April 11, 2012
NHL notes: Ruff declines Canada job
By QMI AGENCY
Lindy Ruff won't coach Canada at the world hockey championship next month in Helsinki.
Ruff, the longtime Buffalo Sabres coach, declined an invitation from Hockey Canada, according to TSN. Kirk Muller of the Carolina Hurricanes and Guy Boucher of the Tampa Bay Lightning have already agreed to serve as assistant coaches but the team is still without a head man.
In 2009, Ruff coached Canada to a silver medal at the world championship in Bern, Switzerland. Canada lost to Russia in the gold-medal game.
Canada will play a pair of exhibition games in Zurich before opening the world championship tournament May 4 against Slovakia.
U.S. NAMES 17
Anaheim Ducks forward Bobby Ryan was among the first 17 players named Wednesday to the U.S. roster for the world hockey championship.
Ryan and Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty are the only 30-goal scorers in the group, which includes winger Ryan Lasch of the Finnish Elite League team Lahti. Dallas Stars rookie Richard Bachman was the lone goaltender named to the team.
Other forwards are Cam Atkinson of Columbus, J.T. Brown and Nate Thompson of Tampa Bay, Patrick Dwyer of Carolina, Nathan Gerbe of Buffalo, Kyle Okposo of the New York Islanders, Jim Slater of Winnipeg and Paul Stastny of Colorado.
The defence corps includes Anaheim's cam Fowler, Columbus's Jack Johnson, Carolina's Justin Faulk, Dallas's Alex Goligoski and Edmonton's Jeff Petry.
The remainder of the team will be named after the first round of the NHL playoffs.
MORE SACCO FOR AVS
The Colorado Avalanche gave coach Joe Sacco a two-year contract extension Wednesday.
"Joe has earned the opportunity to lead this young team," Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman said. "Our club made significant strides this season and we look forward to continuing that next season."
In three seasons as coach of the Avs, Sacco has gone 114-109-23, including a 41-35-6 record this season. He was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year in 2010.
"Our team competed hard and battled all year long," Sacco said. "This group had a lot of energy and they are eager to keep working hard and improving."
The Avs also signed forward Paul Carey to a two-year, entry-level contract. Carey helped Boston College to the NCAA title this season.
Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews now expects to play in Game 1 Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes, ending his concussion-related absence that dates back to Feb. 19. Toews missed the last 22 games of the regular season ... The Minnesota Wild is working on a contract extension for GM Chuck Fletcher, according to owner Craig Leipold. Fletcher still has one more year left on his current deal ... New Jersey forward Ilya Kovalchuk will be looking for his first playoff series win when the Devils take on the Florida Panthers in the first round. Kovalchuk has played just nine playoff games in 10 NHL seasons.