January 31 – Kreider, Colliton & Canada’s Coaching Catastrophe

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LUNDQVIST’S LEGACY LAUDED: On Friday night, the New York Rangers raised Henrik Lundqvist’s number 30 to the rafters of Madison Square Garden. He is the 11th player in Rangers history to have his number retired. The 39-year-old goaltender, who retired last year, played in New York from 2005 to 2020. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2011-12 and is the franchise’s leader (both in the regular season and playoffs) in games played by a goalie, wins, shutouts, and save percentage.

VIVA LAS VEGAS: Both Roman Josi and Evgeny Kuznetsov are heading to Vegas for the All-Star Weekend. Josi will replace the injured Nathan MacKinnon, while Kuznetsov will go in place of Adam Fox, who was placed on injured reserve on Friday. This will be the Nashville Predators captain’s fourth All-Star appearance and the second for the Washington Capitals forward.

KANE MAKES INSTANT IMPACT: Evander Kane, who signed with the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, scored in his debut on Saturday, helping the Oilers beat the Canadiens 7-2 in Montreal. It was the first game of the season for the enigmatic 30-year-old forward, who was waived by the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 9 following a breach of AHL COVID-19 protocols. This came after he was suspended 21 games at the beginning of the season for violating NHL COVID-19 protocols.

MCNABB’ED:  Vegas Golden Knights defenceman Brayden McNabb will remain in the desert for another three years. The Golden Knights announced the deal, which will carry a $2.85 million cap hit per season, on Sunday. The 31-year-old is in his fifth year with the club, and in 45 games this season has 100 hits and 110 blocks—the best in the league.

Player Spotlight – Chris Kreider

Chris Kreider was the NHL’s first star of the week ending Jan. 23. He had five goals, two assists, and seven points in three games to propel the Rangers to a 2-1-0 week. Currently, he is fourth on the team with 44 points, but his 31 goals lead the team. Fans know plenty about what the 30-year-old brings to the ice, but what about his life outside of hockey? Let’s check in.

Call or Text?:


Bucket List Destination:

Southeast Asia

How Long Would You Survive a Zombie Apocalypse?:

One day, I don’t have a lot of applicable skills.

Who was your Favorite Hockey Player Growing Up?:

Ray Bourque

What is Your Favorite Superhero Movie of All Time?:

Ant-Man and the Wasp & Thor: Ragnarok

What is your go to Karaoke song?:

Your Man by Josh Turner

Favorite Actor?:

Tom Hardy

Everybody Hurts (Even Coaches)

In hockey, injuries are an unfortunate and constant reality. In the last week, we’ve seen reigning Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox, Colorado Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon, and first-time All-Star Drake Batherson all forced to the sidelines.

Then, this weekend, we learned that coaches aren’t even exempt from that reality. The Canadian Olympic men’s team already had to pivot from their Jon Cooper-led coaching staff once the NHL opted out and now have been forced to replace their replacement, Claude Julien. They have turned to Jeremy Colliton after the former Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens bench boss fractured his ribs following a fall on the ice during team-building activities.

As Julien nurses some sore ribs and watches Team Canada compete in Beijing from home, perhaps he can take comfort in knowing that he isn’t the only coach to make his own team’s injury report.

Todd McLellan

Todd McLellan (Rich Kane/Icon SMI)

Currently the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings, Todd McLellan was leading the San Jose Sharks back in Feb. 2012 when a skirmish between Jamie McGinn and Marco Scandella led to a wayward stick coming across his head. The freak incident dropped McLellan to his knees behind the bench and sent him back to the locker room for the remainder of the game. Thankfully, he recovered and was able to coach the following game.

Lindy Ruff

Buffalo Sabres Head coach Lindy Ruff (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

A 2011-12 Buffalo Sabres team already snake-bitten by a rash of injuries incurred one more at practice almost exactly 10 years ago, as defenseman Jordan Leopold lost his footing and collided with an unsuspecting Lindy Ruff, causing the veteran coach to sustain three broken ribs. The current New Jersey Devils coach, however, demonstrated his own toughness and was back coaching at practice the following day.

Barry Trotz

Barry Trotz (Photo Credit: Andy Martin Jr)

If Barry Trotz looks like a tough guy, it’s probably because he is one. Back in 2016-17 as head coach of the Washington Capitals, the coaching legend was drilled in the head by a wayward puck right off the opening faceoff. Although Trotz kept coaching as though nothing had happened, the evidence came from a growing goose egg atop his forehead.

Next Man Up – Jeremy Colliton

It was announced on Sunday that former Chicago Blackhawks bench boss Jeremy Colliton will replace Claude Julien as head coach of the Canadian men’s hockey team for the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

The 37-year-old Colliton, who was expected to serve as one of Julien’s assistants, will step in after Julien slipped on the ice and fractured his ribs during training camp in Switzerland. Here are some facts about the man who will take the reigns of Team Canada and try to lead them to gold:

Colliton was born in Blackie, Alberta, on Jan. 13, 1985. He was selected 58th overall by the New York Islanders in the 2003 NHL Draft, appearing in 57 games between 2005 and 2011 for them. A center, he totaled three goals and three assists in the NHL. He returned to pro hockey in 2013, signing to play in Sweden, but only played in three games due to injury.

Shortly after retiring, Colliton became head coach of Mora IK, the Swedish team he signed with. He held the position until 2017, leading the team to promotion in his final season. He moved back to North America after that, coaching the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago’s American Hockey League affiliate, in 2017-18.

On Nov. 6, 2018, Colliton was promoted to head coach of the Blackhawks following the firing of Joel Quenneville. At the time, the 34-year-old was the youngest active coach in the NHL. Exactly three years later, he was fired after a 1-9-2 start to this season. In his 205 games at the helm, Chicago went 87-92-26 (and 4-5 in one postseason appearance).

Colliton has no experience coaching at the international level, but he did play in a few world championships, winning a gold medal with Canada’s under-18 team in 2003, a silver medal with Canada’s under-20 team in 2004, and gold with the under-20 team in 2005. He will be assisted in Beijing by former Canucks assistant Nolan Baumgartner and Tyler Dietrich, who has worked with Team Canada in multiple positions.

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