St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock may be heading into his final season behind an NHL bench but he’s certainly not being complacent, writes Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Hitchcock along with coach-in-waiting Mike Yeo and the rest of the coaching staff have put the finishing touches on their new system in advance of training camp later this month. In particular, the team is changing the way it plays in its own end, something that should keep both the players and the coaching staff on their toes; Hitchcock added his thoughts about the decision to change:
“For a coach, when you’re secure in the way you play and then all of a sudden you’re going to make changes, it’s pretty dramatic. Coaches don’t view offensive changes as dramatic, but when you’re changing things defensively most coaches view that as pretty dramatic.”
With their plans in place, the coaches are now in the process of presenting it to their leadership core, including new captain Alex Pietrangelo. Assuming the players are all on board with the changes, then the new system will be unveiled to the rest of the team in training camp. While it may seem odd to seek approval from the players on the system, Hitchcock added that “There’s no point in putting it together if the players don’t buy into it”.
More from around the league:
- While Sharks forward Tomas Hertl won’t play at the World Cup, he doesn’t appear likely to miss any NHL action. In a statement from GM Doug Wilson (courtesy of CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz), he noted that Hertl is on track to be ready to start the year and doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that. Wilson also praised Hertl for choosing “to put his commitment to the Sharks and his teammates first”.
- While his most recent return to North America didn’t go well, left winger Steve Moses hasn’t ruled out giving the NHL another shot down the road, writes Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe. Moses signed a one year, $1MM deal with Nashville last year but didn’t make the team out of camp and was assigned to their AHL affiliate. After 16 games with that team, his deal was terminated and he returned to the KHL where he remains under contract through 2017-18. He has flirted with the point-per-game mark in each of his last two years in Russia and if he keeps that up, he should stay on the NHL radar. However, Moses acknowledges that it will take a richer contract for him to try again as he is making more than the $1MM he was set to earn last season.