Ryan Dadoun

Bob Murray

Murray uncertain about future, including Boudreau’s status

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A general manager publicly throwing his support behind his bench boss, even during difficult times, is fairly common, so it stands out when one passes on the opportunity. That was the case when Ducks GM Bob Murray had the chance to commit to keeping coach Bruce Boudreau.

“Far too early to tell you what I’m thinking. I’ve got lots of thoughts in my mind and I’ve got to sort them out,” Murray told the Los Angeles Times.

The Ducks made it all the way to the Western Conference Final before finally losing to the Chicago Blackhawks, so obviously it’s not hard to find positives. Still, Murray was left bothered by Anaheim’s play, starting with the second period of Game 6 when they allowed three goals.

“We did not react properly whatsoever. All structure — all everything — went right out the window,” Murray said. “Wasn’t impressed by it at all. The unanswered question is still the structure when we get under stressful periods. When you’re not playing well, you have to fall back on your structure. It failed us in a critical moment. That’s what I’m evaluating.”

Intentionally or not — or for that matter, deservingly or not — that plays into the concerns about Boudreau when it comes to high stakes situations. The bench boss has lost more Game 7s (six) than any other coach in NHL history. Anaheim has also been eliminated in that fashion for three straight years.

For his part, Boudreau argued that the record isn’t reflective of anything. As far as he’s concerned, he’s not the one winning or losing those games.

He also suggested that Chicago’s edge in experience was a factor and that’s something Anaheim gained through this run. So to an extent, Anaheim’s issues could be addressed organically. After all, while the Ducks keep losing Game 7s, it’s not as if they’ve been stagnant. They’ve gotten a round further each of the last three years, so an argument could be made that they’re on the right track, even if how the season is tough to swallow.

Chiarelli open to using wealth of Oilers picks to get ‘game-ready players’

Peter Chiarelli
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It would be shocking if the Edmonton Oilers moved the first overall selection, but they have five other picks in the first three rounds, including the 16th overall from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The topic of what new Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli’s plans are for the 16th, 33rd, and 57th overall picks specifically was raised on 630 CHED.

“I certainly would look at moving any of those picks for… something that would help us right now, but also that could grow with our organization, so relatively speaking a younger player. It’s good to have a lot of picks and develop players, but we also want to hit the ground running with some more game-ready players,” Chiarelli said, as transcribed by the Edmonton Journal.

He noted that discussions have been picking up and that should continue in the lead up to the June 26 draft.

Chiarelli is also be looking to bolster the team through the free agent market, even implying that he was prepared to overspend if it meant bolster the team. Given that Edmonton’s cap situation is favorable, there’s also the possibility that they could work with a team like Chicago, which will need to make some moves to get under the ceiling.

His predecessor, Craig MacTavish, was promising a “busy summer” in Edmonton. The Oilers have already had that in ways that MacTavish likely didn’t envision by getting a new bench boss in Todd McLellan and a new general manager. They might still end up seeing a significant amount of change in terms of their players as well.

PHT Morning Skate: Hulk Hogan thinks ‘Hawks are ‘in a whole bunch of trouble, brother’

Hulk Hogan
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Hulk Hogan believes that “Chicago’s in a whole bunch of trouble, brother.” (CSN Chicago)

Tampa Bay defenseman Jason Garrison will be blogging over the course of the Stanley Cup Final. (NHL.com)

Tyler Bertuzzi had an impressive run with AHL Grand Rapids. (The Detroit News)

The Islanders’ move to Brooklyn won’t be accompanied by a change in the team’s primary home and away jerseys. (Newsday)

In response to Lightning VP Bill Wickett banning out-of-state Blackhawks fans from Tampa Bay home games, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that fans from Tampa Bay are welcome to come to Chicago. (CSN Chicago)

Given that Los Angeles failed to make the playoffs, Kings GM Dean Lombardi feels that there’s an opportunity to make this summer about improving the players’ conditioning as opposed to the shorter offseasons Los Angeles has had in recent years, which had to focus on recovery. (NHL.com)

Gabryel Boudreau, who was a second round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, is among the players the Sharks opted to let go back into the draft pool. (CSN Bay Area)

UFAs Beauchemin, Beleskey would both like to stick in Anaheim

Anaheim Ducks v Dallas Stars
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With the Anaheim Ducks’ run over, they now have to turn their attention towards planning for the 2015-16 campaign. The Ducks have their fair share of unrestricted free agents and while some of them will likely be looking for new homes come July 1, it sounds like forward Matt Beleskey and defenseman Francois Beauchemin would rather stay where they are.

“I’ve spent a majority of my career here in Anaheim. I’d certainly like to talk about staying here,” Beauchemin said, per the Ducks’ Twitter feed.

Beauchemin, 34, had 11 goals, 23 points, and a plus-17 rating in 64 contests in 2014-15. He also averaged a team-high 22:44 minutes per game. His role increased further in the playoffs as he logged 25:24 minutes per contest and finished with nine assists in 16 games.

He’s coming off of a rather cap-friendly three-year, $10.5 million contract and may be seeking a significant raise.

Beleskey didn’t want to discuss his status much, but he does like Anaheim and added that “you never want to leave a group like this.”

He had 22 goals and 32 points in 65 regular season games. He also finished second on the Ducks with eight goals in the playoffs, including three game winners.

The 26-year-old has completed a two-year, $2.7 million contract.

As previously mentioned, the Ducks’ cap situation is rather healthy so they do have the option of retaining both players if that’s the direction they want to go in.

Report: Julien likely to remain, but his staff might change

Claude Julian, Patrice Bergeron
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We’re still waiting to hear what the Boston Bruins’ plans are with regards to head coach Claude Julien, but it looks like he’ll probably stay on board. Instead, the Bruins are considering making some personnel changes on the assistant coaching level, according to CSN New England’s source.

The Boston’s assistant coaches in 2014-15 were Joe Sacco, Doug Jarvis, Doug Houda, and Bob Essensa. The latter two have been with Julien since the start of his tenure as the Bruins’ bench boss in 2007.

A separate report from the Boston Globe also suggests that Julien is likely to be retained, but will enter the season on the hot seat. In that scenario, Julien might be fired without much hesitation should the Bruins get off to a rough start.

Boston failed to make the playoffs in 2014-15, but his tenure has been very successful overall. The squad has enjoyed a 351-192-79 regular season record and won the Stanley Cup in 2011. The Bruins went back to the Cup Final in 2013 and secured the Presidents’ Trophy in the 2013-14 campaign.

Related:

People are starting to wonder what’s going on with Claude Julien

Bruins new GM Sweeney won’t make ‘impetuous’ decision on Julien’s future