The Philadelphia Flyers will have an entirely new look behind the bench next season, with head coach Alain Vigneault and assistants Michel Therrien and Mike Yeo. Vigneault explained today to reporters including Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer how the assignments will be divided, indicating that Therrien will handle the powerplay and forwards while Yeo will construct a penalty kill and run the defensemen.
That leaves Ian Laperriere, who was retained from the previous staff, as the “eye-in-the-sky.” Laperriere will no longer coach the Flyers’ penalty killing unit, which has not performed very well under him in the past. The last three seasons the Flyers have ranked 22nd, 29th and 26th in the league a man down, never cracking the 80% mark.
- Markus Nutivaara is dealing with a torn left oblique, suffered when Nikita Kucherov hit him in the first round. Kucherov received a one-game suspension for hitting Nutivaara from behind into the boards while he was already down, but the defenseman would not return to playoff action. Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch reports that it is normally a four to six week recovery time for this type of injury, which would obviously allow Nutivaara to be ready for training camp later in the summer.
- Sticking with the Blue Jackets, Matt Duchene was once again asked about his pending free agency today and explained to team reporter Jeff Svoboda that he will explore his options but keep Columbus involved. Duchene experienced more playoff action this season than his entire combined career previously, but it still wasn’t enough to get a real sniff of the Stanley Cup. With 727 regular season games now under his belt, the 28-year old has suited up just 18 times in the playoffs.