The Vancouver Canucks are trying to jumpstart their stalled rebuild with a new head coach.
Willie Desjardins was fired by Vancouver on Monday after missing the postseason for the second consecutive season. The team announced the move a day after ending the season with its eighth straight loss.
In three years with Vancouver, Desjardins went 109-110-27. The 60-year-old led the club to the playoffs as a rookie NHL head coach in 2014-15, but the Canucks took a big step backward last season and then finished 29th out of 30 teams in the NHL standings this season.
Assistant coaches Doug Lidster and Perry Pearn were also let go.
Vancouver started out fast, becoming the first NHL team ever to win its first three games of a season while never leading in regulation. They added a fourth straight win to start the season, but then collapsed with a nine-game losing streak (0-8-1). The Canucks fought back into the playoff race around midseason, but cratered again down the stretch, going 7-23-3 over their final 33 games.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Los Angeles Kings on Monday fired coach Darryl Sutter and general manager Dean Lombardi, who led the franchise to its only two Stanley Cup championships.
The Kings also promoted defenseman Rob Blake to vice president and general manager, while longtime executive Luc Robitaille has been promoted to team president in charge of all hockey and business operations.
Los Angeles won the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014, but hasn’t won a playoff round since.
The Kings (39-35-8) missed the playoffs this spring for the second time in three years with their worst record since 2009. They finished 10th in the 14-team Western Conference, fading down the stretch with a team that struggled to keep up with faster, younger opponents.
The moves bring an emphatic end to the best era in the mostly ordinary franchise history of the Kings, a Second Six expansion franchise.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Pete Rose will be inducted into the Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Fame in an on-field ceremony on Aug. 12 prior to the club’s game against the New York Mets.
Rose, the all-time hits leader who was banned from baseball in 1989, made four All-Star appearances and helped the Phillies to one of their two world championships during his five seasons in Philadelphia from 1979-83.
Rose was selected through fan voting and is the 39th inductee into the club’s Wall of Fame.
Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa, the starting shortstop on those Phillies teams with Rose, said the all-time hit king made a huge difference.
ATLANTA (AP) – Former Atlanta Braves player Otis Nixon, who went missing last weekend, has been located, police said Monday.
Nixon has been found and he’s ”safe,” said Brittany Duncan, a spokeswoman for police in Woodstock, a suburb northwest of Atlanta. She had no other details about his condition, where he was found or the circumstances.
Duncan said there was no foul play involved, and that Woodstock police consider the case closed.
Nixon, 58, had been last seen around 10 a.m. Saturday leaving his home in Woodstock, Georgia, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) northwest of downtown Atlanta, police said. He left in a gray Range Rover and was on his way to a golf course where he had a tee time but never arrived, police said.
Nixon’s girlfriend, who lives with him, had reported him missing, Duncan said.
Nixon was an outfielder for the Braves. He played for nine teams in 17 major league seasons, with his best years coming in Atlanta. He had 1,379 hits and 620 stolen bases.
In 1991, he was suspended for 60 days after testing positive for cocaine.
DENVILLE, N.J. (AP) – An authentic green jacket from Augusta National Golf Club that was once bought for $5 at a thrift store has sold at auction for more than $139,000.
Green Jacket Auctions says the distinctive sport coat worn by members of the famed Georgia club and presented each year to the winner of the Masters tournament was sold Saturday, a day before the final round of this year’s Masters.
The auction house says in its listing that the jacket was discovered in 1994 in a Toronto consignment shop. The tag shows it to be from the 1950s, but the original owner’s name has been cut out. The club has confirmed its authenticity.
The auction house also sold the putter Arnold Palmer used to win the 1964 Masters for more than $97,000 Sunday.