Report: Dineen, Boughner ‘major candidates’ for Avalanche coaching job

Kevin Dineen (Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Patrick Roy stepped down from his post as coach of the Avalanche nearly two weeks ago and two NHL assistants are reportedly the frontrunners to take over as bench boss in Colorado.

According to The Denver Post’s Terry Frei, Chicago Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen and San Jose Sharks assistant Bob Boughner are two ‘major candidates’ to assume the Avalanche’s top coaching job and both have ties to the city.

As Frei points out, Dineen spent two seasons at the University of Denver before making his jump to the NHL during the 1984-85 season with the Hartford Whalers, whereas Boughner spent the final two seasons of his NHL career with the Avalanche, playing a total of 52 games with the club across the 2003-04 and 2005-06 campaigns.

However, there’s another tie both coaches share. The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline made the connection between Dineen and Boughner, both former members of the Blue Jackets’ front office and coaching staff, and Avalanche assistant GM Chris McFarland, who held the same position in Columbus during the tenures of both Dineen and Boughner. Portzline added that also helps draw the link between Jared Bednar, coach of the Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate, and the Avalanche. Read more

Logan Couture to replace injured Jamie Benn on Canada’s World Cup team

Jared Clinton
Logan Couture (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

A core muscle injury that required mid-July surgery to repair put Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn’s status for the World Cup in question, and Tuesday came the news that Benn is officially out of the tournament.

Hockey Canada has announced that Benn, 27, will not be able to take part in the World Cup, despite the fact that his originally reported recovery timeline made it possible that he could have been healthy in time for the competition. Benn had previously said that his focus was to play in the World Cup, adding he believed the surgery would be slightly easier to come back from than the double hip surgery he had undergone during the previous off-season. The injury was said to need a six-week rehab process, but after re-evaluation, Benn will not be able to participate.

But fear not, Canadian hockey fans, as Benn, the NHL’s highest-scoring player over the past two seasons, has been replaced by the 2015-16 post-season’s leading point-getter, Logan Couture. Read more

Report: Sabres’ Alex Nylander could head to AHL thanks to loan loophole

Jared Clinton
Alex Nylander (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

After one 28-goal, 57-point campaign in the OHL, Buffalo Sabres first-round, eighth-overall draft pick Alex Nylander is reportedly set to leave the Mississauga Steelheads for the AHL’s Rochester Americans.

According to OHLInsiders, Nylander, 18, could be set to head to the Sabres’ farm club as soon as the 2016-17 campaign, which would means the young winger is making use of a loophole that would allow him to go from major junior to North America’s top minor league before the normal age of eligibility.

Typically, a player drafted out of major junior has to wait until their age 20 season to become a full-time AHLer. But Nylander is the rare case of a player who had spent the entirety of the past season on a loan. So, in that sense, he’s not a major junior player, but a European player that is eligible for the AHL whenever the Sabres see fit. And it appears they could see fit this season. Read more

Carey Price says he feels like his ‘old self,’ ready to move past injury

Jared Clinton
Carey Price (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Carey Price’s last minute of NHL action came more than 270 days ago — nearly nine months — and he can’t wait for the World Cup to begin so he can finally put the MCL sprain that claimed nearly his entire 2015-16 campaign in the past.

In an interview with InGoal Magazine’s Kevin Woodley, Price admitted that he can’t help but think about the injury from time to time, but not because it’s impacting his ability to move about the crease. In fact, Price said he feels like his “old self on the ice,” but that the injury keeping him on the shelf for so long has crept into his mind.

“I don’t want to say I feel anxious but I just want to get started,” Price told Woodley. “I feel like the build-up has been six months of waiting for that first game and I still haven’t gotten there. I’ve been working towards a goal I haven’t gotten to yet.” Read more

Connor McDavid is ready for his second season; is the captaincy part of it?

Ryan Kennedy
Connor McDavid (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

In a way, Connor McDavid delivered exactly as we thought he would as an NHL rookie: his sublime skill set and hockey mind propelled him to more than a point per game, making him one of Edmonton’s top scorers. But a shoulder injury deprived him of nearly half the season and perhaps the Calder Trophy. So we’ve seen McDavid, but we also know there is more to come. Entering his sophomore campaign, the Oilers phenom is feeling positive about his team’s chances.

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Rumor Roundup: Kevin Shattenkirk trade rumors not going away

Lyle Richardson
Kevin Shattenkirk.(Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)

St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk remains a fixture in this summer’s NHL rumor mill. Most of the chatter still ties the 27-year-old to the New York Rangers, suggesting he could be swapped for left winger Rick Nash.

During a recent live chat with his readers, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was asked what forward the Blues would have to package with Shattenkirk to land the 32-year-old Nash. Citing Nash’s $7.8-million cap hit through 2017-18, Rutherford proposes including Patrik Berglund ($3.7 million) or Jori Lehtera ($4.7 million) with Shattenkirk’s $4.25-million cap hit to offset the difference.

NBC Sports’ Jason Brough believes the Blues would be making a big mistake trading Shattenkirk. He argues they could be undervaluing Shattenkirk’s worth to their D-corps.

Shattenkirk eligibility next summer for unrestricted free agency is the main issue driving the trade rumors. Brough acknowledges the Blues’ concern about fitting a raise for him under their cap space for 2017-18.

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Monahan ‘positive’ Gaudreau will be signed by Flames’ opener

Jared Clinton
Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau (Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

The most important move of the Calgary Flames’ off-season was never going to be a trade, draft pick or unrestricted free agent signing. Rather, the Flames’ biggest transactions of the summer were always set to be the signings of Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary’s two bright, young stars who were both restricted free agents this off-season.

The Flames have taken care of the former, inking Monahan to a seven-year, $44.625-million deal, and they’re working on getting Gaudreau’s deal done. According to Flames GM Brad Treliving, the Flames have “every confidence” that they can find common ground with Gaudreau, but Monahan took it one step further, making it clear that he believed Gaudreau would be signed without missing a minute of action.

“It takes time,” Monahan said, via NHL.com’s Aaron Vickers. “I’m positive he’s going to be here for Oct. 12 and be playing for the Calgary Flames. I’m not worried about it. Brad is doing his work on that part. I’m just looking forward to getting off to the World Cup and playing with him there, and continue that chemistry into the season.” Read more