The Stanley Cup Final begins on Wednesday, and the back-to-back defending champs continue to play the underdog role. Maybe people will stop overlooking them. Meanwhile, there is lots going on elsewhere around the NHL – including the clock ticking on the Johnny Gaudreau situation with the Calgary Flames. Sources spilled the beans on the Boston Bruins coaching search. The New York Rangers have a problematic offseason ahead and could lose essential pieces.
There could be options out there if it comes to it but the Flames have some internal pieces to worry about first. Primarily, Gaudreau and his next contract. Best window the Calgary Flames have to retain the dynamic winger’s services is between now and July 13. And it might come down to the wire.
The Flames have no concerns in the crease. Starter Jacob Markstrom and backup Dan Vladar are both locked up and there is a hot prospect seasoning in the American Hockey League, too.
More to come on the other positions, and some pre-draft coverage on the way, too.
NHL Playoffs, Trade Chatter and National Hockey Now
Colorado Hockey Now: It. Is. On. The team Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter correctly predicted it would be a “waste of eight days” to play against in the first round proved to be the same in the third. The Avalanche began practice on Sunday for the Stanley Cup Final. The first practice after they learned the opponent. Colorado Avalanche are ready.
The Avalanche are heavy favourite to win the series but don’t count out a Tampa Bay Lightning threepeat. The goaltending could be a big factor.
Montreal: Who are the likeliest salary cap casualties for the Canadiens? Firmly put Jeff Petry, as well as Shea Weber’s contract, on the NHL trade block.
Boston: It’s not exactly an NHL trade rumour, but the Bruins need a new coach. Jimmy Murphy is all over this one. Sources told Murphy who the Bruins have interviewed so far. Boston Bruins coverage.
Florida: Ulf Samuelsson got the boot, and interim head coach Andrew Brunette’s status is up in the air. Change is in the humid air around the Florida Panthers.
New York Rangers: The Rangers have a lot to consider this offseason, including restricted free agent Kaapo Kakko’s next deal with the team. However, after the 2019 second-overall pick’s controversial Game 6 scratch, will he find himself on the NHL trade block?
Pittsburgh: The Pittsburgh Penguins look to be active on the NHL trade market but will they keep defenceman Ian Cole?
Philadelphia: Do the Philadelphia Flyers need to shop forward Travis Konecny and/or defenceman Ivan Provorov on the NHL Trade market to become competitive again?