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News

Predators expect Laviolette to improve offense

Tuesday, 05.06.2014 / 6:35 PM / News

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

The idea of hiring Peter Laviolette as the Nashville Predators' second coach seemed like a natural fit to general manager David Poile.

The two worked together for the United States at the 2014 Sochi Olympics with Poile as general manager and Laviolette as an assistant coach. Poile was impressed with Laviolette's preparation and game plans and liked Laviolette's experience and motivational abilities.

Yet Poile wanted to do his homework. It was 17 years since he hired a coach and he wanted to get it right. So Poile spoke with some who played for Laviolette with the Carolina Hurricanes, who he coached to the 2006 Stanley Cup, and the Philadelphia Flyers, who he brought to the 2010 Cup Final. Poile spoke to Predators center Matt Cullen, who won the Cup with Laviolette in Carolina.

Poile might have ended his search where he started. The Predators announced Laviolette on Tuesday as the successor to Barry Trotz, who coached the team for its first 15 seasons. Poile, the third-longest tenured general manager in the NHL, said his confidence in the hire was about as high as any decision he had ever made.

"Peter is a very successful coach," Poile said. "Am I glad that we have that an experienced coach who won a Stanley Cup? Yes, sir. That's good. All of the criteria is great. Again, I think I knew all that but I wanted to check it out with other people, other players. Again, I just did my due diligence. This is arguably the most important decision we're making this offseason."

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Lightning sign Vasilevskii to entry-level contract

Tuesday, 05.06.2014 / 4:54 PM / News

NHL.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday signed goaltender Andrei Vasilevskii to a three-year entry-level contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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Flames to move AHL franchise to Glens Falls

Monday, 05.05.2014 / 7:25 PM / News

NHL.com

The American Hockey League's Board of Governors on Monday approved the relocation of the franchise owned by the Calgary Flames from Abbotsford, B.C., to Glens Falls, N.Y., beginning next season.

The Flames' AHL franchise will begin play this fall at the Glens Falls Civic Center, which had been home to the Adirondack Phantoms since 2009. The Phantoms had been previously granted approval to relocate to Allentown, Pa., where they will begin play as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms this fall.

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Two-time Stanley Cup winner Lonsberry dies at 67

Monday, 05.05.2014 / 4:50 PM / News

NHL.com

Ross Lonsberry, who helped the Philadelphia Flyers win the Stanley Cup in 1974 and 1975, died at a California hospital Sunday following a long battle with cancer.

The Flyers confirmed the news Monday. Lonsberry was 67.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to Ross' wife, Juanita, and the Lonsberry family," Flyers chairman Ed Snider said. "Ross played six and a half seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, including our Stanley Cup teams. He was a hard-hitting, two-way player who contributed greatly to our success. I have very fond memories of Ross as a player and a friend, and he will sorely be missed."

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Hurricanes fire coach Muller, two assistants

Monday, 05.05.2014 / 3:48 PM / News

Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C -- Ron Francis made a major move one week after being named general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, firing coach Kirk Muller on Monday.

The change comes after the Hurricanes missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of Muller's three seasons. Assistant coaches John MacLean and Dave Lewis also were let go. The Hurricanes reassigned goaltending coach Greg Stefan to their pro scouting department. Assistant coach Rod Brind'Amour will remain on the coaching staff.

"Kirk's a really good person," Francis said. "We've had very good conversations. At the end of the day, I told him this was the direction we had to go."

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Canucks fire coach Tortorella, assistant Sullivan

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 6:50 PM / News

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Trevor Linden insists he didn't come into his new job as Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations with his mind made up about John Tortorella, but it didn't take long for him to figure out he had to fire his coach.

Linden's first big move in his new role was to dismiss Tortorella and assistant coach Mike Sullivan on Thursday after their first season.

"I tried to talk myself out of this," Linden said. "This is not something I came in looking to do. It was just the right thing to do. When a new (general) manager comes in I want to have full flexibility and create a new vision together."

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Veteran defenseman Poti announces retirement

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 4:19 PM / News

NHL.com

Defenseman Tom Poti, who played in more than 800 games for four teams during a 14-season NHL career, announced his retirement Thursday.

Poti, 37, last played in the NHL for the Washington Capitals during the 2012-13 season.

"I was very fortunate to play in the National Hockey League for 14 years. It was a dream come true and I had an awesome ride and met so many great people along the way," Poti said in a statement released through the NHL Players' Association. "I'd like to thank my family and my wife and children for all their love and support."

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Islanders acquire goalie Halak from Capitals

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 2:07 PM / News

NHL.com

The Washington Capitals traded goaltender Jaroslav Halak to the New York Islanders on Thursday for a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Halak will become an unrestricted free agent July 1, giving the Islanders two months to sign the Slovakia native to a contract extension.

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Jaromir Jagr re-signs with New Jersey Devils

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 5:30 PM / News

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Right wing Jaromir Jagr, who led the New Jersey Devils in scoring this season, was re-signed to a one-year contract Wednesday.

Chris Johnston of Rogers Sportsnet is reporting Jagr could earn as much as $5.5 million, including a $3.5 million base salary and an additional $2 million if he plays in 45 games in 2014-15.

"I think [Devils general manager] Lou Lamoriello wanted to know what kind of direction he wanted to go, so both sides wanted to do [the contract] quickly," Jagr said on a conference call. "I didn't mind that at all. I was happy here and had no reason to change. If I'm happy somewhere and feel like the other side is interested, there's no reason to change."

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Jagr says deal in place to return to Devils: report

Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 7:53 PM / News

NHL.com

New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr said Tuesday he has a deal in place to return for the 2014-15 season, according to Zdenek Janda of iSport.cz and Roman Jedlicka of TV NOVA Sport in the Czech Republic, where Jagr is training for the upcoming IIHF World Championship.

"It's close but there is nothing signed," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told NJ.com Tuesday. "We don't say anything officially until everything is signed and sealed. It is close and I feel it will get done."

Jagr led the Devils in scoring in his first season with the team with 67 points (24 goals). He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

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As a player, it's obviously a sad day, but to be on the ice with some of those guys and show our respect as both teams did around center ice, it's definitely a nice touch.

— Devils defenseman Damon Severson on the ceremony before game Saturday against the Senators in Ottawa
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