Author: Mike Halford

Finland v Russia - 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship

Sharks sign Finnish scorer Donskoi


The San Jose Sharks have agreed to terms with Finnish forward Joonas Donskoi, per Sports Consulting Group agent Scott Bartlett.

It’s a two-year pact, with Finnish news outlet Ilta-Sanomat reporting an average annual value of $925,000.

Donskoi, 23, is coming off a banner 2014-15 campaign in which he scored 49 points in 58 games for SM-liiga club Karpat, then captured the Jari Kurri Trophy as playoff MVP.

A former Florida draftee (99th overall, 2010), Donskoi followed up his successful season with Karpat by scoring eight points in eight games for Finland at the World Hockey Championships. Donskoi finished third on the team in scoring, three back of Florida’s Jussi Jokinen.

This is the second young veteran San Jose has scooped out of Europe in as many years. Last summer, the club did very well in getting Swedish forward Melker Karlsson out of SHL club side Skelleftea; Karlsson went on to have a solid freshman campaign for the Sharks, scoring 13 goals and 24 points in 53 games.

Report: Sinden has role expanded in Bruins GM search

Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins

Hockey Hall of Famer Harry Sinden, who coached the Bruins to the Stanley Cup in 1970, has reportedly had his “senior advisor” role expanded in the wake of Peter Chiarelli’s firing — and is now helping in the club’s subsequent search for a new GM.

From the Boston Herald:

According to a well-informed NHL source, team owner Jeremy Jacobs, concerned that both son Charlie and Neely lack experience running an NHL franchise, also has asked the 82-year-old Sinden to play a larger role than in recent years.

Sinden might be involved in the selection of the new GM. That, of course, is widely expected to be assistant GM Don Sweeney.

In addition to his stints as head coach, Sinden served as Boston’s GM for 28 years and 17 as club president (a role he undertook in 1989.) It wasn’t until the summer of 2006 when he “retired” into his current consulting role which, according to the Herald, had Sinden frequently working out of his second home in Florida.

“I think [Jacobs] just wanted someone to be a sounding board and an advisor,” a source told the Herald.

Boston’s search for a new GM has been methodical thus far. Sweeney is the leading (and, importantly, the in-house) candidate, but the club appears to be leaving no stone unturned; Boston has already interviewed former Caps GM George McPhee and was reportedly denied permission to speak with Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton.

Report: Ex-Sabres coach Nolan in talks for WHL Vancouver gig

Boston Bruins v Buffalo Sabres
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Ted Nolan might not be out of work for long.

Nolan, dismissed from the head coaching gig in Buffalo last month, has reportedly been in talks with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants about their vacant bench boss job, per The Province.

Nolan, 57, has extensive experience at the junior level. Prior to his first stint in the NHL in the mid-90s, Nolan achieved great success in OHL Sault Ste. Marie and replicated that success nearly 10 years later in the Quebec League, helping Moncton advance all the way to the Memorial Cup Final in 2006.

It’s unclear how serious talks are with the Giants but, per a source of The Province’s Steve Ewen, Nolan is interested in the job that’s been vacant since former Jets head coach Claude Noel was dismissed in March.

As for how Nolan’s contractual status would be sorted?

It’s difficult to get hard info on coaching salaries, but the consensus seems to be that an NHL head coaching gig starts in the $700,000 range. A major junior job is usually in the $100,000 range.

Noel still had a year left on his Winnipeg Jets’ contract, and, as the story goes, he kept getting that money when he joined the Giants after Ward was let go. Vancouver, in turn, paid Winnipeg the equivalent of a WHL coaching wage.

Nolan signed a three-year extension with Buffalo in March of 2014, and has two years left on the deal.