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Islanders & NHL News: Isles alumni, Pulock opine; Conference finals at 2-0

Are we going to have a Panthers-Knights final?

New York Islanders V Florida Panthers
I don’t know, he doesn’t look that hard to defend...
Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

Both NHL conference finals are now at 2-0 after the Knights won in overtime Sunday afternoon over the Stars in Vegas. Dallas had been playing a careful controlled game hanging on to a 2-1 lead before they gave up a late equalizer, and an early OT winner.

The Panthers can take a commanding lead tonight after winning Game 2 in OT to go up 2-0 in the series.

That series continues to shine the light on big offseason acquisition Matthew Tkachuk, praised as a lead on and off the ice. [NHL]

Islanders Topics

A Viscardi Center sports celebrity fundraiser with several Islanders alumni was occasion for Jon Lane of to get some fresh quotes from players past and one present, Ryan Pulock:

  • The current Isles D: ““I don’t think that we need a big change. Yeah, we have an older group, but I think those guys are important to the leadership and the success on this team.
  • Bobby Nystrom: “I think that there might be a few things in the works ... The team’s a little older. They might need a little bit of new blood in there.”
  • Butch Goring recalled his own acquisition and predicted Bo Horvat would be much better next season once he settled in. Also, on the team: “We could have easily won that series against the Hurricanes, but they let Game 2 get away. We’re not so far away. We have some areas that we need to get better.”
  • In what passes for official Islanders news these days, the team announced two contracts, a re-signing of Kyle MacLean on a one-year, two-way deal, and inking Daylan Kuefler to his three-year entry-level contract. Kuefler, an overager drafted in the sixth round last summer, just finished his fourth season in WHL Kamloops at age 21. Here’s the Newsday bit on the signings.
  • Yesterday in Isles history: The Isles won their second Cup. There would be two more before the magic stopped. [Isles]

Here’s Game 3 of that series, the first Stanley Cup final game in Minnesota:


  • Why the Flames, expected to announce Craig Conroy as GM, got it right. [Sportsnet]
  • The new NHLPA leadership is expected to meet with Gary Bettman and cover several issues, including not raising escrow in exchange for a bigger cap increase, adding two games to the schedule, and complaints from Coyotes players about CBA-violating conditions. [Post]
  • Brendan Shanahan on how he went from offering Kyle Dubas an extension to telling him to take a walk: “While watching Kyle’s press [conference], I think at that point there was a shift in my thinking at that moment, the dramatic shift in my thinking as I was driving home was that he might not want to be our GM.” Shanahan also said Dubas’ agent sent a “new financial package” followed by a text from Dubas that he wanted to stay, probably overplaying their hand. [NHL]
  • The Penguins are expected to ask the Leafs for permission to speak to Dubas. [Sportsnet]
  • Gary Bettman is expected to meet with Joel Quenneville to review his status. [TSN]
  • On recent news: What does Dubas do next? (Ottawa?) What do the Coyotes do next? [Sportsnet]
  • Another fallout from the failed vote in Tempe for the Coyotes: Top prospect Logan Cooley is gonna stay in school a bit. [Sportsnet]
  • Clayton Keller, too: His reps are asking the Coyotes about the future, now that it’s up in the air once again. [Sportsnet]
  • Smurfs youngster Kaapo Kakko is at the World Chamionship, trying to improve his game. [NHL]
  • When not kissing babies, there’s always this politician approach: Connecticut governor wants to bring the Coyotes, announces he’s reached out to Gary Bettman for a meeting, would offer the NHL “a government that’s ready to come and be their partner.” [Post]