The decision to bring back Randy Carlyle to Anaheim as their head coach was one of the bigger surprises of the offseason. As Eric Stephens of the OC Register points out, GM Bob Murray kept coming back to one key trait about Carlyle – the fact that he has won a Stanley Cup (with the Ducks back in 2007). Murray also believes Carlyle has some characteristics that will work well with an older roster looking to win now compared to building for the future:
“First of all, there’s never one thing when it comes to coaching. Job is far too complex. In saying that, we all knew he’s an outstanding bench coach, and we wanted to be sure he still would hold all of his players accountable, which is getting harder every year with the changing times and today’s athlete.”
There are only a handful of players that remain from his first go-round with Anaheim but several veteran players voiced their support to bring Carlyle back including captain Ryan Getzlaf as well as center Ryan Kesler and defenseman Kevin Bieksa, both of whom are familiar with him dating back to their time in Vancouver’s system.
Anaheim has made some notable changes heading into this season which will give Carlyle a different roster composition to work with than ex-coach Bruce Boudreau had. Earlier this week, we took a closer look at the Ducks’ moves and what to watch for this season.
More news and notes around the hockey world:
- The Toronto Maple Leafs have yet to name a captain for the season and GM Lou Lamoriello indicated there is no real timeline for that to happen, notes theScore’s David Alter. Lamoriello announced that it may or may not occur this season and that selecting a captain is “not on the forefront”. The Leafs have been without a captain since trading Dion Phaneuf to Ottawa last season.
- Long-time NHL defenseman Tomas Kaberle has quietly announced his retirement, reports Czech site iDNES (link in Czech). He leaves the game with a total of 984 NHL contests under his belt with Toronto, Boston, Carolina, and Montreal. In his prime, he was a premier playmaking blueliner and put up seven seasons of 40 or more points and wound up with 87 goals and 476 assists in his NHL career.
- Kings coach Darryl Sutter is hoping to see a young center step into the third line spot this season, writes Helene Elliott of the LA Times. Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter are entrenched as their top two while Trevor Lewis best fits in a fourth line role. Candidates to step into that third line spot would be Andy Andreoff, Nick Shore, Nic Dowd, and 2014 first round pick Adrian Kempe, who just completed his first full season in North America.
- Columbus has added UFA winger Aaron Palushaj to their training camp roster on a PTO, reports Rob Mixer from their team site. Palushaj spent last season with Philadelphia’s AHL affiliate, picking up 28 points in 57 games. He last played in the NHL with Carolina in the 2013-14 season.