Senators’ AHL coach Luke Richardson not likely to move this off-season

Jared Clinton
Luke Richardson (via Binghamton Senators/YouTube)

When there’s a coaching vacancy in the NHL, Binghamton Senators bench boss Luke Richardson’s name is often brought up, but it appears he’ll be back in the AHL for at least one more season.

According to a report from the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, Richardson has been offered a new contract that would keep the former NHL blueliner in the AHL. Some believed that the coaching gig in Buffalo, which has ties to Ottawa through GM Tim Murray who was formerly an assistant GM with the Senators, was the most likely landing spot should Richardson make the jump to the big leagues. With former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma being named the Sabres’ new coach, however, it appears Richardson’s options may have dried up. Read more

Senators GM Bryan Murray stepping down after 2015-16 season

Jared Clinton
Bryan Murray (Getty Images)

It had to come eventually, but it’s heartbreaking to learn that Bryan Murray will no longer be the GM of the Ottawa Senators following the 2015-16 season.

Murray revealed in an interview with CBC’s Hallie Cotnam that he plans on the upcoming season being his last as the GM of the Senators after serving in the post for the past eight seasons. Prior to becoming the Senators’ GM, Murray spent 17 seasons as an NHL coach.

“I’m not as energized as I once was, but age has a little to do with that as well as the sickness,” Murray told Cotnam. Read more

Senators GM Bryan Murray to receive award from United Way

Jared Clinton
Bryan Murray  (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray didn’t set out to make his battle with colon cancer public because he wanted to receive recognition, he did it so he could help raise awareness and possibly help save some lives. He’s done the latter already, and now United Way is making sure he gets the honor he deserves.

The United Way announced that Murray will receive the Community Builder of the Year award for his work in making his battle public and helping to inspire others in Ottawa and across the country. He will be presented with the award at an awards gala Thursday, but in a video released by the United Way, the 72-year-old Senators GM already is trying to play down his role. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Sweeney’s decisions could shape Bruins’ future

Milan Lucic (Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

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

Top 10 coaches by points percentage: Where does Mike Babcock sit?

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock

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

Why Ottawa, not Andrew Hammond, wins Andrew Hammond’s new deal

Matt Larkin
Andrew Hammond. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Is Andrew Hammond a far richer man today than he ever imagined he’d be, even three months ago? Certainly.

But can we score May 20, 2015 as a big victory for the Ottawa Senators? Absolutely.

On Tuesday Ottawa announced the re-signing of pending unrestricted free agent goaltender Hammond, 27, to a three-year, $4.05-million contract. That amounts to a $1.35-million cap hit.

‘The Hamburgler’ went absolutely, er, bananas in the final months of the 2014-15 regular season, going 20-1-2 with a 1.79 goals-against average and .941 save percentage. Not bad for a guy who never posted better than a 2.47 GAA and .917 SP in his college days with Bowling Green or his AHL days with Binghamton. He almost singlehandedly delivered Ottawa to the playoffs. And yet, the concerns at season’s end were whether the sample size was too small to justify a big free agent deal and whether his insanely good play priced him out of Kanata.

Well, we can toss any of those concerns out the window now. Hammond’s $1.35-million AAV will rank him 34th among NHL goalies signed for 2015-16. The Sens did not overpay at all. He was the best starter in the game for two months, but he’ll make backup money for the next three-seasons. With such low financial risk, the three-year term isn’t a big deal. This contract is a coup for GM Bryan Murray and the Sens.

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Memorial Cup preview: How each team wins or loses

Leon Draisaitl (Melissa Baecker/Getty Images)

We know our four teams for the Memorial Cup now. Thanks to Oshawa’s ousting of Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters, the Generals will represent the OHL, joining Kelowna of the WHL, plus Quebec (the hosts) and Rimouski in the QMJHL. So who is favored to win it all? Ah, that’s a thorny question in a tournament that often surprises. But let’s take a look at what you should know about the four worthy squads in contention.

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