Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom could miss five months following hip surgery

Jared Clinton
Nicklas Backstrom. (Photo by Patrick Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

Nicklas Backstrom had an incredible season for the Washington Capitals, but the star pivot says he had been playing on a bad hip since early in the 2014-15 season. Following surgery to repair the ailment, there could be a long road of rehab ahead for the one-time 100-point scorer.

In an interview with Swedish news outlet Gefle Dagblad, Backstrom said the type of hip injury he suffered and the subsequent surgery has no definite timetable for full recovery, but he has heard that he could be sidelined for up to five months. Right now, Backstrom told the Gefle Dagblad, he’s simply trying to get back to normal. Read more

Can Ron Wilson lead Team USA to world junior gold in Helsinki?

Coach Ron Wilson (Photo by Robert Beck /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

Judging Team USA on its recent finishes at the world juniors is a tricky thing. Sure, the Americans have landed fifth in the past two outings, but in both cases they fell to the rival Russians in the quarterfinal; they also could have won it all had fate bounced their way.

That is the challenge now accepted by former NHL coach Ron Wilson. Last seen behind the bench with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2012, Wilson has been announced as Team USA’s coach for the 2016 world juniors in Finland and despite his professional hiatus, I can see him being very successful in the role.

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The top 10 prospects from the Memorial Cup

Oshawa's Cole Cassels  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

The 97th Memorial Cup is in the books and it ended in spectacular fashion. We all know it takes a team to win such a trophy, but some individuals naturally stood out. Here’s a look at the players who made the biggest impressions on me during my time in Quebec City.

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Oshawa Generals win Memorial Cup in OT thanks to undrafted rookie Anthony Cirelli

The Oshawa Generals celebrate (Photo by Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

QUEBEC CITY – Thanks to Anthony Cirelli’s two goals, including the overtime marker on a rebound against Kelowna, the OHL’s Oshawa Generals are Memorial Cup champions. Battling a Rockets team with two Canadian world junior gold medallists and a player who spent the first half of the season in the NHL, it came down to the undrafted rookie center and goaltender Ken Appleby, who has been snubbed countless times in his junior career.

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Getting to Know: Jim McKenzie

Jim McKenzie (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Status: NHL left wing from 1989-2004 with Hartford, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Winnipeg, Phoenix, Anaheim, Washington, New Jersey and Nashville. Currently serves as a pro scout for Florida. Resides in Nashville.

Ht: 6-foot-3 Wt: 205 pounds

DOB: November 3, 1969 In: Gull Lake, Sask. Read more

Capitals’ playoff run, beards raised more than $33,000 for American Special Hockey Association

Jared Clinton
Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby were two players who helped the Capitals Beard-A-Thon. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

As has become post-season tradition across the NHL, the Washington Capitals grew playoff beards as part of their run to the Stanley Cup. And while Washington’s post-season trip ended in the second round, the beards helped the team raise more than $33,700 for the American Special Hockey Association.

As part of what was called the Capitals Beard-A-Thon, and through a process similar to the popular Movember campaign, fans were requested to grow beards along with the team, while others could donate money to those growing facial hair for the playoffs or to the Capitals players themselves. All the proceeds were then donated to the ASHA. 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

Rumor Roundup: Next step for Oilers is building their blueline

Justin Schultz  (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Things certainly seem to be looking up for the Edmonton Oilers. After naming Bob Nicholson as their CEO, hiring Peter Chiarelli as GM and Todd McLellan as head coach plus winning the 2015 Draft lottery, there’s a sense this long-moribund team has finally turned the corner. While seemingly “winning” the off-season, the Oilers need to turn that into on-ice success.

Despite their plethora of promising youth, soon to be augmented by wunderkind Connor McDavid, significant roster issues remain to be addressed. The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson reports bolstering their porous defense is their main priority. Read more