In today’s News & Notes, the Philadelphia Flyers are making a change at head coach, though not the change that was expected. Additionally, Ryan Dzingel left practice early after taking a hit into the boards and T.J. Oshie gave the Washington Capitals a scare at practice as well.
Flyers Fire Hakstol, Hire Gordon as Interim Head Coach
The Flyers have moved on from head coach Dave Hakstol. Though there were multiple reports circulating regarding this information, the general consensus was that the team would be hiring Joel Quenneville as their new coach in Hakstol’s place. Those reports ultimately proved to be untrue, though the news of Hakstol’s firing ultimately came to fruition.
In an official statement through the Flyers’ website, general manager Chuck Fletcher had the following to say:
“After meeting this morning with Dave Hakstol and thoughtful consideration, I have decided to relieve him of his duties as head coach. As I continue to assess the team, I feel that this is the best course of action for our group moving forward. I’d like to thank Dave for his service to the team and the organization. Scott Gordon will serve as head coach on an interim basis.”
Related: Flyers Fire Hakstol
Gordon will look to right the ship in Philadelphia, likely for the remainder of the season. With the team losing five of their last six games and sitting dangerously close to the bottom of the NHL standings, this move was expected.
Dzingel Injured at Senators’ Practice
The Ottawa Senators may be without Dzingel for their contest Monday night against the Nashville Predators. The 26-year-old was pushed into the boards by teammate Zach Smith and he would leave practice early as a result, Dean Brown reported.
While the seventh-round selection from 2011 has gotten better with each season that he’s played at the NHL level, this season has been a breakout season for him as he’s already scored 12 goals and 23 points in 32 games. That would put him on pace for 30 goals and 59 points over the course of an 82-game season.
To put that into perspective, his previous career-highs came last season when he scored 23 goals and 41 points in 79 games.
Dzingel is questionable for Monday’s game but that could be an indication that the injury isn’t so severe that he’ll miss any extended time. If this is the case, it’s a fortunate turn of events for the team.
Oshie Leaves Practice, Returns
The last thing the Capitals and their fans want to hear is that T.J. Oshie is injured again. This was a potential concern for the team at practice Monday when the veteran forward left the ice after crashing hard into the net at practice. Fortunately, he would return a short time later.
Oshie is one of the Capitals best players and only just returned from injury less than a week ago on Dec. 11 after missing 11 games with a concussion. He’s scored 10 goals and 15 points in 21 games this season and should remain on the team’s top line despite this brief scare.