored 32 points in 48 games with the Ducks — it’s not surprising to hear the pending UFA wants to stick with in Pittsburgh.

But how that shakes out remains to be seen. The team projects to have around $11 million in cap space, with a number of other veteran UFAs to make decisions on, specifically d-men Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff, and forwards Blake Comeau, Steve Downie, Daniel Winnik and Maxim Lapierre.

On the RFA front, Beau Bennett and Ian Cole need new deals. It’s also worth noting Pittsburgh has already told 38-year-old forward Craig Adams he won’t be brought back next season.

Hamburglar sticks: Sens ink Hammond to three-year, $4.05M extension


The Hamburglar has been rewarded.

On Wednesday, Ottawa announced that it re-upped with Andrew Hammond — aka “The Hamburglar” — on a three-year, $4.05 million contract, one that carries an average annual cap hit of $1.35M.

The annual salary breakdown:

Hammond, 27, was one of the NHL’s most unlikely success stories this year, if not the most unlikely. Never a star at the NCAA or AHL level, he came out of nowhere to go on a remarkable run — 20-1-2 down the stretch — to help the Sens rally for a playoff spot.

Hammond finished the year with a .941 save percentage and 1.79 GAA, and was Ottawa’s starter heading into its opening-round series against the Habs. But he ceded his starting position to Craig Anderson after two tough outings and, in light of that, it’ll be interesting to see how the Sens’ goalie situation plays out next year and beyond.

Anderson, 33, is signed through 2018 at $4.2 million per while Robin Lehner — who, after suffering a concussion in February, opened the door for Hammond to play — has two more years left at $2.225M per.

(As pointed out by sharp commenter dsawaia29, Ottawa also inked college free agent goalie Matt O’Connor out of Boston University.)

Sens GM Bryan Murray said he’ll look to deal one of his two netminders once Hammond was signed, so it’ll be interesting to see who’s on the move this summer as the available goalie market just got another experienced addition, to go along with Antti Niemi, Karri Ramo, Michal Neuvirth and, quite possibly, Eddie Lack.

Related: If Anderson is available, should the Oilers be interested?