Author: Mike Halford

Adam Oates

Report: Sharks talking to Oates about coaching gig

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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
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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

hamburglar
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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?

WATCH LIVE: ‘Hawks at Ducks, Western Conference Final Game 2

Tonight in Anaheim, the Ducks look to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference Final matchup against the ‘Hawks, while Chicago looks to steal home ice advantage prior to the series shifting to the United Center.

You can catch the game on NBCSN, or online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE ONLINE

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

In case you haven’t noticed, the NHL is a young man’s game

For Ducks, Gibson’s injury might’ve been blessing in disguise

Signs point to Coach Q replacing Rundblad with Cumiskey

Meanwhile, the Ducks are feeling great about their defensive depth

‘I want to stay’ in Boston, says Seidenberg

Boston Bruins v Colorado Avalanche
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Last month’s firing of GM Peter Chiarelli made it abundantly clear that, after missing the playoffs, the Boston Bruins are willing to make changes.

Dennis Seidenberg, though, doesn’t want to be one of them.

“I want to stay,” Seidenberg said on Monday night, per CSNNE. “There’s no question about it. I like it here. I like the people. I like the fans, the city.”

Seidenberg, 33, has three years left on a four-year, $16 million deal and is armed with a no-trade clause, so it’s not like he’s entirely movable. But he is a veteran defenseman with a relatively low cap hit, on a Bruins team that might be looking to get younger after a series of missed draft picks. Seidenberg also has a wealth of playoff experience — 69 for his career — which could be enticing for a contending team looking to upgrade on defense; what’s more, the B’s face another summer of salary cap limbo with new deals required for RFAs Dougie Hamilton, Brent Connolly and Ryan Spooner.

And, of course, missing the playoffs still looms over the entire organization.

“Some organizations are less patient than others,” Seidenberg said, in referencing trade rumors. “You never know. You really don’t know. You’ll just see what happens.

“People expect big things from you, and if you don’t bring it then they’re on you.”