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But fear not, Canadian hockey fans, as Benn, the NHL’s highest-scoring player over the past two seasons, has been replaced by the 2015-16 post-season’s leading point-getter, Logan Couture.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

Five sophomores who could be in line for breakout seasons

Robby Fabbri (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS via Getty Images)

There’s nothing worse than the dreaded sophomore slump, and there are several players who are going to be fighting against a down year after bursting onto the NHL scene this past season.

Take Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Calder Trophy winner Artemi Panarin for example. Each came in with significant amounts of hype — McDavid the phenom, Eichel the Hobey Baker winner and Panarin the Russian standout — and each delivered with stellar performances in their rookie seasons. Because of that, the upcoming campaign is going to be their chance to prove that the 2015-16 season was no fluke and that the production was a sign of things to come.

The same goes for defensive talents such as Colton Parayko and Shayne Gostisbehere. Parayko came in as a relative unknown and turned into a top-four defenseman for the St. Louis Blues and already looks to be a member of the core group that will lead the team forward. As for Gostisbehere, his high-scoring ways made him a sensation and Philadelphia Flyers fans can’t wait to see if he can do it all again.

But there are also several rookies who had good — not great — rookie campaigns and could take a major step forward this coming season. Here are five sophomore players in line for a breakout year in 2016-17: Read more

San Jose Sharks reveal new logos and ‘Los Tiburones’ jersey

Ryan Kennedy
(Image courtesy of the San Jose Sharks)

It wasn’t so long ago that the San Jose Sharks updated their predatory logo, but the more the merrier, right? Coming off the franchise’s first-ever appearance in the Stanley Cup final, the Sharks have released new logos and a special ‘Los Tiburones’ jersey for 2016-17. As you can see above, it’s a pretty sweet jersey. ‘Los Tiburones’ is a local nickname for the team and, duh, means ‘Sharks’ in Spanish. I love the font used and it’s worth noting that the man who designed it, Terry Smith, also created the Sharks’ very first logo. As for the other marks, you’ll notice the shark is a lot more toothy:

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Rumor Roundup: Bruins need to look to free agents for blueline help

Kris Russell (Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins efforts to bolster their defense via the trade market hasn’t panned out so far. The asking prices for available blueliners such as St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk, Minnesota’s Matt Dumba and Anaheim’s Cam Fowler are rumored to be expensive.

It could be time for Bruins GM Don Sweeney to consider his options via free agency. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty lists Kris Russell, James Wisniewski and Luke Schenn as possible blueline targets.

Russell, 29, is a top-four defenseman and shotblocking specialist. The 33-year-old Wisniewski missed all but one game last season to a knee injury. When healthy, he’s a good puckmoving blueliner. Schenn, 26, has a booming shot and plays a physical style.

This trio won’t address the Bruins long-term defensive needs. However, one of them could be a decent, affordable short-term option while Sweeney awaits for the trade market to improve.

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Mikkel Boedker signing tells us Sharks don’t plan to be one-year wonders

Matt Larkin
Mikkel Boedker. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Mikkel Boedker had plenty of suitors as he hit unrestricted free agency. At 26, he was among the youngest top-six forwards available. He’s one of the faster players in the game. And, while his career highs of 19 goals and 51 points are modest, he never played with top-end talent before the Arizona Coyotes traded him to the Colorado Avalanche at this year’s deadline.

Still, of all the teams seeking help on the wings…the San Jose Sharks? They already have one of the deepest forward corps in the league. The first line of Joe Thornton between Tomas Hertl and Joe Pavelski is dominant. Logan Couture, the second-line center, led the 2016 playoffs in scoring. Joel Ward brings thunder and clutch scoring from the third line. Patrick Marleau serves as a swingman who can play in the top six or center the third unit. Youngsters Chris Tierney and Melker Karlsson have shown flashes. First-round picks Nikolay Goldobin and Timo Meier should get their chances eventually.

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