NHL notes: Habs resigned to losing Muller

Canadiens assistant coach Kirk Muller takes part in team practice in Montreal, Que., April 25,...

Canadiens assistant coach Kirk Muller takes part in team practice in Montreal, Que., April 25, 2011. (ERIC BOLTE/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:23 PM ET

Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Martin seems resigned to losing assistant Kirk Muller to another team.

Muller is considered to be in line for one of the head-coaching vacancies in the NHL, notably with the Dallas Stars or Ottawa Senators.

While nothing is definite, Martin believes Muller is ready to make the jump.

"Kirk has contributed enormously to the success of our team in recent seasons," Martin said Tuesday at the Canadiens development camp.

"He has done a good job for us and I think he is ready."

Martin also addressed the Canadiens defence, saying that both Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges are on track, or ahead, in rehabbing from knee surgery.

Neither defenceman, though, is signed for next season. General manager Pierre Gauthier is addressing the contract issues, Martin said.

Barch blasts Max

Dallas Stars tough guy Krys Barch took a shot at Vancouver Canucks forward Maxim Lapierre Tuesday, saying he should be embarrassed about his antics in the Stanley Cup final.

Barch took aim at Lapierre via Twitter, saying "I can't stand watching #40 and not even playing the game. I don't know if he has an ounce of man in him. I'd be embarrassed to be his father."

In the series opener, Boston's Patrice Bergeron had his finger bitten by Vancouver's Alex Burrows, incensing the Bruins. Lapierre taunted Bergeron in Game 2 of the final, pushing his gloved hand in the face of the Boston forward then Bruins Milan Lucic and Mark Recchi did the same to Vancouver players in Game 3.

Barch then backed up his tweet on TSN radio, saying the post-whistle antics need to stop.

"I would not allow my son to do the same," he told Bryan Hayes. "It's absolutely embarrassing. It's too bad right now that the rules in place protect this class of player, (one) that pretty much has no class."

Hurricanes beef up

Dave Lewis and Rod Brind'Amour have been added to Paul Maurice's coaching staff as assistants, the Carolina Hurricanes said Tuesday.

Lewis, 57, was head coach of the Detroit Red Wings for two seasons, 2002-04, and the Boston Bruins for one, 2006-07.

Last season, he coached the Ukrainian national team.

Brind'Amour had been the Hurricanes director of forwards development since retiring last June. The 40-year-old, who captained Carolina to the franchise's only Stanley Cup title in 2006, will continue to work with the team's prospects.

Ron Francis, an associate coach for Carolina since December 2008, becomes director of hockey operations.

Penguins assistants return

The Pittsburgh Penguins signed assistant coaches Tony Granato, Todd Reirden and Gilles Meloche and strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar to multi-year contract extensions Tuesday.

The Penguins also signed Wilkes-Barre Scranton coach John Hynes and his assistant, Alain Nasreddine, to multi-year extensions.

Skinner getting help

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner will have some help choosing the suit he'll wear to the NHL awards ceremony later this month.

Fashionista fans will get to vote on one of three suits Skinner will wear to the event in Las Vegas after the Calder Trophy nominee was photographed wearing each of the possibilities. The photos will appear on Seventeen Magazine's website (seventeen.com) and fans can vote for their choice.

"I'm not too crazy," Skinner told nhl.com when asked about his fashion style. "It's definitely not something I'm a pro in. I'll take all the advice I can get. (Seventeen readers) probably know a lot more about clothes than I do."

Skinner is up for the NHL's rookie of the year award along with Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks and Michael Grabner of the New York Islanders. The award will be handed out June 22.

U.S. ratings take hit

A series shift to Boston -- and Versus cable TV -- hurt ratings south of the border.

Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final, which was aired by Versus after NBC broadcast the first two, earned a disappointing 1.6 U.S. rating and 2.76 million viewers despite the Bruins putting an 8-1 hammering on the Vancouver Canucks.

The numbers were down 20 and 23%, respectively, from Game 3 of last year's final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers. That game also aired on Versus.

Ratings for Game 1 and 2 of this year's final were much higher than what Versus got for the third game.


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