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Ex-Red Wings coach Blashill returns to bench in assistant role with Lightning

Ex-Red Wings coach Blashill returns to bench in assistant role with Lightning

Ex-Red Wings coach Blashill returns to bench in assistant role with Lightning

Former Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill is joining the Tampa Bay Lightning as an assistant.

Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois announced the move Tuesday, selecting Blashill to replace Derek Lalonde on coach Jon Cooper’s staff. Lalonde was hired to replace Blashill in Detroit.

Blashill, 48, coached the Red Wings the past seven seasons, compiling a 204-261-72 record. Detroit missed the playoffs in six of the seven seasons.

With the Lightning, Blashill joins a staff that includes assistant coaches Jeff Halpern and Rob Zettler, goaltender coach Frantz Jean and video coaches Nigel Kirwan and Brian Garlock.

The two-time defending champion Lightning was dethroned last month by the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup final.

Oilers’ Duncan Keith calls it a career

Star NHL defenseman Duncan Keith has announced his retirement, ending a career that saw him lead Chicago to three Stanley Cup titles while twice being named the NHL’s top defenseman.

The Edmonton Oilers, with whom Keith played the final season of his 17-year career, announced his retirement in a statement Tuesday. News of Keith’s retirement was first reported Friday.

Selected by Chicago in the second round, 54th overall in the 2002 NHL draft, Keith anchored a Chicago blue-line that won Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

He was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP in 2015 after posting 21 points (three goals, 18 assists) in 23 games.

The four-time all-star won the Norris Trophy as top defenseman in 2010 and 2014. He finished his career with 106 goals and 675 penalty minutes and a defensive rating of plus-159 over 1,256 regular-season games.

Internationally, Keith helped Canada win Olympic gold at the 2010 and 2104 Winter Games.

Flyers donate $100K to cancer organization

The Philadelphia Flyers placed forward Oskar Lindblom on waivers Tuesday with the intent of buying out the final year of the 25-year-old cancer survivor’s contract.

General manager Chuck Fletcher called it a “very difficult decision” to free up salary cap space by cutting a player who recovered from being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. The Flyers will donate $100,000 US in Lindblom’s name to a Philadelphia organization that supports families impacted by cancer.

“No one can question the desire, will and strength to overcome all that Oskar has been through off the ice in order to return to the game he loves,” Fletcher said in a statement released by the team.

“Oskar’s commitment to his teammates and impact in our room has been immeasurable. He is truly an inspiration to us all and he will always remain a special part of the Philadelphia Flyers family. We wish him all the best as he continues his NHL career. “

Unless claimed, Lindblom will become an unrestricted free agent once the NHL’s signing period opens Wednesday at 12 pm ET. He was entering the final season of a three-year contract, which counted $3 million against Philadelphia’s salary cap.

Lindblom was diagnosed with cancer in December 2019 and missed the remainder of the season before returning to play Games 6 and 7 in the Flyers’ second-round series loss to the New York Islanders in August, when the Eastern Conference playoffs were played in Toronto due to COVID-19.

He returned the following season, scoring eight goals and 14 points in 50 games and winning the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is presented to a player who best embodies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication.

Senators buy out D-man Del Zotto

The Ottawa Senators waived defenseman Michael Del Zotto on Tuesday for the purposes of a buyout.

Del Zotto, 32, was set to make $2.25 million US in 2022-23.

He tallied three goals and 13 points in 2021-22, his only season in Ottawa. For his career, Del Zotto has 63 goals and 262 points in 736 regular-season contests with eight teams over 13 seasons.

Del Zotto was drafted 20th overall in 2008 by the New York Rangers, with whom he played four-plus seasons.

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