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Subban, Hall, Perry among missing on Canada World Cup roster (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 27 May 2016 16:46:40 PDT)
It’s often been said that Canada has so many players worthy of being on their national team that there could literally be a second national team made up of the snubs.   So with that, we present you with the seven final additions to the Team Canada World Cup of Hockey roster, which were announced on Friday: GOALIES G Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks G Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals G Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens DEFENSEMEN D Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks * D Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings D Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks D Jake Muzzin, Los Angeles Kings * D Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues * D Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks D Shea Weber, Nashville Predators FORWARDS F Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars F Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins F Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings F Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins F Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche * F Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks F Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers * F Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins * F Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars F Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning F John Tavares, New York Islanders F Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks * F Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks Among the players that didn’t make the cut: Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks, who recently captained Canada’s IIHF world championship team; Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins; Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers; P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens, perpetually snubbed; Ryan O'Reilly of the Buffalo Sabres; Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens; Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins Los Angeles Kings; Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames; Jay Bouwmeester of the St. Louis Blues; and Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks. Here was our final projection. Hall is probably the biggest surprise, although it’s sort of stunning that Perry didn’t garner a roster spot after participating in Worlds. Pierre LeBrun had him on the roster. No dice. All that said: What a tribute to the season Joe Thornton’s had that he gets a chance to rep his country at the World Cup.  -- Greg Wyshynski  is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com  or  find him on Twitter.  His book,  TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK,  is  available on Amazon  and wherever books are sold. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

Top NHL prospect Matthews earns Team North America WCup spot (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 27 May 2016 16:44:37 PDT)
After a two-month layoff, 18-year-old Auston Matthews used the world hockey championships to remind everyone of his potential as the NHL's top draft-eligible prospect. It also was enough to convince general manager Peter Chiarelli to include the U.S.-born youngster among the final seven selections to Team North America's World Cup of Hockey roster Friday. ''He brought his game to another level,'' said Chiarelli, who also doubles as the Edmonton Oilers' GM.

Drouin, Nugent-Hopkins, Matthews added to North America's World Cup roster (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 27 May 2016 16:14:24 PDT)
Team North America bolstered its roster for the World Cup of Hockey with seven additions. There weren’t a lot of surprises with this group that may not win the tournament, but will still likely be fun to watch because they represent the future of the game. “Selecting the second group of players was more difficult than anticipated,” said North America GM Peter Chiarelli in a statement. “We had a couple of the younger guys surge in the last segment. We wanted to ensure we had experience but at the same time, we also had to maintain our speed. The whole process was very interesting and in the end, we feel that we can compete and win. We have a lot of two-way players. We have size and range on defense, and we have playoff-experienced goaltending.” Here’s who North America will be bringing to Toronto in September: (Ed. note: Bolded names are final additions.) G John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks G Connor Hellebuyck, Manitoba Moose (AHL) G Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins D Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers D Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers * D Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets D Ryan Murray, Columbus Blue Jackets D Colton Parayko, St. Louis Blues * D Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs D Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets *   F Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers F Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning * F Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres F Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames F Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings F Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche F Auston Matthews, Zurich SC Lions (Swiss NLA) * F Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers F J.T. Miller, New York Rangers F Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers * F Brandon Saad, Columbus Blue Jackets F Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets * •  Props to Chiarelli for adding Auston Matthews to this list of players. Like with prospect Patrik Laine who was named to Team Finland, this will be the first time fans will have the chance to see a potential top pick in the 2016 NHL Draft playing against the world’s top players. The tournament is based in Toronto so there will no doubt be a buzz around Matthews if the Toronto Maple Leafs take the do-it-all center with the top selection in the 2016 draft. • When the first 16 players for Team North America were announced in March, Chiarelli left Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins off the list. It was a tough call for Chiarelli because he’s the Oilers’ general manager and there was some thought that not picking Nugent-Hopkins would anger the player. Now Nugent-Hopkins is on the team and he has a chance to prove his boss wrong about the initial snub.   •  Did Jonathan Drouin’s strong playoff run help his standing with the Team North America brain trust? It certainly couldn’t have hurt. Drouin had 14 points in 17 games with the Lightning this postseason and has gone from pariah to an important part of their future. At the time of the initial roster announcement he was suspended by the team for a failure to report to the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch following a trade demand. The last two months have made a world of difference for Drouin.   •  ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported Montreal Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk was “very close” to making team North America’s roster. Seems the team’s staff preferred Matthews and Nugent-Hopkins at center. St. Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri was also not selected. Fabbri was arguably the Blues’ best forward in their most recent playoff run with 15 points in 20 games. •  St. Louis defenseman Colton Parayko played his way onto this team with a strong season. The 22-year-old Parayko has shot up the depth chart since he was picked 86th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft and finished the year with 33 points and a plus-28 rating while averaging 19:23 of ice-time. During the playoffs he played solid two-way defense with seven points in 20:07 of action per-game. Parayko looks like a future defensive cornerstone in the making.  Previously released final rosters: Team USA Team Sweden Team Russia Team Czech Republic Team Finland   MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper

Czech Republic names Jagr-less final World Cup of Hockey roster (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 27 May 2016 06:38:08 PDT)
Jaromir Jagr will not be playing the Czech’s at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey so he can rest up for the Florida Panthers’ season. Without the 44-year-old legend, they'll have to make do with a mostly NHL roster in a tough Group A with Canada, USA, and Team Europe. Here’s who the Czechs will be bringing to Toronto in September: (Ed. note: Bolded names are final additions.) G Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings G Michal Neuvirth, Philadelphia Flyers G Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg Jets D Radko Gudas, Philadelphia Flyers D Michal Jordan, Carolina Hurricanes * D Michal Kempny, Chicago Blackhawks D Zbynek Michalek, Arizona Coyotes * D Jakub Nakladal, Calgary Flames * D Roman Polak, San Jose Sharks D Andrej Sustr, Tampa Bay Lightning  F Radek Faksa, Dallas Stars * F Michael Frolik, Calgary Flames F Martin Hanzal, Arizona Coyotes F Ales Hemsky, Dallas Stars * F Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks F Dmitrij Jaskin, St. Louis Blues * F David Krejci, Boston Bruins F Milan Michalek, Toronto Maple Leafs * F Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning F David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins F Tomas Plekanec, Montreal Canadiens F Vladimir Sobotka, Avangard Omsk (KHL) F Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers  • No Jiri Hudler, which, according to Czech national team coach Josef Jandac, came down to the pending NHL UFA and Dmitrij Jaskin, but the Blues forward was a better fit with what they were going with. • Other names not making the final cut Radim Vrbata, Tomas Fleischmann, Roman Cervenka, Michal Rozsival, Tomas Kundratek and Andrej Nestrasil, who is currently recovering from a broken vertebra. Marek Zidlicky was in consideration, but told Jandac that he isn’t sure if he’ll continue playing next season. Previously released final rosters: Team Finland Team Russia - - - - - - - Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY :

Laine, Haula added to Finland's final World Cup roster (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 27 May 2016 01:09:10 PDT)
Team Finland announced their final roster decisions for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey tournament. High-end prospect Patrik Laine stood out amongst Finland’s picks. He is considered one of the top players available in the 2016 NHL Draft and a potential sleeper choice for the No. 1 overall pick. Interestingly the team brain trust led by general manager Jere Lehtinen and assistant general manager Jarmo Kekalainen didn’t take Jesse Puljujarvi, another draft eligible player who is also considered one of the top talents available for 2016.    Both Laine and Puljujarvi led Finland to a World Junior gold medal this past year. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] Other additions included goaltender Mikko Koskinen along with defensemen Jyrki Jokipakka, Sami Lepisto and Ville Pokka. Forward additions were Sebastian Aho, Erik Haula and Laine.  Finland made their first 16 roster selections on March 2. Here is the full roster for Team Finland   (Ed. note: Bolded names are final additions.) G Mikko Koskinen, SKA St. Petersburg – New York Islanders hold NHL Rights * G Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins G Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators D Jyrki Jokipakka, Calgary Flames* D Sami Lepisto, Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL) * D Esa Lindell, Dallas Stars D Olli Maatta, Pittsburgh Penguins D Ville Pokka, Rockford IceHogs – Chicago Blackhawks hold NHL Rights * D Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo Sabres D Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks  F Sebastian Aho, Karpat Oulu (SM-liiga) – Carolina Hurricanes own NHL Rights*   F Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers F Joonas Donskoi, San Jose Sharks F Valtteri Filppula, Tampa Bay Lightning F Mikael Granlund, Minnesota Wild F Erik Haula, Minnesota Wild F Jussi Jokinen, Florida Panthers F Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild F Leo Komarov, Toronto Maple Leafs F Lauri Korpikoski, Edmonton Oilers F Patrik Laine, Tappara Tempere (SM-liiga), 2016 NHL Draft prospect* F Jori Lehtera, St. Louis Blues F Teuvo Teravainen, Chicago Blackhawks  •  Seeing the 6-foot-4, 209-pound Laine play against NHL professionals before his first league game is going to be a treat.. Imagine if Laine is picked No. 1 overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs and then plays at Air Canada Centre in this tournament. TSN’s Bob McKenzie has been bullish on Laine, noting before the World Championships that the young scoring winger had closed in on top prospect Auston Matthews , though Matthews seems to still be the consensus top pick . Regardless of which team takes Laine, he’ll be able to show his scoring chops against the best players in the world in this tournament. Laine had 13 points in seven games to lead Finland in their World Junior triumph this past year. In the World Championships he had 12 points in 10 games. •  The excitement of the Laine selection is tempered slightly by Finland’s decision to not take Puljujarvi. Both players were important components to the Finnish World Junior team and are considered Finland’s future hockey stars. Puljujarvi is less flashy than Laine, but had 17 points in the World Juniors this past year. •  After Finland announced their first 16 players, the 25-year-old Haula went on a nice stretch where he picked up five goals and 11 points in 18 regular season games. Haula seemed to find his groove under interim coach John Torchetti  and in the Wild’s first-round playoff loss he picked up four points in five games. •  Finland has some of the top young talent in the world and a lot of those high-end players were not picked. These included Maple Leafs prospect Kasperi Kapanen, Colorado Avalanche prospect Mikko Rantanen, Winnipeg Jets young forward Joel Armia, and Nashville Predators rookie Miikka Salomaki.  •  Aho was picked in the second-round of the 2015 NHL by the Hurricanes and was another member of that strong Finnish World Junior team. He had 14 points and nine assists in seven games playing with Laine and Puljujarvi . He also took part in the World Championships where he had seven points in 10 games. At 5-foot-11 he's a bit undersized, but is considered a savvy two-way player.  MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY   - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper  

What Went Wrong: CGY, WPG (Rotoworld)
(Thu, 26 May 2016 09:44:00 PDT)
Two Canadian teams that regressed after making the playoffs in 2014-15.

What We Learned: NHL free agent blues for Backes, Brouwer (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 23 May 2016 03:14:41 PDT)
(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.) The NHL is getting smarter every year. Despite that, some bad free agent decisions get made every summer.  How many times has it happened that a strong playoff performance by an otherwise just-OK player results in too many dollars for entirely too many years? Yes, too many. You can be very, very certain that it's going to happen again. Two guys who certainly seem to fall into the category of “pending UFAs whose playoff performances are going to get them straight-up paid” are the big goal-scorers for the Blues. David Backes and Troy Brouwer both have seven goals in this postseason, tied with Vladimir Tarasenko and Logan Couture for fourth in the league. The latter two are guys whose career-long performance shows they can contribute at a high level. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] Backes and Brouwer, not so much. Greg recently highlighted both Blues forwards as guys who are going to cash in as a result of the playoffs. Not that anyone thinks they're going to pull something in the range of even Couture's $6 million a season, but these are two players you're going to want to be very careful about signing. Travis Yost had a good breakdown of why David Backes should give potential suitors pause this summer. I see Brouwer as being very much in the same category. Not salary-wise, obviously. There's a clear differentiation between how Backes — a proven leader and strong two-way player — is perceived in the hockey world at large. Most people wouldn't blink at someone giving him a sizable raise from his current cap hit of $4.5 million. Now, given that he's 32 and clearly trending downward at this point in his career (as most 32-year-olds are) I'd be dubious that any raise will end up being “worth it” sooner than later, but guys still get paid for past performance and it would be tough to say that there weren't at least a few seasons in the last few years in which Backes contributed more bang for the buck than the average comparable player. A smart GM probably wouldn't give him, say $6 million AAV for four years, let alone a Ryan Kesler contract, but there are some executives out there who will be just desperate enough for what Backes provides that the evidence at hand won't matter. He's a gritty leader who plays the full 200 feet and, as a bonus, scored a lot in the postseason. That gets a guy paid, full stop. Brouwer is a more interesting case, though. Backes has a semi-legitimate claim to getting paid. He's Olympian, All-Star, and frequent top-five Selke vote-getter who's scoring in the playoffs and will generally get you at least 50 points, historically speaking. That's a very valuable thing to have around in theory, but time catches up with us all and so on. How much longer Backes can be the idealized version of himself is very much up for debate. But what, then, is the idealized version of Troy Brouwer? Never an all-star, never received a single vote for any award, never a captain and a guy whose best statistical output doesn't match Backes' worst. Despite that, he's scoring a bunch in the playoffs and is, like Backes, seen as a gritty two-way guy. One can therefore reasonably expect that this postseason gets him a raise that is not commensurate with his actual value. We have plenty of evidence to show why he might not even be worth what he's paid right now. Take, for example, this new visualization from Carolyn Wilke. It compares a player's performance with other players in their cap hit range (as a percentage of the overall cap). The last “band” into which Brouwer falls is his current contract, and you can clearly see that he underperforms in comparison with the average player in the league who carries a similar cap hit: Troy Brouwer's postseason is probably going to earn him a raise he wouldn't get otherwise pic.twitter.com/yq9cow2Jnx — Carolyn Wilke (@Classlicity) May 22, 2016 That can be a little hard to read, but the message should be clear: Brouwer's teams get more heavily out-chanced when he's on the ice than when he's off, he doesn't score as much as similarly compensated players, and he doesn't generate enough chances of his own. Part of that is because he's used in a defensive role, which is going to depress his ability to score goals and create chances. But part of that is also that he's probably not good enough to be used in the way he has been for the last three seasons. All the 5-on-5 data over his current contract — the last three seasons, at an AAV of about $3.67 million — suggests he's roughly a lower-end third-line performer. And that's fine. If that comes with 35-plus points, you probably take the current contract as-is. Doesn't mean he's bad or anything, it just means that anyone who probably leaves you with better options for power play time and so on. His coaches, for whatever reason, haven't really found those options; he's played more than half of all his team's power play time over the last three seasons, and it was only this year that Ken Hitchcock started to reel things in after Washington really let him run wild on the man advantage (close to 65 percent of their PP minutes!). Even with Hitchcock reducing Brouwer's power play time, he still scored seven of his 18 goals on the man advantage, with three more going into empty nets. A guy logging as many minutes as he does at 5-on-5 shouldn't be scoring just eight goals over the full 82 games and then expect to get paid based on playoff performance. In fact, eight goals at full-strength this past season was tied for 10th-fewest in the entire league among all 116 forwards playing at least 1,000 minutes. He scored roughly the same number of goals per 60 minutes as Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Cody Eakin this season, and unlike those two his numbers are more likely to decline. Like Backes, Brouwer isn't getting any younger. He'll be 31 in August, and guys who play his type of game generally do not age well. It would be one thing to overpay him slightly, but any raise above and beyond what he already makes is going to be tough for a team to justify. He seems to have peaked in or prior to the lockout-shortened year, in his age-26 season (surprise surprise), and that's getting to be a while ago now. Because the league is getting smarter, there will be no Ville Leino contract . No one will give him a Dave Bolland deal. The overpayment will probably be a lot more modest in both term and dollars. But given the way the cap is moving (barely), and how much more efficiently teams are finding ways to spend money (much), even giving Brouwer an extra year or an extra $1 million would be worrisome. If his cap hit clears $4 million and he gets more than two or three years, it won't be the worst contract in the league, but it still won't be a good one. It's great for the Blues that he's scoring in the playoffs. He's a big reason they've gotten this far. But if there's anyone willing to pay him based on that, well, you know what they say about who is soon parted with his money. What We Learned Anaheim Ducks : Finally, the Ducks add a potentially high-end young defenseman . They've really been hurting for those lately. Arizona Coyotes : Having an AHL team in Tucson is a pretty good deal for the Coyotes. It's a two-hour drive as opposed to a five-hour flight. Saves a lot of money on call-ups.  Boston Bruins : The Bruins may have to wait another year to get the compensatory second-round pick Edmonton owes them from signing Peter Chiarelli. Fun. Buffalo Sabres : Can you believe a kid from the WHL is named “Brycen?” Of course you can. Calgary Flames : Sean Monahan doesn't want a bridge deal . However, the two sides haven't really made a lot of progress either way, which seems crazy to me but hey whatever. Carolina Hurricanes : Well I mean, they shouldn't want Cam Ward back . Because he's not good any more. Chicago : Good luck improving that defense with that cap situation. Chicago's in a real tough spot on the back end. Again, that's the price of success. Colorado Avalanche : I still can't imagine why they'd trade one of their few good defensemen, but here we are . Columbus Blue Jackets : Columbus is apparently considering just LTIR-ing David Clarkson forever. This trade is working out great. Dallas Stars : The “ this ” in this scenario should be, “Getting a real goalie.” Detroit Red Wings : These guys really have their fingers on the pulse here. The Wings are dropping off? Wow! Edmonton Oilers : Benoit Pouliot was hurt for a good chunk of the season . Still a good player when he's healthy, but that's not often any more. Too bad. Florida Panthers : New logo and jerseys out June 2 , but you already know what they look like. Los Angeles Kings : Man, the Kings could only be so lucky as to have Dallas sign Milan Lucic for a ton of money this summer. Two years from now whatever deal he gets probably doesn't look very good. Minnesota Wild : If Bruce Boudreau can't make Jason Pominville effective in attack again , probably no one can. Montreal Canadiens : I mean, yes, but ... Nashville Predators : The Preds believe they will keep improving with this group. They also need to upgrade a few spots in the lineup. New Jersey Devils : How do the Devils have it set up so only like 11 guys are on their payroll for next season right now? That never happens. So yeah, lots to consider apparently . New York Islanders : Having the cap space and actually being able to sign a guy are two very different things. New York Rangers : Jeff Gorton sitting around his office like, “ But what if we got even more bad defensemen ?” Ottawa Senators : How many people on this list should the Senators actually target? Like, three? Philadelphia Flyers : Yeah, the Flyers probably don't trade up . What's the point if everyone's a project after, say, No. 5?

Nothing 'minor league' about San Diego Gulls' return (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 22 May 2016 15:03:48 PDT)
Ari Segal, president of business operations for the San Diego Gulls and one of the architects in returning hockey to San Diego, emphatically states, “… we are not a minor league team.” The Gulls are the American Hockey League affiliate for the Anaheim Ducks. "You’ll never see ‘minor league’ in any of our branding, any of our collateral, anything anyone says from our staff ever says publicly," said Segal. "We’re not a minor league team." Then what are they? "[The AHL is] the second best hockey league in the world, and we are San Diego’s professional hockey team,” said Segal. San Diego is part of the four team AHL expansion to California. The newly formed Pacific Division includes: the Gulls, Ontario Reign (Los Angeles Kings), Texas Stars (Dallas Stars), San Jose Barracuda (San Jose Sharks), Bakersfield Condors (Edmonton Oilers), Stockton Heat (Calgary Flames), and San Antonio Rampage (Colorado Avalanche). Last weekend the Gulls wrapped up their first season back in San Diego in the second round of the playoffs with a 4-1 series loss to the Ontario Reign. While the end result wasn't what the team was hoping for, the return to San Diego was a success. The Gulls last played hockey in San Diego in the 2005-06 season. A decade later, was the classiest city in the world ready for the return of the franchise? Short answer: Yes. Based on the AHL's  average attendance figures alone , the Gulls were second behind the Hershey Bears.

Shawn Michaels, HBK Line and 10 other NHL/wrestling connections (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 22 May 2016 12:11:38 PDT)
PITTSBURGH – Sidney Crosby smiled widely as the memories flooded back.  Growing up, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain was a fan of Shawn Michaels, the WWE wrestling legend who headlined main events from 1989 through 2010. “Yeah, I was. I liked Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart but I was also a Shawn Michaels fan," remembered Crosby, in a bit of Canadian sacrilege . "That would have been right around the time when I was following it. He was in his prime,”  He was known as the Heartbreak Kid, or HBK, a moniker that’s taken on some unexpected relevance in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Penguins’ outstanding line of Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel has been christened the HBK Line by fans and media. And, thanks to those fans and an invitation from Brett Keisel of the Steelers, Michaels will be in the building for Game 5 of the Penguins’ Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. “It’s kinda cool,” said Crosby. “These things kind of evolve out of nowhere, but that line has been playing great.” Michaels said when he became aware of the HBK Line, he wasn’t sure if it was something only a few fans were using or if it had taken on a life of its own. Turns out it’s the latter, from T-shirts mashing up hockey and wrestling to Pittsburgh staple Primanti Bros. offering up a sandwich in his and the line’s name: Cheer HBK. Live HBK. Now eat HBK w/ our ham, bacon & kielbasa sandwich, available for Game 4! #HBKSandwich #HBKLine pic.twitter.com/GO19Tnt3dY — Primanti Bros (@primantibros) May 19, 2016 “I’m absolutely blown away with what’s been going on in the last 48 hours. I’ve had more stuff named for me in the city of Pittsburgh than I ever have in my hometown of San Antonio,” Michaels told NHL Network. So the hockey-and-wrestling connection is strong in the Eastern Conference Final, but it’s far from the first connection we've seen between the squared circle and the rink. In light of Shawn Michaels and the Penguins, here are 10 hockey and wrestling connections, some of which have taken place in previous postseasons:  1. Ric Flair ‘Wooooooo’s’ The Carolina Hurricanes Pete Soto, the guy in charge of Jumbotron videos for the Hurricanes 10 years ago, started playing the trademarked ‘Woooooo!’ of The Nature Boy Ric Flair when the Hurricanes would score a goal or go on the power play. At first, the fans hated it. And then they woo’d along with it. Flair, who lived in Charlotte, embraced it, attending games in a “Nature Boy” Hurricanes jersey, sounding the arena siren and recording additional videos with proclamations like: "That's a stylin' and profilin' Hurricanes goal. Woo!" 2. Brutus Beefcake and the Boston Bruins

Coyotes, Tucson make it official: Moving AHL team to city (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 19 May 2016 19:47:44 PDT)
Hockey is returning to Tucson and the Arizona Coyotes could not be happier about it. The Coyotes closed their deal to buy the American Hockey League's Springfield Falcons on Wednesday, a day after the Tucson City Council approved a 10-year arena lease agreement between the team and the Tucson Convention Center. ''This is nothing short of a game-changer for our organization,'' Coyotes general manager John Chayka said from Tucson.

Sharks 'whining'; Blues find bargain with Elliott (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 17 May 2016 10:53:46 PDT)
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com .   Did you know that Lord Stanley purchased the Cup in London? Well, he did! Thanks to the @NHL for the heads up! pic.twitter.com/5bK00afUHj — Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) May 17, 2016 • A Stanley Cup history lesson. [ Stephen Amell ] • St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock asked if San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer is “whining for calls” in the Western Conference Final. [ CSN Bay Area ] • The San Jose Sharks are still confident despite being down 0-1 in their series against the Blues. [ SF Gate ] • St. Louis goaltender Brian Elliott is one of the best bargains in the NHL. He has shut down three of the top six regular season goal scoring teams in the NHL so far this playoff.  [ Eye on Hockey ] • It’s hard to imagine the Blues letting captain David Backes leave during the summer. The 32-year-old Backes is a pending unrestricted free agent. [ Post-Dispatch ] [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] • A decision on the playing status of Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos could come this week. Stamkos has been out since early April with a blood clot, but has been skating with the team since April 26 [ Tampa Bay Times ] • How Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scored the overtime winner to beat the Lightning in Game 2 of their series. [ Pensburgh ] • The Penguins are raising a number of issues that could delay the start of a proposed residential development of the former Civic Arena site, including environmental contamination and a $5 million gap in the financing of the project. [ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ] • The National Hockey League has had its motion to dismiss class action concussion-related lawsuits filed by former NHL players denied by U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson. [ Forbes ] • The Washington Capitals are looking to improve on their lower line depth at forward this offseason. [ Washington Post ] • The new scoreboard at Rogers Place in Edmonton “weighs 90,000 pounds, the equivalent of 23 Ford F-150 trucks.” It will be the largest high-definition scoreboard in the NHL. [ CBC ] • Breaking down the goaltenders potentially available for the 2017 expansion draft, if the NHL decides to allow expansion. [ The Bloggers’ Tribune ] • The young leaders of the Columbus Blue Jackets are coming into their own, even after a down year for the franchise. [ Today’s Slapshot ] • Is Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2015 first-round pick (fourth overall) Mitch Marner NHL ready? He's 5-foot-11 and weighs around 164 pounds.  [ Leafs Nation ] • A look at 2016 draft prospect Jesse Puljujärvi, a possible pick for the Winnipeg Jets at No. 2 overall. [ Arctic Ice Hockey ] • Offseason fantasy outlook for the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche.  [ Dobber Hockey ] • Hockey interest in Kansas City is heating up even if it’s unlikely the area will attract an NHL team. [ GoErie.com ] • Vancouver Canucks assistant coach Glen Gulutzan is a candidate for the Calgary Flames head coaching job. Also Canucks AHL coach Travis Green is a candidate for the Anaheim Ducks head coaching vacancy. It’s possible Vancouver could lose both this offseason. [ The Hockey Writers ] • The CWHL hosted the inaugural Pave the Way ball hockey tournament in Markham, Ontario, and Calgary, Alberta, last Sunday. Joined by plenty of CWHL all-stars, fans got the opportunity to play ball hockey alongside and against some of their favorite CWHL players. [ Along the Boards ] • The SPHL’s Louisiana IceGators have suspended operations for the 2016-17 season. [ SinBin.net ] • A wish list of 29 changes for EA Sports’ NHL17 for next year. [ GameInformer ] • Finally, Gorgeous goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov for Russia at the World Championships.   MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY    

What We Learned: Stop overpraising Blues, Sharks management (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 16 May 2016 06:24:05 PDT)
A thing you saw a lot this week, in the lead-up to Sunday night's Western Conference Final matchup between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues, is praise for the teams' respective general managers and fellow Dougs, Wilson and Armstrong. They have put together some good teams over the years, to be sure. Both rosters are talent-rich at all positions. Both have a healthy mix of older players who have been through the wars before and still contributing at a high level and younger players who are throwing in their own solid performances. Both are well-coached. Both are getting strong goaltending. But was either GM actually “patient” with their rosters? Probably not. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] The San Jose example is the one for which there was obviously no real patience displayed. Back in 2014, when the Sharks blew a 3-0 lead to the Kings, Wilson saw his divisional rivals go on to win the Stanley Cup, and thought, “There but for a lack of Leadership and Grit go I.” He tried to trade Joe Thornton. He tried to trade Patrick Marleau. Neither would wave their no-trade clauses. He also brought in some largely useless veterans (like future All-Star captain John Scott!) to try to move the needle and ended up setting his team back in some ways. If Wilson had gotten his way back in the summer of 2014, this Sharks team looks a lot different than it does now. And probably a lot worse as well. Who knows what selling low on Thornton and Marleau at that time gets him on the trade market, but when you look at the impact those two have had not only in this postseason, but in the last two years, you have to say that any return would probably have not produced commensurate numbers. The only thing you can say in Wilson's defense here, honestly, is that the no-movement and no-trade clauses he wrote into the contracts those two players signed for three years beginning in 2011 and 2014, respectively, prevented him from making his team worse. I'm not sure if that's patience. I'm positive it's not praiseworthy. Another thing Wilson did that wasn't exactly patience to actually help his team is go out and acquire a solid goaltender. Not that Antti Niemi was in any way bad for the Sharks on the whole, as he was perfectly fine in his time there, but “perfectly fine” doesn't usually win you many playoff rounds, as anyone can see. It should surprise you not at all that Martin Jones's save percentage in this postseason is the second-best any Sharks team has seen since the start of the Behind the Net era in 2007-08. Combine that with the transformation Brent Burns has given the Sharks on the blue line and yeah, it's inarguably a really good team. Wilson deserves praise for keeping that team together only insofar as he didn't do a good enough job convincing his veteran forwards to waive no-trades, and didn't do anything dumber. With the exception of Jones, I'm not sure he actively sought to improve the team or its core at any point in the last two years. He signed Paul Martin this summer, and Martin has been... fine? I guess? Which, okay, it's nice to have serviceable defensemen, but the price point and term is worrisome on that deal. He got rid of Brad Stuart and Scott Hannan retired. (Can we reasonably count that?) In fact, his big trade at the deadline, bringing in Roman Polak and Nick Spaling, has gone about as well as you'd think “giving up two second-round picks for Polak and Spaling” would go. But again, you can say Wilson made some moves to improve his team while accidentally sticking with a very good core. Not really sure you can say the same for Armstrong. The Blues made a number of transactions in the offseason, signing big-time contributors like Danny Kristo, Jordan Caron, Peter Harrold, Kyle Brodziak, Andre Benoit, and Justin Hodgman in July. He also added Scottie Upshall, Scott Gomez, and Martin Havlat in-season. Mostly depth moves, obviously. But of all those additions, only Upshall and Brodziak are still with the big club, and both are playing about nine minutes a night in this postseason. Further, Armstrong actively made his team worse this summer by trading T.J. Oshie to Washington for Troy Brouwer. The latter is a subpar possession player who didn't even crack 40 points this year. The former isn't exactly a possession driver but did okay relative to his club, and at least chipped in 51 points. That was a net loss for Armstrong, except it did save him a measly $500,000 or so against the cap. And let's not forget, it's tough to make trades in the NHL these days. St. Louis has some pricy contracts Armstrong has given out that are therefore difficult to deal even if the player in question is somewhat sought-after. In addition, there are also guys where it's just a no-brainer you don't trade them. Is that what we're qualifying as patience these days? Here are two actual smart things he did, but one would have to qualify “smart” as simply being “not dumb.” First, he didn't fire Ken Hitchcock, or let him walk without a new contract, when everyone thought he would. Fine. Second, he didn't try to upgrade from a great goaltender in Brian Elliott. Well, not especially hard anyway. Because man did they ever try really hard to give the starting job to Jake Allen over the course of the last two seasons, but Elliott was always there, being better. No “solutions” to a non-problem that didn't need solving. You just stick with your really good goalie. But should we really be praising someone for having the patience to keep one of the demonstrably best coaches in hockey around? Or for finally saying, “Ah hell, let's see what this above-average goalie does with the opportunity?” Come on. Hitchcock was better than anyone the team was reasonably going to get over the last few summers. Elliott is only now starting because of flameouts from Allen last year (.904 in six games), and Miller the year before that (.897 in six). In 2012-13, the only other season in which the Blues were especially good, they lost in six games with Elliott, but he was .919 against Chicago. Sometimes you run into a better team, especially in that conference. Sometimes the puck bounces the other team's way for years at a time in the postseason, until it doesn't. Smart general managers understand this and don't make over-reactive moves. Remember when the Capitals overreacted to Bruce Boudreau flaming out in the playoffs and then starting a little slow, and set their team back two-plus years? Their roster still has problems, especially on the back end, but there's no doubt they're one of the most talented teams in hockey. What's really worked out for the two general managers in this case is the fact that young talent which wasn't there a few years ago, at least not in any significant role, is now a major contributing factor to winning and losing. I guess you praise teams for identifying and developing those players successfully. But beyond that it's hard to give credit for “patience” in either case because that's the bare minimum any intelligent general manager with a good roster should do. And in both cases, it was only for a stunning lack of success in previous attempts to tinker that they finally arrived here in Patientville. Not-blowing-up good NHL rosters is like not-stepping in dog crap in the middle of the sidewalk. As long as you're paying the slightest bit of attention, you should be able to avoid it with ease. And certainly you don't deserve adulation for it. What We Learned   Anaheim Ducks : I think we can safely file this under “ duh .” Arizona Coyotes : This is a truly shocking turn of events. Boston Bruins : Not surprising at all to see Joonas Kemppainen jump to the KHL . Bruins' goal getting awful crowded at all levels. Buffalo Sabres : Sam Reinhart is playing a marginal role for Canada at the Worlds, which is fine all things considered. Calgary Flames : The Flames are looking for a head coach who has “ been involved with winning programs .” Hey gang, Randy Carlyle won a Cup. Carolina Hurricanes : Major upgrades will be made to the Hurricanes' practice facility this summer, perhaps including no longer being the Hurricanes' practice facility because they might move to Quebec or Las Vegas. Chicago : This is embarrassing whining . Colorado Avalanche : This is the worst-run team in the league . Columbus Blue Jackets : The Blue Jackets' arena may host a playoff game after all . On Wednesday, if necessary, the AHL club will play Game 7 there because their usual building will be the site of a Carrie Underwood concert instead. Dallas Stars : This is going to get very expensive very quickly . Detroit Red Wings : In four years when these kids are all 26 they will finally get a shot with the Red Wings. Edmonton Oilers : Turns out Taylor Hall is really good . Who knew! Florida Panthers : I know we're supposed to be chagrined by all the changes the Panthers are making but like, I'm not convinced that getting the guy who gave out contracts to Dave Bolland and Shawn Thornton a little more removed from the decision-making process is such a terrible move. Los Angeles Kings : This is bad news for anyone hoping the Kings would completely fall apart this summer. Minnesota Wild : No way to anyone could've seen this coming . Montreal Canadiens : Okay so we're officially looking at another Offseason of No Good Decisions , eh? Nashville Predators : Just happy to be here . New Jersey Devils : The many 27-year-olds on the Albany Devils have pushed the youthful and mega-talented Toronto Marlies to the brink . New York Islanders : Going with Greiss as your No. 1 for a full 82 seems like a huge gamble but it's one that probably has to be made. New York Rangers : Hey can this kid play defense ? Ottawa Senators : The one word that came to mind when watching Guy Boucher's Lightning teams a few years ago was............... creative ? Hmm, no that's not it. Philadelphia Flyers : The good news is 10 to 12 weeks isn't a long time when you don't have another game until October. Pittsburgh Penguins : So would you say, then, that he in fact has not matured ? San Jose Sharks : Seems like the Sharks got the memo on “ cover that 91 guy .” Easier said than done, though. St. Louis Blues : Ken Hitchcock got a similar memo about the San Jose power play. Also easier said than done. Tampa Bay Lightning : I'm just gonna go ahead and say right now in advance that if either Andrei Vasilevskiy or Matt Murray gets lit up over the course of this series, any media backlash against them for “ inexperience ” or anything else is going to be silly and unreasonable. Toronto Maple Leafs : The “ or Laine ” here should be followed by a wink emoji. Vancouver Canucks : I feel like “ room for panic ” about the Canucks is the biggest understatement in league history. Washington Capitals : They really shouldn't say stuff like this when so many mitten-stringers are more than happy to say it for them. Winnipeg Jets : Not a lot going on between the Jets and Mark Scheifele, extension-wise . That's something that really ought to be prioritized. Play of the Weekend This finish from Jo Drouin with the puck still in the air is ridiculous.  Gold Star Award

Cup final awaits either playoff-starved Blues or Sharks (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 13 May 2016 23:18:01 PDT)
One of the playoff-success challenged franchises in St. Louis and San Jose will play for the Stanley Cup this season. The two teams that have enjoyed loads of regular season success followed by annual playoff disappointment will meet in the Western Conference final starting Sunday with the winner advancing to the Stanley Cup final. The Sharks have never even played for the title since joining the NHL in 1991-92.

Darryl Sutter says Kings' core major reason for contract decision (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 13 May 2016 14:50:15 PDT)
Darryl Sutter likes the core of the Los Angeles Kings and thinks they can all help him achieve a goal of winning another Stanley Cup. This is why Sutter signed a contract extension for two years (with a team option for a third year) for a reported $3 million-plus per-season. Sutter’s contract was up after the season, and there were some questions as to whether he would return to the organization after they lost in the first-round of the playoffs to the San Jose Sharks.  “When we went through it all it was clearly an easy decision. I wasn’t interested in going elsewhere,” Sutter said. “A lot of it came back to just the nucleus of our team, the ownership and the management – all the things – the coaching staff.” [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] As for the coaching staff of John Stevens and Davis Payne, Sutter said “that’s correct” when asked if the expectation was they would all return next season. The Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames have openings and in the past, Stevens’ name had been mentioned at different spots, but the Kings reportedly wouldn’t let him interview. Overall Sutter didn’t just see financial security with the Kings in his contract. He also saw consistency in the lineup with their star players. The Kings do have a few contracts they need to figure out how to deal with – mainly Dustin Brown’s contract that pays him through 2021-22. But Sutter kept the conversation mostly on LA’s top guys. “As a coach to know you have (Jonathan) Quick and (Drew) Doughty and (Jake) Muzzin and (Alec) Martinez and (Anze) Kopitar and (Tyler) Toffoli and (Tanner) Pearson – players under contract that you know are going to be here for hopefully a long time, that’s what’s important,” Sutter said. “Every good team needs that nucleus.” This season Quick (Vezina Trophy), Doughty (Norris Trophy) and Kopitar (Lady Byng and Selke Trophy) were all finalists for major NHL awards. Out of the three, only Quick is 30-or-older.  Sutter has spent a fair amount of time the last several weeks watching Los Angeles’ AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign. His son Brett is on the team and also Sutter wanted to gauge some of the organization’s minor league players. The Kings have struggled to produce NHL regulars out of the minors the last couple of years and Sutter wanted to get a better sense of who could possibly fit where in Los Angeles. “We need two or three of the next group to (make the next step). That’s key for us,” Sutter said. Sutter has had a longstanding relationship with general manager Dean Lombardi, back to when Lombardi was the GM of the San Jose Sharks and Sutter was his coach from 1997-98 through 2002-03. Also his family likes Los Angeles and the Kings have embraced him and his son Christopher. “If I don’t sound excited because I don’t have to sound excited because you know Christopher is,” Darryl said. Because Sutter has been so successful the last several years – he has won two Stanley Cups since he was hired in the 2011-12 season – there have been questions if he wants to stop coaching sooner rather than later and return to his ranch in rural Alberta . Sutter doesn’t think he’s near finished.  “This is not a new contract, this is an extension,” Sutter said. “I look at it like I have lots of coaching left.” MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY   - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper  

Capitals assistant Reirden a 'future head coach' in the NHL (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 13 May 2016 11:44:23 PDT)
Todd Reirden's road to coaching started as a journeyman defenseman playing in the minors for Todd McLellan's Houston Aeros during the 2004-05 NHL lockout. Injured and at the tail end of his career, Reirden still wanted to make an impact, so McLellan assigned him coaching responsibilities with young players. ''At that point, you could tell that he had coaching in his blood and that's probably something that he wanted to do,'' McLellan said.

'Ugly duckling' Panarin thrives for Russia at ice hockey Worlds
(Thu, 12 May 2016 18:04:04 PDT)
Russian winger Artemi Panarin has come a long way since North America's NHL teams first snubbed him at the draft. Now after a stellar debut season with the Chicago Blackhawks, the 24-year-old forward is in the race for the league's best rookie award and is looking to guide Russia to glory at the World Championship on home ice. In Russia's first four group games he netted three goals and notched up six assists as the team won three and lost one after launching the tournament in Moscow.

Lombardi's summer, Chayka in Arizona and the Wild (Puck Daddy Countdown) (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 11 May 2016 07:27:00 PDT)
(Ed. Note: The column formerly known as the Puck Daddy Power Rankings. Ryan Lambert takes a look at some of the biggest issues and stories in the NHL, and counts them down.) 9. Brian Elliott It's not so much that Brian Elliott's doo-doo performance in Game 6 against the Dallas Stars (three goals conceded on just seven shots, and the big ol' hook) was in any way an indicator that he is not a big-game goaltender. It's that this is how he will be perceived if the St. Louis Blues don't win the series. That's regardless of what he does in Game 7. The thing with Elliott is that he has never been seen as “good enough” by the Blues to warrant being the full-time starter. They infamously brought in Ryan Miller in an experiment that was doomed from the start, then they tried Martin Brodeur in an even more calamitous tryout. Then they figured he and Jake Allen could platoon for a little while. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] And in these playoffs, he has largely been fantastic. We're talking .926 even including last night, and that follows a .930 in the regular season. And a .917 the year before that. And a .922 in 2013-14. He was also .940 in 2011-12. Simply put, this guy is really good, but he has never played more than 46 regular-season games with the Blues. The performances over the last 53 appearances should have earned him a longer look at the starting job for next year. But because the 54th was so bad one wonders if the Blues are smart enough to recognize that doesn't affirm every doubt they've ever had about it. Every great goalie has a bad start now and again, and lots of them come in high-leverage situations.  I'd give him the start in Game 7 and let him be the starter going forward regardless of result. But these things don't happen in a vacuum and you have to think the Blues are looking to make changes if they don't at least get to the Conference Final. Elliott, for all the good he's done them in recent years, could be one of them. 8. The NHL 17 cover vote The only thing I want to see end up in a river is every copy of this game-that-hasn't-materially-changed-since-2008. Put Jyrki Jokipakka on the cover for all I care, as long as you put an actual good game inside the packaging for once. 7. Dean Lombardi The Los Angeles Kings' GM has put himself in tough cap situations before. Last summer they had to let Justin Williams and Andrej Sekera walk, and used the flimsiest of pretenses to terminate Mike Richards' contract and free themselves from cap hell. This summer, well, if I were a Kings player I wouldn't bring anything but my wallet across the border. Lombardi is facing his toughest summer yet. With the realization that the Dustin Brown contract is and always has been terrible suddenly arriving at his doorstep, the need to re-sign Milan Lucic (or somehow acquire a reasonable replacement), and Darryl Sutter playing coy about whether he'll come back to the team for a new contract, Lombardi has a lot of questions and no concrete answers. The last of these issues is the biggest, because while the Kings certainly have elite talent on board, we've seen a million times that a handful of high-level guys isn't enough in and of itself to bring a team even close to the promised land. There's no question that Sutter is the most successful systems coach in the world, insofar as you can basically count on the Kings to be one of the top-two possession teams in the NHL every season. It's no coincidence that trend arose more or less the second he arrived on the scene. You can re-sign everyone on the team for league minimum, but if Sutter walks that's an almost unfillable hole for the Kings to deal with, especially with Bruce Boudreau now off the market (more on that later). Maybe you hope John Stevens can begin to replicate the kind of success Sutter's teams routinely had, but I dunno. This might be the end-times for the Kings as we know them. 6. John Chayka Amazing that this kid with little high-level hockey-playing experience (four games in the BCHL is the highest he ever got) went from a stats guy to an assistant GM to a full-on National Hockey League General Manager in the space of three years . More amazing still that he did it by 26. However, I don't envy him this position.  The league as a whole still feels at least a little bit skeptical about the practical application of statistics in team-building, and Chayka in many ways feels like a test balloon as to whether these things will work in any real way. If he “fails” — which is totally possible giving the general if understandable unwillingness of Coyotes ownership to actually spend money — then that'll be it for any “stats guy” under the age of 40 with little to no hockey-playing experience just about forever. (It's worth noting, though, that Chayka's former company is involved with manually tracking micro-stats like zone exits and entries, and we don't have a ton of evidence as to how that data is contextualized in creating a winning hockey team. Right now, we can only make assumptions as to how effectively these stats drive decision-making.) I'm sure the league won't be especially conservative in defining “failure,” either. If Chayka can get the Coyotes into the playoffs on a regular basis, then that should be good enough given what's being spent down in Arizona. But because we know how things go around here, we can be reasonably certain that unless they routinely advance out of the first round, they will carry a loser label regardless of how much bang-for-the-buck Chayka wrings out of the system. And with a team owner and the head coach now in top Hockey Ops roles, all the looking over the shoulder the kid is bound to experience probably helps a lot, right? What could go wrong? 5. Guy Boucher and Marc Crawford Nice for these guys to get another chance in the league, but given that they went to Ottawa you can bet it was for short money . And it's not like they're taking over that good of a team. The only thing they can really hope for is that Pierre Dorion is successful in offloading a ton of the dead weight on this roster, and that whatever systems they implement don't try to rein in Erik Karlsson in any way. Step 1: Let that beautiful boy run wild and free. Step 2: Figure out how literally everything else works. 4. Bruce Boudreau Nice to get paid and all  — and boy, that's a nice chunk of change for Gabby — but I can't help thinking the Wild aren't that good, and will only get worse as time goes on. Therefore, I worry this isn't a good fit for Boudreau given what he can do for teams in general. The Wild feel very much like a dead-end team, what with all the guys aging out of their primes who are still on big contracts, and the relatively underwhelming prospect pool — Hockey's Future has their system ranked 25th in the league , and even if that number's not totally accurate, they're still probably in the NHL's bottom half — it's not easy to see a bright future even with their brilliant new coach. Maybe he works some magic and rejuvenates the careers of Jonas Brodin et al, but even then, in that division, how good are they really? My big concern here is that Boudreau ends up tarnishing his legacy a bit, because money aside, it seems like he bet on a bit of a nag. 3. The New York Islanders Travis Hamonic has withdrawn his trade request . That solves a big ol' problem they would have faced this offseason. Maybe being in a winning environment is attractive to players. I guess we won't ever know. 2. The Tampa Bay Lightning Despite all the cries of “Look how easy it was for them to get here!” that rang out on Sunday as the Bolts put the Islanders out to pasture, this team should frighten a lot of people. They're on to their second straight Conference Final, and this time they did it without either Steven Stamkos or Anton Stralman. These are elite-level players who make a huge difference, and the Lightning haven't had them for a single playoff game. The closer these players get to returning, the scarier the prospect of playing the Bolts becomes for anyone who draws them down the line. Yeah the path was easy, but they dominated the Detroit Red Wings and Islanders. Eight wins in 10 games, without two great players. If they'd struggled to put either team away, then yeah, maybe you say they're a bit of a paper tiger. But they gutted both opponents to the tune of a 30-19 goal differential in all situations — 61 percent — and that doesn't happen by accident. The games are about to get tougher, but anyone denigrating how well they've played to this point isn't paying much attention. 1. The Minnesota Wild Conversely, they got the best available coach by far, and in doing so probably added eight or 10 points to their 2016-17 season total without adding a single dollar to their cap obligations. That's how the NHL works these days, and will increasingly work going forward. Any edge you can find, you have to take it. Good on the Wild for doing just that. They're still not a very good team, but at least they're getting smarter. (Not ranked this week: The Calgary Flames. One gets the feeling that missing out on Boudreau is going to be one of those things they'll look back on with deep regret. Especially if they end up hiring Randy Carlyle instead. Boy do I ever hope that happens.) Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here . (All statistics via War On Ice unless otherwise noted.) MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY :

Bruce Boudreau on Ducks' firing, Senators' interview, Wild's core (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 10 May 2016 15:27:01 PDT)
At 6:30 a.m. on Friday April 29, Bruce Boudreau received a text message from Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray. Once he saw the note, Boudreau knew his time coaching the Ducks was probably over. Boudreau’s Ducks had lost to the Nashville Predators in Game 7 of the first-round of the playoffs. It was the fourth straight Game 7 loss for the organization. Even though Boudreau had won four Pacific Division championships with the Ducks, he knew playoff failures in big games had defined his tenure. “I knew (he didn’t text me) to congratulate me,” Boudreau said in a phone interview with Puck Daddy. “I knew it was coming before I went in and I made sure to phone my kids and talked to my wife and let them know what was probably going to happen.”   [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] And when the Ducks made the decision, Boudreau quickly became the hottest commodity on the coaching market. He interviewed with the Minnesota Wild and the Ottawa Senators in the week after he was let go. It also appeared the Calgary Flames fired Bob Hartley in order to go after Boudreau. One day after Boudreau interviewed with Ottawa , the Wild moved quickly, landing the veteran coach to reinvigorate the franchise. According to Boudreau, he never had a “formal offer” from Ottawa. He also felt like he jibed with Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher – known as one of the savvier operators in the business. After the Senators hired Guy Boucher, they said Boucher was their No. 1 choice  and had the resources to meet Boudreau's price tag of near $3 million per-year.  “Meeting with Chuck I felt … I felt the same way with (Ottawa GM) Pierre (Dorion) but there was a little more – it was so easy to talk to them and their philosophy was great and I thought they had a really good team,” Boudreau said. “And I thought they always played hard against us so I was hoping and praying they were the ones that would come to the front and asked me to coach.” Added Boudreau, “We knew it was going to happen quick and it did happen quick.”  A lot of attention with Boudreau has revolved around his offensive philosophies and trying to open up the Wild’s defensive-minded systems. But he also needs to coax more talent out of some of the Wild’s younger players. Forward Mikael Granlund was once considered a budding star, but has never eclipsed 44 points in a full season. Defenseman Jonas Brodin is considered a mobile minute cruncher (20:25 per-game last season) but hasn’t turned into that No. 1 or No. 2 defenseman the Wild hoped when he was a rookie. Jason Zucker’s best year came in 2014-15 when the forward had 21 goals in 51 games. He had just 13 goals in 71 games this year. All three are age 24 and younger.  If these players can tap into their potential, then the Wild will have a better chance of taking another step. If they don’t then Boudreau will need to rely on the team’s aging core, which could make a fifth-straight playoff appearance for the Wild seem less likely.  “I’ve seen (their younger players) all play and thought they were great and again, how can I help them grow? I think there are a couple of ways. One is just natural maturation and two is I think if they put in the work, they’re going to get better,” Boudreau said. “I’ve seen so many players from a young age to middle hockey age in the mid-20s improve so much and I don’t see why these guys can’t either.” Added Boudreau, "A lot of them haven’t hit their ceiling of how good they’re going to be. And I think they’re a very competitive team in the Central Division which I classify right up there with the best division in the league. If they haven’t hit their ceiling to be able to watch them grow I think there’s another step to be taken by the team and individual players."  This past year, there was some drama with Wild forward Zach Parise and his using Adam Oates as a skills coach . Yeo indicated he believed Oates’ presence with Parise hurt the team . When asked, Boudreau said he didn’t have an opinion.  “I haven’t really encountered it yet,” Boudreau said. “It’s too early for me to answer that question. We’ll see as we go along here.” In his introductory press conference with the Wild, Boudreau indicated he preferred to limit the minutes of defenseman Ryan Suter more moving forward. While Suter’s showed no signs of slowing down – and put up his best statistical season of his career – Yeo had a tendency to overuse the blueliner. In four years with Minnesota Suter averaged 28:44 of ice-time. With the Ducks, Boudreau had a pair of elite defensemen in Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm, but often preferred to roll three pairs. “I’ve never said I wasn’t going to play him 30 minutes, I just think it’s advantageous if he doesn’t have to,” Boudreau said. “If you can roll out the three defense pairings – but you have to have three defense pairings to roll out – I think it’s more beneficial than playing someone 30-plus minutes per-game.”  Since the Wild brought in Parise and Suter before the 2012-13 season, the Minnesota hasn't finished better than 12th in the NHL in scoring. Last season the Wild finished 18th in the NHL with 2.60 goals per-game. In 2015-16, forward Mikko Koivu led the team with 57 points. Parise notched 25 goals.  Boudreau has often been known as an offensive coach and a coach that maximizes his team from a puck possession perspective. His past groups also had offensive superstars, and the Wild currently does not. This may mean Boudreau may need to change his approach to some degree. “As much as I like Alex Ovechkin and Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, you don’t need those guys to survive to win,” Boudreau said. “I think we can do it the old fashioned way which is you work as a team and you have 20 guys playing. It’s cliché but it’s the thing I think that always works.” Still, part of the reason why he was hired was because of his team’s offense. "His teams play fast, they score, they win and they're entertaining," general manager Chuck Fletcher said . "[I think our players] need a different push, they need a different voice, and Bruce's experience, as long as his tremendous passion for the game and his hockey IQ, will allow him to push this group to heights they haven't been to yet." Part of the reason why Boudreau has been such a successful coach is because he gets his players to buy in because of his caring personality . Boudreau has a 409-192-80 record as an NHL coach between the Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks. Boudreau has yet to speak with the Wild's core, but said that talk will happen in the "next week or so." "I always vowed I’d get to know (my players) and it’s my job to find any little way to make them tick and make them play better and knowing a little bit about them is always beneficial," Boudreau said. "I know they appreciate it, I would have appreciated it as a player."  Both Boudreau and the Wild have been defined by past playoff failures. In Minnesota's four straight postseason appearances they've made the second-round twice, despite having one of the higher payrolls in hockey. Maybe both the coach and the players can find a way to get over the hump together. When asked about his Game 7 struggles, Boudreau noted he's still trying to find ways to hone his coaching craft.  "I’ve improved every year, I’m becoming a better coach," Boudreau said. "Hopefully that improvement can continue. As far as dwelling on the past … the past is the past. I’m looking to the future and forgetting about the past."  MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY   - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper    

Former NHLer Nigel Dawes takes penalty with leaping dive (Video) (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 10 May 2016 12:03:27 PDT)
Former NHLer Nigel Dawes took a big dive in his 2016 IIHF World Championships preliminary round game.  Dawes, who is playing for Kazakhstan, leaped through the air after Team Norway defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen tugged on Dawes’ knee with his stick blade.   [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] Dawes received a penalty for embellishment and Tollefsen took a hooking penalty. Norway ended up beating Kazakhstan 3-2 Dawes played 212 games in the NHL and notched 84 points between the New York Rangers, Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Atlanta Thrashers, and Montreal Canadiens. He has spent the last six years playing with Barys Astana in the KHL and has reportedly received Kazakh citizenship . The 31-year-old Dawes was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Kazakhstan team is also coached by Andrei Nazarov, who is known for some of the more outlandish behind-the-bench antics in hockey . MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY   - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper

Predators and survival; Blues on the edge (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 10 May 2016 10:30:44 PDT)
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com .   

Fabbri's playoff beard; Pavelski the 'nail eater' (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 09 May 2016 10:50:22 PDT)
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com .   • A Mother’s Day gift from Sam Bennett. [ Sam Bennett on Instagram ] • St. Louis Blues rookie forward Robby Fabbri is still trying to get used to his playoff beard. [ St. Louis Post-Dispatch ] • The Blues muted the Dallas Stars' love of Shania Twain over the weekend. [ New York Times ] • St. Louis forward Steve Ott returned to the lineup this playoff after a bout with colitis and suffering a torn hamstring. [ ESPN ] • Jamie Benn will try to show his worth as Stars' captain and franchise winger in Game 6 with his team facing elimination. [ Dallas Morning News ] • San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture hoped he’d get a breakaway on Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne in Game 5. He did and scored a goal. [ CSN Bay Area ] [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] • The Predators are facing another elimination game at home in Game 6. Last time Nashville was in this situation they beat the Anaheim Ducks. [ Nashville Predators ] • Teams down 3-2 often don't come back to win the series. [ Nashville Post ] • Bruce Boudreau was hired by the Minnesota Wild last Saturday after a crazy week. [ Star Tribune ] • Boudreau’s deployment of defensemen should help optimize the group’s ability with the Wild. [ Hockey Wilderness ] • A look at the top candidates to coach the Calgary Flames. Last week, Calgary fired coach Bob Hartley and it was believed Boudreau was their top choice. [ Flames Nation ] • This era of the New York Islanders is over and “no one has any idea what’s coming next, when the ownership group of Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin takes charge in July — a transfer of power that apparently will allow the current administration to run the entry draft and oversee the opening of the free-agent market.” Will the Islanders become a cap team or will they continue to be a budget group? [ New York Post ] • The Tampa Bay Lightning are used to overcoming obstacles. Tampa just moved on to their second straight Eastern Conference Final. They’ve played this postseason without captain Steven Stamkos and defenseman Anton Stralman. [ Lightning Shout ] • What would an expansion draft mean for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Who stays and who goes? [ Columbus Dispatch ] • Sudden death overtime yields more scoring chances than regulation time. [ Sportsnet ] • Vancouver Canucks prospect and UND forward Brock Boeser accompanied Baylee Bjorge, who was born with Down syndrome, for Grand Forks Central’s prom. [ Grand Forks Herald ] • Forward prospect Patrik Laine is trying to close the gap on No. 1 prospect Auston Matthews before the 2016 NHL Draft. [ National Post ] • On former BC defenseman Kaliya Johnson. The Connecticut Whale of the NWHL just signed Johnson. [ Color of Hockey ] • Average miles skated by players in the Predators/Sharks triple-OT Game 4. For example, Nashville defenseman Roman Josi skated 6.6 miles. [ Vocativ ] • Handicapping the WHL Final between the Brandon Wheat Kings and Seattle Thunderbirds. [ Buzzing the Net ] • Did Irish immigrants to Canada help invent hockey?: “Even if the Irish are not completely responsible for the origin of hockey, there’s no denying the impact the Irish have had on the game as we know it today." [ Irish Central ] • Finally, Niagara IceDogs defenseman Vince Dunn was not happy after a goal.  Vince Dunn unhappy with the refs after a goal... and, uh, does this: pic.twitter.com/HmM5Q8lTyI — Mitch Brown (@MitchLBrown) May 8, 2016 MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY  

What We Learned: Dallas Stars burned by terrible goaltending (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 09 May 2016 06:56:46 PDT)
(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.) No one would argue that what the Dallas Stars are dealing with in goaltending this postseason is in any way helpful. Kari Lehtonen is checking in with a white-hot .901 save percentage through nine appearances, including the three goals on 21 shots he conceded in Saturday's 4-1 loss to St. Louis. Antti Niemi, meanwhile, has played in four separate games and sits at .872. That is flat-out not going to win you any hockey games, and it's a trend from the regular season that's only getting worse. Both played at least 43 games, and both were more or less the same goaltender: .906 for Lehtonen, and .905 for Niemi. When the league average goaltender is .915, it's safe to say that they cost their team — which by the way was quite good — plenty of games. Their play alone cost the Stars about 22 goals, or roughly four points in the standings, versus what a league-average netminder would have done. The good news for Dallas is that their offensive talent is so robust, even without Tyler Seguin, that it barely matters. Stars shooters tortured Devan Dubnyk for an .877 save percentage (21 goals allowed on 164 shots), but have run into a bit of a wall in Brian Elliott (10 on 158, or .937). And still, the series is 3-2. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] Now, it's absolutely unreasonable to expect any goaltender to match .937 over five games. That is steal-a-series goaltending, full stop. But you really have to say that Elliott isn't so much stealing things as Niemi and Lehtonen are giving it away of their own accord. You simply cannot allow 16 goals on 143 shots and expect to win much over any length of time. And really, it's easy to pinpoint where the Stars' troubles come from. It's the front of the net. Of the 18 goaltenders who have played at least 100 minutes in this postseason, Niemi has the worst high-danger save percentage at 5-on-5 of anyone. Lehtonen's is fifth-worst. And that's all you need to know about the situation, really. Combined, they've given up a postseason-leading 21 full-strength goals in 11 games, and all but four of them have been from high-danger areas. There is no defending these numbers. When looking at all the numbers, I wondered whether this was a product of the Stars — who don't exactly have a world-class blue line group — giving up a particularly large number of high-danger shots on goal. Looking at all the numbers that didn't seem like a particularly likely outcome, but it had to be investigated. They don't, though. The 7.6 conceded per 60 minutes is actually a little below the league average of 8.1, and they're also on the lower side in terms of high-danger attempts per 60 as well. In fact, Dallas is better than average at suppressing all qualities of shots. However, they do give up a larger percentage of high-danger chances than all but two other playoff teams still standing. In all, more than 29 percent of the shots they concede are from right around the net, and only Tampa (32.3 percent) and San Jose (30.3 percent) are worse. However, both those teams actually have competent goalies, and therefore seem well-positioned to move into the conference finals. It should be noted, too, that San Jose is the best shot-suppression team in the league this postseason, while Tampa plays higher-event hockey to begin with, out-run-and-gunning the Stars with more shots both taken and conceded per 60. So yup, Niemi and Lehtonen are just not very good. And at this point, it looks like that's going to be the reason the Stars lose this series, or even if they somehow advance (highly unlikely; most estimates only give them about 20 percent odds of winning the next two games), the reason they lose in the next round. Now if you're Jim Nill, you're looking at a very sticky situation going forward. Here are two goalies signed with massive cap hits for each of the next two seasons. Lehtonen is at $5.9 million (uuuggghhh) and Niemi at a slightly more manageable but still probably not too wise $4.5 million. Lehtonen also has a limited no-trade clause for the entirety of his remaining years ( uuuuuuuuuggggggggggggghhhhhhhhh ). That makes it one of the sneakiest bad contracts in the entire NHL, because it both pays a goalie who is clearly in decline too much money, and makes it difficult or even impossible to move him. Near as I can tell, the details of Lehtonen's no-trade clause are not publicly available and we therefore do not know exactly how many teams he can veto as potential trade destinations. Even if it's just, say, five other clubs, that significantly limits the number of potential suitors where he could end up, if Dallas could find a trade partner willing to take on the money. Which is a big if. What you have to keep in mind about Lehtonen is that he's dropped off a cliff in terms of quality the last two seasons. He routinely outperformed league averages prior to 2014-15, but since then he's been well below. And unfortunately, goalies on on the wrong side of 30 who have suffered plenty of injuries over the years tend not to rebound too well.

Canada thrash Hungary for second win in ice hockey championships
(Sun, 08 May 2016 13:30:03 PDT)
Reigning champions Canada swept past promoted Hungary 7-1 in their ice hockey world championship Group B encounter in Saint Petersburg to make it two wins from two on Sunday. Defenceman Michael Matheson collected a goal and two assists, while Colorado Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard made 21 saves on his debut for Canada, who notched their 12th consecutive win at the worlds. Winnipeg centre Mark Scheifele and skipper Corey Perry put Canada two goals in front, before Istvan Bartalis narrowed their lead in the first period.

Bruce Boudreau agrees to terms to coach Minnesota Wild (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 07 May 2016 19:31:01 PDT)
Bruce Boudreau has agreed to terms to coach the Minnesota Wild, giving the team the most sought-after candidate on the market. Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher announced the move Saturday night, barely a week after the 61-year-old Boudreau was fired by the Anaheim Ducks. At 409-192-80, his winning percentage of .659 is the highest among active NHL coaches, and he was the fastest in history to 400 wins (663 games).

Bruce Boudreau chooses Minnesota Wild for next coaching gig (Puck Daddy)
(Sat, 07 May 2016 18:24:45 PDT)
After a week of being the belle of the coaching vacancy ball, Bruce Boudreau has chosen the Minnesota Wild as the next team that he’ll lead to unparalleled regular season success before inevitable postseason failure.  Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher announced that the team came to terms with Boudreau, who was fired by the Anaheim Ducks just over a week ago after their first-round loss to the Nashville Predators. Michael Russo said the term on Boudreau is four years  and at $2.76 million per season . He replaces interim coach John Torchetti, who led the Wild to the playoffs and was 15-11-1. Boudreau interviewed with the Ottawa Senators earlier this week, and there was some thought that might be his destination due to having family living in the area, including a granddaughter. The Calgary Flames, whose firing of coach Bob Hartley seemed conveniently timed to Boudreau’s , never interviewed him formally. The Wild reportedly increased their bid for the coach after he visited the Senators. Boudreau owns a record of 409-192-80 (.659) in nine seasons as an NHL head coach with the Anaheim Ducks and the Washington Capitals, leading his team to a division title eight times. Boudreau became the fastest coach in NHL history to reach the 400-win milestone (663 games) on March 5, 2016, and leads active NHL coaches in win percentage. He was a Jack Adams finalist in 2013-14, and won the award with the Capitals in 2007-08. But obviously the legacy of Boudreau is that of his postseason record: 41-39, coaching in the conference finals once (2014-15) and sporting a 1-7 record in Games 7. (We chronicled the factors behind those failures in this article .) Why do this if you’re the Wild? First off, it’s a prestige hire. Boudreau was the biggest name on the market, and there’s no denying he gets results in the regular season. And his teams have a certain charisma, passion and likability, which have been in short order in Minnesota. Secondly, his pedigree is as an offensive coach. From 2013-16, the Minnesota Wild were No. 22 in goals per game in the NHL at 2.60. Boudreau’s Ducks during that same span were No. 5 at 2.87. As for Boudreau, the Wild are a bit closer to contending than are the Ottawa Senators or the Calgary Flames, at least in the short term. It’s fair to say that the Wild have about a three-year window here with Zach Parise (if healthy), Ryan Suter and Mikko Koivu all in their early 30s while Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund hit their mid 20s. And in Devan Dubnyk, an actual No. 1 goalie. Well, until Boudreau starts platooning him. But now that he’s broken the bank for his coach, the attention for Fletcher turns to his other financial matters: Getting Boudreau the horses he needs on a team that already has $63.8 million dedicated to 35 contracts for next season. Welcome to Minnesota, Bruce. One imagines it’s changed a bit since 1975, when you were a member of the Minnesota Fighting Saints. --  Greg Wyshynski  is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com  or  find him on Twitter.  His book,  TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK , is  available on Amazon  and wherever books are sold. MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

San Jose's disappointment; Stars and Shania (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 06 May 2016 11:20:03 PDT)
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com .   Here you go everyone... As promised an embarrassing pic of @cmcdavid97 keep voting!! #NHL17McDavid pic.twitter.com/4j1eDT6Dyj — Dylan Strome (@stromer19) May 5, 2016 • Dylan Strome with an "embarrassing" photo of Connor McDavid. • The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks put on a sensational show (in Game 4) which will enervate them both for Game 5 Saturday night in San Jose -– almost a doubleheader, followed by a 1,800-mile plane trip. [ CSN Bay Area ] •  The Sharks can’t let a hangover from their Game 4 triple overtime loss linger into Game 5. [ Mercury News ] • The Dallas Stars followed the advice of Shania Twain to beating the St. Louis Blues in overtime in Game 4 of their series. This knotted their series at 2-2. [ Dallas Morning News ] • The Blues were sluggish in Game 4, and let a commanding 3-1 series lead slip away in losing to the Stars. [ St. Louis Post-Dispatch ] [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest today ] • New York Islanders forward Josh Bailey can be the team’s ‘X-Factor’ in Game 4 of their series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. [ Islanders Point Blank ] • Tampa forward Jonathan Drouin has shown no reported ill effects of a big Game 3 hit from Thomas Hickey. Drouin left the game, then returned to notch the game-tying assist. [ Tampa Bay Times ] • Some organizations claim to be World Class but don't live up to it. Jeff Vinik and the Lightning are World Class and more .   [ Raw Charge ] • Changes are needed for the Washington Capitals to get back into their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. [ Washington Post ] • Why the Capitals aren’t dead yet. They’re down 3-1 against the Penguins in their series, but there are signs of hope. [ Japers’ Rink ] • Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley isn’t used to having postseason success. He has been one of the Pens’ best players this playoff. [ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ] • Bruce Boudreau says the fact that his family lives on the East Coast is a “compelling” reason to look at an Eastern Conference team. Boudreau is interviewing for the Ottawa Senators head coaching job Friday. [ Ottawa Sun ] • The Anaheim Ducks have shown interest in Utica Comets coach Travis Green. The Ducks fired Boudreau last week. [ Sportsnet ] • On new Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka: “At 26, Chayka is the youngest GM in NHL history. He has just one year of NHL managerial experience and he is taking over a team that has missed the playoffs four straight years. An early and common narrative portrays Chayka as a math nerd — a whiz kid with a narrow skill set who is just here to crunch numbers and do coach Dave Tippett’s bidding.” [ Arizona Sports ] • Tabea Thornton, wife of Sharks star Joe Thornton, has penned a children's book. [ St. Thomas Times Journal ] • Team Canada downed Team USA, scoring five unanswered goals in a 5-1 win at the World Championships. [ TSN ] • The story behind hockey’s most famous picture.[ Deadspin ] • Should the Edmonton Oilers trade the No. 4 pick in the NHL Draft in order to get a defenseman? [ Edmonton Journal] • How should the Boston Bruins rebuild their defense this summer? [ CSN New England ] • Why fantasy owners should keep an eye on the Calgary Flames’ coaching search. [ Dobber Hockey ] • Will the NWHL’s New York Riveters have space to re-sign goaltender Nana Fujimoto this offseason? [ Today’s Slapshot ] •  When the Connecticut Whale fell to the Buffalo Beauts in the first round of the Isobel Cup playoffs, the upset capped a tumultuous season for the team. [ Along the Boards ] • Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg fall down at the same time after Mike Fisher’s triple-OT winner for Nashville. When your so excited (and tired) that your legs momentarily stop working. #SJSvsNSH #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/qPqpukboUK — #StanleyCup Playoffs (@NHL) May 6, 2016   MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY    

Jack Adams Award Finalists: Gallant vs. Ruff vs. Trotz (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 05 May 2016 17:52:05 PDT)
Gerard Gallant of the Florida Panthers, Lindy Ruff of the Dallas Stars, and Barry Trotz of the Washington Capitals, and  are the three finalists for the 2015-16 Jack Adams Award which is awarded to the head coach who has "contributed the most to his team's success."

NHL, Oilers, Flames each donating $100,000 to Fort McMurray (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 05 May 2016 15:23:25 PDT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- The National Hockey League and the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames are each donating $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross relief efforts in fire-ravaged Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Huge if True: NHL coaching carousel waits on Bruce Boudreau (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 05 May 2016 14:11:53 PDT)


NHL coaching carousel 'spinning out of control' (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 05 May 2016 11:55:00 PDT)
Bob Hartley watched bosses come and go three times as coach of the Calgary Flames. Fired Tuesday by the Flames, Hartley is itching to get back at it and he's not alone. The Anaheim Ducks' last two coaches, Bruce Boudreau and Randy Carlyle, are also in the mix for current vacancies.

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