Despite the fact that Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper is in the final year of his contract, often a bad sign if a team hasn’t extended him, that isn’t the case here. Cooper and new general manager Julien BriseBois have a long history together as BriseBois was the one who originally hired Cooper back in 2010 as the head coach of their AHL franchise when BriseBois was the assistant general manager.
The Athletic’s Joe Smith (subscription required) documents their long history together and writes that even though negotiations haven’t started, BriseBois and Cooper aren’t worried about it at all, considering the trust and bond the two share together.
“I don’t see anyone else I’d want to work with right now,” BriseBois said, who hoisted a Calder Cup trophy with Cooper seven years ago. “The people who were there with you, you never forget that.”
- Damien Cox of The Star writes that while the Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t done anything wrong when it comes to the contract situation with holdout William Nylander, the team does need to think about how it intends to manage their next two major contract discussions when they must tangle with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. While Nylander is rumored to be asking for $8MM plus in his next deal, both Matthews and Marner could ask for quite a bit more. With the team’s significant cap issues in front of them, the scribe writes the team would be well advised to avoid a similar situation next season by trying to lock those two youngsters up during the season.
- Montreal Canadiens’ centers have already begun training their newest addition in Jesperi Kotkaniemi by working separately after practice with him on faceoffs on Friday. According to The Athletic’s Marc Antoine Godin (subscription required), Tomas Plekanec, Mathew Peca, Andrew Shaw and Phillip Danault got together and helped teach the 18-year-old some tips and tricks on taking faceoffs with the hopes that the youngster improves his game as quickly as possible.
- The Detroit Red Wings will be without Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson for their two-game road-trip, according to the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James. Both defensemen have been on injured reserve and still are not ready to return to action.
- While not on the Ottawa Senators NHL roster, Matt Tidcombe of the Belleville Senators website reports that team lost forward Jim O’Brien for four to six months after the 29-year-old forward underwent surgery on a severed tendon in his right leg in an AHL preseason game. O’Brien played 10 games for Ottawa last year.