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.
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.
People are starting to wonder what’s going on with Claude Julien
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Ryan Kesler has spent the last couple of days trying to get away from the Anaheim Ducks’ devastating loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final. When he does think about what went wrong in Game 7 though, the answer he comes to is that it was played at all.
“Obviously we lost to a good team. Should we have ended it in Game 6? Absolutely,” Kesler told the Orange County Register’s Eric Stephens. “You got to put away a team. Especially that team. We let them hang around too long and they bit us.”
Game 5 was a roller coaster, with Anaheim taking a 3-0 lead in the first period only to be forced into overtime because Jonathan Toews scored two goals in the final two minutes of the third period. Before that contest, the Ducks had already lost to Chicago twice in extra time, so the everything seemed to be pointing to a come-from-behind Chicago win. Instead Anaheim caught a break as Matt Beleskey was able to capitalize on Chicago’s bad change.
That opportunity was squandered though as Chicago rallied to a 5-2 victory in Game 6. Anaheim once again allowed Chicago to take a big lead in Game 7 en route to a 5-3 loss.
Kesler was brought in over the summer of 2014 to help give the team a boost in the playoffs and he did his part. He had seven goals and 13 points in 16 contests to provide the Ducks with a serious second line scoring threat. He also won 57.6% of his faceoffs in the playoffs.
He’s under contract for one more season with an annual cap hit of $5 million.
The New Jersey Devils have officially announced John Hynes as their new bench boss after the team finished the 2014-15 campaign with Lou Lamoriello, Adam Oates and Scott Stevens all handling the coaching duties.
At the age of 40, Hynes is now the youngest head coach in the NHL.
In the introductory press conference, GM Ray Shero also outlined the three principles that will guide the Devils moving forward: Fast, attacking, and supportive.
“The things that we talked about and the identity we want to try to establish, the decision to hire John Haynes for the new head coach, he’s going to encompass these things moving forward,” Shero said.
Hynes spent the previous five seasons leading the AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 231-126-27 record. The AHL Penguins, which are affiliated with Pittsburgh, made it to at least the second round in each of his campaigns.
Before that Hynes was the head coach of the USA Hockey’s National Development Program for six seasons. He won three medals over that span with the United States’ Under-18 team in the Worlds (Silver in 2004, Gold in 2006, Bronze in 2008). Among the players he coached during that era was current Devils goaltender Cory Schneider.
“Obviously it’s been a little while since then, but I do remember him being extremely detailed and prepared and a great motivator,” Schneider told the Star-Ledger. “He’s definitely a younger guy and I know we’re trying to transition that way. I had a great experience with him and hopefully he’s the right fit for us.”
It remains to be seen who Hynes assistants will be as Shero said that no other decisions have been made regarding the coaching staff.
In keeping with the sacred tradition dating back to (one assumes) ancient Mesopotamia, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will put beer and food on the line in a wager between these warring cities, as noted by the Tampa Tribune.
Should the Blackhawks prove victorious in their quest to secure a third Stanley Cup championship in six years, then Buckhorn will surrender 122 mini-Cuban sandwiches, a case of Cigar City Invasion Pale Ale, and Columbia Restaurant’s “1905” salad.
If Steven Stamkos and Tampa Bay raises the Cup, then they will be winning their city a case of beer from Slap Shot Brewing, 122 slices of Eli’s cheesecake, one of Giordano’s a deep-dish pizzas, and one of BJ’s Market’s mustard-fried catfish and peach cobbler.
There will also be a charitable contribution made as part of the bet. Should Chicago win, the benefactors will be a group helping at-risk children called Becoming A Man (BAM) and if the Lightning win then a contribution will be made to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay.