There are still quite a few coaching vacancies around the NHL after some of the big names have been snatched up in recent days, and Scott Burnside of The Athletic (subscription required) breaks down all the expected candidates in a new piece. While the scribe details everyone from Dave Tippett to Scott Sandelin, one interesting name appears with a connection to the Buffalo Sabres. Burnside notes that after missing out on Todd McLellan recently, the Sabres threw Rikard Gronborg’s name “into the mix” for their head coaching positions.
Gronborg is an extremely well respected name in international coaching circles, but it would certainly be an out of the box hire for the Sabres as he doesn’t have any previous NHL experience. Still, there were rumors that GM Jason Botterill considered Ralph Kruger during his last head coaching search, and he is likely turning over every possible stone to try and find the right fit for his flailing organization.
- Barrett Hayton finished his OHL season with 82 points in 50 combined regular season and playoff games, the expected big step forward in production after being the fifth-overall pick last June. His development has gone so well that Craig Morgan of The Athletic (subscription required) suggests that he may even compete for a roster spot with the Arizona Coyotes for the coming season, despite not turning 19 until this June. Hayton will be too young to be eligible for the AHL as he was drafted out of the CHL, meaning he’ll have to go back to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds if he fails to make the Coyotes roster. While that’s not a death sentence for his development, it certainly might not be the best place for him after all he showed this season.
- If you wanted proof that Jack Hughes was a little bit ahead of his fellow draft eligible players, he’s providing it at the U18 World Championship. After a quiet opening game with just a single point, Hughes recorded seven in his second game of the tournament and already has a goal in today’s matchup with Russia. The potential first-overall pick is doing his best to show he still belongs at the top of every draft board, while others like Cole Caufield and Alex Turcotte continue to impress.