In 2012, the New York Rangers became the only team since 1994 to face the #6,7 and 8 seeded teams. This season, they are more likely to join LA as the only team to face the #1, 2 and 3 seeds since the Rangers are currently ranked 8th. A win today will clinch a non-8th seed and a matchup against either the Washington Capitals, the Montreal Canadiens or the Boston Bruins. Now every team will say, “Doesn’t matter who we play,” but we’ll dissect that notion.
Last season, the NHL didn’t fail to disappoint. It produced several games that won’t make this list- and will be very New York Rangers heavy- but Gary Bettman and NBC were incredibly happy with the NHL’s quality of games last year and generated excitement that carried into the post-season. Hopefully, Bettman isn’t stupid enough to lockout the NHLPA because then we won’t see great games like these.
Two NHL families were reunited this weekend at the 2012 NHL draft in Pittsburgh through blockbuster trades.
The first one came on Friday, when it was announced that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jordan Staal would be joining his brother, Eric, in Carolina. Just a day after turning down a 10-year contract extension, Jordan was traded to the Hurricanes in exchange for the No. 8 overall pick in the draft, center Brandon Sutter and defenseman Brian Dumoulin.
Although it’s still an unknown at this point whether or not Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson will win the Norris Trophy for being the NHL’s top defeseman this season, he’s definitely going to get paid like a winner, regardless if he leaves Las Vegas with any hardware.
That’s because the 22-year-old just signed a seven-year contract worth a reported $45.5 million with the Senators. Fittingly enough, Karlsson struck it rich and inked the deal while in Vegas to attend the 2012 NHL Awards.
Today Habs GM Marc Bergevin announced that he has hired Michel Therrien to be the new Canadiens head coach. Michel Therrien is not a rookie to coaching, and has been the head coach of 2 teams before. It appeared as though the duel was between Marc Crawford and Therrien, and Therrien came out on top. Therrien was previously an analyst on RDS last season.
So much for those rumors about Patrick Roy being the next head coach of the Montreal Canadiens. Instead of hiring a former Canadiens player to take over the prime spot behind the Habs’ bench, the team opted to go with a former Canadiens coach in Michel Therrien.
The Canadiens announced Tuesday that Therrien has left his job as a television analyst for RDS and will be the new head coach for the 2012-13 season, his second stint with the historic franchise. Therrien broke into the NHL coaching ranks with the Canadiens back on Nov. 20, 2000. He coached the club for parts of three seasons, compiling a regular season record of 77-77-36 before being fired 46 games into the 2002-03 season. He would then go on to coach the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2007 to 2009, when he was replaced by Dan Bylsma, who would of course lead the Pens to a Stanley Cup that season.
When the 2012-13 NHL season begins after the summer, don’t expect Tim Thomas to me manning the blue paint for the Boston Bruins.
Thomas’ agent, Bill Zito, recently contacted Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and informed him that Thomas was considering not playing in 2012-13, the final season of his four-year, $20 million contract.
“As of right now, I’m operating under the premise there is a strong possibility of him taking the year off,’’ Chiarelli said on Friday during a conference call. “We’d have to go about our business without Tim Thomas for the year.’’