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The action is starting to pick up in the NHL, though it’s still relatively quiet compared to what we expect next month. Here is a roundup of the five key stories from the week ending on 1/22/2017.
Islanders Dismiss Capuano – Sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the New York Islanders relieved head coach Jack Capuano of his duties this week and inserted AGM Doug Weight into the position on an interim basis. Capuano spent parts of seven campaigns behind the Islanders bench and guided the club to the second-round of the playoffs for the first time in more than two decades just last season.
Claude Julien’s Job in Jeopardy? – With rumors circulating as to the job security of longtime bench boss Claude Julien, the Boston Bruins called a press conference to address the situation. While nothing definitive came out of it, the belief is that Julien will maintain his position at least through the season, barring a major late-season collapse.
Clarke MacArthur Will Not Play This Season – Veteran winger Clarke MacArthur, who has yet to appear in a game this season after suffering a concussion during training camp, has not progressed enough in his recovery and a return has been ruled out by Ottawa team doctors. This will represent what is essentially a second consecutive lost season for MacArthur, who only suited up for four contests a year ago due to yet another concussion. It’s also quite possible this is the end of the line for the 10-year veteran.
Hawks Interested In Tatar, Nyquist – In search of a top-six winger to slot next to Jonathan Toews, the Chicago Blackhawks have reportedly expressed interest in Detroit forwards Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar. The report contradicts the notion that the club would restrict its pursuit to rentals or players on ELC’s. The Hawks have a number of rather large commitments already on their books for 2017-18 but apparently they would still be willing to take on a player with control beyond the current campaign. Nyquist has two seasons left on his deal with an AAV of $4.75MM while Tatar will be a RFA this summer and likely in position for a raise on his $2.75MM cap charge.
Winnipeg Recalls Ondrej Pavelec – Desperate for consistently competent play between the pipes, the Winnipeg Jets recalled deposed started Ondrej Pavelec from the Manitoba Moose of the AHL. The Jets decided had waived the veteran net minder just prior to the beginning of the campaign and assigned him to the minors when he went unclaimed. Now the team is hopeful he can provide the Jets with quality play and bolster their pursuit of a playoff berth.