Philadelphia Flyers name North Dakota’s Dave Hakstol new bench boss

Jared Clinton
Dave Hakstol (Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Flyers have named their new head coach, but it’s not a name one would have expected. And no, while he has spent the past decade being part of a winning organization, it’s not Mike Babcock.

In a somewhat surprising move, the Flyers named Dave Hakstol, who has spent the past decade as the coach of the University of North Dakota men’s hockey program, as their bench boss for the 2015-16 season. The hiring comes as coaches such as Dan Bylsma, Todd McLellan and John Tortorella, all with NHL pedigree, remain without jobs for next season.

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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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The five craziest free agent offer sheets in NHL history

Scott Stevens ended up a New Jersey Devil after the St. Louis Blues signed Brendan Shanahan to an offer sheet. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Blues and GM Doug Armstrong have made no bones about it: whatever the price is for Vladimir Tarasenko, they’re willing to pay. In the end, that could come down to matching an offer sheet.

If the Blues can’t get Tarasenko, a restricted free agent, under contract by the time the draft comes and goes, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that another team will see the worth in locking up St. Louis’ star sniper. It’s a tactic that has been used for nearly three decades, although rarely over the past decade.

Looking back through the NHL’s history of offer sheets, though, gives us an idea of just how crazy things could get should Tarasenko ink an offer from another team. These are five of the craziest offer sheet scenarios in league history: Read more

Are Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry best 1-2 draft punch in NHL history?

Ryan Getzlaf (left) and Corey Perry  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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

Rimouski clinches second spot in the Memorial Cup field

Rimouski's Samuel Morin (Photo by Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

One of the most vexing problems regarding the Memorial Cup is that the host teams haven’t been earning their spots lately. London, Shawinigan and Saskatoon all “backed in” to the CHL classic after bombing out early in their respective league playoffs.

So here’s a shout-out to the Quebec League, which already has its two bids sewn up this year thanks to a couple of elite teams who did what they were supposed to do.

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After 16 seasons, defenseman Hal Gill officially announces retirement

Hal Gill (Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

After 16 seasons in the NHL and stints with the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators and Philadelphia Flyers, defenseman Hal Gill has officially announced his retirement from the NHL.

Gill was drafted in the eighth round of the 1993 draft by the Bruins, and went on to play 1,108 regular season games, scoring 36 goals and 184 points. Gill also suited up for an additional 111 post-season games, tallying six helpers. His best playoff year came in 2008-09, when he picked up two assists and played nearly 19:30 per game en route to a Stanley Cup victory with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Read more

Todd McLellan on the move. Next stop, Edmonton?

Todd McLellan  (Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

There are some coaches who, after losing or leaving an NHL job, need time to decompress and recharge their batteries before they start working again. Todd McLellan is clearly not one of those people. This Friday he’ll leave for Prague to coach Canada in the World Championship, then sit back and field offers the way Brad Richards did four years ago.

And those offers will come. From Toronto, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Edmonton and, depending on what his mentor Mike Babcock decides on his own future, perhaps Detroit. But Todd McLellan, who mutually agreed with the San Jose Sharks to part ways with one year left on his deal, will coach in the NHL next season.

“I’m a coach,” McLellan said on a conference call Monday afternoon. “I want to coach.” Read more

Hi, my name is Ken…and I’m addicted to the draft lottery simulator

Connor McDavid (Photo by Ken Andersen/Getty Images)

Spoiler alert: The Buffalo Sabres will win tonight’s NHL draft lottery with the numbers 11, 5, 6 and 7. Your trusty correspondent knows this because he went to this really cool website that simulates the NHL draft lottery and it told him so.

Then he did it 99 more times because, like a certain potato chip, you can’t do it only once. The website, http://nhllotterysimulator.com/#/official, took on a new life on Friday when the NHL made public the lottery number combinations for each of the 14 teams in the event. Suddenly, fans everywhere could, with the click of a keyboard, determine where Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel will end up next season. Read more