Marco Sturm, the highest-scoring German player in NHL history, has agreed to become the head coach and general manager of Germany’s national team.
“I’m very proud that the DEB [German hockey federation] gives me the huge responsibility and I’m really immensely looking forward to this challenging and exciting task I will work on with huge motivation,” Sturm said, per the IIHF website. “Together we want to go the next step with German ice hockey.”
Sturm, 36, retired last January after a 15-year NHL career that went through San Jose, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, Vancouver and Florida. He also represented Germany at nearly every international level, participating in three Winter Olympics.
As mentioned in his quote above, this new gig will be a challenge. Sturm, who doesn’t have any pro coaching experience, inherits a struggling national team; Germany finished a disappointing 10th at the 2015 World Hockey Championships, suffering one of the biggest blowouts of the tournament, a 10-0 loss to Canada.
This came on the heels of an equally disappointing effort at the ’14 tourney, in which the Germans needed group stage wins over Latvia and Kazakhstan to avoid relegation.
Currently, there are seven German skaters in the NHL: Tobias Rieder, Dennis Seidenberg, Christian Ehrhoff, Marcel Goc, Leon Draisaitl, Korbinian Holzer and David Wolf. Thomas Greiss and Philipp Grubauer are the country’s lone netminders.
The St. Louis Blues have signed forward Magnus Paajarvi to a one-year, one-way contract, the club announced on Wednesday.
According to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the deal is worth $700,000.
Paajarvi filed for player-elected arbitration prior to Sunday’s deadline.
The 24-year-old split last season between the St. Louis Blues and the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves.
In 10 games with the Blues, Paajarvi registered an assist and a minus-2 rating. He scored 11 goals and 18 assists in 36 AHL games.
Paajarvi was acquired by St. Louis from the Edmonton Oilers in the David Perron trade in July 2013.
Less than a year ago, the Washington Capitals had no idea who would be their second-line center.
They know now.
It’s Evgeny Kuznetsov, the talented 23-year-old Russian who just signed a two-year extension with the club.
“I played good hockey but I have to play better,” Kuznetsov said, per CSN Washington. “I’ll try to focus on my game and what the coach tells me. If everybody does the right job probably something good will happen.”
Next season, the Caps could have a first line comprised of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie, and a second line featuring Kuznetsov between Andre Burakovsky and Justin Williams.
“[Kuznetsov] filled a hole at second-line center that we’ve been trying to fill for a number of years,” Caps general manager Brian MacLellan said in May.
With a defense headlined by John Carlson and Matt Niskanen, and with Braden Holtby in goal, you’ll excuse Caps fans for finding it difficult to contain their excitement.
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