The Islanders don’t have a lot going on, the two recently eliminated Canada-based teams had their postseason funeral with media, and the NHL’s conference finals are now set.
Carolina and Florida face off in the South(l)east Classic, while the Stars eliminated Jordan Eberle and the Kraken in Game 7 last night to prevent an all-expansion Western final with the Golden Knights. That Western final begins in Vegas on Friday.
Prospect Report: “Matt Maggio won the most prestigious individual award in the Ontario Hockey League, taking home the Red Tilson Trophy as the league’s Most Outstanding Player in the regular season.” [Isles]
What was cool about yesterday in Islanders history? In 1973 they drafted a fella by the name of Denis Potvin. To this day, one of the most impactful 1st-overall picks in NHL history. [Isles]
One other tidbit to pass along -- Alexander Romanov had a minor surgical procedure on his shoulder after playing through the pain in the playoffs. All went well, and he'll be fine for training camp.— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) May 15, 2023
As noted, it was sift-through-the-ashes day for the Oilers and Leafs.
- People genuinely expected the Oilers to go farther than they did, so now the blame game begins. RNH, Evander Kane, even Leon Draisaitl taking heat, and of course their goalie, too. Middle six forwards, [TSN | Sportsnet | Athletic]
- After a huge leap in year two, the Kraken leave these playoffs hungry for more. [NHL]
- Rod Brind’Amour and Paul Maurice have a looooong Hurricane history together. [NHL]
- Haha, and here we go, like clockwork: Because no Canada-based team will win the 32-team league’s championship, it must be because Gary Bettman hates Canada, “a country where the sport actually matters.” It’s always hard to discern how many people actually care where the winning team comes from, but then you see a legendary columnist take the bait. If these people had their way, no one in the U.S. would watch hockey and Saskatoon would have two teams. [Montreal Gazette]
- Auston Matthews, who gets full no-trade protection on July 1 but also can sign an extension (or walk) next summer: “My intention is to be here.” He wants an extension. [TSN | NHL]
- Michael Bunting heads to unrestricted free agency, as does rental Ryan O’Reilly, who has “decisions to make.” [TSN]
- The NHL must improve its video review system, although this is a column mostly filled with “if we can put a man on the Moon/chip in a puck” tropes. [THN]
- Draft watching: Axel moves into the top 5. [TSN]