Over the last week, here are some of the biggest stories you may or may not have seen in hockey.
Tampa Bay Lightning win the 2019-2020 Stanley Cup
This happened mere hours after I posted my last update, but still relevant. Though, it feels like it occurred a lifetime ago now.
TB posted a 2-0 win in Game 6 of the final, absolutely smothering the Dallas Stars en route to their second Stanley Cup victory in the last 14 years. In my opinion, injuries and fatigue simply caught up to the Stars in this one, with their big guns running out of gas (or for Seguin, running out of healthy body parts).
Now moving forward, I don’t think Tampa’s window is shut by any means. But what’s the word, they need to cut $10M in salary to afford Vasilevsky’s new extension, contracts for Cirelli and Sergachev, etc. Apparently a few of their big boys with NMC/NTC have already gave them a big ol’ N-O to getting moved, with their sights now on depth players like Tyler Johnson or Cedric Paquette. FYI, I’d be fine with either of those players in an Oilers uniform. Hot take – I think the move the Lightning need to explore is trading Steven Stamkos... which may be an unpopular opinion. But this man is always injured (at the worst times, usually) and is not getting any younger. Cut your losses on that $8.5M player, though he is your captain, and keep your STANLEY CUP WINNING core intact.
NHL Entry Draft is tomorrow night
Personally, beyond the excitement of the Oilers getting a dynamic new player, I am hoping to see some big shakeups around the league. Fingers crossed the Oilers are in on some of those, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up this offseason.
In the SB Nation mock draft, our crew picked Jake Sanderson. The Athletic also took a deep dive into some of the players who may be available come pick #14 tomorrow. Based on Holland’s media availability today, it sure sounds like they will NOT be moving off of their pick, as well as keeping their third rounder – next year’s will go to Calgary.
Klefbom out long-term
With Oscar Klefbom looking like he’ll miss most of, if not all of, next season, I think the Oilers need to make careful decisions with their defensive core and consider investing in a bigger name. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but I like Tyson Barrie. He wasn’t a good fit in Toronto, but I think he’d have a great chance of fitting in with the Oilers. Others agree too, it would seem.
Late, breaking, devastating news
Connor McDavid has tested positive for novel coronavirus. He is currently quarantining in his own home, and only experiencing mild symptoms. I’m happy to hear he’s fine, and he should make a full recovery, but did anyone hear about college athletes in the U.S. having a permanent 10% reduction in VO max after testing positive for COVID-19? I’m sure he will be fine, but I have some worries.
Moves from around the league:
- Robin Lehner resigns with the Vegas Golden Knights for $5M x 5 years. Gotta think the Flower is on his way out now, no?
- Tristan Jarry resigns for $3.5M x 3 years with the Penguins – what a deal for a starter. And here’s the thing, I think Matt Murray will resign for a nearly identical contract and the two will split starts.
- The San Jose Sharks flipped a couple of nothing picks for Ryan Donato and former Oiler, Devan Dubnyk. Dubnyk could regain form and push Jones out of the starter job in SJ.
- Not surprisingly, Penguins bought out Jack Johnson.
- Surprisingly (to me), the Rangers bought out the King, Henrik Lundqvist. Honestly, wouldn’t hate to see him as the Oilers backup next year.
Next week’s edition will have some huge news (I’m hoping), with the draft and the beginning of free agency well under way. Talk to y’all then!