NHL Hockey News
Andong ‘Misha’ Song of Oakville, Ontario made NHL history on June 27 when he became the first-ever Chinese born player drafted into the league. The New York Islanders chose the 18-year-old defenceman in the sixth round with the 172nd overall pick. The 6-foot, 161-pounder was drafted out of Lawrenceville School in the state of New Jersey, USA, where he scored 10 points on three goals and seven assists last season in 26 games.
The school’s head coach Etienne Bilodeau told the media said Song has been a key player since arriving at the school a couple of years ago and was named the squad’s captain this year. Song was born in Beijing and learned English there while starting his hockey career in China. However, at the time there weren’t many teams in the nation and Song’s parents had to buy equipment for him from Russia. They also had to take two and three hour road trips just to take him to practice.
Hockey fans must have known something was amiss when television station WCBS in New York listed the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs as winners on June 18 as I don’t think the Leafs have played in June in the club’s history. The Leafs were pathetic again this season and were on the golf course after it ended while 16 of the other 29 squads battled it out in the playoffs. The Leafs managed a grand total of 68 points out of a possible 164 to finish 27th in the 30-team league. The only teams that posted a worse record were the Buffalo Sabres, Arizona Coyotes, and Edmonton Oilers.
There will be at least seven new head coaches in place when the 30-team NHL faces off for the 2015/16 season in October. A couple of them have simply switched clubs while another two were unemployed, two have been promoted from the AHL (American Hockey League) and the other one is a former college coach. Three of the new coaches have never been behind the bench in an NHL game, so have no experience at all at the top level. However, one has coached 1,094 NHL games and another has 602 games of NHL experience under his belt.
Dave Hakstol – Philadelphia Flyers
The first club to fire their coach was the Philadelphia Flyers as they axed Craig Berube just after the regular season ended. Berube’s replacement is Dave Hakstol, who has never coached in the NHL before. Hakstol spent the last 15 years with the University of North Dakota where he was the head coach for the past 11 seasons. The Flyers hired him on May 18 and will be hoping he can improve on this year’s record of 33-31-18.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have just made Mike Babcock the highest-paid coach in NHL history by signing him to an eight-year deal worth $50 million. Babcock had spent the past 10 years with the Detroit Red Wings and his contract was due to expire at the end of June. However, the Red Wings gave several teams permission to talk to him, including the Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres thought they had a done deal with Babcock, but he spurned them at the last minute to sign with the Leafs.
Toronto was looking for a new bench boss after general manager Dave Nonis and interim head coach Peter Horachek were fired at the end of the regular season along with numerous other front-office personnel and scouts. The team has now taken care of the head coaching duties, but is still searching for a GM. In Babcock, they’re getting a coach who has won a Stanley Cup as well as an Olympic gold medal and a World Cup with Canada.
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- June 29th, 2015
Misha Song makes history as first Chinese-born player drafted into NHL
- June 23rd, 2015
Chicago Bears win Stanley Cup and Maple Leafs beat the Mets
- June 15th, 2015
NHL team’s introduce seven new coaches for 2015/16
- May 25th, 2015
Mike Babcock becomes highest-paid coach in NHL history
- May 19th, 2015
New York Rangers making NHL playoff history
- May 11th, 2015
Former NHL player Deveaux attacks opponent in warm-up and calls it “Self Defence”
- April 22nd, 2015
NHL teams clean house after missing playoffs
- April 22nd, 2015
Edmonton Oilers win Connor McDavid Sweepstakes
- April 13th, 2015
Stanley Cup champions Los Angeles Kings miss playoffs
- April 6th, 2015
NHL records set with four goals in 49 seconds