Dan Paille

Wilson expects Sharks to ‘bounce back very quickly,’ make playoffs


San Jose GM Doug Wilson met with the media Monday — following news that head coach Todd McLellan would not return next season — and said that, after a “transitional year” in which the team missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 seasons, next year would be different.

“We’re going to bounce back very quickly,” Wilson said. “We said last summer there would be a transition and this was the year we’d go through it. We stayed true to our word. We had complete clarity with what we were going to do, and that’s what we did. We’re looking to have a quick bounce. We missed the playoffs this year.

“Did we think we’re a good enough team to make the playoffs? Yes, we do. Do we expect to be a playoff team next year? Yes, we do.”

The question now, of course, is if Wilson will be around to see the Sharks get back in. He said he’s yet to finish his player reviews and added his own evaluation still needs to be completed by owner Hasso Plattner:

While there are signs Wilson might return — he spoke at length about how he’d conduct the new coaching search, and constantly reiterated that this “transitional year” was all part of his master plan — there are, clearly, no guarantees. Like Wilson, Boston GM Peter Chiarelli was allowed to conduct an end-of-year presser that included some fairly significant decisions (specifically, confirmation that veterans Dan Paille and Gregory Campbell wouldn’t be resigned) but was fired just two days later.

Speaking of getting fired, Wilson was adamant that’s not what happened with McLellan. The Sharks GM repeatedly mentioned it was a “mutual decision” between he and McLellan, and quickly shot down comments that the coach was forced out, like what happened with Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers.

“Completely inaccurate,” Wilson said. “You can ask myself, you can ask Todd. It was a mutual [decision], I shared the process with you and that’s what took place.”

So, the big question still remains: Should, and will, Wilson be retained and put in charge of finding a new bench boss? If he is, it’ll be just the second coaching hire of his 12-year career in San Jose (he inherited Ron Wilson, lest we forget.) Which means the next order of business isn’t the hire — it’s Wilson trying to convince Plattner he’s the right guy to make it.

Soderberg’s agent shoots down rumors of Swiss league move


Boston forward Carl Soderberg, an unrestricted free agent this summer, will be playing in the NHL next year — contrary to rumors of a pending move to Switzerland, per agent Claes Elefalk.

Soderberg, 29, has spent the last three years in Boston and was a key contributor this season, averaging close to 17 minutes a night while appearing in all 82 games, scoring 13 goals and 44 points.

But, according to Swiss news outlet Tages Anzeiger, National League A side HC Lugano has expressed an interest in getting Soderberg back to Europe, where he’s spent the majority of his professional career (granted, it was all in the Swedish league.)

The thinking is that Lugano would bring in Soderberg to replace the outgoing Brett McLean. McLean, who appeared in nearly 400 NHL contests with the Blackhawks, Avalanche and Panthers, had spent the last four seasons with Lugano and was one of the club’s top offensive producers.

There’s been no word from Boston if it plans to bring Soderberg back next season. Yesterday, GM Peter Chiarelli announced that a pair of veteran UFA forwards — Dan Paille and Gregory Campbell — would not be re-signed.

Bruins sign Gagne: one year, $600K (Update)


After a slow start to the season in which they’ve scored four goals in four games, the Bruins are rolling the dice on a veteran sniper.

Simon Gagne, who was with the B’s in training camp and preseason, has agreed to a one-year deal worth $600,000, per ESPN. Gagne, 34, didn’t play at all last year while recovering from injury but looked good in exhibition play, scoring two points in five games while firing nine shots on goal.

Formerly one of the league’s most prolific snipers — he had 47 and 41 goals in back-to-back seasons for Philadelphia from 2005-07 — Gagne will likely get a shot at breaking into the lineup immediately, possibly in time for Wednesday’s Rivalry Night game against Detroit at Joe Louis.

Where Gagne fits, though, remains to be seen.

Following Monday’s 2-1 loss to Colorado, B’s head coach Claude Julien said rookie winger Seth Griffith looked good in his NHL debut and was “an upgrade” to the top line of David Krejci and Milan Lucic.

“We’ll see if he can build on that stuff, but I thought he got better and he skated well,” said Julien, per CSNNE. “He made some plays. So, to me, I thought our lineup was an upgrade tonight.”

Gagne also saw time with Ryan Spooner and Dan Paille during the preseason, so that spot is also an option.

UPDATE: In addition to signing Gagne, the Bruins waived forward Bobby Robins and sent fellow forward Jordan Caron to AHL Providence. Robins, 32, was one of the league’s best stories this preseason, making the Bruins out of training camp before appearing in three regular-season contests — he’s been placed on waivers for the purpose of going to Providence, so we’ll see if he clears and sticks with the organization.

Caron, the 23-year-old taken 25th overall at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, make his season debut on Monday, finishing minus-1 in 8:05 TOI.

Video: Hard-hitting game between Bruins and Canadiens


As is typically the case, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens were involved in another feisty contest. The visiting Habs came away with the two points, defeating their Original Six rival 2-1 in the shootout and stopping the Bruins’ winning streak at 12 games.

The bad blood between these teams started brewing early.

Canadiens’ defenseman Alexei Emelin caught Bruins’ power forward Milan Lucic with a hip check in the first period, initiating a reaction from Zdeno Chara, who was called for roughing.

As per Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, Lucic called Emelin a “chicken” for the hip check after the game.

Now, here is the open-ice neutral zone hit from Canadiens defenseman Mike Weaver on Bruins’ forward Dan Paille in the second period.

Despite these two big hits from the Canadiens, it was the Bruins that led the way with 36 registered hits to Montreal’s 24.

There was also a case of Lucic apparently spearing Emelin late in the third period. That can be viewed by clicking on this link.

B’s assign Johnson, Warsofsky to AHL


The Boston Bruins have assigned forward Nick Johnson and defenseman David Warsofsky to AHL Providence.

Why would they do that? Well, the Johnson move could mean the return of winger Dan Paille (concussion symptoms) for Friday’s home game versus Ottawa.

As for the assignment of Warsofsky, who made his NHL debut on Dec. 19, that could mean Dougie Hamilton (lower body) is nearly good to go.

For more on the recoveries of Hamilton and Paille, click here for a CSN New England story from Sunday.