Craig Conroy’s new job as Calgary Flames general manager is just getting started and he’s got a lot to do over the next month before the NHL Draft, but nothing bigger than choosing who will be his team’s next head coach.
Will he pluck an experienced head man — there are a few from which to choose — or go the new blood route?
Now for a Saturday smattering of news from around the league, which of course is in the throes of the impending Stanley Cup final. Maybe the Vegas Golden Knights will finish off the Dallas Stars tonight so we’ll know who the Florida Panthers will play next.
Stanley Cup Playoffs
Florida Panthers: You can’t read too many stories about Matthew Tkachuk’s major role in propelling his team to the Stanley Cup final.
Sergei Bobrovsky is the biggest reason the Panthers are one win away from the Stanley Cup Final, but he's not the only reason. Give Paul Maurice credit for recognizing in July what his team had to become to have success in April, May and June… pic.twitter.com/8R4woawFpt
— Mike Kelly (@MikeKellyNHL) May 24, 2023
Still, there’s the phenomenon known as Goalie Bob. How can’t this guy not be the leading candidate with a bullet for the Conn Smythe as playoffs MVP?
Florida Panthers: Can’t say enough about how unsung captain Sasha Barkov is. It probably has a lot to do with how regional the NHL is compared to the NBA and NFL.
Vegas Golden Knights: Aidin Hill has been lights out in goal for VGK these last few games, but should it mean the injured Robin Lehner’s future as their No. 1 stopper is in jeopardy?
Around the NHN network
Chicago Blackhawks: Under the microscope is Connor Bedard and what the heir apparent to the NHL crown now worn by Connor McDavid would bring to the team once he’s selected with the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft on June 26. I still like the Bedard-for-Auston Matthews trade rumour a lot, a made-in-Toronto scenario if I ever saw one but hahahaha.
Montreal Canadiens: There will be no end of the speculation surrounding Winnipeg Jets power forward Pierre-Luc Dubois’s hopes and dreams to one day play for his favourite team in bleu, blanc et rouge until the day it happens. Follow-up story idea: What if it doesn’t?
Pittsburgh Penguins: The Antarctic Attack (it’s a new nickname for the Pens I came up with just now; do you like it?) are at a crossroads over the future of Tristan Jarry as their starting goalie.
Boston Bruins: The Bs have to make some hard roster choices. That could mean moving on from veteran Nick Foligno.
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) May 27, 2023
Penguins again: I’m starting to think Kyle Dubas to Pittsburgh is definitely going to happen.
— David 🏒 (@DaveyUpper) May 27, 2023
New York Rangers: I don’t mind this Twitter spitball by a NYR fan. Patrick Roy as the Blueshirts’ head coach, in the league’s biggest media market, would be fire. I’ll subscribe to MSG Network just to watch his pressers, I promise.
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) May 27, 2023
Memorial Cup: Speaking of Roy, his Quebec Remparts are in the Memorial Cup tournament, which they kicked off last night with a resounding 8-3 win over the host Kamloops Blazers. The Mem Cup is major-junior hockey’s biggest stage — the ‘national’ championship between the champions of the QMJHL, OHL, WHL and the host team. Should be a gooder with Roy’s Remparts, the OHL’s Peterborough Petes, the Dub’s Seattle Thunderbirds and the host Blazers, who despite the crushing loss are a formidable squad having finished third overall in the WHL but lost in the Western Conference final to Seattle.