Morning Hits: Hecht, Miller, Babcock, Stars, Atkinson, Nichushkin, Skinner and Clarkson

  • John Vogl of the Buffalo News: Sabres Jochen Hecht retired from the NHL last night.

    “It’s best for everybody to start a new life. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve got some great memories. I lived here and loved this place for 10 years, 11 years, and Buffalo became a second home to me.

    “Buffalo has been like a second home for everybody. I was fortunate enough to play my first game in Buffalo with St. Louis, and I played my last game in Buffalo. It’s kind of full circle, came around. It was a lot of fun.”

    Sabres goalie Ryan Miller may have played his last game in a Sabres uniform.

    “Everything comes to an end. It’s not always clean and easy. Most of the time, it’s little bit dirty and not any fun. It was hard to watch these guys kind of leave a team one by one, but it’s the nature of sports, nature of life. You can’t just hold on to something that’s not sustainable. Everything becomes stagnant if you’re always trying to hold on to one thing.

  • Darren Dreger: Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said that rumors of him being Red Berenson’s successor at the University of Michigan are not true. He has two years left on his Red Wings contract and is happy being the Wings coach.
  • Bruce Garrioch: If the Stars decide to make a GM change, Garrioch wouldn’t be surprised if Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill is the top candidate.
  • Shawn Mitchell: The Blue Jackets sign forward Cam Atkinson to a 2-year, $2.3 million contract extension.
  • Alessandro Seren Rosso: Valeri Nichushkin was traded to Dynamo for $10 million. He’s on a two-year contract with an out-clause after one year, $2 million per year. Slava Malamud: There will be no Nichushkin next year, and likely for 2014-15. TJ ОвечкиH: Russian Media saying that Nichushkin was traded without his knowledge. Could trigger his decision to leave to the NHL.
  • Chip Alexander: Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford on restructuring their blue line: ”We need to be a lot harder to play against. We made it too easy for opponents.”
  • Chip Alexander: Rutherford said that Jeff Skinner at center was an “experiment” but liked what he saw. Creates another option for next season.
  • Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger: Devils David Clarksonwill be a UFA and he may get some offers to convince him to sign with someone else. There has been lots of speculation that the Maple Leafs will be interested.

    “I don’t know where I’ll be. I have no idea what will end up happening,” Clarkson told The Star-Ledger today. “There haven’t been any negotiations between Mr. (Lou) Lamoriello and my agent. I’ve had no decisions to make yet.”

    “I love playing here. My daughter is from here. I’ve loved my time here,” Clarkson pointed out. “What better situation could there be? I have a coach (Pete DeBoer) I’ve had since I was young who I believe, besides my father, has been the biggest part of my hockey career. And Mr. Lamoriello was the first GM to give me an opportunity.”

  • Ian Mendes: Craig Anderson will start in net for the Senators tonight. Robin Lehner could start on Sunday.
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