ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Bruce Boudreau has transformed the Anaheim Ducks from underachievers into contenders, and the club is confident the coach can finally chase down his first Stanley Cup championship. Boudreau agreed to a two-year contract extension through the 2016-17 season with the Ducks on Wednesday. Boudreau is 111-55-22 in nearly three seasons with the Ducks, winning the past two Pacific Division titles. Anaheim has won just one playoff series in two post-season trips under Boudreau, but seems poised to be a Stanley Cup contender for the foreseeable future. "It certainly means a lot that the Ducks organization has faith in me leading this team," Boudreau said. "Thats important going forward. As for family, I love the California area, so it was really nice to be able to get this done rather than have to worry all year. Its good on many levels." After a lengthy playing and coaching career spent largely in the North American minor leagues, Boudreau has been a remarkable regular-season success behind the NHL benches in Washington and Anaheim. Since he landed his first head coaching job with the Capitals in 2007 at the age of 52, Boudreau has won six division titles and compiled the NHLs top winning percentage among active coaches at .663 (312-143-62). "Bruce has done a very good job over the last several years, and deserves the opportunity to take this team deep into the playoffs," Ducks general manager Bob Murray said. The Ducks finished last season with the Western Conferences best record at 54-20-8, finishing one point behind Boston for the NHLs best record. Anaheim lost a seven-game series in the second round of the playoffs to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, dropping Game 7 at home. Anaheim is loaded again this fall, with goal-scoring star Corey Perry and centres Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler headlining a deep roster. The Ducks got bigger and tougher in the off-season, adding defenceman Clayton Stoner and forward Nate Thompson along with Kesler, the U.S. Olympian acquired in a major trade with Vancouver. "People are expecting more from us, and we expect more from ourselves," Boudreau said. Boudreau also led the Capitals to four Southeast Division titles and one Presidents Trophy during parts of five seasons in Washington, winning the Jack Adams Award as the NHLs coach of the year in 2008. He was hired by the slumping Ducks two days after the Capitals fired him in late November 2011, and he nearly pushed Anaheim to the playoffs in his first season. Although Boudreau is popular among many Ducks fans for his effervescent, talkative style, he also isnt scared to go against popular opinion. He irked many fans last spring by giving inconsistent playing time to Teemu Selanne, the beloved goal-scoring star in his final NHL season. Boudreau even scratched a healthy Selanne for a playoff game. But Boudreaus curious goaltending decisions were more influential on the Ducks loss: The coach bypassed veteran goalie Jonas Hiller in favour of rookie Frederik Andersen and 20-year-old prospect John Gibson down the stretch and into the post-season. Andersen got hurt and Gibson appeared unprepared for the spotlight while losing the last two games to the Kings, getting chased from Game 7. "I think we were close last year," Boudreau said. "I think the experience from our young guys having that one year is going to make us better. Plus, the additions like Kesler and Nate Thompson, to name the two main ones up front, are really big. In the past, all the prognosticators said wed be fighting for the playoffs. Were still going to have to fight, because the West is very tough." Cheap Asics Shoes
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. "I had a pretty good year," the soft-spoken Granberg told TSN.ca with a grin from the teams annual rookie tournament in London. A fourth-round selection in 2010, Granberg is worth keeping an eye on with NHL training camps rolling around in less than a week. The six-foot-two, 200-pound defender may not possess the wow-inspiring theatrics of fellow prospect Morgan Rielly, but nonetheless has a chance to contribute with the Leafs when all is said and done this season. http://www.cheapasicsuk.com/.J
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. Thats the feeling that eight Canadian Football League teams are experiencing right now in advance of the expansion draft to stock the Ottawa Redblacks.With the NHLs free agency period just days away from opening, teams are making decisions on how to build their rosters for next season. Check out todays rumours and speculation from around the NHL beat, and follow TSN.ca each day until July 5 for all the updates. Be sure to tune in to TSN2 and visit TSN.ca on July 5 for Free Agent Frenzy, starting at Noon et/9am pt. Something Bruin? For Ottawas hockey fans it is downright unfathomable to consider Daniel Alfredsson wearing any other jersey than the Senators, but Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli isnt letting that get in the way of trying to make it a reality. TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun of ESPN reported today that Chiarelli – a former Senators executive himself – reached out to Alfredssons camp and spoke with them “at great length” in hopes of luring the pending free agent to Boston for the coming season. Chiarelli was believed to be interested in acquiring Alfredsson at the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline, but the Senators – still in the playoff hunt at the time – did not opt to move their franchise face. The 2012-13 season marked the final one for the 40-year-old Alfredsson on a four-year deal he signed prior to 2009-10 worth an annual average value of $4.875 million. His 2012-13 salary was $1 million. The Nathan Horton Tour According to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun on Twitter, unrestricted free agent forward Nathan Horton is already visiting an NHL team in its respective city today. No one with the Jackets nor with his camp will confirm it, but LeBrun believes he was in Columbus. LeBrun believes hell end up in a quieter, non-traditional hockey market. Danny Boy With Vincent Lecavalier off the market, some of the focus will now be on unrestricted free agent Daniel Briere. The Canadiens, having lost out on Lecavalier, made contact with Brieres camp Tuesday night, a source confirmed to Pierre LeBrun. Sources also indicated that the New Jersey Devils and Nashville Predators are among the teams to show solid interest in Briere and have already spoken to the Briere camp, which is led by agent Pat Brisson. Other teams were expected to contact Brieres camp Tuesday night and Wednesday. Brieree is apparently no longer considering the New York Islanders, but the New Jersey Devils are one of the finalists, according to Newsdays Arthur Staple.dddddddddddd Briere told the Buffalo News earlier Wednesday he was down to eight teams, including his former team the Sabres. Other notes from Pierre LeBrun: - Rob Scuderis agent, Steve Bartlett, said he began to hear from other teams Wednesday regarding his client, but the Los Angeles Kings remain very much in the mix for the unrestricted free agent. - Patrice Bergeron and the Bruins are close to agreeing to an extension that LeBrun believes will pay him between $52-54 million. - Three teams have reached out to Bill Zito, the agent for Tim Thomas, on Wednesday morning to express their interest in signing the veteran netminder. Jacket Fitting Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is headed into his first free agent season in the NHL and he already knows what hell be looking for once the bell rings on July 5. Kekalainen told the Columbus Dispatch that a scoring forward is definitely on his shopping list, but that theyre more interested in skill over size. “If you ask anybody, theyd take a 6-5 guy who scores 30 goals over a 5-8 guy who scores 30 goals,” Kekalainen told Aaron Portzline of the Dispatch. “But me personally, I prefer the small guys who play with big heart to the big guys who are less passionate.” The biggest names available are blends of size and skill, players like David Clarkson and Nathan Horton. However, if Kekalainen is true to his word it could open the door for the Jackets to grab a talent like Danny Briere, Valtteri Filppula or Clarke MacArthur. Ring Ring The open market has lit up the phone lines for Los Angeles Kings defenceman Rob Scuderi. While the Kings are still very much in the mix, LeBrun confirmed that there remains interest from other teams on the 34-year-old. Scuderi just completed a four-year, $13.6 million deal he signed with the Kings prior to 2009-10. Off The Table As tweeted by TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger on Wednesday, the Canucks buyout of defenceman Keith Ballard means that Alexander Edler is off the market. ' ' '