Elliotte Friedman's latest 30 Thoughts column features a special appearance from a familiar name. Friedman talked with GM Jim Nill about the Dallas Stars' burning questions, starting with the net and working all the way out.
The Goaltending Question seems always top of mind when it comes to Dallas, and Nill pointedly turned it around by asking Friedman how many L's Kari Lehtonen took this season, playoffs included. (The correct answer is 13.)
"No, we're not buying him out. That last game is not a full reflection of the season. Nobody remembers the game before where he stood on his head. He's disappointed, and the team is disappointed. We finished second overall, and everybody is focussed on the playoffs. Something went right too, you've got to be careful."
Nill also named the players who he believes gained the most from their 13 games of NHL playoffs hockey:
"Cody Eakin. We told him after he didn't have a great regular season, but in the playoffs, he set a higher bar. Radek Faksa. He changed our penalty kill. [Jamie] Benn, too. Yes, he's had success in the Olympics, but you have to live it to understand the playoffs."
There's plenty more, including Friedman's thoughts on how NHL expansion might proceed and what Matthew Tkachuk's Memorial Cup performance could do for his draft position. [Sportsnet]
Mike Heika's weekly chat took place yesterday, and he discussed what to do about Jack Campbell, what fans think about Alex Goligoski, and who might have a Faksa-style breakout season in 2016-17. (Spoiler alert: Look for plenty of Stephen Johns jerseys in the AAC). [SportsDayDFW]
More Stars draft-day projections: Robert Nasso thinks giant (6-5) right-shooting center Tage Thompson, of the UConn Huskies by way of the U.S. National U18 Team, could be the perfect first-round fit – if the team doesn't trade its pick instead. [Today's Slapshot]
Tyler Seguin is back in the Toronto area for summer training. His mom is keeping the skillet hot. [SportsDayDFW]
She just loves when it's summer time pic.twitter.com/240GR1kcHd— Tyler Seguin (@tseguinofficial) June 1, 2016
Last night, in The Finals:
- San Jose Sharks defender Justin Braun scored a crucial goal with 4:05 left in the third to force overtime, but Conor Sheary put the game away for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the bonus period. The Pens now lead the series 2-0. [NHL]
"These days, being a Bruins fan during the Stanley Cup Final has been reduced to choosing which former Boston star you'd rather see get his hands on the prize." – Eric Wilbur
Patric Hornqvist was the very last player drafted in 2005, the year Sidney Crosby went first overall. Now he's on Sid the Kid's wing, playing for the big prize. [TSN]
Never mind your snipers and your speedskaters and your NHL 16 fantasy lineup: Dean Lombardi wants to assemble a U.S. team for the World Cup of Hockey that can out-roleplay Team Canada's all-first-line roster. [The Hockey News]
I'm sure you all have seen the teams for this years World Cup of hockey. Needless to say there were a few major snubs. With that being said me and my boy Phil are entering our own team into the tourney. We are looking for guys who want to compete and may have been overlooked in hockey. We don't have a team name yet so feel free to shoot me some options and I need to fill out the roster also so give me some ideas. Team USA and Team Canada messed up big time!!!! #noMVPlove
In the latest installment of Down Goes Brown, Sean McIndoe explains how to be a hockey fan to The Guardian. "You could think of us as a kind of cult, except that cults can occasionally be reasoned with." Please, for heaven's sake, just don't get stabbed.
New post: With the Stanley Cup final underway, The Guardian asked me to create this handy guide for new hockey fans. https://t.co/P6ULY02ZSn— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) June 1, 2016
TSN's Kerry Fraser goes back to the deep mine of interpretation for Rule 48 (Illegal Check to the Head) to conclude that Patrick Marleau got what he deserved for that controversial hit on Bryan Rust in Game 1. [TSN]
The Florida Panthers reveal new logos and branding for their NHL and AHL teams today. Chris Smith of Icethetics has a preview.
The 2016 Calder Cup finals began last night as the Lake Erie Monsters defeated the Hershey Bears 4-1. Here's the complete schedule.
Finally: The Stanley Cup sure does inspire a lot of ink. Check out these tattoos celebrating big wins (and one that, ahhhh, got a little ahead of itself).