NHL names four coaches for All-Star festivities; Minnesota Wild extension Jon Merrill

NHL All-Star Coaches
Oct 23, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour watches a Hurricanes power play against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL named the four divisional head coaches Tuesday for the Feb. 4-5 All-Star weekend in Las Vegas.

Andrew Brunette of the Florida Panthers (Atlantic), Jared Bednar of the Colorado Avalanche (Central), Rod Brind’Amour of the Carolina Hurricanes (Metropolitan) and Peter DeBoer of the Vegas Golden Knights (Pacific) were selected based on having the highest winning percentages in their respective divisions through Monday.

The All-Star skills competition will take place on Feb. 4, followed by the All-Star Game the following day.

The All-Star rosters, as voted on by the fans, will be revealed Thursday at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and Sportsnet’s “Hockey Central.”

NHL Odds

Wild extend D Jon Merrill

jon merrill
Jan 1, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild defenseman Jon Merrill (4) battles for the puck with St. Louis Blues center Klim Kostin (37) in the first period of the 2022 Winter Classic ice hockey game between the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild inked defenseman Jon Merrill to a three-year, $3.6 million contract extension on Tuesday.

Merrill was an impending free agent following this season, so the deal will keep him in Minnesota through 2024-25. He signed a one-year contract with Minnesota in free agency last July.

In 33 games so far this season, Merrill has three goals — already matching his career high — and eight assists along with 51 blocked shots.

The Wild are the 29-year-old’s fifth NHL team following stints with the New Jersey Devils (2013-17), Vegas Golden Knights (2017-20), Detroit Red Wings (2020-21) and Montreal Canadiens (2021).

Merrill has scored 77 points (15 goals, 62 assists) in 438 career games over nine seasons.

–Field Level Media