Sports: Columbus Blue Jackets promote Steve McCarthy to replace Sylvain Lefebvre on coaching staff

Buffalo Sabres sign former first-round pick Casey Mittelstadt to three-year deal

  Buffalo Sabres sign former first-round pick Casey Mittelstadt to three-year deal In Buffalo, Mittelstadt has experienced the same struggles that almost everyone else on the roster has, posting just 61 points in 155 games. In 2019-20 he was sent to the Rochester Americans for half the season to work on his game, as it was not quite consistent enough to help the NHL squad. The encouraging part about Mittelstadt, and why this three-year contract may look like quite a bargain very quickly, is his performance under head coach Don Granato. When Granato took over partway through last season, Mittelstadt had just one goal and five points in 13 games.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have been forced to make another coaching change, this time promoting Steve McCarthy from the Cleveland Monsters to replace Sylvain Lefebvre. Lefebvre, who was set to join Brad Larsen’s staff this season, has decided not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and will not be able to coach under the current NHL protocols. Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen released a statement on the move.

a screen shot of a computer: Nationwide Arena © Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images Nationwide Arena

"While we are disappointed, we respect that this decision is a personal one for Sylvain and wish him well. We feel fortunate to have an outstanding coach join our club in Steve McCarthy, who has played in this league, won championships as a player and been an important member of our hockey operations department as an assistant coach in Cleveland."

Tuukka Rask has spot on Team Finland for 2022 Olympics if he wants it

  Tuukka Rask has spot on Team Finland for 2022 Olympics if he wants it Rask’s numbers on the international stage are nothing short of stunning, with a .938 save percentage and 1.73 goals-against average in the 2014 Olympics and a .920 save percentage and 2.02 GAA in the 2016 World Cup. Add in his elite career NHL numbers and even at 34 and returning from injury, he would be at worst the No. 2 for Finland. There is obviously some risk to Rask and the Bruins that he could re-injure himself while playing in the Olympics. However, the upside is that it will get him back into game shape without costing Boston.

McCarthy, 40, has been with the Monsters for five seasons and has plenty of professional experience as a player. During a 302-game NHL career that included stops with the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks and Atlanta Thrashers, he totaled 17 goals and 55 points. He would go on to win two league titles with the NLA’s ZSC Lions, before retiring in 2016.

Lefebvre, meanwhile, was coming over from the San Diego Gulls, where he served as an assistant the last three seasons. The veteran of more than 1,000 NHL games has been a coach since 2007 when he was, coincidentally, hired by the Lake Erie Monsters. He also had experience behind an NHL bench with the Colorado Avalanche, and had bounced around through a few other minor-league stops.

He was only hired by the Blue Jackets in June, and Aaron Portzline of The Athletic tweets that the team has known this would be an issue since the league’s protocol was revealed in mid-August. Mostly, this is a big blow for the Monsters, who will now have to search for McCarthy’s replacement, who was a huge part of the coaching staff and development team in the AHL.

A free-agent profile for former All-Star goaltender Devan Dubnyk

  A free-agent profile for former All-Star goaltender Devan Dubnyk Dubnyk could find a spot where he can act as a No. 3 and, if need be or if he shows he is capable, can take over a backup role. Again, it isn’t the most valuable label, but it could benefit a number of teams. At the end of the day, for those clubs that decide they need another goalie this late in the offseason or in-season but don’t want to make a trade, Dubnyk is the best option.Stats2020-21: 22 GP, 6-11-2 (.368), .895 SV%, 3.20 GAA, .444 QS%, 1 SOCareer: 542 GP, 253-206-54 (.546), .914 SV%, 2.61 GAA, .

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