NHL Weekly Recap: Feb. 13
Perhaps the craziest week of the 2021-22 season thus far just wrapped up. There were head coaching changes, a player set a record for the most suspensions of all time and a legendary goaltender announced his retirement. So, let’s take a look at this past wild week in the NHL.
Ducharme out, St. Louis in
This week, the Montreal Canadiens fired second-year head coach Dominique Ducharme and replaced him with Martin St. Louis.
Ducharme coached the Canadiens to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance last season, when Montreal lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning. This season has been much different, as Montreal currently sits last in the entire league with an 8-31-7 record.
The Canadiens bring in former NHL player St. Louis to replace Ducharme. St. Louis spent several years in the NHL, primarily with the Lightning but also with the Calgary Flames and the New York Rangers. St. Louis notably won a Stanley Cup and the Hart Trophy while in Tampa Bay.
St. Louis did not have any prior coaching experience in the NHL, though he was a consultant with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2018-19 season.
Tuukka Rask Retires
Longtime Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask announced his retirement from professional hockey after a 15-year career. The 34-year old’s decision comes amid a challenging rehab process from a hip surgery last summer.
Rask was drafted in the first round by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2005 entry draft, though he never played a single game in a Maple Leafs uniform. Rask was traded to the Bruins in 2007 and spent his entire career in Boston.
Rask had an impressive career in Massachusetts. The Finland native maintained a .921 save percentage, a 2.28 goals against average and posted 52 shutouts in his lengthy career. Rask finished his career tied for the third-best save percentage of all time.
Rask was part of Boston’s 2010-11 Stanley Cup championship season. He also won the Vezina Trophy in the 2013-14 season, which is annually awarded to the league’s best goaltender.
Oilers Fire Tippett
Another head coaching change took place this week as the Edmonton Oilers fired third-year bench boss Dave Tippett this week.
The Oilers have been struggling as of late, going 7-13-3 following a hot 16-5-0 start despite having the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
Tippett did not necessarily have a bad tenure in Alberta. He guided the Oilers to consecutive playoff appearances in his first two seasons, although they were eliminated in the first round both times.
Edmonton replaced Tippett with Jay Woodcroft, Bakersfield’s coach in the American Hockey League.
Brad Marchand Suspended Again
Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand was handed a six-game suspension this week following an incident between him and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry in Pittsburgh’s 4-2 win against Boston on Feb. 8.
From licking players to punching goaltenders as he recently did, Marchand has had issues staying clean throughout his career. This is Marchand’s eighth suspension, surpassing Chris Pronger for the most in NHL history. He has also forfeited over 1.4 million in salary due to his disciplinary issues.
The NHLPA announced it will appeal the suspension on Marchand’s behalf.
Nolan Wick is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.