Intriguing Faces in New NHL Places
The former Senators captain broke plenty of hearts in Ottawa when he signed a one-year deal with the Red Wings during the offseason. The smooth Swede. who has twice posted 40-goal campaigns and eclipsed the 20-goal mark 13 times in 17 seasons, hopes that donning the winged wheel in Detroit will help him to finally add a Stanley Cup to his impressive hockey resume. But mark December 1 on your calendar: he returns to Ottawa as an enemy that night and is likely to get a rude reception
Still questing for one last Cup at 41, Jagr joined the Devils on a one-year contract and hopes to replace some of the departed Ilya Kovalchuk's offense. A member of the rare 'Triple Gold' club after winning the Stanley Cup, Olympic gold, and a World Championship, Jagr is the NHL's active leading scorer with 681 career goals and 1,688 points in 20 seasons.
His sudden trade deadline decision to snub the Bruins in favor of the Penguins meant the two-time 50-goal scorer and former heart and soul of the Calgary Flames had some fence-mending to do with the fans in Boston when he signed a performance-based one-year, $6 million deal with the Bi's during the summer. (His base salary is only $1.8 million.), Iginla is 36 now, but seems to have plenty left and his rough-and-tumble style of play should fit in well on his new team.
Lecavalier, the first-overall pick in the 1998 draft, spent 14 years in Tampa Bay, winning the Stanley Cup in 2004 and captaining the Lighting. The man former Bolts owner Art Williams once called "the Michael Jordan of Hockey" has scored at least 20 goals 12 times, missing the mark in his rookie season and last year's lockout shortened campaign. A compliance buyout during the summer, he brings size and veteran leadership to Philadelphia, where the Flyers are intent on returning to the playoffs.
The hard-hitting and often controversial winger brings his physical brand of hockey to Minnesota on a three-year, free agent deal after five seasons in Pittsburgh. He's tallied double-digit goal totals 11 times during his 14-season career, but the key to his game lies more in his penalty-killing and agitation skills, which he's worked to clean up after multiple suspensions. Cooke will add a new dimension to the Wild, who look to get back to the playoffs for a second straight season.
After a year's hiatus from the game, the controversial former Vezina and Conn Smythe winner is making a comeback at age 39. If he can maintain some semblance of his former excellence, he'll greatly improve the outlook for the Panthers, who will have to scratch and scuffle for a playoff spot in the tough Atlantic Division and fiercely competitive Eastern Conference.
A big power foward who isn't afraid to drop the gloves, Horton made news in the offseason by signing a seven-year, $37.1 million deal with Columbus. During three seasons with the Bruins, the winger posted 56 total goals, but was hampered by concussion issues. Sidelined by a shoulder issue at the start of the season, when he returns, he'll give the Blue Jackets another offensive threat to go along wit Marian Gaborik and Brandon Dubinsky.
Once touted as Roberto Luongo's replacement in Vancouver, Schneider suddenly found himself in New Jersey after a Draft day swap. With the Devils, he becomes the heir apparent to the legendary Martin Brodeur. Schneider has a top-notch pedigree, and posted a 55-26-8 record in 98 career NHL games, all with the Canucks. He played well in preseason action, putting together a 158:29 shutout streak.
The temperamental Hall of Fame goalie joins his former,teammate, GM Joe Sakic, in rebuilding the Avalanche as their new coach and vice president of hockey operations. Roy has spent the last eight seasons as coach/GM and part owner of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, winning the 2006 Memorial Cup. "We might not win the Stanley Cup next year," he said upon his introductionby the Avs. "But we're going to have a Stanley Cup attitude."
A mercurial forward who's earned notoriety for his famous pancakes mishap and shown periods of dominance during his career, Penner returns to Anaheim, where he began in 2005-06. He's posted 20-plus goal seasons four times, including 32 in 2009-10 with the Oilers. His last two seasons with the Kings were marred by injury and he hopes that rejoining the Ducks - with whom he won the Cup during his rookie season - will help him get back to healthy productivity.
Before being fired by the Sabres at the end of last season, Ruff was the longest tenured coach in the NHL, having been behind their bench for 15 seasons. He now guides the Stars, the franchise that beat him (controversially) in his only Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1999, as new GM Jim Nill's first hire. The highly respected Ruff will bring an upbeat, puck-possession philosophy to Dallas that fits well with the franchise's young core.
The fiery Tortorella was released from his head coaching duties with the Rangers shortly after their season ended with their second-round exit from the playoffs, after which he signed on to helm the Canucks. He's known for his team-first, defense-first style, as well as being bristly with the media and his players. But 'Torts' knows how to coach in high-pressure situations from his time in New York. He brings Stanley Cup credibility to Vancouver and will try to whip some life into an aging club that's looking to extend its championship window. <bold>VIDEO:</bold> Ryan Kesler and Henrik Lundqvist on what the great coach swap means
After seven seasons in Vancouver that saw him keep the Canucks among the NHL's top teams, Vigneault comes to a Rangers team that is playoff-ready and poised for a Stanley Cup run. He's taken home the Jack Adams Award as NHL's top coach in addition to being a finalist twice, and he came within a game of winning the Cup in 2011. His uptempo, liberal coaching style will spark the Rangers' offensive game and hopefully revive the career of Brad Richards. <bold>VIDEO:</bold> Ryan Kesler and Henrik Lundqvist on what the great coach swap means
Steve Mason and Ray Emery
With the Ilya Bryzgalov experiment over, the Flyers' ongoing quest for a cornerstone goaltender continues. Now its Steve Mason's and Ray Emery's turn. Mason, acquired at the trade deadline is a former Calder Trophy winner as top rookie in 2008-09 with Columbus. He hopes to regain the form that saw him rise to stardom as a rookie in Columbus before struggling during the past few seasons. Emery is a solid safety net, having posted a 17-1-0 record as the No.2 with the Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks.
Eakins, 46, was the hottest name when it came to coaching vacancies during the off-season, and with good reason. He succeeded in the AHL as coach of the Toronto Marlies, the Maple Leafs' AHL squad, in a serious hockey market, and his hard-nosed, results-driven style is perfect for the Oilers' slew of young, charismatic talent. There are high expectations that team will finally blossom and return Edmonton to the playoffs for the first time since its Cup run in 2006. Eakins is a big piece of that puzzle.