Proteau’s Blog: Pressure’s on

• Now that the Blue Jackets have cashiered Gerard Gallant from his coaching duties, the heat is squarely on GM Doug MacLean to set things right. But getting Columbus into the playoffs after its brutal start to the year is a tall order few coaches would be up for. Paging Ken Hitchcock…

• Next on the firing line? My money is on John Muckler and/or Bryan Murray in Ottawa. The Sens lost another one last night, giving them a 1-6-1 record in their last eight games. And though Martin Gerber didn’t play all that horribly, he still had a .839 save percentage over the course of the game. I think the goalie-needin’ market just got a little more crowded.

• Kudos to the NHL for introducing a new honor: the Mark Messier Award for leadership. The monthly/yearly distinction is a creative way to add a modern-era name to the league’s list of individual honors.

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• Ducks GM Brian Burke was wheeling and dealing again yesterday, tinkering with the lineup, unafraid to ship out parts he feels he can improve on. If only more NHL GMs were like him, a George Parros trade wouldn’t feel so important.

• One of Burke’s three trades sent injured enforcer Todd Fedoruk back to Philadelphia, where apparently the pressure is getting to GM Paul Holmgren.

“Todd is our ideal player,” Holmgren said after making the swap.

No offense to the tough-as-nails, team-first Fedoruk, but if he’s your ideal player, you need to fix your eyes before your next deal.