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NHL Notebook: Vancouver cleans house

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

December 6th, 2021

Let’s recap some of the major NHL headlines from on and off the ice over the last week.

Canucks chuck GM, head coach

In a move that was a long time coming, the Canucks decided to axe both GM Jim Benning and head coach Travis Green over the weekend. Several of their assistants were also let go.

Stan Smyl was promoted to interim GM, while former Jack Adams winner Bruce Boudreau was hired to be Vancouver’s new head coach. There’s still a lot of hockey to be played this season, but the Canucks are ahead of only the Arizona Coyotes in the Western Conference, and are currently last in the Pacific Division with 18 points.

New York, New York

The New York Rangers have won six in a row, but they suffered a loss between the pipes on Friday night when Vezina candidate Igor Shesterkin went down with a lower body injury during a 1-0 win over the San Jose Sharks. The Blueshirts appear to have dodged a bullet nonetheless, as Shesterkin is only expected to miss four games.

Meanwhile, things have gone from bad to worse for the New York Islanders, who have now lost 11 straight contests. A brief COVID pause did little to get the Isles right, as they dropped consecutive one-goal games to the Sharks, Detroit Red Wings, and Chicago Blackhawks from Thursday through Sunday night.

Three weeks ago, the Islanders were +2400 to win the Stanley Cup, while the Rangers were +2500. Now the odds have shifted dramatically, with the former plummeting to +7000 longshot territory, and the latter seeing their odds slashed to +1600.

NHL Championship 2021/2022

Thu, June 16 2022, 10:00 AM

Colorado Avalanche

+550

Florida Panthers

+750

Vegas Golden Knights

+800

Toronto Maple Leafs

+900

Tampa Bay Lightning

+1000

Carolina Hurricanes

+1500

Edmonton Oilers

+1500

Minnesota Wild

+1600

New York Rangers

+1600

Washington Capitals

+1600

Trouble is Bruin for DeBrusk

Disgruntled forward Jake DeBrusk has requested a trade from the Boston Bruins, GM Don Sweeney confirmed to reporters on Tuesday.

“I’m not overly surprised that this eventually came out,” Sweeney told NHL.com. “I’ve been in the know for quite some time, and we’ve been trying to look at a hockey trade situation that would help the Boston Bruins and, as I do my job, accommodate with what Jake thinks best. There's a balance there.”

The No. 14 overall pick from the 2015 NHL Draft, DeBrusk has seen both his production and his ice time slip since scoring 27 goals in his sophomore season. He was a healthy scratch as recently as Nov. 28.

Predators, Lightning unveil Stadium Series uniforms

The Nashville Predators will host the Tampa Bay Lighting in an outdoor game at Nissan Stadium (home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans) on Feb. 26, 2022, and both teams will wear striking new uniforms, which were revealed on Thursday.

Navy blue is the predominate color for the Preds’ new duds, but the thick gold bar across the chest and sleeves catches the eye. The team’s nickname “Smashville” is cut out from the gold, and is obscured only slightly by the overlaid alternate logo, which shares a similar heritage to the Titans’ logo with the three stars from Tennessee’s state flag.

Meanwhile, the Lightning have brought back and tweaked their “Bolts” diagonal lettering jerseys. The white and blue with silver trim should be visually appealing both in person and on television (Saturday, Feb. 26 at 7:00 p.m. ET on TNT).

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