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Baggie Buzz: Jarome Iginla not ready to retire

News, notes as teams that didn't make playoffs pack up for offseason

NHL.com @NHL

Welcome to 2017 Baggie Buzz, a daily look at the news involving the 14 teams that didn't qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season. Over the next few days, those teams will be packing up their things and heading into the offseason and we will be there to give you all the highlights.

 

Colorado Avalanche: Coach Jared Bednar will return in 2017-18, general manager Joe Sakic said, according to a report.

The Avalanche finished last in the NHL with a 22-56-4 record under Bednar, who was hired Aug. 25, two weeks after Patrick Roy abruptly resigned. Colorado has missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs three consecutive seasons and in six of the past seven.

"He's coming back ... we're hoping to have a younger team with more depth," Sakic told the Denver Post. "He was put in a position, late in the game, trying to get prepared for training camp and having that in place with this group, and kind of quickly learning on the job with a new team that he didn't know much about. ... We're dead-last in the League, so we all have to get better at what we do. But I know he's excited and we're excited to have the whole summer in place to get ready for next training camp, the way he wants to run his training camp with this group. All the players are going to be prepared. We're looking forward to next year."

-- Goalie Semyon Varlamov said he expects to be ready for training camp after having two hip operations to resolve his chronic groin issues. He had one surgery on Jan. 26 and another two weeks later.

"I'm really positive about these surgeries, how the doctors take care of me, how everything's done," said Varlamov, who was a Vezina Trophy finalist in 2013-14. "Right now it's just a long rehab, rehab is going very well. I'm sure the problem is behind and then I'm looking forward to get a fresh start in September. I'm going to be ready, for sure, 100 percent."

Varlamov went 6-17-0 this season with a 3.38 goals-against average and .898 save percentage.

-- Center Matt Duchene said he is preparing for the possibility of being traded.

Duchene scored 18 goals -- three in the final 39 games -- after he had an NHL career high 30 in 2015-16.

"I don't know what my future holds here," said Duchene, who will play for Canada in the World Championships. "We'll see what happens, but if it ends after this year I've been very blessed and lucky to be a Colorado Avalanche, my favorite team as a kid. I've enjoyed living in Denver, I met my fiancée here. There's been a lot of good things out of it, so if I happen to be moving on it's one of those things where I'm just thankful for the opportunity.

"This time of year you just reflect. I don't know what's going to happen. If I'm back, great. Hopefully things turn around and we have a big year next year. You just got to face reality as a pro. We'll see what happens.

-- NHL.com Correspondent Rick Sadowski

 

Dallas Stars: General manager Jim Nill said the search for the next coach of the Stars already is underway after it was announced that Lindy Ruff would not return next season. He said he is talking to three people and hopes the process moves along quickly

 

Florida Panthers: Dale Tallon was named general manager in place of Tom Rowe, who will no longer serve as coach. Tallon, who was Panthers GM from 2010-16, will retain his title as president of hockey operations.

"We have the talent to get back on track in a hurry," Tallon said of the Panthers, who missed the playoffs, one year after winning the Atlantic Division. "This was a difficult year for us, but I think we learned some tough lessons about what it takes to win consistently in the NHL. With a few tweaks to our roster and the right leadership, I'm confident we can get back to contending for the Stanley Cup next season."

Rowe replaced Tallon as GM on May 16, taking over as coach after Gerard Gallant was fired Nov. 28. Rowe went 24-27-10 in 61 games, and the Panthers finished 14 points out of a playoff spot and will remain with the Panthers as an advisor.

 

Los Angeles Kings: Jarome Iginla, who completed his 20th NHL season, isn't ready to retire just yet.

After scoring his 625th career NHL goal to tie Joe Sakic for 15th on the all-time list, and getting his 1,300th point in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, Iginla told LA Kings Insider that he wants to play at least one more season but will have to discuss it with his family.

Iginla, 39, had nine points (six goals, three assists) in 19 games with the Kings, who acquired him from the Colorado Avalanche on March 1, had 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in 80 games this season. Iginla, who signed a three-year contract with the Avalanche which ran through the 2016-17 season, can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Video: SAP Stats: Jarome Iginla joins the 1,300+ points club

 

New York Islanders: John Tavares, the 26-year-old captain said he hopes to have a new contract in place prior to next season. His current contract expires after the 2017-18 season and he is eligible to sign a contract extension with the Islanders on July 1.

 

Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos said he doesn't think he was going to return during the regular seasondespite reports saying he was listed as day to day. Stamkos said he was eyeing a return in the playoffs.

 

Vancouver Canucks: After a disappointing season and failing to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second straight season, the Canucks fired coach Willie Desjardins on Monday. Vancouver was 30-43-9 and ended the season on an eight-game losing streak. Desjardins was 109-110-27 in three seasons with Vancouver.

"We made a very difficult decision to relieve Willie Desjardins of his duties as head coach today," Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. "It's been a challenging season and we all share responsibility for the results however, we felt this change was necessary as we continue to develop a young team and look ahead to the future. We're grateful to Willie, Doug, Perry and each of their families for their dedication and hard work and wish them every success."

 

Winnipeg Jets: Forward Mark Scheifele set career highs in goals (32), assists (50) and points (82) in his fourth season, finishing seventh in NHL scoring, but would rather still be playing. The Jets won their final seven games of the regular season but still finished seven points behind the Nashville Predators for the second wild card in the West.

"I had goals set before the season and I definitely achieved them, but next year it's got to be even better," Scheifele said on Sunday. "I've got to push myself to be the best so I'm going to push to be the best player I can be and, you know, make those numbers even better.

Winnipeg missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons.

"You've got to go home and say, 'Hey, what can I do to be better for not only myself, but be better for the team?" Scheifele said. "That's something I reflect on. We know in our minds that we can be a playoff team. Obviously, injuries was a tough thing for us this year, losing the amount of games that we did. But also at the same time, you've got to come back with a sour taste in your mouth."

-- NHL.com Correspondent Scott Billeck

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