Dallas Stars

Bruins fire Chiarelli after missing playoffs

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Changes were threatened if the Boston Bruins didn’t turn their “unacceptable” season around. And today, we learned they weren’t just empty threats.

Peter Chiarelli has been fired as general manager of the Boston Bruins.

“We are grateful for Peter’s service to the Bruins organization over the last nine seasons,” said club president Cam Neely in a release. “His efforts undoubtedly helped the team achieve great success during his tenure and he helped restore the proud tradition of Boston Bruins hockey. We ultimately feel that this change is necessary in order to ensure sustainable success for the club both in the short term and the long term. Our search for a new General Manager will begin immediately.”

The coaching staff, led by Claude Julien, will remain in place for the time being. Julien’s future will apparently be decided by the new GM, whoever that may be.

Chiarelli was the Bruins’ GM for nine seasons. The B’s won the Stanley Cup in 2011, made it back to the finals in 2013, and won the Presidents’ Trophy last season.

But as the team struggled this season, he drew more and more criticism for the way he’d managed the salary cap, the organization’s drafting under his watch, and for trading the likes of Tyler Seguin and Johnny Boychuk.

“We’ve had a lot of success here in my tenure and Claude’s tenure,” Chiarelli said in February. “We’re having a down year. It’s unfortunate that we’re under review for one year. But I understand. We’ve got to make things better.”

Related: Neely has reached the ‘disappointed’ stage with the Bruins

Seguin, Giroux highlight Team Canada roster for Worlds

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Canada won’t be lacking for offensive weapons at this year’s World Hockey Championships.

Two of the league’s top-12 scorers — Dallas’ Tyler Seguin and Philly’s Claude Giroux — will wear the red and white in Prague from May 1-17, Hockey Canada announced on Tuesday. Seguin and Giroux were part of the original 19-man roster set for the tournament; Canada can register up to 25 players as teams are eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The rest of the Canadian roster looks like this…

Goalies: Martin Jones, Mike Smith

Defense: Tyson Barrie, Brent Burns, Aaron Ekblad, Jake Muzzin, David Savard

Forwards: Seguin, Giroux, Matt Duchene, Cody Eakin, Jordan Eberle, Tyler Ennis, Taylor Hall, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan O’Reilly, Jason Spezza, Tyler Toffoli.

Team Canada will be coached by Todd McLellan.

After ‘not good year,’ Lehtonen knows he needs to be better

If you had to boil down the Dallas Stars’ problems in 2014-15 to one word, it would be this:

Goaltending.

You might even put it in all-caps, like:

GOALTENDING.

Only one team in the entire NHL had a lower team save percentage than Dallas (.895), and that was the Edmonton Oilers (.888).

In 65 appearances, veteran Kari Lehtonen finished with a .903 save percentage, the worst of his NHL career.

“The goalies are part of the team, and they know they have to be better,” Stars GM Jim Nill said, per The Dallas Morning News. “It wasn’t Kari’s best season, and he admits that, and he’s got to be better. We need to have him. To win in this league, you have to have good a goalie.”

Lehtonen is signed through 2017-18 for a cap hit of $5.9 million, so he’s probably not going anywhere, in case you were wondering.

And to be sure, it wasn’t always easy for the four Stars’ netminders this season — Lehtonen, Anders Lindback, Jhonas Enroth, and Jussi Rynnas — given the young defense that was put in front of them.

But with solid goaltending, this could be a very good team. Consider: only the Tampa Bay Lightning scored more goals than the Stars this season.

“I realize I had a not good year,” said Lehtonen, “and I have to do a lot of work to get the opportunity to play again, and play better when I get that opportunity. It’s pretty simple.”

PHT Morning Skate: 50 Cent and the Flames, plus 30 games in 30 nights

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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.

A Calgary radio station apparently remixed 50 Cents “In da Club” to celebrate the Calgary Flames’ playoff bid. Timely. (Bardown)

Who should the Buffalo Sabres target in their coaching search? These six choices definitely count as thinking big. (Buffalo News)

Canadian hockey fan Rob Suggitt managed to see 30 NHL games in 30 days, with a charitable twist. (Sportsnet)

Do the Carolina Hurricanes owe Alexander Semin a fresh start? (Canes Country)

This 15-minute feature on Carey Price from The National is a great watch.

In honor of Jamie Benn’s feat, the Dallas Morning News looked back at every Dallas Stars player who’s scored a hat trick. (Dallas Morning News)

(50 Cent photo via Film Magic.)

Scoring champ Benn to undergo hip surgery, out 4-5 months

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Well, this certainly makes Jamie Benn’s Art Ross victory more impressive — on Monday, the Stars announced that Benn has been playing with a hip injury, one that will require surgery and sideline him for the next 4-5 months.

As a result, Benn won’t play for Team Canada at the upcoming World Championships.

It’s unclear when Benn suffered the injury, but the timeline doesn’t seem to matter much — he appeared in all 82 games this year while averaging 19:57 TOI and, down the stretch, broke the 21-minute plateau in seven of Dallas’ final 13 games.

That late run also saw Benn pile up 13 points over his final five games, catapaulting him ahead of the Islanders’ John Tavares for his first-ever scoring title.

While the surgery and recovery time are significant, the timetable suggest he should be ready to go when the Stars open training camp in mid-September.

In other injury news, forward Ales Hemsky will also undergo offseason hip surgery following what was a disappointing first season in Dallas. The veteran Czech winger scored just 11 goals and 32 points in 76 games, finishing a lowly ninth on the team in scoring.