One of the ongoing debates in the hockey world is when the NHL will start to broaden coaching searches outside of North America. The league has only really had two European head coaches in its history, and every summer there is talk about how someone like Rickard Gronborg could be an interesting candidate.
Well, take at least one name off the list for the time being, as Toni Soderholm has signed a contract to coach SC Bern in the Swiss National League until 2024. The 44-year-old Finn had been the head coach of the German national team for the last several years but used an out clause to terminate the deal and join Bern. Like most of the candidates that are brought up in this discussion, Soderholm has ties to North American hockey already, having played and even captained UMass.
- While the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate their win over the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, the rest of the hockey world seems to be focused on finding them a new defenseman. Another piece came out today, this time from Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, detailing several candidates to replace Jake Muzzin. One name that is listed is Vladislav Gavrikov of the Columbus Blue Jackets, a name that has also been brought up by The Fourth Period in relation to the Maple Leafs. Toronto has some additional cap flexibility due to the injury to Jake Muzzin, which is keeping him out indefinitely and could end his career.
- One of the names that is always brought up for defense-needy teams is Jakob Chychrun, and today he officially rejoined the Arizona Coyotes for practice. Speaking with Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong once again implied that he will not drop the asking price for Chychrun, which – according to LeBrun – is a package including two first-round picks.