Canadiens fall in OT to the Blackhawks, Flames nip the Kings, reaction to the Canucks hiring Trevor Linden as president, plus the latest on the Maple Leafs, Oilers, Jets and Senators.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Marian Hossa scored late in regulation and Patrick Sharp tallied in overtime to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-2 win over the Canadiens. Dale Weise and Francis Bouillon were the goalscorers for Montreal. The Habs remain three points up on the Tampa Bay Lightning for second in the Atlantic Division, but the latter holds a game in hand. Home ice in their upcoming conference quarterfinal remains up for grabs.
CALGARY HERALD: Karri Ramo made 41 saves to carry the Flames to a 4-3 shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings. Flames rookie Sean Monahan tallied his 21st goal and scored the winner in the shootout.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks yesterday formally announced the hiring of former captain Trevor Linden as their new president of hockey operations. Tony Gallagher calls upon Linden to hire an experienced “nuts-and-bolts” general manager to rebuild the club, while Ben Kuzma speculates John Tortorella won’t be the Canucks coach for long.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Linden said he’d like to have a new GM in place by early-June, which would be a wise decision considering the NHL Draft in the final weekend of that month. I agree with Gallagher’s belief they need an experienced GM. Still, Linden must ensure he hires the right one. Once a new general manager is in place, Tortorella could be bought out of the remaining four years of his contract.
TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger offers up his analysis of the Maple Leafs lost season. Rob Longley also reports a source confirming the Leafs have contacted NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan to offer him a job in the club’s hockey operations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remains to be seen if Shanahan accepts the position. I would assume it could be VP of Hockey Operations, akin to the role filled by Joe Sakic with the Colorado Avalanche. That would give Shanahan considerable input and control over roster decisions plus the hiring and firing of coaches.
EDMONTON SUN: Oilers center Boyd Gordon is out for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Senators poor defensive play cost them a playoff berth.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Jets struggled at home this season.