The Toronto Sun’s Michael Traikos writes that the flow of coaches from the American Hockey League to the NHL continues steady. With the recent hire of Jared Bednar, Traikos reports that 23 coaches in the NHL have been a bench boss in the AHL at some point in their career. The wild success of Mike Sullivan, who was tapped by the Penguins mid-season from their own affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, seems to have once again made the AHL to NHL pipeline hot again. Traikos continues that teams are promoting coaches like they do players, investing heavily on both the ice and the bench. Jon Cooper, head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, is an example of that, as his guidance at both the AHL and NHL has paid dividends for the Bolts. Could Bednar’s success with the Monsters follow the pattern of Sullivan and Cooper?
In other NHL news:
- NBC Sports writes on the Canadiens today and includes a piece on Carey Price and what could happen should injury befall him again. Drawing upon the signing of Al Montoya, NBC’s James O’Brien isn’t so sure Montoya could handle the scrutiny that comes with being a netminder in Montreal. While writing that Montoya is an upgrade over Mike Condon, but adds that the Habs “live and die” by Price. Despite being a high pick in the 2004 (6th overall), Montoya has never risen to the level of being “the guy” and as O’Brien astutely points out, Montoya is a great pickup so long as he’s not relied upon in heavy doses. One another interesting point: will Marc Bergevin get a “Price pass,” should he go down again this season?
- In another Habs article on NBC, Joey Alfieri wonders where the Canadiens will finish this season. Noting the importance of having Price, Alfieri writes that the veteran goaltender has taken great lengths to improve his conditioning and diet. Montreal also added Shea Weber and Andrew Shaw, two critical pieces that should help a team decimated by Price’s injury last season. A healthy squad, with Price backstopping them, should help Montreal back to its winning ways.