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Around the NHL: Jacob Trouba received a fine for his elbow, Dan Bylsma returns to an NHL bench, and more!

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
22 days ago
With just four teams left in the 2024 National Hockey League post-season, this Around the NHL will focus on more off-season news.
One player still playing for a dirty play, while two teams have made moves to their front office. On top of that, a young centre is on the path to making his debut in the near future.
Let’s take a look at the latest edition of Around the NHL!

Jacob Trouba fined $5,000

In the last Around the NHL, we looked at how New York Rangers’ captain Jacob Trouba leaned in with his elbow and hit Florida Panthers forward Evan Rodrigues in the head.
The play itself only received a two minute minor for elbowing, one of three minor penalties Trouba would receive in the game. However, it seemed as if a suspension could be on the horizon, due to Trouba being a repeat offender and clearly not going for the puck.
However, post-season rules are evidently different, as he got away with just a $5,000 fine, the maximum amount under the CBA. Panthers’ head coach Paul Maurice had a funny response to how little this will affect Trouba’s livelihood.
 
This isn’t Trouba’s first elbow-to-the-head incident, as he was suspended for two games for doing so to Vegas Golden Knights forward Pavel Dorofeyev in late-January. Trouba also received a $5,000 fine for slashing Trent Frederic in the head earlier this season.

Don Waddell hired by Columbus

The Columbus Blue Jackets have their next general manager/president of hockey operations/alternate governor, as it was announced on Tuesday that they were hiring Don Waddell.
The 65-year-old has an extensive career in hockey, drafted all the way back in 1978 by the Los Angeles Kings. He played in just one National Hockey League game, and spent his career in the minor leagues and overseas.
After his playing days, he coached for several seasons in the International Hockey League, before moving to management in the late 80s. He eventually landed as the Atlanta Thrashers general manager from 1998 until 2011, as well as the team’s interim coach in 2002-23 as well as in 2007-08. When the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, Waddell didn’t go along with them, and can you blame him, who wants to live in Winnipeg?
His Carolina tenure started in 2014 when he became the President of Carolina’s parent company, before becoming the general manager in May 2018. He resigned from that role this past Friday.

Dan Bylsma returns to an NHL bench

Dan Bylsma, who won the 2009 Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, is returning behind the bench for an NHL team for the first time since 2017. On Tuesday, it was announced that he is the new head coach of the Seattle Kraken.
All the way back in 2008-09, the Pittsburgh Penguins were struggling, leading the team to fire Michel Therrien and promote Dan Bylsma as their head coach. As you likely know, Sidney Crosby and the Penguins went on to win their first Stanley Cup in nearly two decades that postseason.
He spent five more seasons with the Penguins, winning the Jack Adams Award in 2010-11, but never made the Stanley Cup Finals again. The team fired him during the 2014 off-season, finishing his Penguins tenure with a 252-117-32 record in 401 games.
Bylsma spent two seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, where he posted a 68-73-23 record before being fired at the end of the 2016-17 season due to a rift between him and his players. Afterwards, he served as a Detroit Red Wings assistant, before finding himself coaching the Coachella Valley Firebirds in the American Hockey League.
There, he had a 94-32-18 record, or a .715 winning percentage. In the 2023 post-season, he led his team to the finals before losing to the Hershey Bears in seven games. As of now, the Firebirds are still in the postseason, facing off against the Milwaukee Admirals in the Western Conference Finals.

Will Smith signs entry-level contract

Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there
I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called San Jose
On Tuesday, it was announced that 2023 fourth-overall pick Will Smith has signed his entry-level contract. Smith, not to be confused with the actor/rapper Will Smith, or the Kansas City Royals pitcher Will Smith, or Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith, is a 19-year-old centre.
Selected fourth-overall by the San Jose Sharks in the 2023 draft, he scored 25 goals and 71 points in 41 games this past season with Boston College, with his team falling a game short of winning the NCAA National Championship.
In the near future, the Sharks will have a strong centre core, as it’s predicted they’ll select Macklin Celebrini (who attended rival Boston University) with the first overall pick.
They’re still many years away from contending for a playoff spot, but this young team is going to be fun in the near future.
Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.
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