Jets’ Noel refutes bad blood with Burmistrov

Forward Alexander Burmistrov signed a two-year deal with Winnipeg after spending the past two seasons in the KHL. (AP/Carlos Osorio)

Hockey Hearsay compiles stories from around the hockey world and runs weekdays, 12 months a year.


The Winnipeg Free Press recalls how after Jets’ restricted free agent Alexander Burmistrov’s  KHL deal was announced, one of Burmistrov’s agents pointed the finger at Jets coach Claude Noel, saying he was responsible for a poor relationship with Burmistrov.

“I like Alexander Burmistrov,” Noel said Thursday. “I’ve said that for two years. I’ve liked the way he’s played. I would have liked to have seen him do some things differently that it would help him further his career.

“He’s a smart player. He remains our property. He’s elected to change locations to advance his career. I guess that’s what he believed but I really don’t have any comment on what somebody else says.

“If Alexander had problems with me, he’s never mentioned it to me. He’s played two years here, played a lot of minutes for us in a lot of different situations. But that’s what he feels needs to get done, between him and the people he works with.”

On whether the KHL would help Burmistrov’s game: “I don’t know much about the KHL as far as the type of game. For him, he talked about getting his confidence and stuff like that. If that‘s what he feels, then he feels he needs to play, then he needs to make that decision. That’s hard for me to sit and say the KHL will do this and won’t do this. Evander Kane’s a guy that didn’t have much success there but certainly has much success here. I think it works in different ways.


The Vancouver Province believes the hard-hitting aspect of unrestricted free agent Mark Fistric’s game has drawn some tire-kicking interest from the Canucks and other potential suitors. Not contract offers. Not yet.

“A number of teams have expressed interest in Mark,” his agent Gerry Johannson said Thursday. “There’s a healthy market for him and it’s just about being patient. It was an interesting year in Edmonton and I don’t think Mark was disillusioned; it’s just the reality of the business that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. A contract (offer) is going to depend on the team, the situation and a lot of other variables.

“He’s a physical guy and just starting to take the next step of what he can bring. And he brings something. I know my guys (clients) don’t like playing against him.”


The Denver Post logged some time with Avalanche center Matt Duchene following the signing of his five-year, $30 million contract extension.

Following a bad season in 2011-12, he started all over in his dedication to diet and exercise off the ice and vowed to prove his bad year was an aberration. He did that, with 43 points in 47 games.

“It was a real tough year, but I wanted to try and use it to learn and get better,” Duchene said. “But I’m not stopping now.”

Duchene, according to coach Patrick Roy, will center a line with Ryan O’Reilly at left wing and P.A. Parenteau on the right. O’Reilly, of course, was a center his first four years with the Avs.

“I just talked some with Ryan today, and he’s going to be great on the wing. I think he’s played some there before, and I think he can be really strong there,” Duchene said.


Fire & Ice relays that Adam Henrique indicated Thursday contract talks with the Devils have gone well and they’re “close” to agreeing on a deal. Length of the contract is one of the issues they’re still trying to settle.

After enduring some ups and downs this past season, Henrique, 23, knows he must be more consistent in 2013-14.

“This summer, I just refocused myself and making sure I’m doing everything I can off the ice to be ready for the season,” he said. “Last year, was a weird year with the lockout and the injury. That’s the first time I had to go through that. So, it was a little bit of everything. This year, it’s nice we’re going to have set day for training camp. All the guys are going to come in and there’s going to be a full schedule.

“The Olympics will give us a break in the middle of the season, but I think it’s going to be a good year for us.”


LA Kings Insider reflects on the career of Dustin Brown, who just signed an eight-year extension with the team that will kick in following the 2013-14 campaign.

The length of Brown’s eight-year contract fits in with several Kings who are currently under multi-year deals: Brown – signed through 2021-22; Jeff Carter – signed through 2021-22; Drew Doughty – signed through 2018-19; Anze Kopitar – signed through 2015-16; Jonathan Quick – signed through 2022-23; Robyn Regehr – signed through 2014-15; Mike Richards – signed through 2019-20; Jarret Stoll – signed through 2014-15; Slava Voynov – signed through 2018-19; Justin Williams – signed through 2014-15


The Courier-Post details how Ian Laperriere, now the Flyers’ director of player development, will compete in his first Ironman next month for the Ronald McDonald House, the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation and Go4theGoal Foundation-Tunes4Teens through the IRONMAN Foundation.

“I have the opportunity to raise money for three great causes,” Laperriere said, his eyes beaming with determination.

Ten years ago, his father Michel, died of pancreatic cancer at 55. Last year, Ian Laperriere ran in the Philadelphia Marathon to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer research. Now, he is doing the Ironman — an athletic endurance competition consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run.

The Montreal native will compete in the Ironman Mont-Tremblant on Aug. 18 in Quebec.

“It is totally different,” Laperriere said of the Ironman. “It has been a challenge for me.

“In hockey, we train for a burst of 40 seconds and now it is long-distance training for a five-hour bike ride.”


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that Bill Guerin, the Penguins’ development coach, travels a good bit during the season. When he is in town with the Penguins, he can often be found with general manager Ray Shero and assistant general manager Jason Botterill. Same goes for assistant to the general manager Tom Fitzgerald when he and Guerin are in the same city.

“Ray, Jason, [Fitzgerald] have been fantastic for me,” Guerin said. “They’ve put me in position to learn. That’s one thing I want to do. Wherever I end up … I don’t know … but if I do keep climbing the ladder or start to climb the ladder, I want to do it the right way. Right now, I’ve got three guys that I’m working with and an entire pro scouting staff and amateur scouting staff that I learn from every day.”

He is fine with spending time in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with the club’s American Hockey League players or traveling to other minor league or junior hockey cities.

“I don’t want to skip steps,” Guerin said. “I want to go to the Rimouskis and the Portlands and the Prince Alberts of the world and see what it is. “


From The Arizona Republic: Portland Winterhawks goaltender Brendan Burke (sixth round draft pick of the Coyotes in June) and his dad, Coyotes goalie coach Sean Burke, on their relationship…

“Sometimes he’s dad and sometimes he’s coach and sometimes he’s just Sean,” Brendan said. “You gotta switch modes every once in a while. When you’re at home, he’s my dad. We hang out and when we’re at the rink, it’s serious and it’s business. He’s still my coach, and I’ve got to give him a lot of respect.”

“My job now is like it is with every one of our goalie prospects — to work with them and try to help them become as good as they can get,” Sean said.


When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.