Tonight, the Stanley Cup Final begins.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, one series away from a three-peat, open the series on the road and face perhaps their toughest challenge yet. Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche, finally free of their second-round demons, look ready to win a Cup.
Me? I’m just interested to see how I do writing with so few ‘s’s, as this is the first-ever Stanley Cup Final in which neither team’s nickname is an ‘s’ plural.
- Newsday is preparing a special magazine for print subscribers commemorating the Islanders’ upcoming 50th season, and they want your memories to help fill it. [Newsday]
- This (Yester)Day in Isles History: The Islanders draft Mike Bossy in the first round and John Tonelli in the second (1977).
- I’ll include this here, since we might be involved in it: what scouts think about Shane Wright and other top prospects in the 2022 draft. [The Athletic]
- One massive x-factor for the Lightning is the imminent return of superstar center Brayden Point, who looks ready to play tonight. [Sportsnet]
- On the other side of the ice, Cale Makar stands out among even the best defensemen in the NHL. [Sportsnet]
- A little gamesmanship, hmm? Colorado has not yet named its Game 1 starting goalie. [NHL]
- The Avalanche—or more accurately, this core of the Avalanche—have experienced some highs and lows through the last few years. Gabe Landeskog has led the away all the while. [Sportsnet]
- Avs coach Jared Bednar wants to take away the Cup from the Bolts’ Jon Cooper. [TSN]
- Cooper obviously carries a well-deserved reputation as one of the league’s top coaches. But Bednar has risen up the ranks, as well. [Sportsnet]
- Kevin Weekes broke the story in the late afternoon, and by the evening, the Vegas Golden Knights confirmed they hired former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy as their new coach. [Knights on Ice | NHL]
- Weekes, the king, also reported that the Philadelphia Flyers have offered John Tortorella their head coaching job, and they are in “late-stage negotiations,” but the deal is not yet final. I would have been shocked if Barry Trotz looked at that roster and wanted to work with it, but I’m glad he will be out of the division for now. [BSH]
**Breaking News**— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) June 15, 2022
I’m told the @NHLFlyers have offered their HC position to John Tortorella. More negotiations required for deal to be completed. @GrittyNHL over to you ! @NHL @StanleyCup #HockeyTwitter pic.twitter.com/ibAi51BoFf
- It sounds like the Penguins have chosen (wisely) to prioritize re-signing Kris Letang over Evgeni Malkin, but they still want to re-sign Malkin, too. [TSN]
- Scott Powers makes the case for, and Long Island–native Mark Lazerus makes the case against, the Chicago Blackhawks trading Alex DeBrincat. Either way, the ‘Hawks are seriously considering it, and I would love me some DeBrincat. [For | Against]
- I had no idea it was even in doubt, but the Vancouver Canucks will extend a qualifying offer to RFA Brock Boeser rather than let him walk as a UFA. [NHL]
- Goalie Carter Hutton, who suffered an ankle injury early this season and never returned, announced his retirement from hockey. [TSN]
- Jim “Bearcat” Murray, former Calgary Flames trainer, passed away recently. According to this article, he is the only trainer to have a plus-minus of +1, and it tells the story of how. [Sportsnet]