Monday, June 15, 2009

NHL News and Notes

- Jim Balsille's attempt to bring the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton, Ontario was rejected by an Arizona bankruptcy judge. Balsille almost bought the Penguins a couple years ago before Mario Lemiuex finally bought the team with Ron Burkle. The idea of bringing the Coyotes to Hamilton had been discussed for the past 2-3 weeks.

- The Carolina Hurricanes signed coach Paul Maurice to a three-year contract today. Maurice took over for coach Peter Laviolette in December and lead the team to a 33-19-5 record during the regular season. The Canes made the playoffs for the first time since their cup victory in 2006. Maurice had been the Canes coach from 1995-2003. Former Pens Tom Barrasso and Ron Francis will be the assistant coaches.

- As anticipated, the Minnesota Wild under GM Chuck Fletcher(former Pens assistant GM) hired Todd Richards to be their next head coach. Richards was the WB/S Baby Pens head coach the last couple years and this year he worked as an assistant coach in San Jose. Richards coaching approach is similar to that of Bylsma. More offensive and aggressive, opposite to Minnesota's style of play for several years under coach Jacques Lemaire.

-The Boston Bruins have signed GM Peter Chiarelli to a multi-year contract extension. Chiarelli helped build a team that finished 1st overall in the Eastern Conference with a 53-19-10 regular season record. Although they had a disappointing playoffs with a 2nd round loss to Carolina, the Bruins have a bright future built around Savard, Kessel, Chara, and Lucic.

-The Pittsburgh Penguins held their Stanley Cup parade today. Geno went up on stage and said "First I want to say 1 more year to Billy...make that two more." Guerin laughed it off and gave Geno a big thumbs up. Many players including Guerin were amazed at the number of fans that showed up to celebrate the victory. Roughly 375,000 fans were there to celebrate. People were hanging from parking lots and Pens players were constantly running around giving high 5s to the audience. The weather was also beautiful in the high 70s.

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