Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet woke the hockey world up this morning with some news on the Vancouver Canucks head coaching vacancy. When he reached out to Ralph Krueger about the rumored interest, the former Edmonton Oilers head coach replied “I have had some interesting chats these past weeks, but my focus remains fully on the Saints for now.” The Saints of course is referring to the Southampton Football Club with which Krueger holds the chairman role and has since his 2014 exit from hockey.
Krueger of course coached the European team at this fall’s World Cup of Hockey, ushering them all the way to the final game against Team Canada. Kruger held the Edmonton job for just one season before being dismissed, but many around the hockey world believe he could easily step behind an NHL bench once again. His players at the World Cup praised him tremendously, and there have been rumors since his exit that he would eventually make his return to the sport.
- It wasn’t just an overtime winner that thrilled Maple Leafs fans last night, but a goalie switch for the Anaheim Ducks. Jonathan Bernier came on in relief of John Gibson last night, and helped the Ducks claw their way back from a 4-1 deficit. While it’s not clear if that would ever warrant a start from the former Leaf, their fan base would clearly welcome it. The Maple Leafs would receive a draft pick if the Ducks made it to the Finals with Bernier starting more than half the games; a second-rounder if they were to win it all, and a third should they lose in the final series. Gibson allowed four goals on 16 shots, but will likely get back in the net with the Ducks up 3-0 in the series.
- The Arizona Coyotes are hoping the Minnesota Wild can claw back from their own 3-0 deficit to the St. Louis Blues. When the Coyotes traded Martin Hanzal to Minnesota at the deadline, they agreed to a condition that would see them receive a draft pick based on how many series the Wild win in the playoffs. Should the Wild be eliminated by the Blues, Arizona will get a 2019 fourth-rounder, but if they somehow climb back it could move all the way to the second round with two series victories.