Thursday, August 21, 2014

Re-configuring the Hierarchy

The San Jose Sharks are at it again, as they continue to commit to a long-term rebuild.  However, no roster changes are involved, as the Sharks have decided to take the letters off of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.  This means the Sharks will be without a captain and alternate captains heading into training camp (Dan Boyle was the other alternate captain and was traded in the off-season).  With all of the trade rumors surrounding both Thornton and Marleau recently, one could think that either or both could be out of San Jose soon.  However, there is also a possibility that both could regain their respective designations, as the Sharks are looking to find the right voices to lead the team moving forward.  Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture are seen as future leaders of the team and it is possible both could be thrust into the leadership roles sooner rather than later, with Thornton and Marleau guiding them on some level.

Monday, August 11, 2014

All Spoken For...

In the last week, the last of the WHL coaching vacancies were filled, as the Regina Pats tabbed John Paddock the new head coach.  He replaces Malcolm Cameron, who was with the team for only one year before being relieved of his duties after the Pats were swept out of the first round by the Brandon Wheat Kings.  Paddock brings years of experience from the NHL and the AHL, with coaching stints in Winnipeg (1991-94) and Ottawa (2007-08).  More recently, he was an Assistant General Manager with the Philadelphia Flyers the last five seasons and served as an assistant coach for them last season.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

KHL Season Almost Here

The KHL season is less than a month away, and there are a few changes to the league's structure.  Metallurg Magnitigorsk will begin the season as the defending Gagarian Cup champions, and three teams will be joining the league while replacing three teams that suspended operations for the season.

Donbass Donetsk is suspending operations due to civil unrest in the Ukraine while Lev Praha and Spartak Moscow are both sitting out due to financial issues.  Replacing the three teams will be Jokerit Helsinki, making them the first Finnish squad to be in the KHL, HC Sochi, who is looking to capitalize on the momentum that the Winter Olympics created for the town, and Lada Togliatti, who was in the KHL from 2008 through 2010, when arena issues forced them to drop into a lower league.

SKA Saint Petersburg is also going into the season with a major change, this one behind the bench, as a disappointing end to a season with high expectations led them to tab Vyacheslav Bykov as the new head coach.  Expectations will forever be high with the team that has never won a championship in their history, which dates back to 1946.