Patrick Roy denies he’s agreed to be the next coach of the Canadiens

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Speculation that former Montreal goalie great Patrick Roy could one day coach the Canadiens grew more intense today.

Via the Globe and Mail comes this open letter to the Quebec Remparts – the junior team Roy owns, coaches, and manages – by Radio-Canada.ca’s Martin Leclerc.

Google translated from French to English:

I suggests you enjoy every moment you spend together with your coach during these exciting weeks of hard work. Because it will likely be the last.

In the small world of hockey, whispering for some time that Patrick Roy has already reached an agreement with [owner, president and CEO] Molson for next season and that once the season ends Remparts, his appointment as head coach of Canada will be confirmed.

And yes, that should be the head coach of the Canadiens, not Canada. The head coach of Canada is the Queen. Has a whistle, whiteboard and everything.

According to the Globe, Leclerc “has said in follow-up interviews that he has at least two reliable sources saying Roy will coach the Habs next year.”

Roy quickly shot down the report. His comments via le Journal de Québec (Google translated):

“When I heard that it comes from a concrete source, it shows that the journalistic world is covered with ridiculous sometimes.

“It makes me laugh and I’m flattered that my name is circulating, but at the end of the day, it’s Mr. Molson, who will make decisions about who is going to be his coach and general manager. Is satisfied with [GM] Pierre Gauthier, he’ll keep it, and it’s the same with [caoch] Randy Cunneyworth. “

Whether the report is true or just the media covering the world with ridiculous, expect to hear Roy’s name a lot more as Montreal’s miserable season draws to a merciful end.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

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TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.