Jeremy Colliton

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NHL coaching news: Blackhawks add Crawford; Quenneville finalizes Panthers’ staff

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The Florida Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks made some noteworthy additions to their coaching staffs on Tuesday, finalizing both of their staffs for the 2019-20 season.

Let’s take a quick look at the hirings.

Blackhawks add Marc Crawford

Let’s start with the Blackhawks where the team announced that Marc Crawford was added as an assistant to serve under coach Jeremy Colliton, joining a staff that already had Sheldon Brookbank, Tomas Mitell (assistants) and Jimmy Waite (goaltending coach).

Before joining the Blackhawks, Crawford had been a part of the Ottawa Senators’ coaching staff since the 2016 season when he was hired as an associated head coach under Guy Boucher. When the Senators fired Boucher late in the 2018-19 season they made Crawford the interim coach to finish the season where he compiled a 7-10-1 record.

Marc’s son, Dylan Crawford, is an assistant video coach with the Blackhawks.

“Jeremy has an extremely bright and innovative mind and I am totally impressed by his presence and enthusiasm,” Crawford said in a statement released by the team.

“I know we will have a terrific relationship and my experience should benefit the entire coaching staff.”

Crawford definitely has plenty of experience having been a head coach for parts of 16 seasons in the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles, Dallas Stars, and Senators. He has compiled a 556-431-182 record in the league and won a Stanley Cup with the Avalanche during the 1995-96 season. Despite that strong record and championship his teams missed the playoffs in each of the past five full seasons he was a head coach (with Los Angeles and Dallas).

The Blackhawks hired Colliton as their head coach early in the 2018-19 season after firing Joel Quenneville. They went 30-28-9 after the change.

Speaking of Quenneville…

Panthers finalize Quenneville’s coaching staff

After making Quenneville, a three-time Stanley Cup winning coach, one of the highlights of their offseason the Panthers finalized his coaching staff on Tuesday with the hiring of Mike Kitchen, Andrew Brunnette, and Derek MacKenzie as assistants.

Robb Tallas will also return as the team’s goaltending coach.

Kitchen is a long-time NHL assistant, while Brunnette spent several years working for the Minnesota Wild organization following the conclusion of his playing career.

MacKenzie spent the past five seasons as a player for the Panthers (he was limited to just one game this past season) and served as the team’s captain during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.

“We have assembled a talented coaching staff with unique perspectives and a wealth of hockey experience,” said Quenneville in a team statement.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a proven coach and a quality person like Mike Kitchen again, as well as Andrew Brunette who is a bright, young, hockey mind who I coached as a player. It’s exciting to welcome former Panthers captain Derek MacKenzieto our staff as he enters the NHL coaching ranks following a great playing career. Together with longtime goaltending coach Robb Tallas, we are motivated by the task ahead of us. Our staff is eager to begin working towards our goal of bringing playoff hockey back to South Florida.”

The Panthers have a strong core of talent in place and are looking to rebound from a disappointing season and snap their current three-year playoff drought.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Senators claim Marek Svatos off waivers; Zherdev, others go unclaimed

In a roundabout way, the Ottawa Senators traded Alexei Kovalev for Marek Svatos, a sixth or seventh rounder in the 2011 draft and a nice chunk of change this afternoon. The Senators made a waiver claim for Svatos today after the Nashville Predators placed the marginal winger on waivers on Wednesday.

While the two contracts are prorated at this point, it’s still easy to guess that the Senators are saving some serious dough by exchanging Kovalev’s $5 million annual salary for the $800K deal Svatos signed with the Predators. My rough estimates dictate that Kovalev is owed about $1.21 million for the remainder of 2010-11 while Svatos will make about $193,500 or so for the rest of the season. (Cap figures according to CapGeek.com, but I did the math … for better or worse.)

This comprises the only waiver wire pickup of the day, as Nikolai Zherdev, Craig Rivet, Ales Kotalik and Jeremy Colliton went unclaimed.

Waiver wire roundup: Nikolai Zherdev, Craig Rivet highlight list

USA Today’s Kevin Allen points out that a handful of players were placed on waivers today, as Nikolai Zherdev, Craig Rivet, Marek Svatos, Ales Kotalik and Jeremy Colliton head the list. (H/T to Kristopher Martel.) Let’s take a quick look at the players.

Zherdev: At least one blogger believes that Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has a serious distaste for the Russian winger. He’s on a one-year deal with an annual cap hit of $2 million, so it’s possible someone will make a claim.

Rivet: Mike Harrington writes that the Buffalo Sabres still owe him $850,000 for this season. The team’s captain slipped all the way down to eight on the defensive depth chart, so his days as a Sabre seem to be over.

Svatos: The Predators snatched the former Colorado Avalanche forward from the St. Louis Blues on waivers, but they seem to have had enough with him. It might be an odd move since Nashville is banged up at forward, though.

Kotalik: Calgary keeps trying to waive Kotalik, but no one is interested in paying him for the rest of this season and $3 million in 2011-12. Odd, I know.

Colliton: The 26-year-old New York Islanders forward is making $500K for the season. His cheapness might make him more appealing, but he’s likely to clear waivers anyway.

There’s a reason these players were placed on waivers: each one of them have serious flaws. We’ll let you know if any teams claim them.

Islanders sign Jeremy Colliton; Thrashers give Tim Stapleton two-year contract

Here are two minor signings from around the NHL today.

  • The New York Islanders signed Jeremy Colliton (drafted in the second round – 58th overall – in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft) to a one year, two-way contract. The center hasn’t played at the NHL level since the 08-09 season when he appeared in six games, putting up one assist while averaging 11 minutes per contest. Colliton also played in 16 games in 07-08 and 19 games (a career high) all the way back in 05-06.

In his 42 games as an NHL player over four seasons, Colliton scored one goal and two assists for three points with a -5 rating and 16 penalty minutes.

  • Chris Vivlamore reports that the Atlanta Thrashers signed undersized 28-year-old journeyman forward Tim Stapleton to a two year contract that will be a two-way deal this season and a full NHL one in 2011-12. He had been playing with the San Antonio Rampage before the Thrashers signed him to this deal.

He joined the team in Denver today to be part of their roster as they prepare for a 10:00 pm ET game against the Avalanche, but it’s unclear if Stapleton will actually play for Atlanta. Still, he was very excited about the signing.

The contract is a two-way deal this season, worth $525,000 in the NHL and $105,000 in the AHL. Next season’s NHL deal will be worth $525,000.

“I’ve never had that,” Stapleton said of an NHL contract. “It’s something you strive for your whole career. I’ve been playing since I was three years old so I’m really excited about it. It hasn’t really hit me yet. I was in San Antonio 48 hours ago. To be here now, it’s been so surreal.”

Stapleton played six games with the Thrashers last season and scored two goals. He was a free agent following the season and not re-signed. The 5-foot-9, 160-pound Stapleton played 20 games for the Rampage with eight goals and seven assists this season.

Stapleton said he was trying to work out a deal with Phoenix before the Thrashers made him an offer.