In today’s NHL News & Notes, Patrice Bergeron is out with a rib injury, Brooks Orpik is out with a knee injury and two NHL teams have made coaching changes.
Bergeron Out With Rib Injury
The Boston Bruins will be without their No. 1 center for at least a month as Bergeron is dealing from a rib and sternoclavicular injury that he suffered against the Dallas Stars on Nov. 16. This injury comes at the worst time for the Bruins who are currently dealing with injuries to Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, Kevan Miller (who should be returning Wednesday), John Moore and Urho Vaakanainen.
This injury also comes at a bad time given the fact that Bergeron was off to the best start of his entire career at the age of 33. With nine goals and 26 points in 19 games, Bergeron was right near the top of the NHL in points and was consistently producing in all three zones and in all situations.
Bergeron will be re-evaluated in four weeks.
Orpik Out With Knee Injury
The Washington Capitals will be without Orpik for four to six weeks following arthroscopic surgery that he underwent on his right knee. This surgery and extended recovery time comes after Orpik already missed the Capitals’ past 10 games. Though he was eligible to be activated from the injured reserve prior to Wednesday, the injury obviously wasn’t healing as the team has hoped it would.
Orpik is in his second stint with the Capitals after the 38-year-old re-signed with the team in the offseason. The veteran was traded to the Colorado Avalanche in June. The Avalanche would buy-out the final year of Orpik’s contract and he would re-join Washington on a one-year, $1 million contract that also includes performance bonuses. One of those bonuses is a $500,000 bonus that kicks in if Orpik plays in at least 40 games.
Blues Fire Yeo
The St. Louis Blues have fired Mike Yeo as the head coach of their franchise after the Blues have started the season 7-9-3 with 17 points. That abysmal record places them securely in last place in the Pacific Division. The Chicago Blackhawks are the next-worst team in terms of points in the division and they still hold a four-point lead on the Blues.
In Yeo’s place, the Blues are bringing in Craig Berube as the interim head coach. Berube has been with the Blues since June 2017 as an associate coach following one season as the head coach of the Chicago Wolves in 2016-17. In that season, Berube led the Wolves to a 44-19-33 record, good for first place in the Central Division. He’d also lead the Wolves to the second round of the postseason.
Related: Blues Fire Yeo
Berube also spent 11 seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers in a variety of coaching roles, including the head coach of the team from 2013 to 2015. The Flyers would go 75-58-28 under him in those seasons.
Oilers Fire McLellan, Hire Hitchcock
The Edmonton Oilers have fired Todd McLellan following a 9-10-1 record to start the season. The Oilers have been one of the league’s most disappointing teams in recent years due to their personnel decisions that have included the trading of players like Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. Unfortunately for McLellan, the coach is usually the first domino to fall and he was the first to go in this situation.
Under McLellan, the Oilers have lost six of their last seven games.
Related: Oilers Fire McLellan, Hire Hitchcock
Replacing McLellan will be Ken Hitchcock who most recently coached the Dallas Stars in 2017-18 (in his second stint with the team following his original tenure with the team from 1995-2002). An Edmonton-native, Hitchcock is the third-winningest coach in the history of the NHL with 823 wins. He holds a career record of 823-506-88-119 record in 1,536 games and has led his teams to eight division titles and two President’s Trophies.
The Oilers also recently made a trade that sent Ryan Strome to the New York Rangers in exchange or Ryan Spooner.