There has been some speculation recently that a possible chain reaction of hirings could eventually result in Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan being let go and moving behind the bench for the Rangers. However, the bench boss poured cold water on that idea, telling Mollie Walker of the New York Post that he is “here for the long haul” with Pittsburgh. Sullivan has four years left on his contract with Pittsburgh and is expected to have some sort of say in who the team brings in to fill out their front office after dismissing GM Ron Hextall and Brian Burke at the end of the regular season. Accordingly, it stands to reason that he’ll be behind the bench when the puck drops on the 2023-24 campaign in October.
Elsewhere around the hockey world:
- Panthers winger Ryan Lomberg was a full participant at practice today, notes George Richards of Florida Hockey Now (Twitter link). The 28-year-old suffered an upper-body injury partway through the first round against Boston and missed the entire second round versus Toronto. Head coach Paul Maurice indicated after practice today that his full team is available for the series opener tomorrow in Carolina so it appears that Lomberg will be back after missing the last eight games.
- Ron Hainsey is moving up the ranks at the NHLPA as Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli relays (Twitter link) that the long-time NHL blueliner is now their Assistant Executive Director. Hainsey, who played 17 seasons in the league with eight different teams, played a significant role in the search new Executive Director Marty Walsh and he has been rewarded for those efforts with a promotion.
- Coyotes prospect Emil Martinsen Lilleberg is on the move as Vaxjo of the SHL announced that they’ve signed the defenseman to a two-year contract. The 22-year-old was a fourth-round pick of the Coyotes (107th overall) back in 2021 and had three goals and eight assists in 46 games with IK Oskarshamn and is currently playing in his third straight World Championship with Norway. Drafted as a 20-year-old, Arizona only has Martinsen Lilleberg’s draft rights until June 1st so it appears that they will not be signing him based on this new agreement in Sweden.