When the NHL/NHLPA Competition Committee convenes tomorrow in Toronto, the players’ side will be represented by some of the biggest names in the game. The NHLPA has announced that Ron Hainsey, Connor Hellebuyck, Connor McDavid, John Tavares, and James van Riemsdyk will be the players in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting. McDavid and Tavares obviously stand out as two of hockey’s top talents and players whose inputs will be highly valued. Hainsey is a respected veteran who has always been involved with the players’ association. Hellebuyck will seemingly be there to represent all goalies, while – maybe unintentionally – van Riemsdyk will be the only player from an American team in attendance. The group will have a lot to talk about, as officiating concerns have only increased over recent weeks and the discussion of changing or expanding review will almost certainly be on the table.
- The Athletic’s Lisa Dillman reports that Los Angeles Kings goaltending development coach Dusty Imoo is headed overseas. The goalie whisperer is set to join the KHL’s Kunlun Red Star in a similar role and Dillman notes that it is a major loss for the Kings. She writes that Imoo was part of a strong tandem with goalie coach Bill Ranford that has worked with Jonathan Quick for years, helped to resurrect the careers of Peter Budaj and Jack Campbell, and have been working with promising prospect Cal Petersen. Fortunately, goaltending is one of the few areas where L.A. found success last year and, even with the loss of Imoo, still have the talent and depth to stay strong in net.
- Blaine Byron has re-signed with the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds, the team announced. It’s a one-year re-up for Byron, who just completed his second season with the Thunderbirds. Byron was a standout at the University of Maine and was expected to draw NHL interest as a college free agent in 2017, but instead signed with Springfield. He failed to impress in his first pro season, but after a 25-point campaign this year, it would not have been a surprise to see the Florida Panthers look into a two-way deal for the well-rounded forward. Instead, Byron returns to Springfield and will look to improve again next year.