Stars of the week, injury updates, locker clean-out day news and more in today’s collection of notable NHL headlines.
Locker Clean-out Day News.
NHL.COM: New York Islanders center John Tavares, Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane and Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin are the NHL stars of the week for the final week of the 2015-16 regular season.
AZCENTRAL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes yesterday announced Don Maloney was fired as their general manager after nine seasons. No word yet on his replacement, though one is expected to be in place before the NHL Draft in June.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports has a detailed piece on Maloney’s tenure and the circumstances which led to his dismissal, notably his tendency to insulate himself from parts of the organization (including head coach Dave Tippett and the club’s hockey operations head) regarding trade and free-agent decisions.
MONTREAL GAZETTE/LA PRESSE: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin confirmed Michel Therrien will return as head coach next season, blaming injuries (particularly Carey Price’s season-ending knee injury) for the club’s woes in 2015-16. Meanwhile, former Habs coach Jacques Demers continues to improve in his recovery from a stroke suffered last Wednesday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: News of Therien’s return isn’t sitting well with some Montreal pundits and fans, but I predicted months ago this would be the outcome. Bergevin may feel justified with this decision, but if a healthier Habs lineup stumbles from the gate next season, the cries for a coaching change will increase in number and volume.
CALGARY SUN’s Eric Francis reported via Twitter Flames GM Brad Treliving informed pending UFA goalie Jonas Hiller he won’t be brought back next season.
NJ.COM: Patrik Elias said he’d like to return for one more NHL season. If he does, however, it could be with a different team. Elias, 40, missed most of this season with a knee injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Elias had a great NHL career, but it’s time for him to consider retirement. The years of wear and tear are catching up with him.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres forward Cody McCormick’s playing career is over. He’s been sidelined since January 2015 by blood clots. “Cody McCormick is not going to jeopardize his life or his family by trying to play again,” (GM Tim) Murray said, “and we support him in that.”
NHL Playoff News.
NBC SPORTS: Tributes were pouring in yesterday from around the NHL honoring Philadelphia Flyers founder Ed Snider, who passed away yesterday at the age of 83.
THE DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk sought to clarify his recent comments regarding a possible return to Russia next season for family reasons, saying the decision isn’t 100 percent yet. For now, Datsyuk said his focus is on helping the Wings in the postseason.
MIAMI HERALD: Entering their opening-round series against the New York Islanders, the Florida Panthers have eight players on their roster who are playoff rookies. With 202 career playoff games, Jaromir Jagr has more than the Panthers’ franchise.
CSNNE.COM: Boston Bruins center David Krejci will undergo offseason left-hip surgery.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/STLTODAY.COM: Blackhawks Marian Hossa, Artem Anisimov and Andrew Shaw are expected to return to the Blackhawks lineup for Game One of their upcoming series against the St. Louis Blues. Meanwhile, goalie Jake Allen and forward Steve Ott have resumed practicing with the Blues, but forwards David Backes and Troy Brouwer remain day-to-day.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: It’s increasingly likely Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise (herniated disk) will miss the opening game of his club’s series against the Dallas Stars.
NEWSDAY: New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic (knee injury) hopes to be ready for Game One of his club’s series against the Florida Panthers.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion) and defenseman Olli Maatta (lower-body injury) resumed practicing with their teammates yesterday. Both, however, remain questionable for their club’s opening game of their series against the New York Rangers.