Hitchcock does not have a contract for next season. And despite what GM Doug Armstrong said in October — that it’s “up to the players to get the job done,” i.e. the coach isn’t the problem — it’s possible we could see a situation, like we saw in San Jose, where there’s a mutual parting of ways.
Hitch: "This feels much different than last year."
To be sure, if Hitchcock were to move on from St. Louis and wanted to keep coaching, he’d be an interesting candidate in a place like Edmonton.
“He’s hard on us, but he does it because he knows the right way and how to get to this position,” said Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, per NHL.com. “You can never take that away from the way he coaches. He coaches fundamentals. It’s something we needed and we were able to get here because of him.”
Let’s face it — if there’s one team in the NHL that could use a fundamentals-based coach, it’s the Oilers.
But that’s getting ahead of ourselves.
“We’re not naive to the fact that we let our fans down with our postseason play,” said Armstrong. “We need to find a way to address and overcome.”
These are pretty significant adds for a Russian team looking to win back-to-back gold medals for the first time since 2008 and ’09. The Russians captured last year’s tournament on the strength of three KHL-based players — Viktor Tihkonov, Danis Zaripov and Sergei Plotnikov — but will be loaded with NHL talent this year; in addition to Malkin and Tarasenko, Team Russia will also feature the likes of Sergei Bobrovsky, Anton Khudobin, Nail Yakupov and, reportedly, Nikolai Kulemin.
PHT Morning Skate: Habs give Price the silent treatment
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.
Following Sunday night’s 2-0 win over the Ottawa Senators the Montreal Canadiens, led by Brandon Prust, decided to give goaltender Carey Price the silent treatment as he entered the team’s dressing room.
A Detroit-based company has found a new use for old hockey sticks. (The Hockey News)
With the Calgary Flames headed to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, rookie Sam Bennett will soon burn the first year of his entry-level contract. Wes Gilbertson writes on why the Flames aren’t worried about Bennett’s contract situation. (Calgary Sun)
Connor McDavid scored a highlight-reel shorthanded goal in Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. McDavid faked a shot freezing New York Rangers’ prospect Brandon Halverson before sliding the puck in with one hand. McDavd now has seven goals and two assists through the first three games of the series and his Erie Otters lead the best-of-seven 2-1.
Here’s a look inside the Minnesota Wild room following their 4-1 series-clinching win over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday: