Saffan out: Tuesday notes

Get home from lacrosse to a tip from the office that proves true: Howard Saffan went to Long Island for a meeting today and came back no longer president of the Sound Tigers or Harbor Yard Sports and Entertainment.

The Islanders haven’t returned a call. Saffan’s reaction after a decade in that spot is in the paper tomorrow.

It’s interesting timing: Saffan also went to the Island for a meeting the week the team was eliminated, and if there’s a reason this wouldn’t happen then if it was going to happen, it’s not popping to mind. Either way, as what could be a very tumultuous year begins, it begins in June with a big change.


Jacob Markstrom only needed 21 saves, Cory Conacher scored the game-winner early in the second, and Utica is off to the Calder Cup Final with a 2-0 home win in Game 6 over Grand Rapids.

The schedule for the final was already finalized earlier in the day, beginning, as was foretold even earlier, Saturday and Sunday in Manchester. Coincidentally, the Final will feature an Eastern Conference representative that’ll play next year in the West, and a Western Conference team that’ll be in the East next year.

Fascinating note from yesterday: The Islanders are talking with Kirill Petrov, onetime hotshot prospect who stayed home in Russia for seven years. One report had him signed; Arthur Staple said it wasn’t done. Even just the possibility is kind of hard to believe after all this time.

He’d add some depth to a forward corps that needs it, with only a few signed that finished the year here and not a lot on their way for next year, either. The Islanders’ rights to Lukas Sutter have expired; they’ve talked, we’re told, but no deal.

The WBS Penguins need a new coach: As seemed logical as soon as Ray Shero took over the Devils, John Hynes is the new coach in Jersey. Pittsburgh Penguins beatwriter Jonathan Bombulie suspects Alain Nasreddine goes with him, but that’s TBD.

TEAM Old New
SD-a Jarrod Skalde (4/21)  — 
CHA Jeff Daniels (4/30) — 
ROC Chadd Cassidy (5/1)
SPR-p Ray Edwards (5/17) — 
TOR Gord Dineen  (5/19) — 
WBS John Hynes (NJ, 6/2)  — 

a-Former Norfolk Admirals, new San Diego Gulls. p-Former Portland Pirates; AZ affiliation moves to Springfield. To keep this manageable, other affiliation-swap coaches are assumed to move with the affiliation until we hear otherwise.

There have been reports of Terry Murray joining Dave Hakstol’s staff with the Philadelphia Flyers, but that also seems to be officially TBA.

The Rangers had about 742 injuries, including Mackenzie Skapski in Hartford, whose start to next season may be in jeopardy after hip surgery. But taking the cake was Mats Zuccarello’s, who, when hit in the head by that shot in the first round, temporarily lost his ability to speak and is still in speech therapy. That’s all; no big deal. (Yikes.)

Former Sacred Heart assistant and Hand High School coach Ryan Hardy is the NTDP’s new director of player personnel.

RIP, Lennie Merullo.

And a reminder as the Stanley Cup Final begins Wednesday that, Cup or no, Duncan Keith basically won the whole year back in March.

Michael Fornabaio