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It was one of the first questions asked to Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman during his end-of-the-season press conference.
How would you describe your working relationship with [coach] Joel [Quenneville] this year? Was it any more strained or different than past seasons?
money talks, and when it comes to hiring coaches, there is no salary cap. Phil Jackson money would be ridiculous in the NHL – but Jacques Lemaire is surely worth at least half as much as Scott Gomez.
What is the going rate for a superb NHL coach? Right now, Mike Bab***** is believed to be the highest-paid coach in the league at about $2 million a season.
So what do you want? Would Lemaire go back behind the bench for that much or a little more, over three seasons? Only one way to find out, right? As for the cost to the Canadiens, one modest playoff run would more than cover the entire cost of the contract.
New Habs GM Marc Bergevin, not surprisingly, wants to bring his old Blackhawks colleague Rick Dudley with him to Montreal and is in discussions with the Toronto Maple Leafs to do just that.
Dudley is director of player personnel for the Leafs. Montreal wants to make him its new assistant GM. Toronto GM Brian Burke is talking to Bergevin about how to proceed.
TV here is reporting a deal between the NHL and Greg Jamison to buy the team. Bettman and Jamison here tomorrow for a presser
Money key issue in Smyth-Oilers talks
Edmonton Oilers winger Ryan Smyth hoped to have a new contract before the season ended and while there is a two-year deal being discussed, money is the issue.
How much is he worth?
“He wants to remain in Edmonton and they know that,” said Smyth’s agent Don Meehan.
Their general manager is on more solid footing than the coach, ownership is miffed at another spring in which Stanley Cup expectations weren’t met and there’s expected to be a shake-up of some sort in the hockey operations department — whether it involves the bench boss or his assistants.
This is the situation in San Jose. It parallels the uncertainty in Vancouver.
We speak here of the Detroit Red Wings and the approximately $20 million they have at their disposal to chase free agents, and an owner, Mike Ilitch, with the track record indicating he’s going to do just that. Question is, will realignment go ahead after Collective Bargaining Agreement talks are finished or not?
After the Canadiens formally announced that Chicago Blackhawks assistant GM Marc Bergevin will take over their vacant general manager’s job, Louis Jean of Sportsnet reported on AM 590 in Toronto that Gomez’s contract will in fact be bought out by Montreal.
Maybe all you folks with those trade ideas to move the No. 1 overall pick in the June NHL entry draft should forward your proposals to Steve Tambellini. You could go right to the guy making the final call, never mind voicing your opinion on the talk shows and the blogs.
The Montreal Canadiens will hold a news conference at 2pm et/11am pt to introduce Marc Bergevin as their new general manager.
You can watch it live on TSN and TSN.ca and listen in on TSN Radio 990 at TSN.ca/Montreal.
Bergevin most worked last season as the assistant general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks under Stan Bowman – his seventh with the franchise.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are ready to move on from Steve Mason. Could Antti Niemi be the answer?
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson said:
“We need a different look in goal. We need better play from that position. I told Steve in our exit interviews (earlier this month) that we’re going to have a different look at that position next year, but that right now, nobody can predict what form that’s going to take.”
Three years ago, a popular discussion in NHL circles was a debate about rookie goaltenders: if you started a franchise, would you rather have Steve Mason of the Blue Jackets or Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators as your building block?