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Some have been wondering about future of Todd McLellan in San Jose. No question in my mind he’ll be back with the Sharks. I would not, however, be surprised if the Sharks look to hire an experienced or veteran assistant coach.
There were rumours that Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle was going to hire his own assistants but I am told now that both Scott Gordon and Greg Cronin are expected back.
There’s change coming to the Washington Capitals this summer and it’s not just their head coach. Barring a complete change of heart, forward Alexander Semin won’t be back in Washington next season. According to Semin’s agent Mark Gandler, the skilled forward has no intentions of signing a contract extension with the Capitals and plans on becoming an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Like a lot of NHL clubs, this off-season is going to be especially interesting for the Canucks.
According to Capgeek.com, the Canucks have 17 players signed to NHL contracts that total just north of $55 million. Assuming the team opens the season with the roster maximum of 23 players, that gives them about $9.2 million in cap room to sign those six players, based on the past season’s numbers.
But those numbers will change because the cap ceiling – released in late June — is expected to go up for next season, from $64.3 million to somewhere in the $69 to $70 million range and then, when the NHLPA invokes as expected its escalator clause, it could end up north of $72 million.
Hunter did not publicly criticize Ovechkin’s freelancing on the defensive side of the puck. And Ovechkin did not protest too loudly about his dip in ice time. But the question remains: Can the two coexist? Or better yet, does Hunter have any interest in coexisting? Hunter, of course, can resume coaching and operating the lucrative and successful London Knights junior hockey team if he so chooses. Last week, the Knights claimed the Ontario Hockey League championship.
Among the other items on General Manager George McPhee’s lengthy to-do list
Who would have ever thought that college star Justin Schultz might be one of the prizes when NHL free agency opens on July 1?
It is what happens when there’s the converging of a bonafide top-four defenseman who’s coming up on four years without signing with the club that drafted him, has the potential option of making a deal with any other team and a free agent crop that’s pretty thin after Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.