The Stanley Cup Final begins on Wednesday, and it appears the Tampa Bay Lightning will back one of their significant players, but the Colorado Avalanche may not. The 2023 UFAs could also significantly impact this summer and NHL trade chatter, including a pair of Pittsburgh Penguins. Sources spilled the beans on the Boston Bruins coaching search. The New York Rangers have a problematic offseason ahead and could lose essential pieces. And Dave Molinari teed up a few one-timers for the Penguins, at Rangers fans, and the NHL.
I thought seriously about hopping on the bike and heading to Denver for the Stanley Cup Final. And then I remembered how far away Denver was and how quickly I would turn around and come back. Also, riding through the midwest, where the roads are straight and flat, seemed as tedious as a life insurance convention (and yes, I’ve been).
Also, the referees have signaled touchdown–PHN has been working on a deal, on and off, for a long time, and we hit paydirt on Sunday. Lawyers are drawing up the paperwork. Of course, all scores are reviewed, and it’s not on the scoreboard until the ink is dry, but I think we got it. You’re not going to believe this one. I do not. We’re going to begin reshaping the sports media landscape…or I’ll lose my shirt. Either way, it’s going to be exciting.
Pittsburgh Penguins & NHL Trade Chatter
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Dave Molinari blasted a few one-timers about the Penguins and at the NHL. He also pondered Ian Cole and had a little message for the New York Rangers fans, who bombarded the internet to denigrate critics of Jacob Trouba. Fun read. Pittsburgh Penguins one-timers.
Our mock draft and Penguins draft coverage begins later today.
Montreal: Who are the likeliest salary cap casualties for the Canadians? Firmly put Jeff Petry, plus Shea Weber’s contract, on the NHL trade block.
Boston: It’s not quite an NHL trade rumor, but the Bruins need a new coach. Jimmy Murphy is all over this one. Sources told Murphy, who the Bruins have interviewed, so far. Boston Bruins coverage.
Florida: Ulf Samuelsson got the boot, and interim head coach Andrew Brunette’s status is up in the air. Changes in the Florida Panthers.
NHL Playoffs, News, and National Hockey Now
Colorado Hockey Now: IT BEGINS. The Avalanche began practice on Sunday for the Stanley Cup Final. The first practice after they learned the opponent. Colorado Avalanche are ready.
The Avalanche are a heavy favorite to win the series. I’ll go into it more, but the Tampa Bay Lightning have two big advantages. First, they didn’t have 10 days off. Second, goalie. With an early series lead, can Tampa Bay put them away? I’ll take the +150 Lightning.
Here’s a free $50 bet for the Cup Final: DraftKings Promo.
NHL.com: Another obstacle (and reason to bet on Tampa Bay), Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano are not yet skating with the team. They’re not out, but they’re not IN, either.
Sportsnet: This is an interesting next-level look by Luke Fox at how the 2023 UFAs could also shape this summer. Mentioned as players to watch–Pittsburgh Penguins Tristan Jarry and Brian Dumoulin.
Dumoulin is interesting, no question. If he rebounds well, he’ll get PAID. If not…both sides are in trouble.
NY Post: Larry Brooks picked apart the New York Rangers offseason. Ryan Strome? UFA. So is Andrew Copp. Kappo Kakko was a scratch in Game 6. The Rangers have just over $13 million and only 14 players under contract. Let the games begin.
Of course, if Jacob Trouba plays the same way in training camp, they may need a few more players in reserve.
Detroit: Here’s one with a Penguins connection. Bob Duff wonders aloud if winning the 2009 Stanley Cup would have made Chris Osgood a Hall of Famer? Detroit Red Wings fun.