Dale Tallon and Scott Young among new additions to the Canucks' staff
More news from camp Canucks on Friday, as the organization announced one promotion and four new hirings in the hockey operations department.
Patrik Allvin is scheduled to speak to the media via Zoom at 11 a.m. Here's the rundown of the announcements.
The promotion is Ryan Johnson, who ascends to the title of assistant to the general manager after previously serving as director of player development for Vancouver. That's a slight difference in title from Cammi Granato, Emilie Castonguay and Derek Clancey, who are all assistant general managers. Johnson also retains his title as general manager of Abbotsford.
New to the crew: Scott Young takes over as director of player personnel, following five years as director of player development in Pittsburgh. He has also served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the last two Olympics.
A right winger with soft hands, Young had a terrific playing career. He put up 757 points over 1,181 NHL games in 17 seasons, and peaked with 40 goals with the St. Louis Blues in the 2000-01 season, as the Dead Puck Era was taking hold. Young won two Stanley Cups, with the Penguins in 1991 and the Avalanche in 1996. Those are my strongest memories of him, as part of those powerhouse teams in Colorado.
The Canucks have also added Frank Golden as a college free agent scout — another known entity for Allvin and Jim Rutherford, as he spent the last eight years as an amateur scout with the Penguins.
Dylan Crawford is the new video coach. The son of Marc Crawford, he has worked with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Binghamton/Belleville Senators in a video coaching role in the past.
And finally — Dale Tallon. The Canucks' first-ever draft pick, selected second overall in 1970, is back in the organization as a senior advisor and professional scout. The former GM of the Florida Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks, 71-year-old Tallon has been on the sidelines for the past two years after his contract with the Panthers wasn't renewed at the end of the 2019-20 season.
Also this week, on the player side, Abbotsford re-upped centre Matt Alfaro on a one-year AHL deal. A 25-year-old from Calgary, Alfaro played 13 regular-season games with Abbotsford on a PTO late last season. He put up a solid seven points in those games, but was held off the scoresheet in the playoffs.
Listed at 6'2" and 194 pounds, Alfaro played his junior hockey with the Kootenay Ice and Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL. Then, he spent three years at the University of Calgary. He turned pro in the 2020-21 season, joining the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL, and returned to Wheeling last season, wearing an A. Over the course of the season, he moved up to the AHL on loans to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Manitoba Moose before landing in Abbotsford.
"Although it wasn’t for very long, I had a great experience with the Canucks at the end of last season," Alfaro said in the press release announcing his new deal. "I am excited to be retuning in the fall, and to be able to have the opportunity to play a full season in front of the great hockey fans in Abbotsford."
Another order of business this week was the announcement of the details surrounding the return of the Young Stars Classic in Penticton.
The event will run from Friday, September 16 to Monday, September 19. Like they did during the tournament's heyday, the Canucks, the Calgary Flames, the Edmonton Oilers and the Winnipeg Jets will each play three games in a round-robin format. Vancouver will take on Edmonton on Friday night and Winnipeg on Sunday afternoon, then finish off against Calgary when the event wraps up on Monday afternoon.
The weekend will also include a talk by Cammi Granato on Thursday, before the game action begins, and a minor hockey skills clinic on the Sunday morning.
One final bit of Canucks news: the latest tidbits regarding the status of J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser.
Rick Dhaliwal is reporting that there have been talks on a new deal for Boeser, but so far the two sides aren't close to reaching an agreement.
He also reports that J.T. Miller's reps are "not surprised" to hear that the Canucks are listening to offers on their client.
Meanwhile, over in Denver — will the Stanley Cup be handed out on Friday night?
The Tampa Bay Lightning are now in unfamiliar territory — down 3-1 to the Colorado Avalanche after Nazem Kadri's somewhat controversial overtime winner on Wednesday, and back at elevation for Game 5 in Denver on Friday.
I don't have a big problem with the play that won the game. The Avs had the Lightning hemmed in their own zone for a long stretch right before the winning goal was scored, which is why both teams were eager to change as many players as possible. And because it was the fourth period, it was a longer change for the Lightning, which left them a step behind in their coverage.
Although they'd started reasonably well, it seemed like the momentum was shifting in Colorado's favour as the game went on. The game flow chart from Natural Stat Trick bears this out, especially when you look at all manpower situations. You can click on the graphic below.
I can't completely count out the Lightning. But I won't be surprised if we see Gabe Landeskog hoist the big silver chalice on Friday night.
And I am curious to see if Nathan MacKinnon will actually enjoy the moment if they win. He's so driven, I feel like we never see him satisfied.
Enjoy the game!