Defense wins championships and that is what Patrick Roy returned to Denver to accomplish. Despite his team taking a step back in his sophomore season behind an NHL bench, Roy is confident the lessons learned will only help the team going forward. In addition to his role as head coach, Roy holds a second title as Vice President of Hockey Operations, giving him a voice in all player personnel decisions. The new philosophy as to how the team will be constructed both now and in the future is trending towards an emphasis on size, character, and skills. Roy has also shown he is open to drafting and signing free agents from Europe’s top leagues, something that occurred less frequently in the years prior to his return.
News & Features
With the addition of former Mestis club KooKoo, Finland’s Liiga in 2015-16 will feature 15 teams for the first time in league history. But, while the Kouvola-based squad should enjoy an intense rivalry with neighboring SaiPa Lappeenranta in southeastern Finland, things aren’t likely to change at the top of the league standings. Read more »
Movement abounds in the newest Dallas Stars Top 20 list. The acquisitions of Mattias Backman, Mattias Janmark and, most recently, Stephen Johns all make their respective impacts while two 2015 draft picks make the list as well. Meanwhile, three defensemen graduate the prospects list for regular NHL duty: John Klingberg, Jamie Oleksiak and Jyrki Jokipakka. The Stars also bid adieu to Ludwig Karlsson and 2009 top ten pick Scott Glennie, neither of whom received a qualifying offer.
Drafting and developing have not been strong suits for the Vancouver Canucks over the last few years. With Jim Benning and Trevor Linden in charge there seems to be efforts being made to rectify years of poor drafting and developing of their own players, though certain moves have not come without controversy.
Outside of a few new draftees and signings, there’s little change amongst the top 20 prospects for the Florida Panthers. First round pick Lawson Crouse is a notable and unexpected addition, while Vincent Trocheck officially graduated from his prospect status last season, having now played in 70 career games. Read more »
The eighth KHL season has begun as this year, the league’s first game – the Opening Cup game between SKA St. Petersburg and CSKA Moscow – took place on August 24th. The reason for the early start is that the 2016 IIHF World Championship will be held in Russia, and therefore the league will need to finish a bit earlier than usual to accommodate the international competition. Read more »
Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen and his brain trust molded the future of the surging organization with a pair of trades and a fantastic draft in June. At the draft, the Blue Jackets identified a need to boost their defense and came away with a number of high-quality rearguards. Read more »
July 4th, 2012 changed the Minnesota Wild’s course for the foreseeable future. Twin 13-year contracts for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter switched the Wild into win-now mode: an expensive and risky move that is easier announced than accomplished. Three seasons later, the team has qualified for the post-season in each season and won two playoff series total. Read more »