Oh man, it was like as soon as the season ended last week that everything else in my life decided to ramp up. I apologize for the lack of Bits from last Saturday through Monday. That was all on me.
I have some catching up to do with all the Bits that have come out this week, but in the meantime, here are some Bits that I was able to scrounge together. It is the offseason, after all.
- Yesterday, September 23, was the first anniversary of the groundbreaking ceremony at UBS Arena, the first arena built primarily for the Islanders. [Islanders]
- Two Merrick siblings raised more than $45,000 for first responders, earning them the title of Community Stars of the Week. [Islanders]
- What might an Islanders trade for Patrik Laine, rumored trade bait, look like? Probably nothing like what this fan blog deemed it might, considering the Jets are looking for a second-line center, but hey, what else are you going to read?! [Eyes on Isles]
- It’s been a few years since the last best-on-best international tournament, so a few writers put together 2020 Teams Canada, USA, and, just for fun, North America. Mathew Barzal was selected to ride shotgun with Connor McDavid as top-line right wing for both Canada and North America. [The Athletic]
The Lightning routed the Stars, 5–2, in Game 3 last night with a three-goal second period. They now lead the Stanley Cup Final for the first time, 2–1. This iteration of the Lightning, the core of guys they’ve had for the last several years, has a habit of losing Game 1 and going on to win series anyway, and I suspect we may be seeing it here.
- Tampa Bay may have been buoyed by the return of Steven Stamkos to the lineup. He scored on his first shift and played only three minutes before plopping on the bench for the rest of the game, though. [NHL]
- The presence of their captain was surely inspiring. [NHL]
- An update on the leading Conn Smythe candidates. [The Athletic]
- Yesterday, Kevin Weekes reported the Penguins and Panthers completed another trade, swapping veteran forward Patric Hornqvist and young defenseman Mike Matheson. But the trade is not yet official because Hornqvist has not waived his no-trade clause and new Florida GM Bill Zito is reportedly concerned about Hornqvist’s contract not being insured. [Sportsnet]
- New Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong would need to be “very creative” to sign Taylor Hall—and Hall would have to want to stay there. [NHL]
- As free agency gets closer, it appears goalie Jacob Markstrom will be on his way out of Vancouver: he and the Canucks are locked in a contentious negotiation. Where might he go? And what about Alex Pietrangelo? [Sportsnet]
- Might it make sense for a potential suitor to trade for his rights (or a sign-and-trade) to tack on an eighth year and spread out the AAV? [The Athletic]
- The Flames might be in the market for a goaltender and there are a bevy of options through free agency and trade. [Sportsnet]
- One option, not listed in the previous article, might be Craig Anderson, whom the Senators will not be bringing back. [NHL]
- Whatever happens, keep up with it all on the trade, free agent, and coaching/executive tracker. [The Athletic]
- One-time Sound Tiger and Lightning fill-in Carter Verhaeghe blogs about bubble life and finding out he was playing. [NHL]