Mike Halford

AP

Report: Habs’ Holloway signing in KHL

One of the few bright spots from Montreal’s disappointing campaign could be on his way to Russia.

Per Championat, Bud Holloway — the 28-year-old journeyman that made his storybook NHL debut with the Habs last season — has opted to join KHL powerhouse CSKA Moscow.

Holloway joined the Habs last season after four highly productive years in Europe.

In 2011, he emerged as a Swedish League star — Holloway set a record for most points in a SHL postseason (23 in 19 games) and, in his second season, became just the second player in league history to score eclipse the 70-point plateau.

In ’14-15, Holloway signed in Switzerland and continued to be a productive scorer, with 37 points in 42 games for SC Bern.

His scoring exploits translated over to the AHL, as he led St. John’s with 61 points in 70 games.

Montreal called up Holloway for his first-ever big league game in late November, and head coach Michel Therrien was effusive in his praise.

“This is a great story,” Therrien told ECHL.com. “The guy has showed a lot of resilience through his career to come back after playing a few years in Europe, and he did really well for [St. John’s].

“For him to get an opportunity to play his first game in the NHL, those are great stories and he certainly deserves to finally get a shot in the NHL because he’s had success wherever he goes.”

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    Seidenberg doesn’t want to think about waiving no-trade

    Boston Bruins v Colorado Avalanche
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    Another offseason, another round of trade talks surrounding Dennis Seidenberg.

    Boston’s veteran defenseman — who, last year, said he wanted to stay in Boston, then told reporters being involved in trade rumors was a “slap in the face” — is now facing another round of questions.

    Why?

    Seidenberg’s full no-trade clause expires in December. After that, it becomes a modified NTC in which he submits a list of eight teams he’s willing to accept a move to.

    More, from the Boston Herald:

    “No, nothing was mentioned,” Seidenberg said [of being asked to waive]. “I’m planning to come back here. I’ve got two more years here, so we’ll see.”

    And if management came to him sooner asking him to waive his no-trade?

    “I haven’t thought about that . . . and right now I don’t want to think about it,” he said.

    Seidenberg has said in the past that if the team didn’t want him any more, then he’d be amenable to a move.

    Boston’s in a bit of a tricky spot with the soon-to-be-35-year-old.

    Injuries have really taken their toll since he signed a four-year, $16 million extension in ’13. Specifically, a torn ACL and last year’s back injury, which cost him the first four weeks of the campaign and seemed to throw his entire season out of whack.

    Seidenberg certainly isn’t part of Boston’s future on defense, but could have some value across the league as a veteran depth guy.

    If you’re thinking “hey, $4M is a pretty hefty cap hit for a depth d-man,” remember that GM Don Sweeney could facilitate a move by retaining some salary. Financially, it wouldn’t be much different that buying Seidenberg out — something the Herald floated as a potential move — and there could be the potential to net an actual asset in return.

    Of course, the B’s could stand pat and hope Seidenberg gets healthy, and contributes.

    Do remember that, after returning from that serious knee injury, the German rearguard appeared in all 82 games during the ’14-15 campaign, scoring 14 points while averaging over 22 minutes per night.

    B’s turf another assistant — Jarvis out, Pandolfo and Cassidy in

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 14:  Associate coach Doug Jarvis of the Montreal Canadiens looks on against the New Jersey Devils at Continental Airlines Arena on February 14, 2007 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Devils won 5-2. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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    Boston continued to shake up Claude Julien’s coaching staff on Monday, as GM Don Sweeney announced that longtime assistant Doug Jarvis would not be back next season.

    Longtime NHLer Jay Pandolfo and Bruce Cassidy — who had spent the last five years as the head coach of Boston’s AHL affiliate — have been named as Julien’s new assistants, joining Joe Sacco and Bob Essensa on staff.

    Earlier, Sweeney had dismissed Julien’s longtime right-hand man, Doug Houda. Houda has since landed an assistant’s gig in Detroit.

    In Cassidy, the B’s get an experienced bench boss. He served as the head man in Washington from 2002-04, then as an assistant in Chicago before moving on to a lengthy stint in the American League.

    One would think Cassidy is an at-the-ready replacement for Julien, should the team struggle and Sweeney is forced to make a more significant coaching change next season.

    In Pandolfo, Boston gets a local guy — he’s a Massachusetts native that played collegiately at Boston University. At the tail end of a lengthy career that included two Stanley Cups with New Jersey, Pandolfo wrapped up his playing days with the Bruins, then moved into a player development role.

    In another hire, Sweeney announced that announced the club has hired Paul Whissel as the Bruins Director of Sports Performance and Rehab.

    Related: Julien will be back behind B’s bench, Sweeney has ‘work to do’

    Devils’ O’Neill, former AHL MVP, signs with KHL Jokerit

    NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 11:  Brian O'Neill #18 of the New Jersey Devils plays against the Detroit Red Wings at the Prudential Center on December 11, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Red Wings 3-2 in overtime.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    Brian O'Neill is headed overseas.

    O’Neill, the former American League standout that made his NHL debut for New Jersey this season, has opted to sign on with Finnish-based KHL team Jokerit, the club announced on Friday.

    O’Neill, 27, was acquired from L.A. prior to the start of this season and appeared in 22 games for the Devils, but only managed to score two points.

    That’s a far cry from the production he had in the AHL, especially during the ’14-15 campaign — he scored 78 points in 69 games for the Kings’ farm club to earn MVP honors, then posted another 20 in 19 playoff games en route to a Calder Cup championship.

    O’Neill is just the latest ex-NHLer to join Jokerit. Colorado’s Joey Hishon also recently came aboard, joining the likes of Niklas Hagman, Linus Omark, Peter Regin, Niko Kapanen, Jesse Joensuu and Ossi Vaananen.

     

    Cooper praises Pens, but still expects ‘long, tough’ series

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper signals to one of his players during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils in Newark, N.J., Thursday, April 7, 2016. Tampa defeated New Jersey 4-2. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
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    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Few NHL teams have the quickness, speed, skill and depth to overwhelm the Tampa Bay Lightning, which the Pittsburgh Penguins have done through three games of the Eastern Conference finals.

    Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and a talented supporting cast that includes the sizzling line of Phil Kessel, Carl Hagelin and Nick Bonino have outplayed the speedy Lightning for significant stretches of each game to gain a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven matchup.

    Game 4 is Friday night at Amalie Arena, and the Penguins are looking to turn up the pressure even more.

    “When you’re playing such good teams at this point, you know you can’t afford to look past the game in front of you,” said Crosby, who’s scored the past two games after going eight straight without a goal.

    Malkin assisted on Crosby’s power-play goal that proved to be the winner in Game 3 on Wednesday night, Malkin’s first point since Game 2 of Pittsburgh’s second-round victory over Washington.

    While the Penguins’ biggest stars were trying to get back on track, Kessel, Hagelin and Bonino heated up at precisely the right time.

    The trio had a huge impact Wednesday night, as well, with Kessel delivering his team-leading seventh goal of the playoffs off a nifty pass from Bonino after earlier setting up Hagelin’s goal that snapped a scoreless tie.

    “You don’t win consistently without (depth). That line’s been great all playoffs long,” Crosby said. “You look at the way Phil’s playing … he creates so much. Haggy’s got a ton of speed. And Bones is a really smart player. He works really well with those two guys. They’ve given us a lot of momentum.”

    Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper acknowledged line has been tough matchup for a team that’s accustomed to wearing opponents down with its own deep roster.

    “You look at their team, Phil Kessel probably doesn’t get near the respect he deserves. I mean, he’s scored a ton of goals in this league. Bonino’s kind of one of those underrated players. … You look at the teams he’s playing, and there’s always been named stars ahead of him. Hagelin’s won everywhere he’s gone, the teams he’s played on. But they get overshadowed by the big name guys,” Cooper said.

    “When you can go three and four lines deep – and something we’ve been able to do – it’s a tough matchup for teams,” the coach added. “They’re just another case – and plus they’re feeling it, too. They’re in one of those playoff runs where they’re feeling it, and when you are going like that, good things are going to happen for you.”

    The Penguins have outshot Tampa Bay 124-70, a trend the Lightning can’t allow to continue if they expect to win the series.

    Andrei Vasilevskiy has filled in admirably since replacing the injured goalie Ben Bishop during Tampa Bay’s victory in Game 1. In addition to generating more scoring chances, Cooper stressed the Lightning also have to play better in front of Vasilevskiy, who faced 41 shots in Game 2 and 48 Wednesday night.

    “That’s unacceptable. I just feel bad for the kid that he’s keeping us in there and we’re not finding a way to bail him out,” Cooper said. “The way things have gone these (last) two games, it doesn’t matter who’s in net. You know, we could have Bish and Vasi both playing at the same time, and they might have squeaked a couple in.”

    Tampa Bay won all three regular seasons meetings between the teams before taking Game 1 of this series on the road, so coaches and players say there’s no need to panic.

    Cooper reunited the “triplets” line of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat during the third period of Game 3, and the trio that was instrumental to Tampa Bay’s run to the Stanley Cup final a year ago produced two late goals.

    Bishop practiced Thursday and said he remains hopeful he’ll return at some point in the series. Cooper said he doesn’t expect it to be for Game 4.

    With Vasilevskiy playing as well as he has, and Tampa Bay’s track record as a resilient team, the coach remains confident this still will be a “long, tough” series.

    “It’s not something where we’re sitting here saying: `Oh, we can’t beat this team.’ We couldn’t beat them in the last two games, and that’s the way we’re looking at it,” Cooper said.

    “But in saying that, Pittsburgh’s put us in a position to be like that,” the coach added “Now it’s we served, they volleyed back. Now it’s our turn to send it back to them.”