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Kris Versteeg announces retirement from hockey

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Veteran forward Kris Versteeg is riding off into the sunset.

The 33-year old had been contemplating his playing future during the quarantine, and has officially decided to retire from professional hockey.

He released an official statement through the NHL’s

“What a run it was…A kid from North Lethbridge who played on the streets every day, dreaming of playing in the NHL. I took a lot for granted in my time in the NHL, but the one thing I never took for granted were the relationships I made with my teammates and staff of the hockey clubs I played for.” said Versteeg.

Versteeg played with seven different teams over a span of 11 NHL seasons (also had a stint in the KHL), but spent the majority of his time with the Chicago Blackhawks organization. He won a Stanley Cup twice with the Blackhawks in 2010 and 2015.

He posted 149 goals, 209 assists and a plus-9 rating in 643 NHL games.


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Mikko Koivu’s days with the Minnesota Wild are numbered

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It’s the end of an era in Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Wild announced on Friday that they will not be bringing back captain Mikko Koivu for the 2020/2021 campaign.

“His hard work, dedication and team-first mentality will be extremely difficult to replace in our lineup. Off the ice, Mikko’s impact in the State of Hockey was immeasurable as he went out of his way to make a positive impact on so many people in our community, including his charitable contributions to Children’s Minnesota.” said Wild GM Bill Guerin.

“We thank Mikko for everything he has done for our organization and wish him and his family the best in the future.”

The 37-year old has spent his entire 15-year NHL career with the franchise. During his tenure in Minnesota, he posted 205 goals, 504 assists and a plus-70 rating in 1028 games. Koivu, who was been the Wild captain since 2009, is the franchise leader in games played, assists and points.

Rumors have suggested that the veteran will continue his playing career in his native Finland. He is not interested in playing for any NHL franchises other than the Minnesota Wild.

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Geoff Ward becomes 20th head coach in Flames history

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The Calgary Flames have decided that Geoff Ward is their guy moving forward.

The team officially removed the interim tag from the 58-year old, making him the full-time head coach heading into the 2020/2021 season. He has officially become the 20th head coach in franchise history.

Ward, who replaced Bill Peters behind the bench in November due to his racism scandal, led the Flames to a 25-15-3 record this past season.

The Flames ended up beating the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, but fell short in the first round of the playoffs against the Dallas Stars.

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Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy named 2020 Jack Adams Award winner

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The Boston Bruins may have seen their playoff run end in disappointing fashion, but that shouldn’t take away from their incredible season. They were the only team to reach 100 points prior to the league’s shutdown do the coronavirus pandemic, and as a result had the NHL’s best record in 2019/2020.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has been rewarded for his contributions to the team’s success this past season. It was announced on Wednesday night that he has taken home this year’s Jack Adams Award, a trophy given to the NHL’s coach of the Year recipient.

“You think about your family. It’s been a long road,” said Cassidy while reflecting on winning the award during a Zoom press conference.

“Started at the bottom in Providence. Thankful for the opportunity. Fortunate to get the chance in Boston.”

The 55-year old, who took over as Bruins bench boss in February 2017, has posted a 161-66-34 record in his three-plus season tenure with the franchise. During that span, they have reached the playoffs every season, and came within a game of winning the Stanley Cup back in 2019.

He signed a multi-year extension with the Bruins prior to the season back in September 2019.

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