The Stanley Cup Final is underway, which means it’s time for the annual tradition of examining what teams can copy from the finalists to improve their own Cup chances next year.
For starters, both teams have done a great job at acquiring new, inexpensive talent in not only free agency, but also via trading, something the Dallas Stars haven’t done much of for awhile:
It helps that [Joe] Sakic and Lightning GM Julian BriseBois have been highly active on this front. Since 2019, they’ve traded four players and given up at least six picks of consequence to add to their roster. The only time Jim Nill got frisky with draft picks was with the Mats Zuccarello trade in 2019. The only hockey trade of note over the last three years was Devin Shore for Andrew Cogliano—hardly a gamechanger.
Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Jake Oettinger haven’t even been paid yet, but their contacts will be closer to what Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin make now in their 30s, when they soak up 23 percent of the Stars’ cap. In other words, the Stars are about to enter into their true window with 23 percent of the cap tied into substandard production, possibly more on the off chance they re-sign John Klingberg and his deal ages badly, too. It’s not a death knell for future success, but it is a significant obstacle.
You can read more from David Castillo here.
Around the League
The Canadiens have traded defenseman Shea Weber to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for forward Evgenii Dadonov.https://t.co/e54vQSalzC— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) June 16, 2022
Speaking of the Vegas Golden Knights, they made the first hire of the coaching carousel by snatching up Bruce Cassidy:
The second domino to fall was the Philadelphia Flyers, who hired.... John Tortorella:
DONE DEAL: John Tortorella has been named the 23rd head coach in franchise history. https://t.co/Zk04Kk6ZKM— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) June 17, 2022
Down Goes Brown focuses on the postseason in his latest mailbag:
DGB Mailbag: Good sweeps, bad commercials, the curse of ‘The Love Guru’, and multiple Corey Perry questions for some reason.https://t.co/hbIFIFYaQm— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) June 17, 2022
Greg Wyshynski, in contrast, is focusing solely on the upcoming free agency pool:
As we take a breather between Stanley Cup Final games, let's turn our attention to the NHL free agent frenzy, shall we?— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 17, 2022
My UFA tiers, from the franchise guys to the probable busts.
...Just kidding — he also took a look at where Andrei Vasilevskiy sits among all-time NHL greats:
Thank you all for checking out my column today and every Thursday on ESPN dot com. And for engaging in the "Andrei Vasilevskiy on the Mount Rushmore of Goalies" debate that has lit up my timeline today. #NHL @TBLightning https://t.co/aw49H61GXB— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 16, 2022
Gary Bettman discussed some interesting subjects in the NHL’s state-of-the-league press conference:
We’re firmly at the “everyone starts doubting the consensus #1 pick is actually drafted first” stage of NHL Draft discussion:
While the debate rages over whether Shane Wright or Juraj Slafkovsky should go No. 1 in the 2022 NHL Draft, Logan Cooley makes a compelling case of his own.@ArponBasu with more on the underdog in this three-man race for the top of the NHL draft board ⤵️https://t.co/8BMe3XaRdd— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) June 16, 2022
Finally, if you need a new hockey stick, then consider supporting a good cause while you’re at it:
We are proud to announce our new Pride Series collection in partnership with @YouCanPlayTeam!— Christian Hockey (@christianhockey) June 17, 2022
Every sold will ensure more coaches, referees, administrators & athletes receive education and resources that help keep hockey inclusive for everyone.
LINK: https://t.co/sZstGMFX9q pic.twitter.com/SV5tJVgsQp