Quick Hits: The Dukes Edition

Winging It In Motown

Red Wings hire Jay Varady as assistant coach – NHL

A native of Cahokia, Ill., Varady made his head coaching debut with Ducs d’Angers in France’s Ligue Magnus from 2011-13, finishing with a 37-10-3-2 record as the team won a regular-season title and reached the playoff final in 2012-13.

Ducs D’Angers is a badass name. (They’re the Dukes of a town in Western France whose name apparently started as Andecavorum before evolving into what it’s now called. Wikipedia is cool).

This is an interesting strategy for a team that just watched one star walk. It guarantees Tkachuk can’t sign an offer sheet and gives them time to negotiate, but it also grants Tkachuk the power to let it go to the hearing and take a one-year deal to get him to UFA and walk next year.

I mean, that also gives them a full year to prepare for what to do. I tend to like Calgary more than Edmonton out of Alberta but I also don’t like any Tkachuks so whatever.

Olczyk leaving Blackhawks broadcast booth after 15 seasons – NHL

“This was my decision to step away,” Olczyk told NHL.com. “We just couldn’t come to terms on a contract. I had a great conversation with (owner) Rocky Wirtz, great conversation with Danny (Wirtz, chief executive officer) and Jaime [Faulkner, president of business operations). It was hard. I’m just very thankful for the last 15 years. This is my home, it’ll always be my home, but I just felt I had to take a step back and reassess and have some other opportunities that I’m looking at.”

That other opportunity is apparently Seattle. Even the folks who love the rats are leaving the ship.

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