Forty Years! That’s how long Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau has been involved with his Golden Horseshoe Hockey School, named in reference to the geographic area wrapped around the western end of Lake Ontario.
‘Gabby’ and former NHL’er Rocky Saganiuk started the summer sessions back in the early 80’s in St. Catharines, growing the programs to two-week efforts, with 500 to 600 kids, in five rinks. About five years ago, Boudreau’s sons Ben, who coaches in the ECHL in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Andy, who runs skills programs in Canmore, Alberta, and Brady, the coach of the family’s junior team in Hershey, Pennsylvania, took over the operation.
Covid provided a setback, but starting Monday the Boudreaus will be back to growing it out, with this year’s school featuring two rinks and about 160 kids.
It’s the last ‘gig’, besides a charity golf tournament or two, that dad Bruce will be involved with before he wheels west in August.
Thursday morning the New York Rangers announced the signing of of Finnish forward Kaapo Kakko to a two-year contract extension worth $2.1-million per season, ending speculation as to the club’s commitment to the 2nd-overall pick from the 2019 NHL Draft coming out of his entry-level deal.
In three NHL seasons thus far the 6-foot-3, 205-pound left shot winger has tallied a total of 26 goals and 32 assists over 157 games. Three summers ago, the Rangers selected him just behind New Jersey’s Jack Hughes, younger brother of the Vancouver Canucks Quinn, and just ahead of Chicago’s pick, Kirby Dach.
Happy in Canada
Following the ‘defections’ of Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk from the Calgary Flames via free agency and an inevitable trade, the talk of an exodus from certain Canadian clubs became a bit hysterical, including Jonathan Huberdeau allegedly not wanting to stick with the Flames and Pierre-Luc Dubois wanting to leave Winnipeg for Montreal.
Not the case, both indicated earlier this week. Huberdeau said he’d be open to a long term deal in Calgary while Dubois signed a one-year deal for $6-million with the Jets and stated “I did not ask for a trade”. He will however be a restricted free agent (RFA) again after the 2022-’23 season.
Not to be overlooked in the Tkachuk to Florida deal that netted Huberdeau, defenceman MacKenzie Weegar, and a 2025 1st-round pick, was centre prospect Cole Schwindt, also obtained. Calgary Hockey Now tells us Flames GM Brad Treliving was pretty excited by the acquistion.
“Our scouts really like this guy,” Treliving said on the weekend. “He’s a guy we talked about for a while. We think he could be real good in the three-hole. His ability to kill penalties, win face-offs. High-character kid.”
More Pacific Division
The Vegas Golden Knights did some hacking at their salary cap structure, including sending Max Pacioretty to Carolina for future considerations. and the league has benefited from their giveaways. As Owen Krepps writes, after all their moves, Vegas is in need of top-six wingers.
San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier introduced new head coach David Quinn. There were lots of questions about the Sharks direction and what comes next. Sheng Peng, who broke the news of the hiring, has thoughts in his San Jose Sharks analysis.
Have a great Thursday!