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NHL Insider

Tippett glad to make commitment to Coyotes

Monday, 06.24.2013 / 8:01 PM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With the final chapter of the ownership saga of the Phoenix Coyotes drawing to a close, coach Dave Tippett talked Monday about his new five-year contract extension, knowing full well that soon he won't have to answer any more ownership questions.

Tippett said he is confident prospective owners from Renaissance Sports and Entertainment can put the finishing touches on a new lease agreement with the city of Glendale to keep the Coyotes at Arena.

Tippett said he has family in Seattle, which has been mentioned as a possible new home if the deal falls through. Either way, his focus will stay the same: keeping his team successful and competitive on the ice.

Once general manager Don Maloney and assistant GM Brad Treliving signed long-term contract extensions, and assistant coaches Jim Playfair and Sean Burke reached deals to stay, Tippett decided to turn away from the prospect of free agency and other coaching openings to stick with the Coyotes.

New Kings Frattin, Scrivens get first look at L.A.

Monday, 06.24.2013 / 6:33 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Frattin and Ben Scrivens arrived here Monday but they won't be staying long enough for some amusing, fish-out-of-water moments to unfold for two Alberta boys dropped into L.A.

Each will head home for the summer before they rejoin their new team, the Los Angeles Kings. Neither is very familiar with the area, and neither knows any of the Kings well, including coach and Alberta native Darryl Sutter. Scrivens' wife is from Camarillo, Calif., north of L.A., and he cautioned that "I'm a little bit familiar, but I definitely wouldn't call myself a local by any stretch."

Kings fans certainly want to know more about Frattin and Scrivens, who represent the return the Kings received in the Sunday trade that sent backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Frattin, a forward; Scrivens, a goaltender; and a second-round draft pick in 2014 or 2015.

McPhee, Capitals keeping all draft options open

Monday, 06.24.2013 / 3:11 PM / NHL Insider

Connor Mellas - Staff Writer

The Washington Capitals are ready for the 2013 NHL Draft, but general manager George McPhee, while saying he's keeping all options on the table, is holding his plans close to his chest.

"There are a lot of different ways to do it," McPhee said at a press conference Monday. "I really like the way we're doing it. I don't really want to give away my [definition] as to how we do that."

Despite McPhee's secrecy, he acknowledged that Washington's plans aren't set in stone, and he'll be waiting to see what happens on the floor when the draft starts June 30 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

"I'm not really married to any position; we'll get there and see what people want to do," he said. "Sometimes things come up and you can move up. How far up do you want to move is the question, what is it going to take? We'll see. I’m open to that."

The Capitals have two picks in the first two rounds, the 23rd pick in the first round, and pick No. 53 in the second.

Reimer: Bernier trade to Maple Leafs 'a challenge'

Monday, 06.24.2013 / 11:25 AM / NHL Insider

Connor Mellas - Staff Writer

Jonathan Bernier
Goalie - TOR
RECORD: 29-20
GAA: 2.36 | SVP: 0.912
The Toronto Maple Leafs traded for Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier on Sunday, adding another young goaltender to a team that might not have needed one.

Incumbent James Reimer was a bit shocked when he learned of the trade, which saw forward Matt Frattin, goaltender Ben Scrivens and a second-round draft pick in 2014 or 2015 go to the Kings.

"I was a little surprised when I heard about the deal," Reimer, 25, told the Toronto Sun on Sunday. "There had been talk about bringing in a veteran. But to bring in someone of a similar age (Bernier is 24), well, obviously they have their reasons."

Bernier happy to get fresh start in Toronto

Sunday, 06.23.2013 / 6:05 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- On first blush, you'd think members of Jonathan Bernier's family would be delighted to trade their Los Angeles Kings jerseys for those of the Toronto Maple Leafs. That wouldn't be so hard to swallow.

It's a little more complicated, however.

The 24-year-old goaltender, who was traded Sunday to the Maple Leafs by the Los Angeles Kings, grew up in Montreal and most of his family members are diehard fans of the Canadiens. At least they were.

"They are all pretty much saying the same thing -- we have to switch jerseys," Bernier said with a laugh. "I'm sure they'll all do it. I don't know if they'll like it, but it's going to be great to be playing closer to home so my family can come and watch me play."

For Kings, saying goodbye to Bernier wasn't easy

Sunday, 06.23.2013 / 4:34 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

Dean Lombardi kept waiting until the time was right … and then waited some more to finally make the move he was never fully comfortable making.

It was never going to be easy saying goodbye to Jonathan Bernier, a No. 1-caliber goaltender stuck behind Jonathan Quick. But with free agency set to begin next month and the lower, $64.3 million salary cap looming, the Los Angeles Kings general manager pulled the trigger on a deal he said was in the works for some time.

"It's safe to say we've been talking about this for eight months," Lombardi said of his discussions with Toronto Maple Leafs GM David Nonis.

On Sunday the Kings sent Bernier to Toronto for backup goalie Ben Scrivens, wing Matt Frattin and a second-round draft pick in 2014 or 2015. Lombardi had been trying to fulfill Bernier's wish to start elsewhere, but the process was interrupted by the lockout and then Bernier really was needed because Quick was recovering from back surgery.

Sabres GM 'would like to keep' Miller, Vanek

Friday, 06.21.2013 / 10:05 PM / NHL Insider

Connor Mellas - Staff Writer

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller and forward Thomas Vanek each has one year left on his contract. At the end of the 2013-14 NHL season, they'll be unrestricted free agents.

The clock is ticking, and their respective futures with Buffalo remain very uncertain.

"Ideally, I would like to keep them here, yes," Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said at a press conference Thursday. "But again, we have to look at it in the context of when they become unrestricted and whether or not we have the ability to do deals with them, and then the cost of those deals if we do."

Messier's future with Rangers unclear

Friday, 06.21.2013 / 4:33 PM / NHL Insider

Connor Mellas - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Now that Alain Vigneault has been hired as coach of the New York Rangers, the future of franchise icon Mark Messier, who publicly expressed interest in the job, comes into question.

Messier, 52, and general manager Glen Sather, 69, have a relationship that goes back four decades. Messier won the Stanley Cup five times with the Edmonton Oilers when Sather was coach and GM. In 1991, Sather traded Messier to the New York Rangers, where he played for six seasons and won another Cup before leaving for the Vancouver Canucks. When Sather became GM of the Rangers in 2000, he brought back Messier for the final four seasons of his NHL career.

Since 2009, Messier has worked closely with Sather in the Rangers organization, serving as special assistant to the president. When coach John Tortorella was fired following the team's second-round playoff loss, Messier interviewed for the job. However, Sather chose Vigneault.

Vigneault different than Tortorella on and off the ice

Friday, 06.21.2013 / 3:41 PM / NHL Insider

Connor Mellas - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- The first indication the John Tortorella Era with the New York Rangers was over occurred shortly into the press conference Friday to announce his successor, Alain Vigneault.

It came in the form of a sound that had been missing from Rangers press conferences over the past few years: Laughter.

Asked what the biggest factors were that attracted him to the Rangers, Vigneault expressed a desire to win and to coach an Original Six team. However, there was one more reason.

"I did find out that it's a lot easier to negotiate a contract when you have two teams after you instead of just one," he said, drawing laughter from Rangers general manager Glen Sather as well as the media covering the press conference.

Former Stars assistant sees Ruff as smart hire

Friday, 06.21.2013 / 3:08 PM / NHL Insider

Steve Hunt - Correspondent

DALLAS -- Though there weren't any current members of the Dallas Stars present at the press conference Friday that saw Lindy Ruff introduced as the team's new coach, there was one notable former player in attendance at American Airlines Center.

That was Stu Barnes, who during his 16-season NHL career played for Ruff when he was an assistant with the Florida Panthers between 1993 and 1997, and again when he was coaching the Buffalo Sabres between 1998 and 2003.

"I really enjoyed playing for him," Barnes said. "I think he's a very good coach, very smart guy, understands the game really well, has a really good understanding of system play, and not only that, but how to deal with NHL players. I think that's such a big part of being a successful coach, is being able to manage your people and get the most of your players regardless of the situation."

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