NHL notes: Mellanby leaves the Blues 0
St. Louis Blues Scott Mellanby, right, leans over and kisses teammate assistant captain Doug Weight in the Blue bench area during a broken glass delay in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver February 13, 2002. With the Avalanche displaying a "Kiss - Kiss" promotion on the overhead scoreboard, the Avalanche cameras zoomed in on a "couple of Blues". The pictured "couple" are supposed to kiss and Mellanby complied to the delight of the fans at the Pepsi Center. (Reuters files)
Assistant coach Scott Mellanby is leaving his job with the St. Louis Blues to "explore other career opportunities," the team announced Wednesday.
"I would like to thank the Blues organization for giving me the opportunity to coach in the National Hockey League," Mellanby said in a statement. "After two years of coaching I realize my passion is in the hockey operations department, which I would like to pursue. I have enjoyed my time here as a player and as a coach and wish nothing but the best for the Blues and their fans."
Mellanby was an assistant coach with the Blues for two seasons. He played 21 years in the NHL, including four with the Blues.
CAPS KEEP BEARS
The Washington Capitals have extended their affiliation agreement with the American Hockey League's Hershey Bears through the 2013-14 season.
"The Bears are one of the most storied franchises in the AHL and we are looking forward to the continued development of some of our top prospects in Hershey," Capitals general manager George McPhee said in a statement Wednesday.
The Bears just completed their seventh season as Washington's AHL affiliate, winning the Calder Cup as league champs in 2006, 2009 and 2010.
Nineteen former or current Bears played in Washington this season, including goaltender Braden Holtby.
WILD SIGNS FIRST-ROUNDER
The Minnesota Wild signed 2010 first-round pick Mikael Granlund to a three-year entry-level contract Wednesday.
Granlund, 20, chosen ninth overall, played the past three seasons for HIFK Helsinki in Finland's top league. The rookie of the year in 2009-10, Granlund this past season had 20 goals and 31 assists in 45 games.
"Now I'm a member of the Minnesota Wild and it's a dream for me," Granlund said on the team's website. "I'm really excited. I've improved a lot of things. Everything as a player; I'm stronger and I think I'm ready to play in the NHL next season."
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the deal is worth $2.7 million plus performance bonuses.
RICHARDSON SENT DOWN
For the first time in his life, Luke Richardson is being sent to the minors.
The Ottawa Senators hired Richardson Wednesday to be the bench boss of their AHL affiliate in Binghamton. Richardson is an Ottawa native and has been an assistant coach with the NHL Senators since he retired from playing in 2008.
The seventh overall pick in the 1987 entry draft, Richardson went straight from the Peterborough Petes to a spot on the Toronto Maple Leafs blueline when he was 18 years old. In 20 NHL seasons, he played 1,417 games, scoring 35 goals, 166 assists and racking up 2,055 penalty minutes.
Since retiring, he has served mostly as the Senators "eye-in-the-sky" and at practices, although he took a leave of absence when his teen daughter Daron committed suicide on Nov. 13, 2010.
The 43-year-old Richardson replaces Kurt Kleinendorst, who left the B-Sens to pursue other opportunities at the end of the season.
JACKETS INK DD
The Columbus Blue Jackets will have Derek Dorsett around to fight their battles for another three years.
Dorsett, the league's penalty-minutes champ with 235 in 2011-12, signed a three-year contract extension with the jackets Wednesday, a deal that will keep him in Columbus through the 2014-15 season.
"After I signed, I was real excited and thought about all the things I've done to get to this point and where I'm at in my career," Dorsett said on the team's website. "The other big thing I thought about was how much my family has helped me get to where I am and I couldn't be happier. I owe a big thanks to them; they've pushed me to get to where I am and me signing this contract is a big thing for me and my family."
Dorsett also chipped in with 12 goals last season and played more after Todd Richards took over as head coach.
SPACEK RIPS HABS
Former Montreal Canadiens defenceman Jaroslav Spacek, an unrestricted free agent this summer, believes he'd now be retired if he hadn't been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes midway through last season.
Spacek took a shot at the Canadiens Wednesday in the Montreal Gazette, calling the dysfunctional NHL team the worse he's seen as a pro.
"So much bad stuff," Spacek told the Gazette. "In my 20-year hockey career, I'd never seen anything like it. If you don't like the way I play, kick me in the ass. But no one said anything. It was terrible.
"If I'd stayed here, in a bad situation, I'd probably be (retiring). I wouldn't be playing much, I'd have no confidence and I don't think anybody would have picked me up."
Spacek, 38, enjoyed the move to Carolina so much he'd like to re-sign with the Hurricanes. And, yes, he ruled out a return to the Canadiens.
Nashville Predators forward Alex Radulov was named the KHL's most valuable player Wednesday. Radulov, the KHL's top scorer before bolting to the Preds at the end of the regular season, won the award for the third straight season ... The agent for Nathan Horton, Paul Krepelka, says the concussed Boston Bruins forward is on track to be ready for the start of training camp. Horton didn't play again after being hit by Philadelphia Flyers forward Tom Sestito during a game in January.