A bit late posting but plenty of news around the NHL today and we start with some news earlier in the week on Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. Here are your BHN Puck Links:
DeBrusk Likely Not Signing At A Discount
After telling my good friend and colleague Joe Haggerty (NBC Sports Boston) and I last week that he expects Bruins winger and restricted free agent-to-be Jake DeBrusk to become a $6 million per year player this offseason, Oilers Now Host Bob Stauffer broached the subject with DeBrusk’s agent Rick Valette earlier this week and Valette concurred. He also made it clear that DeBrusk likely won’t be taking a hometown discount with the Bruins to help them with their upcoming cap issues and to keep defenseman Torey Krug.
“I don’t really consider that at this point. Will it play into it? Maybe,” Valette replied when asked how the Bruins cap structure could affect DeBrusk. “I would hope not. That’s not typically how I would approach that. The one thing I would add to Jake is that you want to look at his playoff performance and what he’s done in the playoffs in big games. The Toronto series from a couple of years ago, for example. He’s a big-game performer and he’s been a top-6 forward almost from the moment he stepped into the National Hockey League. Boston certainly has some internal things that they like to look at, but I’m going to try to not look at that. I guess that’s the way I would say it to you.”
Fitzgerald Sheds Interim GM Tag; Names Ruff As Head Coach Of Devils
The New Jersey Devils pulled the interim General Manager tag from former Bruins forward and Billerica, MA native Tom Fitzgerald’s job title. Fitzgerald will also serve as Executive Vice President of the team. Fitzgerald had been interim GM since January 12 when he was promoted from Assistant GM following the dismissal of his good friend and boss Ray Shero. In the last month or so, Fitzgerald interviewed interim head coach Alain Nasreddine, former Providence Bruins head coach Peter Laviolette, Gerard Gallant, John Stevens and Lindy Ruff for the head coaching gig in New Jersey and the Devils simultaneously announced that Fitzgerald was the new GM and had chosen Ruff, the former Sabres and Stars head coach as his bench boss,
Fitzgerald played over 1,000 games in the NHL and served as the captain of the Nashville Predators. He was Assistant Coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins when they won the Stanley Cup in 2009 and then worked his way up the managerial ladder and was named the Assistant GM of the Penguins on June 6, 2014. Just over a year later, on July 24, 2015, Fitzgerald took the same position under Shero in New Jersey.
Guerin Makes First Big Hiring
Former Bruins forward and Wilbraham, MA native Billy Guerin has made his first big hire as General Manager of the Minnesota Wild. Michael Russo of The Athletic broke the news Thursday morning that Guerin had named former Vancouver Canucks Director Of Amateur Scouting Judd Brackett to the same position for the Wild. The Canucks and Brackett surprised everyone in the hockey world last month when they announced they would part ways on July 1 when Brackett’s contract in Vancouver ran out. As expected, he wasn’t unemployed long, and now Guerin and the Wild have landed the man that helped land the Canucks draft the likes of Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes during his five years at the helm of Amateur Scouting with the Canucks.
Blackhawks Make Promotions And Demotions
Scott Powers of The Athletic reported Thursday morning that the Chicago Blackhawks had made numerous demotions and promotions in their Hockey Operations department. The changes ran as high as demoting former Boston Bruins Assistant Coach Norm Maciver from Assistant General Manager to vice president of player personnel. Kyle Davidson essentially replaced Maciver by going from assistant to the General Manager to Assistant General Manager Of Hockey Administration. Three former Bruins players, Greg Hawgood, Steve Leach, Michael Mottau, all lost their jobs as pro scouts.
NHL Dates Come Into Focus
A series of upcoming NHL dates for the NHL Return To Play Plan, the offseason and next season were reported by various insiders Wednesday. More from Boston Hockey Now reporter Alex Thomas.