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Canucks Wrap: Breaking News for NHL Coaches, and Big Changes Likely in Pitt

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Vancouver Canucks foe, Boston Montgomery
The dreaded rival of the Vancouver Canucks, the Boston Bruins, may have a new head coach in Jim Montgomery.

Vancouver Canucks fans watched it happen four years ago with the departure of the soon-to-be Hockey Hall of Famers Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Although defenceman Alex Edler hung on for three more seasons and became the final piece of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final puzzle to leave town, that exquisite core was officially toast when the twins hung up their skates.

We could see it happen again shortly with the potential dismantling of an NHL posse that’s been together for a decade-and-a-half and won three Stanley Cups. The Pittsburgh Penguins are struggling with a decision on long time stars Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. They’re still in negotiations trying to figure out a way to keep both Penguins heroes around. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Hockey Now brings up a great point; can one or both players still be effective and for how long?

If they both go, only Vancouver’s pal Sidney Crosby will remain from the days when the threesome rocked the old Igloo.

There’s a good chance we’ll know something on at least one of them ahead of next week’s NHL Draft.

Still Adjusting Body Calendars

I’d say ‘body clock’ but it’s more about the calendar. Before Covid, typically the hockey world would be bracing this evening for the July 1st ‘Free Agent Frenzy’ tomorrow. Instead, fans, pundits, and journalists must wait almost a full two weeks for the potential mayhem to begin.

Plus, in between now and then, we get to witness the NHL Draft, previously an event that happened in June ahead of free agency.

I’m sure Vancouver Canucks fans are fine with it, but it’ll be nice next season to get back on the more standard schedule and to start ‘summer’ a little bit sooner. Fingers crossed.

Yzerman Delay Making Sense – Hires Lalonde

Breaking from Detroit Hockey Now

Often times when you see management taking what seems like an inordinate amount of time on something it’s simply because they’re waiting for someone in particular to become available. That might explain Detroit Red Wings General Manager Steve Yzerman’s delay in naming a new head coach. Thursday he pulled the trigger. Of the slew of teams that sought and landed a new bench boss already this off-season, now only the Winnipeg Jets and Boston Bruins remain with a vacancy.

It turns out that Tampa Bay assistant coach Derek Lalonde, who Yzerman hired in Tampa Bay when he ran the operation there, just got hired by ‘Stevie Y’ again on Thursday. Following the wrap up of the Stanley Cup Final, with the Lightning losing in six games, Lalonde apparently shuffled off to Motown earlier this week to take a run at the head coaching gig.

And speaking of the Bruins, as I write this, Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy has some brand new information hot off the presses.

Next up

By the way, if nothing changes, the Vancouver Canucks will making the 15th-overall selection at the NHL Draft in Montreal, one week from tonight.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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