One of the names that used to come up every summer in connection to vacant NHL coaching jobs is Rikard Gronborg, former long-time coach of the Swedish national team programs. Gronborg has plenty of experience on this side of the ocean, after playing college hockey at St. Cloud State, coaching in the AWHL, and serving as an assistant in the WHL. For the last few years, his candidacy hasn’t been brought up for a while because of his commitment as head coach of the ZSC Lions in Switzerland, one of the most successful and popular teams in Europe.
Today, news has broken that Gronborg won’t be back with the Lions and instead is likely taking a multi-year contract with Tappara Tampere in Finland. However, the report out of Switzerland also states that if the NHL were to come calling, Gronborg’s new contract with Tappara has an out clause to let him pursue a North American opportunity. With seven World Championship medals, six World Juniors medals, and an Olympic silver, Gronborg has one of the most impressive international coaching resumes of all time. Whether that ever translates into an opportunity in the NHL remains to be seen.
- Miro Heiskanen is still listed as day-to-day for the Dallas Stars and isn’t expected to play tonight, he could be back on Saturday according to head coach Pete DeBoer, who spoke with reporters including Saad Yousuf of The Athletic. Without Heiskanen in the lineup against the Boston Bruins, Nils Lundkvist played a career-high 22:04. Lundkvist had never gone above 16:39 with the New York Rangers but has now matched or exceeded that in six of seven games with Dallas.
- Cam Talbot might be back ahead of schedule, according to Ottawa Senators head coach D.J. Smith. As Claire Hanna of TSN reports, Talbot was on the ice facing shots today and is “certainly ahead of the timeline” that had been set for him. There’s still no clear date set for his return but they could still use him, with Anton Forsberg dealing with a minor injury of his own. On that front, Forsberg was back at practice as well and is expected to be the starter when the team takes on the Minnesota Wild tonight.