Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford missed the final 47 games of last season but should be ready to start the 2018-19 regular season, general manager Stan Bowman told reporters.
Crawford was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 1 with a lower-body injury and returned to action on Dec. 8. He played in seven games before landing on IR again on Dec. 27 with what the team termed an “upper-body” injury that sidelined him the rest of the season.
While the Blackhawks never specified Crawford’s injury, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in January that the 33-year-old was dealing with “vertigo-like symptoms.” The Blackhawks went on a skid once Crawford went down, finishing the season 33-39-10 and missing the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in 10 years.
— Barry Trotz became the head coach of the New York Islanders on Thursday, days after he resigned as head coach of the new Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.
Reports put the price tag on the five-year deal at up to $4 million per season, which would more than double what Trotz, who turns 56 next month, would have made with the Capitals.
The Cup victory over the Vegas Golden Knights triggered a contract extension for Trotz at well below market value — $1.8 million per season — and he and the Capitals failed to come up with an amicable solution in negotiations.
Trotz is the first coach since 1994 — Mike Keenan — to not return to the NHL champions the following season because of a dispute. Stan Bowman retired after a 2002 Stanley Cup win.
—On the eve of the NHL draft, general managers for all 31 teams received clarity for possible trades as the league and NHLPA revealed that the 2018-19 salary cap will rise $4.5 million to $79 million.
General managers looking to make big deals before and at the draft also found out that the cap floor will be $58.8 million salary for next season.
The new salary-cap increase more than doubles the spike before last season’s $75 million cap, which was up $2 million from 2016-17. Commissioner Gary Bettman had told reporters following the Board of Governors meeting Wednesday that the cap for next season was expected to wind up between $79.5 million and $80 million.
—The NHL released its complete 1,271-game schedule for 2018-19, headlined by an Oct. 3 season-opening slate including the home opener for the Stanley Cup champion Capitals plus three games in Europe and two outdoor games.
The Capitals will raise a Cup banner for the first time in franchise history before they host the Boston Bruins in one of four games to launch the NHL season. Washington currently holds a 12-game regular-season winning streak against Boston.
The following day, the Stanley Cup runner-up Vegas Golden Knights will begin their second season at home against the Philadelphia Flyers. The first rematch of this year’s Stanley Cup Final will happen on Oct. 10 when the Capitals host the Golden Knights.
—Field Level Media