Buffalo Sabres reportedly hire Winnipegger Ralph Krueger as head coach

Ralph Krueger is returning to North America to coach the Buffalo Sabres in a bid to turn around the once-proud franchise in the midst of an eight-year playoff drought. A person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press that the Sabres have hired Krueger as coach. The person spoke to the AP on Tuesday night on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the hiring. Canada’s SportsNet.ca first reported the move. GAME 3 Carolina’s Storm Surge recedes to a ripple as Bruins take commanding series lead The…

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Bettman says banning hits to head would mean end of all hits

The commissioner of the National Hockey League hit back Wednesday at the notion of banning any kind of head contact in hockey, telling a parliamentary panel that such a rule would be impossible to enforce and lead to the end of hitting in hockey. The league has faced calls to penalize any head contact in the hope of eliminating potentially debilitating concussions. Those calling for a strict rule include Ken Dryden, the former Montreal Canadiens goalie and cabinet minister in Paul Martin’s Liberal government. In sometimes combative testimony, commissioner Gary…

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Manitoba MP, panel hears banning hits to head in NHL would mean end of all hits

The commissioner of the National Hockey League hit back Wednesday at the notion of banning any kind of head contact in hockey, telling a parliamentary panel that such a rule would be impossible to enforce and lead to the end of hitting in hockey. The league has faced calls to penalize any head contact in the hope of eliminating potentially debilitating concussions. Those calling for a strict rule include Ken Dryden, the former Montreal Canadiens goalie and cabinet minister in Paul Martin’s Liberal government. In sometimes combative testimony, commissioner Gary…

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Changes inevitable in summer of ‘tough decisions’ for Jets

General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff says an upcoming summer of “tough decisions” means changes are on the way for the Winnipeg Jets. Young stars such as Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor are due hefty raises now that their entry-level contracts are coming to an end, but the team was already near the $79.5-million US salary cap so some familiar faces may be gone to free up cash. GAME 6 Jets eliminated by Blues as Jaden Schwartz nets natural hat trick “We have some tough decisions to make this summer, a lot…

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Jets eliminated by Blues as Jaden Schwartz nets natural hat trick

Jaden Schwartz scored three times and Jordan Binnington stopped 18 shots to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 in Game 6 of their playoff series Saturday night to advance to the second round. The Blues will next face the winner of the Dallas-Nashville series, which the Stars lead 3-2. Bryan Little and Dustin Byfuglien scored for Winnipeg, which tried to rally after falling behind 3-0 early in the third period. Connor Hellebuyck finished with 33 saves. The Blues became the first home team to win in…

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Road tested: Jets confident they can win in St. Louis to force Game 7

Jacob Trouba hopes recent history will repeat itself for the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets face elimination from the playoffs in Saturday’s Game 6 in St. Louis, but the veteran defenceman and his teammates are drawing confidence from a pair of victories at Enterprise Center over the last week. GAME 5 Blues strike late to take series lead over Jets “It’s the biggest game of the year so we’ve got to show up and we know we can do it,” Trouba said Friday after Winnipeg held an optional skate before flying…

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Jets take 2nd straight over Blues as Kyle Connor nets OT winner

Kyle Connor scored 6:02 into overtime and the Winnipeg Jets beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 on Tuesday night to tie their best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series at two games apiece. Mark Scheifele also scored and Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves for the Jets, who arrived in St. Louis down 2-0. It is the only first-round series in which the home team has failed to win a game. Game 5 is Thursday night back in Winnipeg. Vladimir Tarasenko scored and Jordan Binnington made 36 saves for the Blues. Connor ended…

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Jets’ scoring erupts in bounce-back win over Blues

Kyle Connor scored twice, Patrik Laine had a goal and an assist, and the Winnipeg Jets beat the St. Louis Blues 6-3 on Sunday night to climb back into their first-round playoff series. Winnipeg dropped the first two games by one goal, but got back on track in St. Louis. Kevin Hayes, Brandon Tanev and Dustin Byfuglien also scored, and Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves. Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in St. Louis. David Perron, Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen scored for the Blues, and Jordan…

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Stanley Cup playoffs: Western Conference preview

The West is wide open. Because the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning reside in the East, there is no clear cut favourite in the Western Conference. There is a handful of contenders, however, beginning with the regular-season conference-winning Calgary Flames.  Next are the Stanley Cup finalist Vegas Golden Knights and the team they eliminated in the West final, the Winnipeg Jets. The Nashville Predators can’t be counted out and the St. Louis Blues have been the hottest team in the West in the past two months. WATCH | Rob Pizzo…

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Jets are confident they can flip the switch now that playoffs are here

Patrik Laine views the playoffs as a fresh start for himself. He’s not the only Jets player with that approach. Winnipeg isn’t exactly rolling as it heads into its first-round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues, going 4-5-1 in its final 10 regular-season games. The Blues, on the other hand, nearly ran the table, finishing 8-1-1. Analysis Stanley Cup playoffs: Eastern Conference preview Laine admitted his confidence was low following an inconsistent regular season, but he’s optimistic going into Wednesday’s Game 1 at home. “Based on my goal scoring…

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