With several big-name coaches on their wish list, many people didn’t put much thought into a report that Lindy Ruff was a fifth candidate for the New Jersey Devils. After all, the Devils were also considering Peter Laviolette, Gerard Gallant, Mike Babcock, John Stevens, Bruce Boudreau and current interim head coach Alain Nasreddine. However, on his most recent 31 Thoughts column, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman writes that Ruff is hardly an afterthought and is a serious candidate for the team’s head coaching position.
What’s interesting about that statement is that New Jersey still doesn’t have a general manager in place and has been interviewing candidates for that position too. Friedman notes that many of those candidates have requested input in the team’s head coaching search, which would likely alter the team’s plans in hiring a head coach. However, the scribe notes that it looks like regardless on what the team decides, Ruff is highly favored within the organization.
Ruff served as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres from 1997 to 2013, while taking the same role in Dallas from 2013 to 2017 and has 736 coaching victories in the NHL.
- With many teams having shutdown voluntary skating in their facilities recently due to a number of positive tests for COVID-19, the Carolina Hurricanes announced they will open up PNC Arena to players who wish to begin voluntary small-group training, starting on Tuesday, June 30. The team is expecting 16 players to be ready to go on that date, with that group to be split in half during on-ice workouts. So far, no word on what players will hit the ice in Carolina.
- Speaking of teams that have been on the ice for some time, the Washington Capitals, who have been skating at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, VA since June 8, got a familiar face on the ice as star forward Alex Ovechkin skated with some teammates Saturday. The 34-year-old, who tallied 48 goals in just 68 games last season, has been training in Florida before now. He was joined by Evgeny Kuznetsov, Lars Eller, Garnet Hathaway, John Carlson and Braden Holtby.