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NHL Notebook: Oilers Adam Erne receives fine for elbowing, who’s the next NHL coach caught in the hot seat, and more
3 months ago
Adam Erne has been levied a $2,018.23 fine by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety Thursday, a day after a vicious elbow on Seattle Kraken forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
The incident happened in the third period of the game when the Oilers forward — only hours after he was recalled — tried to lay a hit on Bellemare near the benches. He cut in to deliver the hit when his elbow rose, striking Bellemare in the face. Erne received a two-minute minor penalty for an illegal check to the head.
The fine comes as the best-case scenario for Erne. Not only did Bellemare not suffer any injuries due to the contact, but he also remained in the game. Erne might have received a five-minute major or a suspension if things had gone the other way.
The discipline comes at the maximum amount allowable under the collective bargaining agreement.
Erne was acquired by the Oilers through a professional tryout opportunity throughout training camp, securing a one-year, two-way contract on October 13th. The forward has appeared in seven of 15 games this season but has yet to record a point. Previously, Erne spent four years with the Detroit Red Wings, scoring 27 goals and 62 points throughout 241 games. He was initially the 33rd overall pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2013 NHL draft but did not join the team until 2016.
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Who is the next NHL coach in the hot seat?
A disappointing start to the season came as the critical factor in the firing of Edmonton Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft last week. As temperatures and tensions rise within different organizations around the league, who is next in the hot seat among NHL coaches?
The ninth-best point percentage in NHL coaching history with at least 100 games under his belt wasn’t enough for the Oilers to keep Woodcroft around, and he isn’t the only one feeling the pressure. Daily Faceoff’s Matt Larkin compiled a list of NHL coaches who may be the next to see the same result as Woodcroft if things don’t start to turn around with their respected teams.
First up on that list is Lane Lambert of the New York Islanders.
The Islanders currently hold a record of 5-6-4, a decent look for a team that sits at seventh in the Metropolitan division, but the opposite look for a team that made efforts in the postseason and was expected to be better. Lambert’s Islanders currently rank as the worst team defensively this season at five-on-five and in terms of penalty kills. The Islanders also sit as number 30 across the league in goals per game, so evidently, things aren’t going well, and the market in New York knows it as fans began chanting “Fire Lambert” at recent home games.
D.J Smith’s job with the Ottawa Senators is also starting to see rising temperatures, and it’s not because of the above-average temperatures in Canada right now.
It’s only been a handful of weeks since general manager Pierre Dorion was relieved of his duties with the Senators organization, and Smith is still kicking around. The Senators are last in the Atlantic Division with a record of 6-7-0, even though the club was supposed to have a bit of a head start with significant injuries in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization and within the Florida Panthers. However, the Senators’ new owner, Michael Andlauer, has claimed that Smith is ‘safe’ for now. Still, if the Senators continue down this road and the 2023-24 playoffs aren’t in the picture come April, Smith will most likely be on the receiving end of the finger-pointing.
Other head coaches strapped in on the hot seat right now are Dean Evason with the Minnesota Wild and Sheldon Keefe with the Toronto Maple Leafs, amongst others. Still, there’s plenty of hockey to be played throughout the 2023-24 campaign. Hopefully, head coaches will take the firing of Woodcroft as a warning.
Daly hints at an international tournament in 2025
Consideration for an international event featuring NHL players in early 2025 continues for the league, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Thursday.
As noted by Chris Johnston, Daly said the league is looking to return to the Olympics in 2026 and host a World Cup of Hockey two years later. Discussions with the NHL’s Players Association continue.
Over time, the NHL has competed in plenty of international tournaments, starting with the Super Series in 1976 until 1991. The competition involved exhibition games between Soviet teams and NHL teams on the respected NHL teams’ home ice. There was also the World Cup of Hockey, previously named the Canada Cup, a major international invitational tournament for NHL players. The last of this tournament was played in 2016.
The big emphasis is on the return of the NHL to the Olympics. Every four years, the NHL allowed a break in the season to allow players to participate and represent their countries in the Winter Olympics. In 2018, the NHL got into a dispute with the International Olympic Committee over who would cover costs such as travel insurance and accommodations for players, which resulted in the NHL disallowing their players to compete. The league was supposed to make a return in 2022, but due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the NHL and NHL Players Association agreed not to participate. The league’s players have not competed in the Olympics since 2014, when Canada won its second-straight gold medal in a 3-0 win over Sweden.
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