The Anaheim Ducks enter the summer of 2014 with a bit of disappointment after losing to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Kings, in the second round despite finishing atop the NHL standings at the conclusion of the regular season. Their performance this season was seen as a pleasant surprise though, and with so many young players within the organization showing promise, there is plenty to look forward to for Ducks fans.
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The Pittsburgh Penguins head into the 2014 NHL Draft under new management. Jim Rutherford, who retired from the Carolina Hurricanes general manager position in late April, was hired in early June to take the same job in Pittsburgh. Head coach Dan Bylsma was fired the same day Rutherford was hired, and while the Penguins have yet to find a replacement, Rutherford is optimistic a head coach will be in place by the start of free agency on July 1st.
The Buffalo Sabres' horrendous start to the 2013-14 season was the clear signal that the team needed to make drastic changes. Ted Nolan replaced Ron Rolston as head coach early in the season, and Darcy Regier was fired after 16 years with the team after a few disappointing seasons and a spotty draft record.
The second straight season of missing the playoffs led to the dismissal of Barry Trotz, the only coach the Nashville Predators have had in their 15 years of existence. With David Poile as the general manager and much of the hockey operations team still in place it is not likely that Nashville's organizational philosophy will be all that different.
The American Hockey League concluded its 2013-14 season Tuesday night as the Texas Stars defeated the St. John’s IceCaps in overtime for the third straight game of the Calder Cup finals, claiming the championship in five games – the AHL Stars’ first Calder Cup Championship in franchise history.
It is a new era in Carolina. The only general manager the team has known since its move to Raleigh, Jim Rutherford, retired then later surprisingly took the same job with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rutherford's heir apparent, former captain Ron Francis, has taken the reins and is charged with overseeing the Hurricanes' draft.
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