Tag: Kurt Kleinendorst

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Wild sign minor league backup to buoy goaltending depth

The Minnesota Wild have had their goaltending depth tested in a big way this season.

Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding have had separate issues with their health and that’s meant Johan Gustafsson has gotten the call from AHL Iowa quite a bit. To help soften that blow, Michael Russo of The Star-Tribune reports the Wild signed minor leaguer, and former Boston University standout, John Curry to a two-way NHL deal.

Curry had been in Iowa on an AHL contract, but the team tore that up to make sure they can call on him at the NHL level should they need him. Iowa Wild coach Kurt Kleinendorst had sound reasoning for making sure Curry sticks around.

The young guy he’s referring to is Darcy Kuemper who has also gotten his share of time in Minnesota. Curry, 29, provides Iowa with a veteran player who can handle the rigors of the AHL schedule while Gustafsson and Kuemper help out with the big club.

Former Sens AHL coach Kleinendorst lands Wild minor league job

Kurt Kleinendorst
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Former Binghamton Senators head coach Kurt Kleinendorst is back in the AHL.

After spending last season coach the University of Alabama-Huntsville in the NCAA, Kleinendorst has signed on to be the head coach of the Iowa Wild. Michael Russo of The Star Tribune says the move will be announced on Monday.

Kleinendorst has had a wild ride of late in coaching. He spent two seasons coaching the Ottawa farm team from 2010 through 2012 and led them to a Calder Cup championship in his first season. After that second season, however, he wasn’t brought back as the team hired Luke Richardson instead leading to him coaching UAH last season.

Kleinendorst replaces John Torchetti as the head man as he’s taken a head coaching job in the KHL.

Back to Class: The trouble with being No. 1

Kevin Goumas

We’re taking you “Back To Class” for our roundup of the weekend’s action in college hockey. Look for more college hockey on NBCSN Friday night, January 4 as Nebraska-Omaha takes on Colorado College. 

It’s never easy being the top dog. In college football, being the No. 1 team means always having to watch your back when the voters deem you to be the best team in the land and it’s no different in college hockey. A pair of Hockey East teams learned that in the last couple of weeks and it was the same team that taught them that lesson. Jim Connelly of USCHO.com examines things a bit closer.

Two weeks ago, Boston College’s run as the top team in the country came to an end thanks to a 4-1 loss to Boston University. When New Hampshire took over as the No. 1 team this week, again it would be BU teaching them a lesson on Thursday taking them out with a 3-2 victory.

Being the top dog is never easy. Ever. It puts an instant target on your back to have everyone come after you. Seeing how it was BU that managed to earn wins in two out of three games against top-ranked opponents, it makes you believe Jack Parker’s team has a little something extra to their game.

Considering Boston University was ranked No. 7 in the country last Monday, they’re due for a boost after beating UNH and Maine. They might want to avoid the top spot for the time being.


So long, Cissé: Redshirt sophomore Yasin Cissé left Boston University to pick up and play for QMJHL Blainville-Broisbriand and BU coach Jack Parker was more than honest in his assessment of his game. “He’s really struggling in every phase of his life because hockey’s not going the way he wants it to go.” Uh… Ouch. For what it’s worth, Cissé scored a goal in his first game with Blainville-Broisbriand.

So about that “Yerdon Jinx”: Denver University has gone winless in six straight games after tying North Dakota on Friday night and losing 6-3 to the former Fighting Sioux on Saturday. When I highlighted the Pioneers a couple weeks ago, I thought their bad weekend losing to Yale and UNH was curious. I didn’t think it signaled a full-on early season meltdown.

Yale’s bad weekend: The Yale Bulldogs were starting to let their presence be known in the ECAC. That is until RPI and Union showed up at The Whale this weekend and took three of four points from them. An embarrassing 6-1 loss to Rensselaer and a 2-2 tie with the Dutchmen should take Yale down a notch after cracking the USA Hockey/USA Today polls at 15 last week.

Alabama-Huntsville’s plight: While things are rough this season for the UAH Chargers, they’re still plugging along in hopes of landing a spot in the WCHA for the future. Matt Semsich of USCHO.com has a good piece on what coach Kurt Kleinendorst has to deal with in a tough position there.

(Photo: UNH’s Kevin Goumas — Hockey East Online)

PHT Morning Skate: Where Phil Esposito is still hardcore about the Summit Series

Phil Esposito, Vladislav Tretiak
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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.

Phil Esposito sounds as if he could play the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union all over again right now. (Calgary Sun)

It must be Blake Wheeler day at the Winnipeg Sun, but Ken Wiebe has a great story about how Claude Noel lit a fire under him last season. (Winnipeg Sun)

Young forward Brett Connolly will get some needed time to work on his game in Syracuse in the AHL. (The Tampa Tribune)

Many Oilers forwards and prospects are eating it up in Europe already. Sure beats Seattle, right? Ahh, jokes. (Edmonton Journal)

Former Binghamton Senators coach Kurt Kleinendorst landed a new job as head coach the University of Alabama-Huntsville hockey team, replacing Chris Luongo. (The Huntsville Times)

Finally, check out Nikolay Zherdev’s goal for Atlant in the KHL. (KHL-YouTube)

Stars, Devils, Senators, and Wild still looking to fill coaching vacancies

Montreal Canadiens v Pittsburgh Penguins

The first move in this year’s coaching carrousel has been made as the Florida Panthers are officially announcing Kevin Dineen as their 11th coach in franchise history this morning. For those keeping track at home, that would be ONE coaching vacancy filled almost two full months after the end of the regular season. Maybe they were waiting to see if Claude Julien would become available after the first round? Either way, there are still job openings in four difference cities for the any potential head coaches. Some names have been floating around since the beginning of the season and some names like Saint John Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant have caught fire over the last few months. Here’s a snapshot of the four teams still looking for a bench boss.

New Jersey Devils: After John MacLean failed so spectacularly to start the 2010-11 season, Devils boss Lou Lamoriello is taking a methodical approach this time around. Jacques Lemaire proved during the 2nd half of last season that the team has enough talent to win—they’ll just need the right coach to point the team in the right direction. The three candidates who are getting the most attention are Binghamton Senators head coach Kurt Kleinendorst (played under Lamoriello at Providence College and was with the Devils organization for nine years), Montreal assistant Kirk Muller (played his first seven seasons with the Devils), and respected, defensive-minded, former head coach Ken Hitchcock.

Dallas Stars: The Stars are a little further along in the interview process. Joe Nieuwendyk has interviewed Ken Hitchcock, Peter Horachek (Predators assistant), Glen Gulutzan (Texas Stars head coach); plans to interview Kirk Muller, and one final candidate who could possibly be Saint John Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant. Since the day Marc Crawford was fired, that speculation has been that Nieuwendyk’s strong ties from his playing days with both Hitchcock and Muller would make them the leading candidates. Until both find jobs in competing cities or someone else is hired, they’ll continue to be the leading candidates.

Minnesota Wild: GM Chuck Fletcher has confirmed that he has interviewed Michel Therrien (Wild scout), Craig MacTavish, and Ken Hitchcock (asked for permission). Aside from each of those worthy candidates, Houston Aeros head coach Mike Yeo is another name that is likely to be considered as he recently lead the Wild’s AHL affiliate to the Calder Cup Final.

Ottawa Senators: Bryan Murray told the Ottawa Citizen that he started his coaching search last week. The Sens job is interesting in that so many candidates have ties to the owner or organization. Former Florida Panthers head man Peter DeBoer was in the mix for Ottawa’s job last time around, Kurt Kleinendorst is the head coach of their AHL affiliate in Binghamton, Dave Cameron is the head coach of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors (owned by Eugene Melnyk), and Hamilton’s head coach Randy Cunneyworth is a former Senators captain. On top of all those names, Red Wings assistant Paul MacLean has already been given an interview.

Aside from each of the candidates mentioned for each job, Hawks assistant coach Mike Haviland, Manitoba Moose coach Claude Noel, and Thrashers assistant John Torchetti have all had their names bouncing around the rumor mill. When the music stops, there will only be chairs for four candidates; but with the Panthers kicking off the hiring season, it looks like the coaching vacancies will start to get filled.