Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Former Washington, Philadelphia, and Florida coach Terry Murray was hired by the Los Angeles Kings today as their new head coach. Murray will replace Marc Crawford, who was dismissed on June 10, in his first head coaching gig since being fired by the Florida Panthers in 2000-01. He brings a 360-277-100 regular season record to the table along with a 46-43 postseason record, having taken the Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1997.
With this hiring, the New York Islanders become the only NHL team with a head coaching vacancy.
The teams who did not officially announced their home opener are marked with Unknown...
ANAHEIM DUCKS: October 12th, against the Phoenix Coyotes
ATLANTA TRASHERS: October 10th, against the Washington Capitals
BOSTON BRUINS: October 20th, against the Pittsburgh Penguins
BUFFALO SABRES: October 10th, against the Montreal Canadiens
CALGARY FLAMES: October 11th, against the Vancouver Canucks
CAROLINA HURRICANES: October 10th, against the Florida Panthers
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: Unkwnown
COLORADO AVALANCHE: Unkwown
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: October 17h, against the Nashville Predators
DALLAS STARS: October 10th, against the Columbus Blue Jackets
DETROIT RED WINGS: Unknown
EDMONTON OILERS: Unknown
FLORIDA PANTHERS: October 11th, against the Carolina Hurricanes
LOS ANGELES KINGS: Unknown
MINNESOTA WILD: October 11th, against the Boston Bruins
MONTREAL CANADIENS: October 15th, against the Boston Bruins
NASHVILLE PREDATORS: October 11th, against the Dallas Stars
NEW JERSEY DEVILS: October 10th, against the New York Islanders
NEW YORK ISLANDERS: Unknown
NEW YORK RANGERS: Unknown
OTTAWA SENATORS: October 11th, against the Detroit Red Wings
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: October 11th, against the New York Rangers
PHOENIX COYOTES: Unknown
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: October 11th, against the New Jersey Devils
SAN JOSE SHARKS: October 9th, against the Anaheim Ducks
ST.LOUIS BLUES: Unknown
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: Unknown
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: Unknown
VANCOUVER CANUCKS: October 9th, against the Calgary Flames
WASHINGTON CAPITALS: October 11th, against the Chicago Blackhawks
The one concern is the Blues third and fourth lines. The Blues keep filling there roster with border-line 3rd and/or top of the road fourth line grinders... Recently Matt Foy and Brad Winchester have been put into a mix of an already crowded group of roll players. Matt Foy, Dan Hinote, Cam Janssen, DJ King, Jay McClement, Yan Stastny, and Brad Winchester will all compete for roles with prospects Nick Drazenovic, Nikolai Lemtyugov, Chris Porter, Ryan Reaves, Brett Sonne, and Julian Talbot. I ask you STL management how many of these guys can you put on the team?
Outside the Note...
Watching the MLB All Star got me thinking... Would the NHL benefit from a similar structure? Could the East vs. West All Star games be precedent once again? Would more viewers tune into the annual NHL midseason spectacular if it meant something, if it meant home ice?
Think about it....
They also re-sign RFA defenceman Marc Methot to a 1-year, $522,500 contract, as well as RFA forward Alexandre Picard to a 1-year, $787,500 contract. Methot played 9 games with the Jackets last season, recording 0 point, and Picard played 3 games, also registering 0 point.
While you wait for 7:30 to come check out the HOCKEYBUMS MESSAGE BOARD:
Atlanta Thrashers Re-signed Restricted free agent Goaltender Kari Lehtonen to a new contract extension.
LA Kings Re-signed forward Gabe Gauthier for 2 years and goaltender Erik Ersberg,forward Matt Moulson and d-man Joe Piskula to new 1 year contract extensions.
Edmonton Oilers Re-signed forward Shawn Horcoff to a 6 year contract extension.
Forward Nigel Dawes signed a one-year contract extension with the Blueshirts today. He will earn $587,500 in 2008-09. Dawes, 23, had his best NHL season in 2007-08, notching 14 goals and 29 points in only 61 games. He should play a bigger role next season, especially if Shanahan doesn't return to NY.
Forward Stephane Veilleux was put on waivers by the Wild earlier today. The 26 year-old scored 18 points in 77 games last season with Minnesota.
Veilleux had fired his agent earlier this week. That might have been a bad idea... We should know soon if he finds a taker.
The Habs also signed newly acquired Shawn Belle, who they got in exchange for Corey Locke, to a 2-way contract for 1 year.
The Canadiens also signed forward Mike Glumac to a one year contract. Glumac played with the Peoria Rivermen last year.
The Carolina Hurricanes are currently over their self imposed salary cap of $45 Million and with the newly rebuilt defense, it appears Kaberle is the odd man out. The Kings, on the other hand, are about $10 million below the salary cap floor and are rumoured to be looking for a veteran defenseman.
After listening to GM Brian Lawton's responses last night to trade rumors, its pretty obvious that he is constantly working the phones for a trade to help the blueline. Though most everyone (myself included) is hoping for an impact deal for a defenseman in the likes of a Seabrook or Bieksa mold, I don't see that happening at all. Rather the Bolts will most likely add a leadership guy like Sydor or DeVries. I seems as though they covet their high draft picks too much to package them away for a top tier blueliner.
Los Angeles would receive goalie Martin Gerber and defenseman Andrej Meszaros from Ottawa. Chicago would add high flying forward Anze Kopitar to the increasingly potent Chicago offence, and the Blackhawks would move goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and one of two youthful blueliners, Brent Seabrook or Cam Barker to Ottawa reports the Sun.
Rearguard Kevin Klein signed a two-year extension with the Preds earlier today. the deal is worth $1.3M or $650,00 per season. Klein, 23, recorded 3 points in 18 games since his NHL debut in 2005-06. Koistinen, Peverley and Ellison are the only unsigned Preds' RFA as of today.
According to the Carolina News and Observer, Canes GM, James Rutherford considers signing former Maple Leafs Jeff O'Neill. The Hurricanes need depth at the center position and O'Neill expressed is desire to comeback, he did not play last season. It could be a cheap and usefull signing. In his last NHL season, in 2006-2007, O'Neill scored 20 goals and added 22 assists, in 74 games. He already played for the Hurricanes organization, from 1997 to 2004.
The STARS rewarded Dave Tippett with a well-deserved 2-year extension, locking him up through the 2010-2011 season. Tip has one of the best, if not the best, regular season winning percentages of any coach in history. Under his guidance the STARS have been to the playoffs every year, and 2 wins from the Stanley Cup Finals last season. Tippett's success with the STARS parallels that of goalie Marty Turco's. Turco's first season as the starting goalie was Tip's first season as the head coach. Where Turco goes, Tip goes ... except Turco, for the most part, has no chance of being moved. Though well-deserved and a nice gesture, by no means is Tippett's job secure! The bar has been set really high again and with Mr. Hull in command, that's where it will stay.
Switching to baseball for a moment ... what an incredible All-Star game that was last night! With the Rangers winning a little more this year, and the tremendous story of Josh Hamilton ... I've been a little more inclined to tune in lately. When's the last time a little Ranger, from Texas, stole the hearts of 56,000 New Yorker's! There was not a cooler moment than during the home run derby ... when those die-hard Yankee fans were chanting HAM-IL-TON, HAM-IL-TON, HAM-IL-TON! I was actually proud to be a Rangers' fan! 3 other Rangers played in the game: Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, and Milton Bradley. Young had the game-winning sacrifice fly, scoring Morneau from third base on a VERY close play at the plate; one of multiple close plays at the plate. I've never seen so many defensive gems in one game. Double plays, incredible short-hop grabs, outfield assists, and likely the best game-saving inning ever. Though it delayed the inevitable, getting past the 10th inning was almost miraculous. Bases loaded, no outs, consecutive errors ... no way this game was not over. Not only did the NL get the outs, but the first 2 came at home plate and the last one was an unbelievable individual play by Miguel Tejada. Without question it was the best baseball All-Star game I've ever watched. It certainly helped fill the massive void of no hockey! I'm on the Josh Hamilton and Texas Rangers' band-wagon.
The Lightning are in great shape for the future. Not only do they currently have two 1st and 2nd round picks in 2009, they have Lecavalier, St. Louis, Stamkos, Malone, Prospal, Vrbata, Matt Carle, and Mike Smith locked up for the next 3 years. That secures the entire top 2 lines for the near future. The defense on the other hand is young, and will all be RFA's in the next couple of years. With the expected cap hit projected to be aroung $46-48mil going into next season the ownership have plenty of opportunities to shape and mold the defense however they choose next summer. Not all is fixed, but compared to where they were at the end of the season, things could not look any brighter for the Bolts.
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