• After Babcock's departure, Detroit's focus turns to Blashill

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    DETROIT (AP) — Red Wings general manager Ken Holland says he wants to talk to minor league coach Jeff Blashill about Detroit's coaching vacancy. Detroit has an opening after Mike Babcock was hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. Blashill is the coach of Detroit's American Hockey League affiliate in Grand Rapids, and he was honored as the AHL's outstanding coach in 2013-14. Holland says he hopes to visit with Blashill soon, and he'll figure out then whether a more extensive search is necessary. Blashill was one of Babcock's assistants before becoming the coach at Grand Rapids. Blashill led the Griffins to their first AHL championship in 2013.

  • Toronto Maple Leafs hire Mike Babcock as new head coach

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    Mike Babcock moved from one Original Six franchise to another Wednesday, agreeing to an eight-year, $50 million deal to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs announced the hiring to put to an end months of speculation about Babcock's future with the Detroit Red Wings, where he spent the past 10 seasons and won a Stanley Cup in 2008. Babcock will be introduced at a news conference Thursday. Though Babcock was under contract with Detroit through June 30, the Red Wings granted him permission to speak to other teams on May 8. The deal makes Babcock the NHL's highest-paid coach. He will reportedly receive a large signing bonus and make between $5 million and $6 million a season.

  • Sharks sign Finnish forward Joonas Donskoi

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The San Jose Sharks have signed Finnish free agent forward Joonas (YOO-nus) Donskoi to an entry-level contract. The team announced the signing Wednesday. The 23-year-old Donskoi had 19 goals and 30 assists in 58 games for Karpat in Finland's top professional hockey league. He helped his team win the league championship and was voted as the playoff MVP. Donskoi also had five goals and three assists in eight games for Finland in the world championships. Sharks general manager Doug Wilson says Donskoi is one of the most "dynamic players in a strong league.

  • Boston Bruins elevate Don Sweeney to general manager

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    BOSTON (AP) — On his first day as general manager of the Boston Bruins, Don Sweeney met with Claude Julien and declined to give his Stanley Cup-winning coach more than a tepid endorsement. "He's the coach of the Boston Bruins as of today, for sure," Sweeney said Wednesday in a news conference after he was promoted to become the eighth GM in the 81-year history of the Original Six franchise. "I think tremendously of him as a coach and as a person. It's just a matter of lining up things that I believe in." Julien led the Bruins to the NHL title in 2011 and back to the Stanley Cup finals two years later.

  • AP source: Buffalo Sabres out of running for Mike Babcock

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A person familiar with the discussions has told The Associated Press the Buffalo Sabres are out of the running to hire Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity Wednesday because the team is not discussing its coaching search to replace Ted Nolan. The development comes a day after Babcock and Sabres general manager Tim Murray held contract negotiations. Babcock had said he wanted to decide his future by Wednesday. Though still under contract with Detroit through June 30, Babcock had the Red Wings' permission to speak to other teams, including the Sabres. Babcock visited Buffalo and met with Murray and owner Terry Pegula on May 10. The Sabres must now turn

  • Blue Jackets tap Nick Foligno as first captain in 3 years

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Like father, like son: Nick Foligno now is an NHL captain just like his dad was. Foligno, who served as a captain for the NHL All-Star Game in Columbus in January, was introduced Wednesday as the first Blue Jackets player in three years to wear the "C'' on his jersey. His dad, Mike, a former captain for the Buffalo Sabres and now an assistant coach in New Jersey, found out about Nick's appointment via a phone call. So did Nick's brother, Marcus, a current Sabres forward. "Obviously, my dad and brother are really happy for me," Nick said. "My dad's actually been a captain in the league, so it's pretty cool to be able to share that with him. Marcus is really excited for me as well. It's been pretty

  • Ex-Devil not guilty of assaulting high school player

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A municipal judge in New Jersey has found a former NHL player not guilty of assaulting a player on the high school team he coaches. Jim Dowd played 17 seasons in the NHL and won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils. He coaches the Manasquan-Point Pleasant hockey team. A complaint filed by a parent in Wall Township accused Dowd of kicking a 16-year-old player on Jan. 7 when the team played Red Bank Regional. The judge on Wednesday said the decision has "nothing to do with what standard of conduct is expected of a coach of young men, that's for another body to decide." Police declined to charge Dowd. The trial stemmed from a parent signing a citizen's complaint.

  • Senators sign Andrew Hammond to $4 million, 3-year deal

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — The Ottawa Senators have signed goaltender Andrew Hammond to a $4.05-million, three-year contract. Hammond, whose spectacular late-season run got the Senators into the playoffs, will make $1.2 million next season, $1.35 million in 2016-17 and $1.5 million in 2017-18. Nicknamed the "Hamburglar," he will count $1.35 million against Ottawa's salary cap over the length of the deal. Hammond made his first NHL start at age 27 in January, then went 20-1-2 with a 1.79 goals-against average and .941 save percentage to lead the Senators on an improbable run to the playoffs. With Hammond signed, the Senators are expected to trade either Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner before the start of next season.

  • Ducks lose marathon when Kruger's tip wins Game 2 in 3 OTs

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks wished they hadn't allowed Game 2 of the Western Conference finals to become the longest game in Honda Center history even before Marcus Kruger won it for the Chicago Blackhawks. Corey Perry had three good chances to end it, and Sami Vatanen hit two posts. After winning nine of their first 10 postseason games, the Ducks just couldn't connect this time — and they expect they'll regret allowing Chicago to head home with a split. Kruger batted home Brent Seabrook's shot 16:12 into the third overtime, and the Blackhawks skated off with a 3-2 victory Tuesday night. Frederik Andersen made a career-high 53 saves, but Chicago ended a scoring drought of nearly 110 minutes when Kruger

  • Kruger puts Blackhawks past Ducks 3-2 in 3rd OT of Game 2

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Blackhawks tried just about everything to get a puck past Frederik Andersen while Game 2 of the Western Conference finals wound through three overtime periods and deep into the night, eventually becoming the longest game in Chicago's 89-year history. Andrew Shaw even headed the puck into the net — which was amazing, but illegal. After nearly 110 consecutive scoreless minutes by Chicago, Marcus Kruger got it done with plain old work in front of the net, ending a landmark game and evening a series that's already the endurance test everyone expected. Kruger batted home Brent Seabrook's shot 16:12 into the third OT, and the Blackhawks earned a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 on Tu

  • Senators owner undergoes successful liver transplant

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    TORONTO (AP) — Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk underwent a successful liver transplant, the team announced Tuesday night. The Senators said Melnyk and the anonymous donor are doing well and resting comfortably at Toronto General Hospital. The team announced last week that Melnyk was in need of a live liver transplant and put 12 people through a screening process. Melnyk went into surgery at noon Eastern, and it was completed at 8:05 p.m., the Senators said. The Senators said that the University Health Network's Multi-Organ Transplant Program will update Melnyk and the donor's progress later this week.

  • Chicago's Shaw heads puck into net for disallowed goal in OT

    Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw headed the puck into the net during the second overtime in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday night, but his remarkable goal was illegal. Shaw thought he had ended the Blackhawks' exhausting meeting with the Anaheim Ducks 8:47 into the second OT when he headed home a looping rebound of Patrick Kane's shot in the crease, bouncing the puck off his helmet in an incredible soccer-style play. But after a brief consultation, the officials waved off the goal. Rule 38.4 prohibits any goal scored by a player who deliberately bats the puck into the net with any part of his body. Shaw scored in the first period for the Blackhawks, who were trying to ev

  • Todd McLellan hired as coach of Edmonton Oilers

    Updated: Tue, May 19, 2015

    EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Todd McLellan is focused on a new beginning with the Edmonton Oilers McLellan was hired as the new coach of Oilers on Tuesday. "We're not going to talk about playoffs here," said McLellan, sitting beside Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli for the announcement. "We're going to talk about foundation. We're going to talk about creating an identity and building toward it. "The playoff part of it exists after you accomplish those regular-season things, and we've got work to do there." McLellan, 47, becomes the 14th head coach of the Oilers.

  • Rangers looking to rebound against resilient Lightning

    Updated: Tue, May 19, 2015

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Resilience is one of the keys to any team's success, especially in the NHL playoffs. The Tampa Bay Lightning showed it in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, and now it's the New York Rangers' turn to respond yet again. "As a coach, you've got to make adjustments in some areas, and you've got to push buttons. For these guys to keep such a high intensity rate for the whole playoffs, and that goes for every team, it's a hard thing to do," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Tuesday after arriving home from the team's 6-2 victory that evened the series at 1-1. Tyler Johnson's hat trick and another impressive performance by goaltender Ben Bishop bolster confidence heading into the next two games, Wedne

  • AP source: Babcock in contract talks with Buffalo Sabres

    Updated: Tue, May 19, 2015

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Though a deal has not been completed, Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock had negotiations with the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday regarding the possibility of becoming their next head coach. The talks took place between Babcock and Sabres general manager Tim Murray and began early in the day, a person familiar with discussions told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are private and the Sabres have not publicly discussed their coaching search to replace Ted Nolan, who was fired last month. The person stressed there were still a "few more deal points" to work out, and added there was no agreement yet in place. Murray spent part of the afternoon in meetings

  • Tyler Johnson scores hat trick; Lightning even series

    Updated: Mon, May 18, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Tyler Johnson is carrying the Tampa Bay Lightning in the playoffs and making a name for himself. The 24-year-old is becoming one of the front-runners to be the postseason MVP. Johnson scored short-handed, even strength and on the power play in tallying the first hat trick in Lightning playoff history and Tampa Bay got its high-scoring offense in gear and evened the Eastern Conference finals with a 6-2 victory over the stumbling New York Rangers on Monday night. "Oh, Tyler Johnson, the bigger the game, the better he plays," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "That's Tyler Johnson. It's unreal to watch. He put the team on his back, and we all followed.

  • Rangers embarrassed in 6-2 loss to Lightning

    Updated: Mon, May 18, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Rangers gave up an unusual short-handed goal as a two-man advantage was expiring early in the first period. It was all downhill the rest of the way, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Rangers 6-2 on Monday night to even the Eastern Conference finals at one game. Tyler Johnson, who had three goals to pace the Lightning, got that goal to get Tampa Bay rolling and set the tempo in a sloppy Rangers effort. "That's something you don't see very often, and it's a play that simply can't happen," Rangers captain Ryan McDonough said. The Rangers were late into a 1:07 two-man advantage when Martin St. Louis fell trying to take a shot straight on, and it sent Johnson on a breakaway with St. Lo

  • Linesman Brad Kovachik hurts leg in Game 2 of Rangers-Tampa

    Updated: Mon, May 18, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — NHL linesman Brad Kovachik had to leave the ice in the second period of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals between the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning after injuring a leg. Kovachik was standing against the side boards near the Lightning blue line when Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay checked Kevin Klein of the Rangers into the linesman. Play continued for a few seconds before the officials stopped play with Kovachik unable to stand. He was helped off the ice. After a short delay, standby linesman Greg Devorski took over as the second linesman.

  • Flyers hire North Dakota's Hakstol as new head coach

    Updated: Mon, May 18, 2015

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Once the surprise news hit Philadelphia, Flyers die-hards — heck, NHL fans everywhere — all sounded a bit as if they should have been Jeopardy contestants. Who is Dave Hakstol? Not even an easy clue would have given an indication on who was Flyers general manager Ron Hextall's top target to try and lead the franchise to their first Stanley Cup championship since 1975. Hextall strayed so far off the grid with his choice, Marge Gunderson couldn't have cracked the case, especially as the usual candidates — such as Detroit's Mike Babcock — swirled in the rumor mill as potential replacements. "I wasn't going to choose the coach that was the people's choice, the popular choice," Hextall sai

  • Ducks' depth, Hawks' limits in spotlight heading to Game 2

    Updated: Mon, May 18, 2015

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Kyle Palmieri hadn't scored a goal in the Anaheim Ducks' entire playoff run until he beat Corey Crawford in the Western Conference finals opener, sliding on his back in celebration of what turned out to be the game-winner. With Palmieri and several lesser-known Ducks stepping up splendidly in the postseason, the Chicago Blackhawks realize they've got to match that depth. The Ducks have had two of the world's top scorers atop their roster for several years, but Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry never had the supporting cast necessary to truly contend for another Stanley Cup title until now. In fact, complementary players from both teams had a major role in Game 1 — and for Chicago, that wasn't a goo




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