NHL: Leafs extend Timothy Liljegren, Bruins give GM Don Sweeney new deal, and more

Timothy Liljegren
May 4, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren (37) shoots the puck during warm up before game two of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced on Monday, a new two-year deal for defenseman Timothy Liljegren. It comes with an AAV of $1.4M for the former first-round pick of the 2017 Draft (17th overall).

Liljegren, 23, posted 23 points in 61 games this past season, He’s played in 74 games for the Leafs dating back to the 2019-2020 campaign.

The promising defenseman also played in two games this postseason, picking up no points with a +2 rating.

Bruins extend GM Don Sweeney

don sweeney
Jun 19, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney was named NHL General Manager of the year during the 2019 NHL Awards at Mandalay Bay. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has been signed to a multiyear contract extension. The 55 year-old has been in his current position since the 2015-16 season and won GM of the Year in 2018-19.

“Under his management, the Boston Bruins have been one of the winningest franchises in the league and a perennial playoff contender year in and year out,” Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs said in a statement. “While we recognize there is work to be done to achieve the ultimate goal of bringing the Stanley Cup back to Boston, I’m confident that Don’s commitment to being best-in-class on and off the ice will help us climb that mountain once again.”

Sweeney also has a very strong a close relationship with team President Cam Neely.

“Having had the pleasure of working closely with Don for more than a decade, I’ve seen firsthand his tireless work ethic when it comes to all facets of front office management,” Neely added in the same release. “He remains committed to doing whatever it takes to give the Boston Bruins the best chance to win every season. I look forward to continuing to work with Don as we endeavor to bring another championship to this city and our fans.”   

The freshly extended GM has his work cut out for him as he’s still looking for a new head coach to replace Bruce Cassidy, whom he dismissed at the end of the season.

Blackhawks make Luke Richardson’s hire official

On Monday, the Chicago Blackhawks made the hiring of Luke Richardson as their next head coach official. News of his hiring broke on Saturday.

“We are excited having a seasoned coach like Luke join the organization as head coach,” GM Kyle Davidson said in the release. “Throughout the interview process, it became evident that he not only had every quality we were looking for in a head coach, but also is a high-character individual that was perfect to lead this next era of the Chicago Blackhawks.”

The 53 year-old will take over for interim head coach Derek King, who took over for Jeremy Collation after he was fired on November 6.

He filled in behind the Montreal bench during the 2021 NHL playoffs while coach Dominique Ducharme was in the COVID-19 protocol. The Canadiens went 3-3 during that stretch, which included eliminating the Vegas Golden Knights and advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.

“I am honored to be trusted with this opportunity to coach an Original Six franchise like the Chicago Blackhawks,” said Richardson in the same release. “I plan to create an environment of trust with our team. With trust, relationships will form and grow, thus allowing everyone to blossom and execute their role. My philosophy is to be better today than we were yesterday and, to achieve that, we will need commitment and consistency.” 

Richardson is widely regarded as one of the promising young coaches in the game today.

-Field Level Media contributed to this article.