Sean Leahy

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor of Puck Daddy since the blog started in April 2008. Having covered Stanley Cup Finals, NHL All-Star Games and NHL Drafts, his highlight might have been getting blown out playing Ryan Kesler in NHL2K11 on Nintendo Wii. That, or coercing an All-Star Game goal judge to let him control the goal light for a period. He currently resides on Long Island.

  • Did Mike Babcock lead the Buffalo Sabres to believe they had a deal for him to become their new head coach? Some in the organization say yes, but general manager Tim Murray isn’t one of them, at least publicly. 

    Appearing on WGR550 radio with Schopp and The Bulldog Thursday afternoon, Murray refuted the claim that Babcock lied to the Sabres. 

    “[I]t was a great process for me,” Murray said. “This is my first real shot at doing interviews and hiring my coach. He was the first guy that we looked at and it was a great process. To have a guy of his ilk, considered one of the best coaches in the National Hockey League, available and taking a real good, hard look at us in Buffalo after a 30th place finish, I thought the process was great and certainly great for my experience.” 

    With Babcock stating he would make his decision on Wednesday, he and Murray were in negotiations on a contract, which would make sense. If you’re going to decide your future, you’d like to know the salary and term

    Read More »from Tim Murray explains Babcock talks; Sabres seeking Bylsma?
  • We don’t know yet whether the NHL and NHLPA will send its players to the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea, but we now know where nine of the 12 countries participating in the tournament will be grouped.

    Group A: Canada, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Korea

    Group B: Russia, USA, Slovakia, Qualifer 3

    Group C: Sweden, Finland, Qualifier 1, Qualifier 2

    Sorry, Korea.

    The groups are based on the post-World Championship IIHF rankings, which feature Canada, Russia and Sweden as the top three nations. The final three qualifiers will be determined over three stages of qualification beginning in November.

    After talk that they might need to go through qualification, Korea was granted automatic entry despite their No. 23 ranking. Pressure by the IIHF to improve the program was followed by a $20 million investment promise into development by the Korea Ice Hockey Association. They also hired former NHLer Jim Paek as head coach, showing that they were serious about improving.

    IIHF president said

    Read More »from 2018 PyeongChang Olympic hockey groups: Host Korea draws Canada
  • Eugene Melnyk underwent a successful liver transplant on Tuesday, and the Ottawa Senators owner and the anonymous donor are resting comfortably as they recover.

    “He is stable and he is not talking, but he is responsive, so when people talk to him he understands,” said team president Cyril Leeder, via the Ottawa Citizen. “His colour is improving, so it looks like the liver is functioning the way it should.” 

    Melnyk released a statement via the Senators on Thursday:

    We are delighted and relieved that Eugene’s post-transplantation recovery is progressing very well.
    In the past 36 hours, we have already witnessed a dramatic improvement in Eugene’s overall condition.
    We wish to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to the “miracle workers” who are part of the University Health Network’s Multi-Organ Transplant Program: from the transplant surgeons, to the medical directors, to the surgical and medical team including the nurse practitioners, fellows, medical residents and the
    Read More »from Potential liver donors for Senators owner decide to continue process for others
  • NHL Three Stars: 'Triplets' lead the way for Lightning in Game 3

    No. 1 Star: Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning

    Kucherov was the hero for the Lightning as his goal 3:33 into overtime gave Tampa a 6-5 victory in Game 3 against the New York Rangers. They now hold a 2-1 series lead:

    No. 2 Star: Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning

    One-third of the “Triplets” line chipped in a pair of goals and an assist in the win. The trio of Palat, Kucherov and Tyler Johnson have combined for 25 of Tampa’s 47 playoff goals, including seven in the last two games. 

    No. 3 Star: Jesper Fast, New York Rangers

    Fast was the offensive leader for New York, scoring a pair of goals in the loss.

    Honorable Mention: Tyler Johnson scored his 12th of the playoffs, tying him with Brad Richards and Ruslan Fedotenko for the franchise record for goals in a postseason:

    Steven Stamkos notched his fifth of the playoffs and added an assist … Victor Hedman had a pair of assists and now has four in his last three games … Alex Killorn had two points and now has five in his last two games …

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: 'Triplets' lead the way for Lightning in Game 3
  • An overtime goal from Nikita Kucherov helped give the Tampa Bay Lightning a wild 6-5 win over the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final. Tampa now leads the series 2-1 with Game 4 on Friday at Amalie Arena.

    As they’ve done a number of times this postseason, the Rangers struck first and early as Derick Brassard fired home a power play goal after 62 seconds. Jesper Fast would double the lead midway through the first period after a Matt Carle/Derek Stepan collision in the neutral zone opened up space for the forward to come in all alone on Ben Bishop:

    Carle wouldn’t return to the game after suffering what the Lightning described as an upper-body injury.

    Despite the 2-0 deficit, Tampa would respond in a big way by scoring the game’s next four goals, including three in a span of 6:46 in the second period. Tyler Johnson’s 12th of the postseason gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead and tied him with Brad Richards and Ruslan Fedotenko for most playoff goals in a season in

    Read More »from Nikita Kucherov's OT goal gives Lightning wild 6-5 victory over Rangers
  • New Bruins GM: Claude Julien is head coach ‘as of today’

    After a “worldwide” search, as CEO Charlie Jacobs described it, the Boston Bruins named Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney as the franchise's eighth GM Wednesday. Team president Cam Neely said the process was narrowed down to four candidates (Sweeney, George McPhee, Jeff Gorton, Ray Shero?) before they chose the man who knew the organization best.

    Now that Sweeney’s in the GM’s chair, all the focus will be on the future of head coach Claude Julien, who’s been left to wonder if he’ll be behind the bench next season. 

    Sweeney said he has spoken with Julien, but wasn’t fully committed to saying he would definitely return.

    “I have some things that I want to sit down with Claude and go through in a very orderly fashion as to where I think things need to change and what direction we need to change as a group," Sweeney said.  "Also, [I] acknowledged to Claude during this whole process that I think tremendously of him as a coach, and as a person, so it’s just about aligning up philosophical

    Read More »from New Bruins GM: Claude Julien is head coach ‘as of today’
  • Captain Foligno; Hedman's arrival; 'Uptown Puck' (Puck Headlines)

    Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com

    Columbus Blue JacketsColumbus Blue Jackets

    • Nick Foligno has been named captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets. [Blue Jackets]

    • Tyler Johnson is making some history during his rise to stardom. [Lightning Shout

    • The start of this new era for the Tampa Bay Lightning began with the trade of Martin St. Louis. [Sportsnet

    • Returning to Tampa Bay isn’t bothering St. Louis. [NY Daily News]

    • If it wasn't evident already, Victor Hedman has arrived. [Tampa Bay Times]

    • If the New York Rangers are to win this series they need some goals from Rick Nash. [NY Post]

    • The Chicago Blackhawks better hope their top-4 defensemen have a lot left in their tanks because they’re going to need them to eat a ton of minutes. [Second City Hockey]

    • “Maybe the Premier League’s going to be scouting me next

    Read More »from Captain Foligno; Hedman's arrival; 'Uptown Puck' (Puck Headlines)
  • We don’t know how much longer the magic of Andrew Hammond will continue, but the "Hamburglar” just received a bit of security.

    On Wednesday, the Ottawa Senators announced they’ve extended Hammond for three years. He was pretty excited about it:

    A new contract and free MacDonald's for life? Pretty great 2015 for Hammond.

    According to the Senators, the deal is worth $4.05 million, with Hammond receiving $1.2 million in 2015-16, $1.35 million in 2016-17 and $1.5 million in the final year of his deal in 2017-18.

    Hammond was one of the biggest stories of the second of half of the 2014-15 NHL season. At age 27, he won 13 of his first 14 starts, taking over the No. 1 job in Ottawa as the Senators rallied to make the postseason. But “The Hamburglar” came back down to earth toward the end of the regular season and into the playoffs where he was replaced by Craig

    Read More »from Andrew 'Hamburglar' Hammond gets triple decker contract extension from Sens
  • Days after announcing he was in need of a new liver, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk underwent a successful transplant Tuesday night.

    According to the Senators, the anonymous donor and Melnyk are doing fine and resting comfortably. The University Health Network’s Multi-Organ Transplant Program will release an update on the progress of both later this week. 

    From the Senators:

    Mr. Melnyk and his family would like to thank everyone for their continued support and wish to extend their immense gratitude to the anonymous donor and the donor’s family.
    For more information on organ donation or to register as an organ and tissue donor in Ontario, visit www.BeADonor.ca.

    After a year in which GM Bryan Murray was diagnosed with cancer and the organization lost assistant coach Mark Reeds to his own battle with the disease, it's great to hear some positive health news coming from the Senators.

    - - - - - - -

    Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email

    Read More »from Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk undergoes successful liver transplant
  • Mike Babcock in contract talks with Buffalo Sabres: Report

    The Mike Babcock sweepstakes will come to a end this week. Finally. And while reports state it's down to two teams, the Buffalo Sabres look to be pulling away from the Detroit Red Wings in the race. 

    According to the Associated Press, Babcock and the Sabres have initiated contract discussions.

    From John Wawrow of the AP

    The person said negotiations were taking place by phone between Babcock and Sabres general manager Tim Murray on Tuesday afternoon. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are private. 

    Wawrow followed up with a Tweet stating nothing is done, but the two sides spoke on Tuesday, which would make sense since Babcock has said he'd like to make a decision by Wednesday.

    When reached by Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press and asked if he’s leaving the Red Wings, Babcock responded, ”Not sure, know by morning."

    Since this is a negotiation, and if this report is true, does Babcock turn around and take this offer to Ken Holland and Mike Illitch

    Read More »from Mike Babcock in contract talks with Buffalo Sabres: Report

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