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Torch passed, 2021-22 NHL season ends with Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup win

Next up: The draft is July 7-8, unrestricted free agency opens July 13.

2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
Congratulations, Mr. Toews.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s impressive series streak is over, their attempt at a dynasty has fallen short, and the Colorado Avalanche are once again Stanley Cup champions, after a 20-year wait. After dropping a chance to win it at home in Game 5, the Avalanche claimed a record-tying 10th comeback win, taking Game 6 by a score of 2-1 in Tampa.

The Avalanche looked like the best team most of this season — and most of last season, too — so it’s fitting they finally put it together after all their ups and downs.

Big congratulations to former Islander Devon Toews, whose skill and mobility was a perfect fit to a fast and skilled team. Amazing season for his frequent partner Cale Makar, who adds two more massive pieces of hardware to his trophy case.

And a tip of the hat to the Lightning, who went farther in their dynasty chase — 11 consecutive series wins — than any franchise since the last actual NHL dynasty, that being the four consecutive Islanders Cups from 1980-83.

Many have tried. All have fallen short. None came closer than the Lightning to giving us another look at the impossible.

(Aside: In recounting their impressive ride this year last night, Jon Cooper remembered every opponent but the Rangers. Teehee.)

Islanders Reading

  • It’s Pride Month, so here’s the story of a happy couple who met 40 years ago at the Islanders game. Still in love, “all because of the damn hockey and the Islanders.” [Isles]
  • The NHL Draft is next month, and here’s a classic story of Duane Sutter’s draft day, when he almost missed the call to the Sutter farm from Bill Torrey. [Isles]
  • Brendan Burke’s resume expands: He’ll fill in for John Sterling on five Yankees (that’s a local American League baseball team) broadcasts in July. [Newsday]
  • With Barry Trotz pulling himself from consideration to take a coaching gig this season, where do his home province Jets turn next? [Sportsnet]

Stanley Cup & Elsewhere

  • A game-by-game recap of the Avalanche run, which included only four losses. [NHL]
  • Whenever a team wins the Stanley Cup, the “what did we learn?” question emerges. For Gabriel Landeskog in the on-ice post-game, it was simply “Get yourself a Cale Makar.” But with those in short supply, maybe it’s “the NHL will embrace offense as a route to the Cup.” [Sportsnet]
  • Cale Makar adds Conn Smythe (and Stanley Cup) to his hardware that already includes Norris and Hobey Baker, etc. [TSN | NHL]
  • The NHL reports growth in fandom and viewership from women and young people, and says the U.S. broadcast partnership with TNT and ESPN/ABC is going well. [TSN]
  • Draft Profile: Late bloomer Nate Schaefer of WHL Seattle has gotten a lot of attention. [TSN]

And now, the NHL offseason begins. Both the draft (July 7-8) and free agency (July 13) are pushed back to July due to the late 2021-22 schedule, but they’re right around the corner. Here we go...!