In the continuing saga of Vladislav Gavrikov, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports that rumors of his signing in the KHL already are completely false. Dan Milstein of Gold Star who represents Gavrikov reiterated that no decision will be made on his future until after the World Championships are over.
Gavrikov is still just 21, and despite being drafted in the sixth round has developed into a legitimate NHL prospect. The young defender apparently has two KHL teams chasing him after his solid season for Yaroslavl. After already convincing Gabriel Carlsson to come over earlier this spring, the Blue Jackets could make another important addition to their defense pipeline with Gavrikov. While Team Russia spreads their ice time out fairly evenly, Gavrikov is used in tough defensive matchups and has been effective in the tournament. His future lies as a shutdown third-pairing player, though he still has time to develop even further.
- The Florida Panthers have met with Jim Montgomery from the University of Denver twice now, according to George Richards of the Miami Herald, and have booked a second interview with Michel Therrien as well. The club is still searching for their next head coach, and many believe that Nashville Predators assistant Phil Housley will be given a chance to interview before they make a decision. Housley of course is still working in the playoffs as Nashville is off to the Western Conference Finals for the first time. Montgomery and Therrien represent two very different directions for the club, showing that they’re looking in every direction for their next bench boss. Therrien has 814 games of head coaching experience in the NHL, while Montgomery—and in the same vein Housley—has none.
- Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Martin Brodeur will not continue as goalie coach for the Blues next season, instead returning to his post as assistant general manager. The team will hire a new coach who will hopefully be able to continue the work Brodeur did with Jake Allen in the second half. When the Blues fired Jim Corsi—the man the divisive Corsi stat was named after—along with Ken Hitchcock on February 1st, Allen held a .895 save percentage and was the focus of much hand-wringing among those watching the team. Following Brodeur and Ty Conklin taking over coaching duties, Allen posted a .928 save percentage (including playoffs) and was key in the Blues turnaround. Conklin, previously the goaltender development coach, will surely be in the running to take over the job full-time.