Hamilton to be hot topic

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

Hamilton will be on the minds on the NHL's board of governors when they gather tomorrow in New York City.

Though prospective Canadian owner Jim Balsillie was not granted his request to have the possible relocation of the Nashville Predators to the Steel City put on the agenda, he will be a hot topic in the room and in the corridors.

"The only (official) item regarding that is simply an update on the ownership of Nashville," a league spokesman said yesterday, though one governor believed the thorny relocation issue with its possible legal wrangles would "dominate" the ensuing discussions.

The governors are also getting reports from the general managers on some rules matters such as blows to the head, but radical ideas such as enlarged nets are thus far still in the hands of the GMs and the competition committee.

BRUINS TARGET COACH

The Boston Bruins have targeted their top choice to be the next coach.

It's a tenuous position, one that no one has held for more than three seasons in the past 30 years. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli hopes to name a successor to Dave Lewis -- fired after just one season -- before Friday's draft in Columbus.

"I think I've got a guy in mind," Chiarelli said yesterday.

In the past 30 years, 16 men have held the job. Harry Sinden had two stints, and Mike Sullivan served three seasons but was cast aside in favour of Lewis after Chiarelli became general manager. Chiarelli was hired on May 26 last year but continued at the Ottawa Senators' insistence as their assistant general manager until July 10.

When Lewis was hired June 29 from among five candidates, Chiarelli described the former Detroit head coach as a "highly motivated, team-focused, NHL coach."

Now, Chiarelli said, "I've got it narrowed down to four (candidates). I'll be making a decision shortly."

Sportsnet and TSN were reporting last night that Claude Julien had the job.

AROUND THE RINKS

An assault charge against Minnesota Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard was dropped when new details cast doubt on the case ... Bruins forward Petr Tenkrat has signed a provisional two-year contract with Swedish team Timra IK.


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