Quick Strikes: Syracuse Crunch hire new assistant coach Eric Veilleux

and Roberto Luongo retires.

The Bolts

Yesterday, the Syracuse Crunch announced that they have hired Halifax Mooseheads head coach Eric Veilleux to be the newest assistant coach behind Benoit Groulx. The Crunch have many connections to the QMJHL when it comes to players, coaches, and management and Veilleux is no exception. [Syracuse Crunch]

“I am very pleased and grateful to have Éric join our coaching staff,” BriseBois said. “Éric has a wealth of coaching experience and is a proven winner. He is a great addition to our organization and our players in Syracuse will greatly benefit from getting to work with him. With Ben Groulx, Gilles Bouchard and Éric, we have three men with long track records as successful head coaches and the Crunch has a coaching staff we can be very proud of.”

With AHL bench boss Groulx becoming more and more likely to find himself in the NHL in the near future, Veilleux is a strong candidate to replace him as the team’s head coach. Halifax made the QMJHL finals in Veilleux’s one and only season with the team and also lost in the Memorial Cup final, which they hosted. [Elite Prospects]

From the site, Geo looks at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft and how the Tampa Bay Lightning did. There were a few missed calls. [Raw Charge]

It’s certainly tempting to go “Hey, I should just take a Sedin.” But the reality of the situation at the time was that to draft one Sedin without the other would have meant they stayed in Sweden. The twins made it clear they would only play together, thus the Canucks’ maneuvering that saw them owning the first four picks of the draft at various points before settling in with the 2nd and 3rd overall picks.

From The Athletic, Joe Smith writes about a very interesting prospect in the Bolts organization: Sammy Walker.

And finally, what is happening to overtime in the ECHL? Orlando Solar Bears broadcaster Jesse Liebman explains.

The Game

One of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history, and arguably the best one to never win a Stanley Cup, Roberto Luongo announced his retirement from hockey, broken by himself via a tweet from his @Strombone1 account. Classic.

His retirement is very sweet, funny, and very Lu. He spoke about the difficulty in just getting ready for games in his final season, his time in Vancouver, and him building a life in Parkland, Florida where so much has happened. It’s a must-read. [NHL dot com]

As May rolled around, I was looking at the calendar and I found myself dreading getting back into my routine. My offseason workouts always start in the third week of May and I wasn’t looking forward to getting back in the gym. There’s a lot of work and effort required and I found my body telling me that it didn’t want to go through it.

As a result from the retirement, the Florida Panthers and Vancouver Canucks will incur a cap recapture penalty as a result of the illegal nature of the contract Luongo signed prior to the 2013 lockout and CBA.

The $1 million shouldn’t be an issue for the Panthers, it turns out they cared more about the salary they’d have to pay than the cap hit anyway, the real loser here is the Canucks who now have $3 million in dead money on their cap.

In other retirement news that no one probably heard: Brooks Orpik (who has a few Stanley Cups) also retired. [Pensburgh]

After 16 seasons and 1,035 career games, former Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik announced his retirement from the National Hockey League on Tuesday. Orpik’s decision to step away from the game was revealed by the Washington Capitals on the team’s website on Tuesday morning.

Also yesterday we saw a trade. The Vegas Golden Knights dumped Erik Haula’s $2.75 million contract on the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for AHL prospect Nicolas Roy. It seems like a bad deal for the Knights, who lose a top-six forward for an AHL prospect, but Roy had a very strong season for the Calder Cup Champion Charlotte Checkers (the 5 C’s as it were). [Knights on Ice]

Haula had an excellent 2017-18 season with the Golden Knights, logging career highs in goals (29), assists (26) and points (55) and playing a huge role on special teams. After Haula’s big breakout campaign, many were hoping to see him keep up the momentum in 2018-19. Unfortunately, his season was cut short after he suffered a season-ending injury against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 6. We still don’t know the details of his injury. Do note, though, that Haula was not far away from making a return to action in the postseason.

Also in Hurricanes news, welcome their new ECHL affiliate, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits! Best logo in hockey, bar none.

And finally, imagine being a multiple Olympian, multiple World Champion, all-time hockey pioneer and legend, work for an NHL team as the assistant director for player development, be in the Hockey Hall of Fame, AND have a doctorate? That’s Hayley Wickenheiser. Kids, be more like Wick. [Pension Plan Puppets]