NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2017
Kings fire Lombardi and Sutter, Canucks fire Desjardins, stars of the week & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings yesterday fired general manager Dean Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter. Luc Robitaille takes over as team president and head of hockey operations, while Rob Blake becomes general manager and team vice-president.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After missing the playoffs for the second time in three years and carrying limited salary-cap space for next season, change was coming for the Kings. No word yet as to who replaces Sutter behind the bench. It’ll be interesting to see what changes Blake has in store for the roster this summer.
MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers have made Dale Tallon their full-time GM, with Tom Rowe becoming a special advisor. Tallon was elevated into president of hockey operations last summer (a role he’ll retain) as Rowe took over as general manager and later the interim coach.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whatever the reason behind the puzzling decision last summer to replace Tallon with Rowe last year, that move was an embarrassing failure for the Panthers, who missed the playoffs this year after topping the Atlantic last season. Tallon should re-hire former coach Gerard Gallant, who was fired only a few weeks into this season, but it appears he’s considering other options for that job.
TSN.CA: The Vancouver Canucks fired head coach Willie Desjardins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers also believe GM Jim Benning and president Trevor Linden should follow Desjardins out the door. They’ll retain their jobs, but they’re probably on a short leash now. If the Canucks fail to make significant improvement next season, they could suffer the same fate as Desjardins.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid is the winner of the Art Ross Trophy for 2016-17 as the NHL’s leading scorer. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby won the Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal scorer for the second time in his career. Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby takes home the William M. Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals in 25 or more games.
Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom and Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point are the three stars for the week ending April 10, 2017.
ESPN.COM: Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel missed a $2 million performance bonus by missing out on finishing among the top-10 in points-per-game by one decimal point.
MLIVE.COM: Former NHL player and long-time head coach of the University of Michigan hockey team Red Berenson is retiring after 33 years.
PHILLY.COM: Former NHL player Bill Sutherland, who scored the first goal in Philadelphia Flyers history, died yesterday at age 82. Sutherland played 250 NHL games with the Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings, collecting 128 points. He went on to spend 10 seasons as part of the Winnipeg Jets coaching staff in the 1980s.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Sutherland’s family and friends.