All posts by Josh Wegman

Boudreau caught off guard by firing: ‘This one I didn’t see coming’

Bruce Boudreau was blindsided Friday when he was fired as head coach of the Minnesota Wild.

"I'll tell you what, I'm pretty sharp when it comes to these things," Boudreau told The Athletic's Michael Russo. "I may not be sharp in a lot of things, but with firings, I usually know. This one I didn't see coming."

The Wild were 7-3-1 in their last 11 games and inching closer to a playoff spot when they dismissed Boudreau. The head coach, who was in the last year of his contract, believed he'd hold the role until the end of the season.

"It was funny because (general manager Bill Guerin) came in and he shut the door, and as soon as he shut the door, I knew," Boudreau said. "You just know, right? And he says, 'I'm going to make a change,' and I instantly said, 'Are you firing me?' - just like that.

"And he goes, 'Yes.' I said, 'Are you f------ kidding me?'"

Guerin is in his first season as the Wild's GM after he replaced Paul Fenton - who lasted just one season - during the summer. Chuck Fletcher hired Boudreau in 2016.

"All GMs want their own coach," Boudreau said. "And I understood that."

Boudreau had a reputation as an offensive-minded coach prior to his time in Minnesota, but he built the Wild into an elite defensive team. They allowed just 1.91 expected goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five under his command this season, which was the best mark in the league, according to Natural Stat Trick. However, an .897 save percentage - seventh-worst in the NHL - was the club's Achilles' heel.

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Sharks’ Kane suspended 3 games for elbowing Jets’ Pionk

San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane has been suspended three games for elbowing Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk on Friday, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced on Saturday.

Kane received a two-minute minor for elbowing on the play, which came late in the third period. The Sharks managed to kill the penalty and hold on for a 3-2 win.

This marks Kane's fourth career suspension. He received a three-game ban for abuse of an official in the preseason, a one-game punishment for cross-checking in 2018, and he sat two contests for boarding in 2014.

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Sabres’ Bogosian assigned to AHL after clearing waivers

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian cleared waivers Saturday and was assigned to the AHL's Rochester Americans, the team announced.

The 29-year-old has one year remaining on his contract carrying a $5.14-million cap hit, per CapFriendly.

Bogosian was selected third overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2008 - one pick after Drew Doughty and one selection before Alex Pietrangelo. Injuries, including multiple hip surgeries, played a part in derailing his career.

He signed a seven-year, $36-million contract with the Winnipeg Jets in 2013 but was traded to Buffalo in a 2015 blockbuster along with Evander Kane and Jason Kasdorf for Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, Joel Armia, Brendan Lemieux, and a first-round pick (that became Jack Roslovic).

Bogosian has been lost in the shuffle in Buffalo this season, tallying just five points in 19 games. He reportedly requested a trade in December.

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Leafs’ Johnsson to miss at least 8 weeks with knee injury

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson will require surgery on his knee and will be out at least eight weeks, head coach Sheldon Keefe said Friday, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

Johnsson suffered the injury Thursday against the Dallas Stars after colliding with teammate Kasperi Kapanen.

More to come.

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Wild fire head coach Bruce Boudreau

The Minnesota Wild fired head coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday morning, the team announced.

Assistant coach Dean Evason will be named interim head coach, sources told The Athletic's Michael Russo.

At 27-23-7, the Wild are three points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. They've gone 7-3-1 over their 11 games.

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Chara avoids suspension for cross-checking Gallagher’s neck

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara has been fined $5,000 for cross-checking Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher in the neck during Wednesday's game. However, Chara avoided a suspension, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced Thursday.

Both players were handed minors on the play; Chara for cross-checking and Gallagher for roughing.

Chara's estimated career earnings are $97,993,695, according to CapFriendly.

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Leafs’ Andersen says he’ll return vs. Stars after 4-game absence

Freddie is ready.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen said he'll play Thursday night against the Dallas Stars after missing the last four games with a neck injury, according to TSN's Kristen Shilton.

Newly acquired backup Jack Campbell was stellar holding down the fort in Andersen's absence, going 2-0-1 while starting the last three games with a .918 save percentage and a 2.52 goals-against average.

Michael Hutchinson relieved Andersen when the Dane suffered the injury last week against the Florida Panthers. Hutchinson allowed three goals on 13 shots in the losing relief effort and was also on the hook for the club's 5-3 loss against the New York Rangers in the following game. He hasn't seen the ice since and was placed on waivers Thursday, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

Andersen owns a .910 save percentage, a 2.87 goals-against average, and is tied for second in the league with 24 wins.

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McDavid out 2-3 weeks with quad injury

Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid will be out two-to-three weeks with a quad injury, general manager Ken Holland announced Tuesday.

The quad is completely unrelated to McDavid's knee injury he suffered at the end of last season, Holland added, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

More to come.

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Avs’ Kadri week-to-week with lower-body injury

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury, head coach Jared Bednar said on Altitude Sports Radio, according to team play-by-play announcer Marc Moser.

An Avs spokesperson confirmed to TSN's Pierre LeBrun that Kadri is considered week-to-week.

Kadri went down awkwardly during Sunday's game against the Minnesota Wild.

The 29-year-old was enjoying a stellar first season with the Avalanche after arriving in an offseason trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He's provided Colorado with some valuable secondary scoring, ranking second on the team with 19 goals and fifth with 36 points.

The injury could potentially alter the Avalanche's deadline plans, though Jean-Gabriel Pageau of the Ottawa Senators is the only notable center expected to be made available.

The Avalanche sit second in the Central Division with 70 points.

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