The Stanley Cup was in the building. The game had that atmosphere. Every hit, every shift, was just a little bit more urgent. Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ondrej Palat sniped the game-winner late in the third period to spoil the party in Colorado. Barry Trotz will not coach the Winnipeg Jets next season or any team. The New York Rangers could drop a big name on the NHL trade block. The Vancouver Canucks swiped another Pittsburgh Penguins executive, and I put forth a different take on the Penguins’ negotiations with Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin.
The Chicago Blackhawks are about to name a new head coach, too.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Jim Rutherford poached Scott Young from the Penguins, and the Penguins promoted Tom Kostopoulos to the player development role. This is more significant than you might think. Pittsburgh Penguins news.
Vancouver Hockey Now: The Canucks were loading up their hockey ops on Friday. Remember when Florida fired Dale Tallon, and everyone expected Rutherford would hire him as an assistant? It never came to be, but Rutherford finally got the wily vet GM off the bench and more big hires, too. Vancouver Canucks big day.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: I did stick my neck out, just a little. I’ve advocated paying Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin, but that hasn’t happened yet. Why? With free agency so close, maybe Ron Hextall should pull back. He might get a better deal. And the Penguins can fortify their roster in the meantime. This column was well debated and surprisingly well-received. Pittsburgh Penguins analysis.
And just in case you missed the monumental news this week–soon, there will be a full sports Pittsburgh outlet. The largest created in decades. Pittsburgh Hockey Now has acquired Steelers Now and Pittsburgh Baseball Now and a sports outlet will form.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
Colorado: Palat scored late. The Tampa Bay Lightning won to force Game 6. Terry Frei wonders why do the Avalanche keep making things hard on themselves? Colorado Avalanche wrap.
NHL.com: Barry Trotz declined the Winnipeg Jets offer. And everyone else’s, too. He won’t coach next season. Here’s the full story on the venerable coach.
Montreal Hockey Now: The Chicago Blackhawks have a new head coach. Luke Richardson, a Canadian assistant, will get the big job. Montreal Canadiens news.
The Athletic: Rangers GM Chris Drury was reportedly unhappy with Artemi Panarin’s playoff performance. He was non-existent against the Penguins. Arthur Staples reports the Ranges could shop Panarin this offseason.
Boston Hockey Now: The Bruins open coaching gig added a new name to the public sphere, but one who is quite worthy. Greg Cronin, the head coach of the Colorado Eagles–the Avalanche farm team–is a Boston guy and interviewed with the Boston Bruins.
Philly: Ex-players say the Flyers will love “maniac” John Tortorella.
Philly: Bad news in Philadelphia. Joel Farabee had serious back surgery, and he’ll miss the start of next season. I really like Farabee–he’s a solid player. Philadelphia Flyers news.
Washington: Sammi Silber is watching the Stanley Cup Final. The team she covers has needs, including a second-line center. Yeah, the three key Avalanche players Washington could and should pursue. Washington Capitals takes.
Vegas: Pete DeBoer is the new head coach of the Dallas Stars. However, he admitted he was rattled after getting fired by the Vegas Golden Knights.