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Yzerman’s future with the Lightning beyond 2018/19 is still up in the air

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After stepping down as GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning after eight seasons on September 11th, many questioned whether Steve Yzerman will stick with the franchise when his contract expires after 2018/19.

He emphasizes his desire to spend more time with his family in Detroit, but has been surprisingly active in his new role with the Lightning. He’s been able to attend the majority of their home games, and will even occasionally stop by when the team is on a road trip and is playing within proximity of his full-time home.

So he appears to still be very invested in the Lightning as they close in on their most successful regular season in franchise history. With that being said, is that passion for the team enough to keep him employed next season? It’s still up in the air.

“I talked to him midyear to see where his head was at,” said Lightning GM Julien BriseBois on Tuesday.

“He said he still wanted to give it some thought, and we’d revisit after the season.”

The news doesn’t come as too much of a surprise when you consider the rumours that have surrounded him since he stepped down from the Lightning. Many within the industry feel like he is waiting patiently for the GM and/or vice-president job to open up with the Detroit Red Wings, a franchise he spent his entire 22-year playing career with and four years in their front office before joining the Lightning in May 2010.

Some have even linked him to the new Seattle franchise that will begin play in the 2021/2022 season.

One thing we know is Yzerman will not rush to a decision, and won’t make a final decision unless he 100% at peace with what direction he wants his career to go. Only time will tell.

Hockey

Oilers interested in signing German forward Frederik Tiffels

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The Edmonton Oilers are looking overseas in their pursuit to add some much-needed forward depth.

According to reports, New GM Ken Holland and the Oilers’ brass are interested in the services of German forward Frederik Tiffels after his impressive performance at the 2019 world hockey championship in Slovakia this month.

The 24-year old, who was initially selected 167th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2015 NHL Draft, posted two goals and two assists in eight games at this year’s Worlds. It also marks the third straight year he participated in the tournament.

He played for Kölner Haie of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in 2018/19, posting six goals and 16 assists in 27 games, and nine points in 11 postseason games.

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Hockey

Senators hire Leafs assistant D.J. Smith as their new head coach

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Welcome to the nation’s capital, D.J. Smith!

The Ottawa Senators officially announced the hiring of Smith as their new head coach on Thursday.

“D.J. Smith is a winner. We believe he is the best person to drive the development and success of the Ottawa Senators,” said general manager Pierre Dorion.

“D.J. is a great communicator and an exceptional strategist. His passionate approach, coupled with his ability to teach the game, is exactly what we were looking for throughout the process. We’re thrilled to welcome D.J. and his family to Ottawa.”

Smith had spent the past four seasons as Mike Babcock’s assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs. With him on the bench, the team has qualified for the playoffs the past three seasons, and have had their most success as a franchise since the early 2000′s.

Prior to his stint with the Leafs, he was a head coach with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. During that span, he led them to a combined 135-53-3-13 record, and a Memorial Cup title in 2015. He also earned OHL’s Coach of the Year award after an incredible season with the franchise in 2013/14.

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Pujols passes Ichiro on MLB all-time hits list

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After singling to right field in the third inning of the Los Angeles Angels’ 7-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Sunday, Albert Pujols passed legendary Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to move into 22nd all-time on the MLB hits list.

“That’s impressive,” said teammate Mike Trout about Pujols’ latest accomplishment.

“Obviously, Ichiro had an unbelievable amount of hits. It seems like every day Albert is passing somebody. I was joking with Noé [Ramirez after he caught Pujols’ homer in his hat Saturday]: ‘Why did you give that ball to a fan? He just passed Babe Ruth or something.’ It seems like every day he passes a Hall of Famer.”

The 39-year old Pujols, who is currently playing in his nineteenth MLB season, has accumulated 3090 hits, 634 homers, and 1984 RBI in 2702 combined games with the St. Louis Cardinals and Angels.

He is also a two-time World Series champion, three-time NL MVP, two-time NL home run champion and has been selected to ten MLB All-Star games throughout his career.

He needs 272 hits to surpass the great Dave Winfield for 21st overall.

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