While the Stanley Cup Finals are going on, there have been some other headlines that have gone under the radar. All eyes have been on the Bruins-Blackhawks series (and rightfully so), so here is a quick overview of other things going on in the league.
Rangers (likely) hire Head Coach Alain Vigneault. The former Vancouver Canucks coach is expected to make New York his new home after the Rangers fired previous coach, John Tortorella. The reason I say “likely” is because even though there have been numerous reports of this news, the Rangers have yet to make an official announcement. And being a Bruins fan, I learned my lesson with the Jarome Iginla incident. Vigneault has been an NHL coach for 11 years—seven of which were spent in Vancouver. In his career, he had a 313-170-57 record with the Canucks.
John Tortorella could go to Vancouver. Before we get too excited about this New York-Vancouver coaching swap, the Canucks are still in the interviewing process. It would certainly be an interesting addition, though. Former New York Rangers coach, John Tortorella is also being eyed up by the Dallas Stars who are in the market for a new head coach. Dallas was previously looking to Vigneault to step in before he made the commitment to the Rangers.
Seattle looks to add an NHL team. This is obviously still in the discussion process, but there a few options out there for Seattle; one of those being taking over the Phoenix Coyotes franchise. There have been many back-and-forth talks about what to do with the Coyotes, and Seattle seems like a probable solution. There is a council meeting scheduled in Glendale on June 25 to make a decision on the future of the Coyotes, so after that hopefully we will know more. Another question on the table is if the Coyotes do stay in Phoenix, will Seattle try to add its own team? In the near future, it doesn’t seem likely, but it’s nice to hope– there can never be too many teams. Especially because this would even out the Eastern and Western conferences a little better. As of right now, the East has two more teams than the West, so it would make for a nice addition.
Pittsburgh re-signs Malkin and Coach Bylsma. After the Bruins swept the Pittsburgh All-Star team, it seemed as though there might be some changes. There were even reports that owner Mario Lemieux wanted Coach Dan Bylsma out. After hearing that, it was a bit of a shock when the Penguins quickly signed him to a two-year extension. Not only did they re-sign the coach, but they also re-signed their star forward, Evgeni Malkin. And that was no small two-year deal. They signed Malkin to an 8-year contract with $9.5 million a year (that’s nearly a million more than Sidney Crosby makes). In the series against the Bruins, Malkin didn’t have a single point. Of course, that’s not to undermine his incredible career excluding the most recent series.
Notable Signings. The Philadelphia Flyers acquired New York Islanders Captain Mark Streit for a fourth-round pick and minor-league forward Shane Harper. Streit had 6 goals and 21 assists in the short season.
Nashville Predators sign defenseman Roman Josi to 7-year contract. At 23 years old, Josi had 18 points this season and ranked in the top 20 for total ice time in the league.
The Dallas Stars acquire defenseman Sergei Gonchar from the Ottawa Senators. Gonchar was signed to a 2-year 10 million dollar contract and Ottawa received a sixth round pick. Gonchar had 3 goals at 24 assists this season.
And that’s what’s happening around the league, that you may have missed, because it’s the cup.