One more day until the Stanley Cup final begins in Sin City, plus: where will world men’s hockey gold-medallist and soon-to-be-UFA Calgary Flames forward Milan Lucic end up this coming season? On an NHL roster?
Is it too soon for him to play in Italy for HC Milan like he’s supposed to one day? C’mon, Milan in Milan has to happen.
MILAN DESTINATION: Milan Lucic will almost certainly move on from the Flames this summer as his contract runs out at the end of June, making him an unrestricted free agent. Would he return to the Boston Bruins, who drafted him and with whom he enjoyed his greatest success and won a Stanley Cup in 2011, or would he entertain joining his hometown NHL team, the Vancouver Canucks? No one really knows about the former except Bruins GM Don Sweeney, but Lucic did hint he’d consider the latter possibility.
BENCH PRESSED: Andrew Brunette is off the board to be the next Calgary head coach, and word is Gerard Gallant’s asking price is too high for the Flames. Who does that leave as candidates for the team’s next head coach? How about a couple of rookies?
DEALS AND NO DEALS: As he begins a new chapter with the Toronto Maple Leafs, a look back at Brad Treliving’s best and worst trades as general manager of the Calgary Flames.
ONE MORE SLEEP 😆 #StanleyCup
— NHL (@NHL) June 2, 2023
Stanley Cup final
Florida Panthers: Much ado about jersey patch placement. Drop the puck on Game 1 already!
Vegas Golden Knights: ChatGPT predictably predicts VGK will win Lord Stanley’s mug.
Around the NHN network
Pittsburgh Penguins: Kyle Dubas is in the spotlight as their new hockey-ops prez. Flames angle: Dubas could fire head coach Mike Sullivan, who could then be hired by Calgary.
Nashville Predators: Why new GM Barry Trotz fired head coach John Hynes. Flames angle: Another potential Calgary coaching hire.
Detroit Red Wings: Motown fans may want to see Tyler Bertuzzi re-join the team as a free agent, but remember, GM Steve Yzerman couldn’t get him to agree to a contract extension last season while wearing red and white, so it’s unlikely. Flames angle: None, really. Detroit has cap space, Calgary very little.
Washington Capitals: New head coach Spencer Carberry says hello. Flames angle: Darryl Sutter could join Caps as consultant.
Boston Bruins: Odds are David Krejci will retire again. What will the Bruins do to replace him? Elevate a prospect? Sign a free agent? Trade for an Oilers centre not named Nugent-Hopkins since that wet-toilet-paper grade of a flimsy rumour has been shot down? Flames angle: Calgary could make Elias Lindholm available in a trade if his talks with new GM Craig Conroy are unproductive.
New Jersey Devils: What could they get back in a trade involving backup goalie Mackenzie Blackwood? Flames angle: Sounds like a Dan Vladar-like situation.
Speaking of the Devils …
I'm hearing the Stadium Series game featuring the #NJDevils and Flyers will be at MetLife Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 17 – the same day as Lindy Ruff's birthday.
— Kristy Flannery (@InStilettos_NHL) June 2, 2023
Feb. 17th, eh? I hope there’s a snowstorm in the Meadowlands that day because outdoor hockey needs as much snow and people scraping/clearing snow as possible. Flames angle: Heritage Classic vs. Oilers on Oct. 29 could feature snow if we’re lucky.
More stuff on the NHL
Colorado Avalanche: Seattle police release body-cam footage of Avs team doctor explaining the situation around forward Valeri Nichuskin and an intoxicated woman in his hotel room. Nichuskin left the team hours before Game 3 of their first-round playoff series with the Kraken and didn’t play again.
Toronto Maple Leafs: New GM Treliving isn’t exactly committing to his head coach, Sheldon Keefe. “I’m coming in with no preconceived notions,” he said on Thursday during his introductory news conference. Auston Matthews’s future as a Leaf is a top priority for Treliving, too.
Philadelphia Flyers: New GM Daniel Briere announces new front-office positions for Alyn McCauley, Riley Armstrong and Nick Schultz, a trio that would’ve made a half-decent grinder line 20 years ago (if the coach converted Schultz to wing as a power forward. I swear Schultz played a little bit on the wing at one time, in junior maybe or with the Wild?)