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Islanders News: Devon Toews’ big step, Anders Lee’s big decision

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The Islanders have wounds to lick, back to pat, decisions to make

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New Jersey Devils v New York Islanders
Some of us shall return.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Last night the NHL saw a third Game 7 overtime in the same postseason for the first time in its history.

So, hockey is fun.

Islanders Reading

  • Raised expectations: Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz don’t want their team to be a one-year wonder, but key players may leave via free agency. [Newsday]
  • One of those guys is captain Anders Lee, who’d really be a shame to lose. [Newsday]
  • Here are all their interviews from clean out day. [Isles video]
  • Despite the playoff exit, the Isles are optimistic about their future. [AP]
  • One reason? Rookie defenseman Devon Toews was a revelation (though safe to say many of us expected it) who now gives the Islanders some roster flexibility. [Athletic]
  • But how optimistic should they be? The history of teams that surprise as much as they did is littered with crashes back to earth. [Athletic]
  • They are coming to terms with their offseason truth, a very un-Post yet somehow very Post headline. No, those terms do not involve a guru or cult. [Post]
  • What did Butch Goring think of the Islanders’ season? [MSG]
  • “Lucky” for Rick DiPietro, he found radio. [Sports radio pod]
  • Brendan Burke isn’t busy enough so this summer he’s going to do NBC Sports calls of the Premier Lacrosse League. [NBC]

Elsewhere

It took double overtime in Game 7 of the Western semifinals, but the Blues finally knocked off the Stars to earn one birth in the conference final.

The other Western Game 7 is tonight with the Avalanche in San Jose. Both teams claim they’re fine, why do you ask, no pressure at all we swear. [NHL]

  • Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy will miss Game 1 of the Eastern final with a one-game suspension for his headshot on Josh Anderson. [NHL Discipline video]
  • Now that they’re done and filled with high-profile free agents, the Blue Jackets are in a “you never know” state of mind. [ESPN]
  • Meanwhile, the Oilers did the thing: They named deposed Red Wings GM Ken Holland their new GM, with “full autonomy.” [Copper & Blue] What does he need to get done in Year 1? [Lowetide @ Athletic] A new coach is one of ‘em, since he won’t bring back Ken Hitchcock. [NHL]
  • Reclusive owner Daryl Katz says yes, many are to blame for the Oilers’ endless struggles, but “it starts with me.” [Edmonton Journal]
  • Some Red Wings fans? Not too sorry to see Holland gone. “This man destroyed my team for a decade.” [Edmonton Journal]
  • Edmonton media are ready to buy in though: The ol’ “IF YOU HAD MET KEN HOLLAND YOU’D KNOW NOT TO DOUBT THIS VERY NICE MAN.” [Sportsnet]
  • Will the Penguins’ offseason moves be even more drastic/knee-jerk now that the team that swept them got swept by another Metro team? [Pensburgh]
  • Mullets, flow and more: A deep dive into hockey’s love affair with hair. [ESPN]