SUN Hockey Pool

NHL notes: Preds 'too harsh' on wayward players

Sergei Kostitsyn, of the Nashville Predators, celebrates a playoff goal with Mike Fisher while...

Sergei Kostitsyn, of the Nashville Predators, celebrates a playoff goal with Mike Fisher while playing the Detroit Red Wings in the first round. (GETTY)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:16 PM ET

Sergei Kostitsyn believes the Nashville Predators were too harsh in suspending his older brother, Andrei, and Alex Radulov after they broke curfew during the second-round series against the Phoenix Coyotes.

"I think the management was too tough on Alexander and Andrei," the 25-year-old Preds right winger told the Belarus news outlet Pressball in a story translated by Puck Daddy's Dmitry Chesnokov.

"The punishment for the incident could have been a monetary fine, (they) went too far with the disqualification in the midst of an important stage of the playoffs. We missed the guys in Games 3 and 4 of the series."

Andrei Kostitsyn, 27, and Radulov, 25, both joined the Preds late in the season. They were banished for Game 3, which Nashville won, and then were benched for Game 4.

WILSON MUM ON COACH

Will San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan be back next season?

McLellan likely will be back, CSNBayArea.com concluded this week "based on conversations with people in and around the Sharks organization."

However, general manager Doug Wilson isn't ready to make an announcement quite yet.

"You know that I don't respond to rumours," Wilson told the Mercury News. "We are doing our due diligence, and we are looking at every way to improve this hockey team."

While odds are good McLellan will be back, he may have a new assistant or two to revamp the Sharks' mediocre penalty killing.

HECK OF AN OFFER

Delta Airlines is offering a free tride to anyone who can't get to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final.

Delta is giving away tickets on a Saturday-morning Delta charter flight, which includes New York Rangers swag, a chance to meet Rangers alumni Rod Gilbert and Ron Duguay and ground transportation between Newark Airport and the Prudential Center, from New York's LaGuardia Airport for anyone who has tickets to the Rangers playoff game against the New Jersey Devils. Fans were required to RSVP the airline by Thursday evening to get in on the deal.

"It's obviously a very unique flight," Delta spokesperson Leslie Park told CBSNewYork.com. "We thought it would be a great way to get some buzz going and get some Rangers fans really excited for the game on Saturday."

Sure, the flight lasts all of 17 minutes and would probably take more time than driving when you factor in airport time but, hey, it would be a novel way to go on the road.

WHAT'S THE HURRY?

Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee is in no hurry to find a replacement for Dale Hunter, who stepped down as coach earlier this week.

McPhee hasn't set a timeline to find a new coach, opting instead for a more patient approach to the hiring process.

"My job now is to find the best human talent I can find to coach this club," McPhee told the Washington Post. "I'm not in any rush to do that, because I haven't really been thinking in those terms. I don't know whether it'll be by the draft or sometime in August, like New Jersey did (last summer). We're going to take our time and get the right person."

The NHL draft goes June 22-23 in Pittsburgh and free agency starts July 1. But McPhee might not have a new coach in place before either of those events.

"If something happens in the meantime with a coach, that'll be fine, but our focus is things we have to do with this club right now to make them better and deal with the draft," McPhee said.


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