On Thursday, Minnesota announced the hiring of former NHL goalie and Edmonton goalie coach Frederic Chabot as the club’s new director of goaltender development.
Chabot, 47, was fired by the Oilers early last season with the team holding the NHL’s worst save percentage. How much of that was on Chabot is up for debate; Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth underwhelmed all year long, and with Fasth now in the KHL and Scrivens seemingly relegated to a backup role, it’s fair to say that neither was a legit No. 1 NHL netminder.
Of course, Chabot worked with other goalies during his five-plus years in Edmonton.
Chief among them? Wild starter and Vezina finalist Devan Dubnyk.
At first glance, bringing in Chabot based on his work with Dubnyk might seem odd, especially since Dunbyk was a flop in Edmonton and never posted very good numbers. But to hear Dubnyk explain it, his poor play in Edmonton had nothing to do with Chabot, a guy he holds in pretty high esteem.
“He’s been incredible for me,” Dubnyk told CBC Sports last year.
Note: The Wild still have Bob Mason as their goaltending coach, to clear up any confusion. Chabot will work with “goalie prospects throughout the Minnesota Wild organization, including goaltenders playing for the Iowa Wild in the American Hockey League.”
Calgary power forward Micheal Ferland, who broke out during last year’s stirring playoff run, is still without a new contract just weeks away from the start of training camp.
But according to Flames GM Brad Treliving, the only two things holding up the deal — how much Ferland will make, and how long it will be.
(So everything, basically.)
“Just money and term, that’s all,” Treliving said, per the Calgary Sun. “We’ll bang away. We haven’t been able to find something that both sides nod on yet, but we’ve still got some time.”
Ferland, 23, made his NHL debut last season and fared well, scoring two goals and five points in 26 games. But it was in the opening round of the playoffs when he really made his mark — against Vancouver, Ferland delivered six games’ worth of ferocious hits and finished with two goals, four points and the reputation as a fearsome forechecker.
The WHL Brandon product made $797,500 annually on his entry-level deal, which expired in July.
Former Washington Capital Stephen Peat, who was arrested in March for arson, pleaded guilty to charges of arson by negligence on Wednesday morning, stemming from an incident at his father’s house.
Details, per The Province:
The homeowner, Walter Peat, was in bed when the fire started but managed to escape. A basement suite tenant was not home at the time.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze, but the house and vehicles in the driveway were severely damaged.
Police were called to investigate the fire because a passerby saw a man lighting the fire and tried unsuccessfully to stop him.
Investigators learned that there was a “domestic dispute” between Walter and Stephen Peat which began that the afternoon and was renewed later in the evening.
A pre-sentence report was ordered for Peat, with sentencing scheduled for Nov. 18. The maximum sentence for arson by negligence is five years in prison.
Veteran defenseman Cory Sarich, who missed all of last season recovering from injuries suffered in a major bicycling accident, says he’s still hopeful for an NHL return — even though the chances get increasingly smaller by the day.
“I’ve spoken with a few teams,” Sarich said, per the Calgary Herald. “That’s been obviously the goal — to try to see if there’s any interest out there. Nothing so far. I’m just going to keep skating, trying to get my legs under me.
“I’m a realist, though. If nothing happens, that’s the way it is.”
Sarich, 37, suffered five cracked vertebrae and multiple burns after getting run over by a truck while riding his bike in British Columbia last July. He spent significant time in hospital (in addition to the injuries, Sarich later suffered a staph infection) and didn’t play at all last year, after scoring 10 points in 54 games for the Avs during the ’13-14 campaign.
A veteran of nearly 1,000 NHL contests — currently stuck on 969 — Sarich has a wealth of experience and is a former Stanley Cup winner, having captured a championship with Tampa Bay in 2004. He says he’s now back at full health and hopeful he can land with an organization, even on an AHL deal.
But so far, it’s been silent.
“I am open to any opportunity,” he said. “But so far, none have presented themselves.”
Back in July, Edmonton made an intriguing, under-the-radar move by acquiring the rights to KHL goalie Anders Nilsson.
The deal didn’t garner much attention, possibly because the Oilers had already made a bigger splash in goal — trading for ex-Rangers backup Cam Talbot at the draft — and, of course, they still had Ben Scrivens in the mix.
But the attention could soon be on Nilsson.
“My mindset is to challenge for the No. 1 job,” the Swedish stopper told the Edmonton Journal. “That’s why I signed the one-year contract and it’s up to me to perform.”
Nilsson, 25, is an interesting entity.
Picked 62nd overall by the Isles in 2009, he appeared in 23 games for New York over three seasons before signing with KHL team AK Bars Kazan last summer. A few months later, the Isles traded Nilsson’s rights — he was an RFA upon leaving for Russia — to Chicago, as part of the Nick Leddy deal.
In Russia, Nilsson boosted his stock by going 20-9-8 with a 1.71 GAA and .936 save percentage. He also played for Team Sweden at the 2015 Worlds, splitting time with Jhonas Enroth.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder signed with Edmonton almost immediately upon being acquired, seemingly determined to resurrect his NHL career. With the Oilers, he’s projected to battle Scrivens for the No. 2 gig behind Talbot — who, tentatively, is penciled in as the No. 1 — but if the last few years in Edmonton have shown anything, it’s that minutes in net are constantly up for grabs.