We’re reaching that time of the offseason, folks. Ain’t a whole lot going on off the ice, but that’ll pick up shortly. These Bits will probably serve for the weekend, as, quite frankly, there just isn’t enough news to fill the space. And the worst part? I think I’ve written this paragraph already this week. I can’t even remember.
Not a lot of league business to write about with the playoffs still going on, and now that one Conference Final is done:
I suppose we could all use the break, and I’m enjoying sitting out on the back deck in the sun writing this, as opposed to huddled up in my bed. That being said, I am eagerly anticipating this summer’s news, and then I’ll be ready for it all to fast forward to October.
- Apparently, some feel that Isles GM Lou Lamoriello was snubbed by not being named a finalist for GM of the Year — the finalists are Don Waddell of the Hurricanes, Doug Armstrong of the Blues, and Don Sweeney of the Bruins. I don’t know, I don’t think he deserves that honor this year, but what do I know? [Eyes on Isles]
- In his notebook this week, Eric Duhatschek discusses what constitutes a blockbuster trade in the NHL these days, because deals involving star players simply don’t happen very often or even at all. He also floats, again, the idea of the Islanders sending Andrew Ladd to the Flames in exchange for James Neal, though it appears to be purely speculative. [The Athletic]
Game 4 of the Western Conference Final between the Sharks and the Blues was last night, and St. Louis shook off the anguish of Wednesday’s controversial and debilitating Game 3 loss by scoring 35 seconds into this contest. They added another goal on the power play toward the end of the first, and then goalie Jordan Binnington and the Blues defense went to work. They conceded one goal to San Jose in the third, but held onto to the 2-1 lead and tied the series at 2-2, confirming there will be a Game 6 back in St. Louis. Game 5 is Sunday afternoon in San Jose, a 3:00 p.m. ET start on NBC.
The schedule for the Stanley Cup Final has been released by the NHL, and it will begin the evening of Memorial Day. The Bruins, sweepers of the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final, will have home ice advantage and host whoever wins the West. There would be quite a few days in between games if it goes beyond four games. [NHL]
- Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask has been nothing short of astounding throughout these playoffs and only seems to be getting better. [The Athletic]
- Blues rookie Robert Thomas has been living in the Tkachuk household all season with Keith as a scout for the Blues, and even though Brady and Matthew are home for the summer, they know it’s Thomas’ house while his team is still in the mix. I love this story. [The Athletic]
Still Talking About the Hand Pass, It Seems
- Speaking of the missed call from Game 3 out West, the NHL has officially admitted its mistake. [Yahoo]
- The Down Goes Brown Grab Bag touches on yet another replay debate and highlights the comedic ear of Rask and Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy.
- Kerry Fraser says it was bad positioning by referees Marc Joannette and Dan O’Rourke that led to the Sharks game-winner. [The Athletic]
World Championships Notes
- No. 1 or 2 overall pick Jack Hughes got his first point of the tournament as the U.S. routed Denmark 7-1 and Lightning star Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist in Russia’s victory over Latvia. [NHL]
- Philippe Myers, a defenseman for the Flyers, was called into action for Team Canada at the Worlds and had to fly out to Slovakia to be in uniform for his country in less than 24 hours. [The Athletic]
Other Hockey Items
- President John Davidson is officially leaving the Blue Jackets to take on the same role with the Rangers, as has been reported for weeks, now. [NHL | The Athletic]
- Dom Luszczyszyn has 15 suggestions to improve the NHL and bring it into the 21st century, including some changes to the way the league is officiated. [The Athletic]