NHL Off-Season Underway
The Stanley Cup Finals are behind us and it’s time to focus on the busiest time of the year for NHL General Managers. Congratulations to the Los Angeles Kings on winning their first ever Stanley Cup. They were without question the best playoff team from start to finish and certainly deserved to win. Special congrats goes out to Kings Assistant Coach Jamie Kompon who paid his dues en route to reaching this moment. He’s a talented coach who earned his way behind an NHL bench. Early in his career he served as the Blues video coach for several seasons under Joel Quenneville.
Blues Coaching Staff Returning...
Obviously Scott Mellanby has parted ways to join the Montreal Canadiens front office but it appears both Brad Shaw and Ray Bennett will return to the organization. I would expect something official along with the news of who will replace Mellanby very soon. Doug Armstrong has recently been interviewing candidates to join the staff and the process of narrowing in on a replacement is underway.
Goalie coach Corey Hirsch as well as Strength and Conditioning Coach Nelson Ayotte have another year remaining on their contract.
Former Blues head Coach Davis Payne has been interviewing as well as he looks to land another Head Coaching gig. There are multiple AHL jobs available but we all
know they don’t stay open very long. The Milwaukee Admirals would be a good
spot when you consider their location as well as their affiliation with the Nashville Predators.
Brett Hull Still in the Mix?
The dialogue between Brett Hull and the Blues is ongoing but I get the sense he won’t be joining the organization in the capacity many anticipated when Tom Stillman purchased the team.
Many have fairly asked how Stillman could afford to add Hull if he looking to reduce costs in the front office? Understand the plan was
never to pay Hull anywhere close to John Davidson or Doug Armstrong money. The
Blues simply can’t afford to add that type of salary and that could be what’s
preventing Hull from taking a more substantial position.
At the end of the day I wouldn't close the door on Hull taking on a role with the club but the idea of him assuming a full time job that requires him to relocate to St. Louis may no longer be in play.
The window for Davidson to up and leave on his own appears to have come and gone although I don’t think the story will be going away anytime soon. If JD and the team are to part ways one can only hope it’s done peacefully and in a timely manner. This is the time of year when teams look to carry out their off-season game plan and it has to be slightly sensitive knowing Davidson has talked with another team inside the division. Where things sit with Columbus is relatively unclear.
It’s no secret these situations always come down to money and Davidson has slightly more than $6 million remaining over the next three years with the last two years paying just over $2 million per. At the end of the day it’s a business.
There’s still work to be done by Greg Jamison who is looking to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes. The city recently approved a taxpayer-funded deal to keep the team playing in Glendale for the next 20 years. Sources say Jamison still needs to show he has the money and is likely facing a late June deadline. Word is he’ll probably need $85 Million in cash plus another $20 mill in working capital. The overall total will likely be close to $170 million with the rest being borrowed. My sources say he might have to borrow the rest of the money from the NHL as he could have trouble finding a bank to loan the cash.
Anson Carter involved with Ownership Group?
Sources confirm former NHL player Anson carter is involved with a group looking to land an NHL team. Exactly which team he’s interested in being involved with is
foggy. Some believe it’s the Coyotes although there’s been no confirmation. Once
you sign nondisclosure agreements it can be tough to get information but it won’t
be long before we find out. Sources say Carter, an Atlanta resident, was also involved in a group trying to keep theThrashers in Atlanta before the team moved to Winnipeg.
Carter is a good guy with a great vision on how the game should be marketed. He’d certainly provide a fresh perspective on how to promote the sport. This is something the NHL has lacked for years and it’s time for the game to showcase some personality. Too many teams are afraid to be original in their thinking.
It must be nice to be Marc Bergevin and the Montreal Canadiens. As an organization they’re dialed in on a number of NHL clubs including Chicago where Bergevin came from, St.Louis where Mellanby served as an assistant coach , and Toronto where Asst GM Rick Dudley worked last year.
Coop Du Jour!
Congrats to Norfolk Admirals Head Coach Jon Cooper and his club on winning the Calder Cup in the American Hockey League. Cooper has won at every level including both NAHL and USHL titles before winning it all this season. He was once interviewed to replace Davis Payne in Peoria before Jared Bednar was hired. It won’t be long before this guy is an NHL Head Coach. All this guy does is win and his
ability to communicate and motivate players will lead to more success as his career
More to come,