Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
It is a big decision. The Ducks are an interesting blend of veteran leaders approaching or at the edge of their prime years and younger performers at key positions nearing theirs. This isn’t a growing team in a “plan-to-win-big-later” phase. They’re in “it’s-time-to-win-now” phase.
Being able to push this group fronted by the over-30 troika of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler is a central part of the job description. Holding grinders and headliners equally accountable is another. So is extracting higher levels of work out of the next wave of leaders and getting meaningful contributions from the most talented prospects.
And there is the tactical stuff. Going forward, who can match wits in the biggest of games with the Kings’ Darryl Sutter or San Jose’s Peter DeBoer, who got the Sharks to their first Cup Final? Or Nashville’s Peter Laviolette and Chicago’s Joel Quenneville, if it comes to that? Boudreau won a lot but putting the right people on the ice at the right times in those must-win contests he lost remains a criticism of his time in Anaheim.
Murray can’t hire Jon Cooper but the way he talked glowingly about Tampa Bay’s coach, he wouldn’t mind finding another like him. Travis Green, a leading candidate, fits closer to that profile and has 970 NHL games that give him added cachet among those he’ll guide....
But is he the right fit for these Ducks at this time? Or is it Carlyle, the Cup winner who’s under strong consideration for another turn to pull off what he did in 2007. He fits the mold of the old hand who’ll ruffle the feathers of his players if it means getting the most out of them.
As assistants, Paul MacLean and Trent Yawney know this team but the longer Murray goes, the more you wonder if they’re really in the mix. And with the assistant coaching shuffle going on around the league, Murray will likely whittle down his list so those who’ve interviewed can go after openings elsewhere. Mike Yeo, formerly of Minnesota, fits that scenario if he’s not the one.
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
Next season will mark the 10th anniversary of the Ducks’ most triumphant moment as a franchise, and the coach who led them to the Stanley Cup then might be the one put in charge of another run at a second title.
Randy Carlyle was ultimately replaced by Bruce Boudreau in the fall of 2011. The unique possibility of Carlyle following his successor exists as the 60-year-old coach reportedly has met with Ducks general manager Bob Murray.
TSN hockey broadcaster Darren Dreger reported Tuesday on his Twitter account that Carlyle was to meet with Murray. It is believed the two have also had prior contact about the Ducks’ coaching vacancy as Murray goes through the process of interviewing candidates....
Travis Green has already interviewed with Murray and remains very much a prime contender for the job. Green, 45, is a former Ducks center who’s seen as the up-and-comer who’s ready for his first NHL shot....
Current assistants Paul MacLean and Trent Yawney have also talked to Murray, though it isn’t clear where they stand. Former Minnesota coach Mike Yeo and former Ottawa assistant Luke Richardson are other possibilities. Another interesting name surfaced Tuesday.
TSN’s Frank Seravalli tweeted that Dale Hunter may be in the mix. Hunter, the former NHL tough guy, coached Washington for one season before returning to the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights, whom he co-owns with his brother, Mark.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
From the Fool Them Once file: If the Rangers trade Chris Kreider to a Western Conference team, then general manager Jeff Gorton must attach a clause to the deal through which the Blueshirts would receive additional value — say, in the form of a first-round draft choice — should Kid K be sent back east within three years.
Call it Rule 62.
It is impossible to recall a trade of a support player backfiring as badly on a team as the Carl Hagelin deal has blown up in the Blueshirts’ faces. Not only did the Rangers lose a unique, and thus far irreplaceable, piece of the puzzle who personified a large part of their identity as a speed team under coach Alain Vigneault, Hagelin has wound up in Pittsburgh, thriving as an instrumental part of a powerful division rival.
This turn of events has to make the Rangers sick. All of it: the negligible return from Anaheim in the trade, which materialized out of thin air at last year’s entry draft and was completed within about five minutes; the switcheroo to Pittsburgh in mid-January after Hagelin had failed to adapt to Anaheim (or the Ducks failed to adapt to him); the revitalization of the Penguins, with the Swede playing the same role as a catalyst as he had in New York from the moment of his promotion from the AHL the day after Thanksgiving 2011.
continued plus more NHL topics....
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
Let’s get this out of the way when it comes to the Ducks, their desire to make a coaching change and the resulting search that’s in development mode – their dream candidate never did become available.
The search to replace Bruce Boudreau might have ended in short order had Claude Julien been set free from Boston. But that never became a possibility when the playoff-absent Bruins brought back the 2011 Stanley Cup-winning coach for a 10th season.
Besides, the Ducks would have had to hope Julien would not have wanted to jump right into Ottawa’s opening behind the bench and surveyed the NHL landscape. So it was a pipe dream.
In the present, the Ducks are doing what General Manager Bob Murray said he’d do during his April 29 news conference to address letting Boudreau go after five seasons. They’re going to take their time.
The fact that Minnesota quickly snapped up Boudreau and Ottawa grabbed Guy Boucher when Boudreau opted for the Wild doesn’t faze Murray. Remaining assistants Paul MacLean and Trent Yawney are very much on the Ducks’ list and conversations have been had with both.
It isn’t clear if either MacLean or Yawney has had a formal interview. But it does appear clear that Murray is set on looking at some options outside the organization, with the likely goal of having a new coach in place by next month’s entry draft.
via Anaheim Ducks Twitter,
"I have memories and opportunities I wish I could have back. It was the way it kind of went that whole series, for me anyway."
"We laid it on the line in Game 7. A bounce here, a bounce there, it’s a different story. But we keep saying that..."
"This one probably hurts even more than the rest of them. You look at the team, what we overcame, it was a close-knit group."
Perry says Boudreau, "Has nothing do with what we did on the ice. We have to hold ourselves accountable. I think guys are doing that."
"We have to go out next year and prove ourselves all over again. It’s a clean slate, a new year. Hopefully we can rewrite the story."
from the Anaheim Ducks,
Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray discussed the dismissal of head coach Bruce Boudreau and the state of the franchise on Friday, April 29....
When did you first determine that this move had to be necessary?
I started worrying in Games 1 and 2. I started really worrying. We sort of rallied, although I didn’t think we played that well. I thought our goaltender played really good. And then we won three in a row. Game 6, we didn’t play well whatsoever. As I said, the right passion was there in Game 7.
It’s easier to replace a coach than it is to replace 20 guys, but when you look at your two best players – their performances in these Game 6s and 7s over the last three seasons, is it a matter of having to change the core in any way?
There are definite concerns in that area. The core has to be held responsible. They have to be better. Maybe I haven’t been hard enough in the last few years, but they’re going to hear some different words this time.
What are you looking for in your next coach, and when would you like to have one in place?
I’m not in any hurry whatsoever. Yesterday, I met with the family. We had talked the night before after the game. I went down to San Diego, and I just decided, in fairness to Bruce, that this happen now.
added 12:29pm, Press release is below...
from Elliott Teaford of the OC Register,
He was the Ducks’ highest-paid player this season at $8.625million and he delivered with 34 regular-season goals, tops on the team. But he didn’t score a single goal during the Ducks’ seven-game loss to the Predators, chipping in four assists for his only points.
At game’s end, after the Ducks lost their fourth Game 7 at Honda Center in as many seasons, Perry sat in front of his locker in full uniform as a pack of reporters descended upon him. He spoke softly about his frustration and praised the Predators for their defensive effort against him.
“I’ve got no excuses, that’s the way it went,” he said. “They swarm and push you against the wall and pin you there. It’s tough. They play strong defensively. They’re a strong defensive team. They know how to box out and they did it all series.”
Of Game 7, Perry added, “It’s tough. It’s not the way we wanted to start, but the second and third periods I thought we threw everything at them. A bounce here, a bounce there, and it can be a different story.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
"It means a lot," Predators goalie Pekka Rinne said after leading his team to a 2-1 Game 7 win on Wednesday night. "It shows a lot of character. I think as a group we can learn from this series. It's a really good team we played against. There's a lot of good things we can take from this series.
"Just moving forward I think we're a better team already after this series and after this Game 7.''...
"We'd rather fly under the radar, and just kind of do our own business," captain Shea Weber said. "It's kind of the way we go. We don't need to be in the limelight. Hopefully we can keep proving that we're a good team.''...
It is beyond belief as a storyline. But it is reality. And it's hard not to think it may not cost Boudreau his job, even though some of his star players must shoulder the blame for this series loss as well.
"I have no idea," Boudreau said when asked about potential changes. "I haven't thought about it. As far as my future, I just come to work every day until I'm told not to come to work. And I think the team, especially the last half of the year, they believed what the expectations were and what they were supposed to be. The playoffs are a tough thing. There are 16 really good teams, and especially in the West, any of those eight teams that made it were good enough to win it.''...
"At least we went out there and gave it our all," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "We tried everything we could to get that next goal. At least you can leave the ice knowing you left it out there in the end.''...
Corey Perry held his head in his hands in the Ducks' locker room Wednesday night. His despair was visible. No goals in seven games is certainly one of the reasons Anaheim is headed home too early.
Game highlights are below...
added 7:35am, handshake line video below too...
Game 1, Round 2- NY Islanders @ Tampa Bay 7:00 PM ET NBCSN, CBC, TVAS
Game 7, Round 1- Nashville @ Anaheim 10:00 PM ET NBCSN, TVAS, SN, FS-W, FS-TN
Feel free to discuss tonight's games.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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