Tampa Bay’s Cooper to coach at U.S. junior camp

This summer’s U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp will have a decidedly NHL feel.

On Thursday, USA Hockey announced that Lightning head coach Jon Cooper will be one of four coaches for August’s NJEC, along with Kurt Kleindorst (head coach of Minnesota’s AHL affiliate in Iowa), Bob Motzko (St. Cloud State) and Greg Brown (Boston College).

The evaluation camp will take place Aug. 3-10 in Lake Placid, N.Y. and feature teams from the U.S., Canada, Finland and Sweden. It’ll be the biggest showcase of junior-level talent prior to the 2014 Worlds, which will be held in Malmo, Sweden beginning on Dec. 26.

Cooper, 45, took over the Tampa Bay job after Guy Boucher was fired in late March.

Prior to his gig with the Lightning, Cooper enjoyed major success with AHL Norfolk/Syracuse, winning the Calder Cup and Louis A. R. Pieri award as the league’s top coach in 2012.

 

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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 Sunday.

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    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.

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    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.”

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    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.

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