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Insider Trading: No further discipline expected following MSG brawl

Insider Trading Insider Trading - The Canadian Press

TSN’s Hockey Insiders follow-up on Wednesday night’s line brawl on Broadway, Collin Graf’s decision to sign with the Sharks, decisions on Canada’s 4 Nations and Olympic head coaches, and the status of Canada’s 2018 WJC players with Team Canada.

Will the NHL hand out any supplementary discipline for Wednesday’s line brawl between the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers?

Matt Rempe New York Rangers Kurtis MacDermid New Jersey DevilsDreger: No, because it was so well handled by the on-ice officials there is no reason for the National Hockey League to follow up with any additional discipline. You mentioned that eight players were ejected, you have to go back to 2014 to recognize the last time eight players were ejected for this type of activity. They called fighting majors, of course, but they also ejected the players. If they left it at fighting majors, perhaps the nastiness that we saw off the opening faceoff would turn into something far more ugly later in the game. 

Again, go back to 2014, that was the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames, that turned downright nasty and spilled into the hallway where John Tortorella, then the head coach of the Canucks, was desperately trying to get into the Calgary Flames dressing room. He took a couple of swipes at Bob Hartley, then the head coach of the Flames, according to eyewitnesses before the cameras arrived, and ultimately Flames enforcer Brian McGrattan. 

A couple of things proved here, the NHL doesn’t need to follow up on what happened on Wednesday night, and two, John Tortorella is as feisty as he’s ever been.

With over 20 teams interested in NCAA free agent Collin Graf, why did he make the decision to sign with the San Jose Sharks?

Collin Graf QuinnipiacLeBrun: I can tell you it was a difficult decision for him and his family. They really deliberated over the last few days. In fact, it was 26 teams that have shown interest over the past year in trying to sign him because he did talk to some teams last spring, but decided to go back to play another year in school.

It came down to six teams with the Minnesota Wild, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Colorado Avalanche among those six teams. But obviously, there is ample opportunity in San Jose. It’s a team that’s gutted its roster and trusts in where that rebuild is going. Graf and agent Jerry Buckley did Zoom calls with all six teams two weeks ago before finally deciding. 

Whenever a top free agent like this signs the question is, why wasn’t he drafted to begin with? The answer is this, four and a half years ago he was 5-foot-8 and 140 pounds. Today he’s 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds. 

We’re going to get a ton of best-on-best hockey with the Four Nations next year followed by the Olympics the year after. With those two events fairly close together, how will Canada handle coaching duties?

Tampa Bay LightningLeBrun: There was an interesting moment in Toronto this week. I happened to be at the morning skates and Jon Cooper, head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, was asked in the media scrum if he would want to coach Canada in these best-on-best tournaments. He kind of hesitated in the sense that, of course he wants to coach Canada, but he has not spoken to Hockey Canada about the process and, like many people, I’m not sure that the knows that Team Canada plans on making this two separate coaching gigs, two separate announcements. So once the Four Nations team has a GM, and we expect that GM to be named before the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, that GM will be in charge of naming a coaching staff for Four Nations. But then Doug Armstrong, the Olympic GM, is in charge of naming a coaching staff for the Olympics in Italy. It could be the same head coach, there’s no rule against that, but it is two separate announcements and two separate processes for that head coach. 

Of course, Jon Cooper isn't the only great candidate out there like Paul Maurice, Peter DeBoer, Bruce Cassidy, Jared Bednar, Rod Brind’Amour. There are lots of great candidates and that’s why, perhaps, it won't be the same person for both gigs.

Dreger: A reminder here guys, as Canada continues to piece together its roster for the upcoming men’s World Championship, the ongoing process of appeal continues for Hockey Canada as it relates to the World Juniors in 2018. 

What that means is all the players on that 2018 roster, players that might be of interest at the men’s World’s like Jordan Kyrou, Rob Thomas and Drake Batherson remain under suspension. The entire roster of players from 2018 will be suspended until the conclusion of the appeal process.

 It does not relate to the Four Nations Cup because the NHL handles the sanctions there.