NHL decision to go back to compensation system makes a lot of sense

Steve Yzerman (left) and Mike Babcock  (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland has lost a lot of good people over the years – Steve Yzerman, Jim Nill, Todd McLellan and Paul MacLean to name just a few – so he’s obviously pleased the NHL reversed its stance on providing compensation for teams who lose executives to their rivals. Even if it means that if he loses his head coach this summer, nothing will be coming back the Red Wings way.

As first reported by Pierre LeBrun of espn.com, about eight months ago the league quietly reversed itself on the issue of compensation. Any team hiring someone from another organization who is under contract to be a GM, coach or president, must now compensate the team losing the staffer with a draft pick. If the hiring is done in the off-season, the team hiring the new man must surrender a third-round pick. If it’s done mid-season, the pick becomes a second-rounder. Read more

Drew Miller sliced by skate, nearly has eye cut in terrifying accident

Jared Clinton
Drew Miller had his face cut by Mark Stone's skate (via Fox Sports Detroit/YouTube)

It would be shocking if next time you see Drew Miller, he’s not wearing a full face shield and neck guard.

During Tuesday’s game against the Senators, Ottawa winger Mark Stone was battling Red Wings center Luke Glendening off a faceoff when Stone’s back leg came up and caught Miller right across the cheek. Miller immediately fell to his knees clutching his face before popping up and making a beeline to the Detroit bench. Once to the bench, Miller and the Red Wings medical staff headed straight back to the dressing room.

Check out the video, and aftermath, below. Be warned, though: it’s not pretty. Read more

Red Wings’ Petr Mrazek robs Senators’ Mark Stone with astonishing pad save

Adam Proteau
Petr Mrazek (Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Red Wings have been dealing with some goaltending issues of late, with neither starter Jimmy Howard nor No. 2 Petr Mrazek showing consistency between the pipes. But in a crucial Tuesday game against Ottawa, Mrazek came up with a gigantic save – in this particular instance, on Sens winger Mark Stone – Detroit is hoping to see more of as the playoffs loom.

The visiting Sens are six points behind the Wings for third in the Atlantic Division, and Detroit has to worry about the Boston Bruins (only three points behind them) as well, so they needed Mrazek to give them a chance to win. And that’s what he did with his lunging right pad stop on Stone early in the first period at Joe Louis Arena: Read more

Top five potential free agent NHL coaches this summer

Mike Babcock (Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

With this NHL off-season having the weakest class of unrestricted free agents in recent memory, the biggest names that change teams more than likely are going to be behind the bench. Some of the potential coaching free agents will depend on the regular-season and playoff games to come this spring and summer, but there’s no doubt new salary benchmarks will be set for a profession that hasn’t been flush with money (at least, as compared to NHL coaches’ counterparts in other sports). Here are the top five potential free agent coaches in the 2015 off-season:

5. Dan Bylsma. The former Penguins coach and Stanley Cup-winner has been waiting quietly on the sidelines for the opportune moment to restart his NHL coaching career, and although he has another year remaining on his contract with Pittsburgh, few think he’ll stay there for much longer. He’s not an authoritarian figure in the dressing room and showed during his time with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin he understands how to handle the league’s top young talent. Bylsma’s pedigree and young age – he’s still only 44 years old – will have him on the list of interviewees for a number of job openings. Read more

CHL playoffs: The most intriguing first-round matchups

Quebec's Anthony Duclair  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

The CHL playoffs begin tonight and it’s going to be a lot of fun. Connor McDavid has one last chance to win it all with the Erie Otters in the Ontario League, but the powerfully-built Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds have designs of their own. Out in the Western League, Kelowna and Brandon seem to be on a collision course for the final, while the Quebec League has the added wrinkle of sending two teams to the Memorial Cup – one being the host Quebec Remparts, who won’t want to crawl in through the back door.

Here’s a look at all the first-round matchups in the CHL, with a bit more info on one series per league that has me riveted from the get-go.

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Former Red Wing, Canuck Mikael Samuelsson announces retirement

Jared Clinton
Mikael Samuelsson (Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Following one-season in the SHL, 13-year NHL veteran Mikael Samuelsson has decided to hang up his skates.

Samuelsson, 38, was drafted in the fifth round, 145th overall, by the San Jose Sharks in the 1998 draft, but didn’t really make his mark in the NHL until nearly a decade later when he landed with the Detroit Red Wings. With Detroit, Sameulsson would capture a Stanley Cup in 2007-08 and his performance in the 2005-06 season would help earn him a spot on the Olympic gold medal-winning Swedish squad in 2006. Read more

Tank, schmank: Coyotes’ Mike Smith makes brilliant stop on Riley Sheahan, denies Wings two points

Adam Proteau
Mike Smith (Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Coyotes are in the headlines these days mostly regarding their odds of drafting junior phenom Connor McDavid, but their players aren’t thinking about tanking the remainder of the season. And there was no better example of that than Yotes goalie Mike Smith, who made an astonishing pad save on Red Wings center Riley Sheahan late in regulation Tuesday and went on to deny Detroit a second point in overtime and the shootout in an improbable 5-4 Arizona win.

The Wings and Coyotes were tied at four goals apiece in Detroit with approximately three minutes left in the third period when Sheahan capitalized on a Coyotes turnover and snapped off a quick shot that wasn’t easy for Smith to stop. The rebound came back to Sheahan, and Smith’s second save – with his right leg stretching out to prevent what surely would’ve been the go-ahead goal – was simply spectacular: Read more