The New York Islanders have made a coaching move, but not the anticipated one. Still lacking a head coach for his team, Lou Lamoriello has nevertheless made another change to the coaching staff, firing assistant Greg Cronin. The Athletic’s Arthur Staple confirmed the move, but added that no other coaching decisions have been made yet at the NHL or AHL level. Staple also had nothing to say about any of the motivations behind Cronin’s departure. Ironically, if Lamoriello was to tab Boston Bruins’ assistant Jay Pandolfo as his head coach, the Boston native Cronin would be an easy fix to replace him.
- The Islanders have struggled in net for too long and need to make a change at goalie. That all but rules out recycling any of their unrestricted free agent goaltenders. Jaroslav Halak, Christopher Gibson, and Kristers Gudlevskis are all set to hit the open market and of the three, Gudlevskis faces the lowest chances of finding employment again in the NHL. Once a highly-regarded prospect for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Gudlevskis play in the AHL simply never reached an elite level that would have warranted an extended look at the highest level. This past season, he performed poorly and was handily outplayed by Gibson. As such, he may not have many opportunities in North America next season. It is no surprise then that Latvian news outlet OlyBet reports that Gudlevksis has had preliminary talks with Dinamo Riga, the KHL team in his native country. Gudlevskis was brought up in the Riga junior ranks and even appeared in two games with the big league team before coming overseas. Gudlevskis has never returned to Europe since and his preference would likely be to stay in the NHL, but it would be a natural fit with Dinamo if the offers don’t come from NHL teams this summer.
- In today’s edition of TSN’s “Insider Trading”, Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger have set the record straight about the trade market for Edmonton Oilers forward Milan Lucic. It was previously believed that the Oilers were shopping Lucic in hopes of ridding themselves of his contract, but in speaking with several team executives, LeBrun and Dreger feel that is not the case. Instead, they have heard that Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is seeking hockey trades rather than cap dump trades for Lucic. This would indicate that it is Lucic who has requested the trade and Edmonton is simply trying to oblige him.
- One team rumored to be in on Lucic is actually out, according to LeBrun. The Montreal Canadiens, who pursued the power forward and former Bruins enforcer vigorously when he initially hit free agency, were speculated to again be interested in acquiring Lucic. The Habs could use some size up front and Lucic shared a strong rapport with coach Claude Julien when the pair were in Boston. However, LeBrun states that they are definitively “out” on Lucic.