Â• I feel kinda sorry for Claude Julien. First, he gets sandbagged in Montreal Â– over Jose Theodore, of all people Â– then his next job comes in New Jersey, where Lou Lamoriello treats coaches like Kleenex.
Now, he's on the verge of joining the Boston Bruins, who have employed 16 different bench bosses in the past three decades. I know there are only 30 jobs out there, but Julien is starting to resemble the human landmine detector of NHL coaches.
Â• Some people are shocked by the news Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer is considering retirement, but those of us who spoke with him during the 2007 post-season weren't very surprised at all.
Never the best of interviews, Niedermayer seemed particularly jaded and worn down this year in his dealings with the media. And as more than a few people have pointed out, when you've played more than two regular seasons' worth of playoff games as he has, your time away from the game doesn't seem to be too plentiful.
Nonetheless, Niedermayer has four Stanley Cup championships and an Olympic gold medal to his name, as well as a Conn Smythe and Norris Trophy. Not to mention, Screw You Money. He's earned the right to go out on his own terms.
Â• As Draft Day draws near, the rumor mills are churning. And though potential trades are what most industry types are talking about, there's an undercurrent of discussion Â– as there is every year Â– about the likelihood of restricted free agents receiving offers from other teams.
Ray Emery and Thomas Vanek are a couple of the names being bandied about as potential targets this summer, but after hearing this type of talk for a few years without any big-time offers being made (sorry, Ryan Kesler), I'll believe it when I see it.