Lost amid news of the Toronto Maple Leafs hiring Mike Babcock were reports of the Boston Bruins hiring a new GM. Over a month after firing Peter Chiarelli, the Bruins promoted assistant GM Don Sweeney.
The Boston media wasted little time dreaming up “to-do” lists for Sweeney. Along with re-signing restricted free agent defenseman Dougie Hamilton and deciding if Claude Julien stays or goes as head coach, The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa and the Boston Herald’s Stephen Harris agreed a decision must be reached over left winger Milan Lucic’s future with the Bruins. Read more
There has been much speculation about the status of Bruins coach Claude Julien’s position with the team and new Boston GM Don Sweeney did little to put those questions to rest during his introductory press conference Wednesday.
Sweeney, who was named the eighth GM in Bruins history early Wednesday, met with media to discuss his vision for the club, what he likes about the squad and what will need changing when he was asked about Julien. His response was one that was more wait-and-see than he’s-our-guy.
“He’s the coach of the Boston Bruins as of today, for sure,” Sweeney said. Read more
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been mired in the basement of the NHL for several seasons, but the hiring of coach Mike Babcock is giving Leafs Nation a reason for hope for a better and much brighter future.
While he hasn’t coached long enough to make the top 10 all-time wins list, Babcock does have the most of any coach to be behind the bench for fewer than 1,000 games. As such, he has managed to become one of the effective coaches in the history of the game.
In order to better represent who exactly the top 10 coaches by points percentage are, however, we have to set a limit of at least 100 games as an NHL bench boss. Otherwise some coaches, like Cap Raeder, who was the fill-in coach for the San Jose Sharks for one game – a victory – have near perfect winning percentages without really having control of the club.
Here are the top 10 best coaches by points percentage: Read more
At first blush, the hiring of a guy like Don Sweeney by the Boston Bruins doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. After all, will the new boss be really all that different than the old boss. Sweeney has worked in the Bruins front office for almost a decade, the last six of them as the assistant to deposed former GM Peter Chiarelli. Presumably, he was an integral part of the decision making team that got the Bruins in this situation in the first place.
Well, thank you Brian MacLellan for smashing that particular notion. MacLellan was part of the Washington Capitals front office for even longer than Sweeney has been a part of Boston’s before he was named as George McPhee’s replacement almost a year ago. And all MacLellan did was distance himself from the former regime by making a big splash with his coach and in free agency and took the Capitals in a bold new direction.
Fear not, Bruins fans, as losing netminder Niklas Svedberg might not hurt that much after all. University of North Dakota goaltender Zane McIntyre is reportedly set to sign with Boston mere months after being named the Mike Richter Award winner as NCAA Division 1 hockey’s most outstanding goaltender.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, McIntyre, who was drafted by the Bruins in the sixth round, 165th overall, of the 2010 draft, is set to turn pro this off-season and would like to ink a deal with the team that drafted him. Read more
When fans of the Anaheim Ducks watch games such as Thursday night’s thrashing of the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of their playoff series, there’s a good chance they thank their lucky stars that Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are under contract for the next four seasons. (Oh, and if you happen to have both of them in a playoff pool, you’re probably clicking your heels together today as well. Click-click.)
They’re also probably pretty happy that Perry had such a poor showing in the CHL Prospects Game in 2003 and that Getzlaf was likened to “a poor man’s Patrick Marleau,” in THN’s Draft Preview that year. Because if not, Getzlaf would not have tumbled to 19th and Perry to 28th in that year’s draft and the Ducks would not have had the chance to take them. Read more
Depending upon the whims of the management teams in Boston and St. Louis, we could be in for one of the most fascinating off-season games of coaching musical chairs we’ve seen in years – perhaps even ever.
With the Detroit Red Wings eliminated from the playoffs, the Mike Babcock Sweepstakes™ are about to begin. Todd McLellan is already on the market and Ken Hitchcock’s future is uncertain in St. Louis. Meanwhile, the new GM in Boston will have the opportunity to decide whether or not Claude Julien is going to be his head coach moving forward. Read more
The NHL announced its three finalists in Norris Trophy voting this season - Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, Montreal’s P.K. Subban and Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty – and the fact none of the three were finalists in 2013-14 says something about the calibre of defenseman currently working in hockey’s top league. Read more