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How Much Longer For Ken Holland?

05/17/2023 at 2:17pm EDT

via Sportsnet,

Edmonton Oilers president of hockey operations and general manager Ken Holland said Wednesday that he intended to honour the final year of his contract and remain in the role for the 2023-24 season.

But he added that, while he has "unfinished business," he can't say for sure how long he'll remain in the role.

"I don't invest in green bananas," Holland said at his end-of-season press conference.

Holland, 67, is entering the fifth and final year of his contract after joining the Oilers ahead of the 2019-20 season. Before that, he was general manager of the Detroit Red Wings for 22 years.

The Oilers have made the playoffs in all four seasons under Holland. This season, Edmonton posted a 50-23-9 record and finished second in the Western Conference with 109 points. But the Oilers season ended in the second round against the Vegas Golden Knights and now the GM is looking at his roster to plan for another run next season.

Vote For The Best Local Hockey Broadcasters

05/17/2023 at 11:32am EDT

from The Athletic NHL Staff,

It isn’t just the product on the ice that matters. The team in the broadcast booth also plays an important part in shaping the enjoyment of every hockey fan’s television viewing experience.

The Athletic has asked hockey fans to rate their experience with local market broadcasts every year since 2020, after which we do a ranking from 32 to 1.

It’s time to voice your opinion again. We’re inviting you to rank your favorite team’s broadcast on a scale from 1 to 5 and as many other broadcasts as you would like on the same scale.

continued (not sure if it is paid or not)

Out Coached In Edmonton?

05/17/2023 at 1:58am EDT

from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,

This in from hockey commentator Chris Gawlik of the Locked On VGK podcast, some hardcore criticism of the work of Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft for his work during the Oilers loss the the Vegas Golden Knights.

Gawlik had predicted heading into the series that Vegas would win in seven games because of coach Bruce Cassidy and goalie Laurent Brossoit being superior to Woodcroft and Edmonton goalie Stuart Skinner: “Give me the best coach and give me the best goaltending and then we’ll go from there and try to figure things out…. We’ve got the notch in those two categories… Both those checkmarks go to Vegas.”

Did Gawlik’s prediction prove out?

The Vegas commentator is blasting Woodcroft for many of the same things now being heard in Edmonton, with the Oilers coach taking major heat i for not going with goalie Jack Campbell in Game Six, and for his decisions on line-matching in Game Six as well.

Gawlik is astonished that Campbell did not get a start. “You pull Skinner three times in five games and you roll with him in Game Six? I don’t get it.”

Woodcroft failed to start either Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl in Games Five and Six and instead went with Ryan McLeod, who took an early penalty in Game Five and was out for the early goal against in Game Six.


The Future Looks Bleak For The Arizona Coyotes

05/17/2023 at 1:23am EDT

NHL Short Notes

05/17/2023 at 1:10am EDT

* The new-look Conference Finals open Thursday and are set to feature a mix of notable players either returning to the round before the Stanley Cup Final or reaching the final-four series for the first time in their NHL career.

* The 2023 Conference Finals will mark the second time in Stanley Cup Playoffs history that the round before the Final features multiple head coaches facing a franchise with whom they previously held the same role.

* The 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs Interactive Information Guide has been updated through the Second Round.

Top 5 All-Time NHL Teams

05/16/2023 at 6:00pm EDT

From dynasties and superstars to dominant regular seasons and playoff runs — hockey has come a long way since its humble beginnings. The debates live on forever about which NHL franchise or which season was "the best ever," and these types of discussions lead us on an exciting journey through the rich history of hockey through all eras. If you're anything like me, you live for this debate! So let's dive into our Top 5 All-Time NHL Teams - get ready, settle in, and prepare to be amazed at more than a century's worth of extraordinary teams!

Off Season Talk On The Penguins And Leafs

05/16/2023 at 3:45pm EDT

from Pierre LeBrun of the Athletic,

Tis the season.

We’re down to four teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs, which means for 28 other teams around the NHL, the offseason is in full swing.

The Penguins have been busy conducting interviews as they seek to fill out their front office. They’re looking to hire both a president of hockey operations and a general manager.

They chatted with a dozen or so people via Zoom in the first round of GM interviews and are cutting down the list to a shorter group for in-person second-round interviews, according to league sources. Some of the first-round candidates were informed Tuesday that they are no longer in the running.

I’ve confirmed seven people who were part of the first-round Zoom interviews: Marc Bergevin (Kings), Eric Tulsky (Hurricanes), Peter Chiarelli (Blues), Jason Karmanos (Sabres) and a hat trick of Devils front-office people: Dan MacKinnon (senior vice president/AGM), Kate Madigan (AGM) and Meghan Duggan (director of player development).

On the Leafs

And then there’s Mitch Marner. Because he’s got two years left on his deal, his no-move doesn’t kick in until July 1 and there wouldn’t be an extension in play, he’s the cleanest transaction on the table. Teams would see natural value in Marner having two more years. And the Leafs would have the entire NHL market at their disposal before July 1.

But what would entice the Leafs to move a player of Marner’s immense talent? What would it take for them to consider it a franchise-forwarding deal?

To me, that’s a deal that has to at least net a top-pairing defenseman.

much more ($)

Video- The Choices Of Ryan O'Reilly

05/16/2023 at 1:36pm EDT

E60: Little Choices

via the YouTube page of the NHL on ESPN,

Before he was a Stanley Cup Champion and Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Toronto Maple Leaf forward Ryan O’Reilly was just another kid from the tiny Canadian town of Seaforth, Ontario. The man who ran the local rink in Seaforth, Graham Nesbitt, used to open the arena early on school days to let Ryan practice for free before class. It was a selfless act of kindness that fueled the passion of a young hockey player. Two decades later, Nesbitt fell ill with kidney disease and required a transplant.

Watch below.

Goal Scorers Needed

05/16/2023 at 11:30am EDT

from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

Here is a sampling of unrestricted goal scorers the Red Wings can consider this summer:

Alex Killorn (Tampa Bay Lightning):

If you talk to people around the NHL, they think Yzerman will make a pitch for Killorn. He knows him, and his ability, from their time together in Tampa. Killorn is 33, hard-edged, and has scored 52 goals over the past two season. He’s been a durable player throughout his career. Killorn is currently on a streak of 265 games played. Plug him into the second line and count on 20 goals and a strong all-around season.

Right Wing Vladimir Tarasenko (New York Rangers)

At 31, he’s still a potential 30-goal scorer. Proven scoring touch. Two years ago, he posted 34 goals and 82 points in 75 games. Injuries undermined him last season and he had 50 points in 69 games. What could he do with Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond?

more names

The Hockey Landscape Has Changed In Seattle

05/16/2023 at 10:53am EDT

from Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times,

There is no joy among the Kraken players now, but they shouldn’t be short on pride.

They might not have made any celebratory toasts Monday night, but they spent the past month as the toast of the town.

This fledgling franchise just gave Seattle a gift that spanned 14 games over this postseason, captivating the Emerald City in a way few saw coming before the playoffs began. Pain is understandable after that 2-1 defeat to Dallas in Game 7, but that improbable run was pure pleasure.

It’s wild to juxtapose the Kraken of the past few weeks against the Kraken of the previous three months. It’s even wilder to compare the playoff Kraken to the team that finished with the third-worst record in the NHL last season.

Yes, it’s postseason hockey, where unpredictability is a factory setting. But to knock out the Stanley Cup-champion Avalanche in the first round and then take the Stars to seven in the second? It will likely go down as the foundation for the long-term love affair between this team and its city.

“It won’t register tonight, but this group changed the landscape of hockey in Seattle,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “This group changed the culture, and the trajectory and the belief of our franchise.”


A Long Road For The Florida Panthers

05/16/2023 at 10:35am EDT

from Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel,

This is who you’re happy for: the long-time usher by the penalty box; the voice of more than 1,800 Florida Panthers games; the bartender pouring drinks in their arena for 17 years and greeting a regular, as always, between Sections 101 and 102 during the Toronto series....

There are many who worked for years and waited for decades for this franchise to make the larger world notice. It has been 27 years since the Florida Panthers played this deep into a hockey spring, meaning this is a rare run, a special event, maybe even a career opus for the team, depending on where it ends.

All the talk of patience centers around the center, Aleksander Barkov, who was 8 months old the last time the Panthers were in an Eastern Conference final game. Now, at 28, he’s played for the franchise 10 often driftless years — until now.

“This is what you play for,’’ Barkov said earlier these playoffs. “It’s what we’ve wanted as an organization for years here.”


Adjusting Detroit's Rebuild

05/16/2023 at 10:16am EDT

from Max Bultman of The Athletic,

... But after seven years picking in the top 10, that vision looks a bit different. By necessity.

The Red Wings have, of course, brought in high-end talent as a result of their on-ice woes. Moritz Seider is a cornerstone piece on their blue line. Lucas Raymond is one of the most talented young wingers in hockey. Simon Edvinsson and Marco Kasper are right on the doorstep, looking to prove they belong in that same conversation.

In terms of finding their own Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby or Nathan MacKinnon, though? That lottery-delivered savior never did materialize for Detroit. And with the team now on the upswing, it’s only getting less likely to happen.

Does that mean the rebuild can’t work? That a Cup contender can’t be built?

It certainly won’t make it any easier. But while having a true superstar of course helps — you’ve likely heard the stat that every champ but one since the ’08 Red Wings (St. Louis in 2019) has had a top-two pick on the roster — it has never truly been that simple.

Building a true winner demands great players, there’s no doubt about that. But as Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews would surely tell you: it also demands a whole lot more.

more ($)

Jim Nill Made The Right Calls In The Draft

05/16/2023 at 9:54am EDT

from Marc Engel of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram,

Much like their first round series against Minnesota, the Stars moved on against Seattle for the same reason. They’re the better team.

The Game 7 victory they celebrated on Monday night was was won years ago. Not on the ice. In the front office.

It was won by Stars GM Jim Nill, and team owner Tom Gaglardi for giving him the space, money, and time to build a team that can win the Stanley Cup.

Drafting and developing young players like starting goalie Jake Oettinger.

Drafting Heiskanen, who is one of the NHL’s top defenseman. Drafting forward Wyatt Johnston, a first round pick in 2021 who scored the Stars second goal on Monday night.

"That was definitely one of the better birthday gifts,” said Johnson, who did score the goal on his birthday. He looks 13, and ... he may actually be 13. (He’s 20).

Drafting winger Jason Robertson, who has struggled to score goals this postseason but has contributed more offense than he’s been given credit.

more on the Stars...

Another Bad Spring In Detroit

05/16/2023 at 2:05am EDT

from John Niyo of the Detroit News,

The sights were something to see, no doubt. But it’s the sounds of spring that we’re really missing these days in Detroit. And the calendar is full of reminders.

Take May 16, for example. This is the anniversary of that anxious evening back in 1996 when Steve Yzerman nearly blew the roof off Joe Louis Arena with a double-overtime winner to beat St. Louis, 1-0, in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals. The indelible sound of that 60-foot slapshot ringing off the crossbar, the sellout crowd erupting, air horns blasting … man, we’ve missed that in this town....

Yzerman’s NHL career began 40 years ago next month. And prior to returning to Detroit in 2019, he only needed one hand to count the number of years he’d been a bystander when the puck dropped on the Stanley Cup playoffs. So put it this way: He feels your pain.

“It's an emotional roller coaster for our fans, and I understand that,” Yzerman said last month. “Myself included, there's days you walk out of the rink, and you're like, ‘You know what? I'm real happy with the way things are going.’ … And then two weeks later, you walk out of the rink and you're like, ‘Oh, my God, there's no end in sight.’”

See what I mean? He’s with you. And quite frankly, that's the problem: They're all in this together, and so are we, watching and waiting and wondering when the silence will end.

more ($), Niyo brings up all the four teams in Detroit...

NHL Short Notes

05/16/2023 at 1:51am EDT

* Twenty-year-old Wyatt Johnston became the youngest player in NHL history to score a series-clinching goal in a Game 7, sending the Stars to their second Conference Final in four years.

* Dallas is set to face off against Vegas in a rematch of the 2020 Western Conference Final, where the Stars earned a 4-1 series win en route to their first Stanley Cup Final in 20 years.

* The Conference Finals are set to begin Thursday when the Hurricanes welcome the Panthers to PNC Arena. The puck drops at 8:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on TNT in the U.S. as well as on Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports in Canada.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs Through Two Rounds

05/15/2023 at 10:53pm EDT

via the NHL PR department,

Competitive Balance Sets Up New-Look Conference Finals
* Florida became the 15th different team to reach the final four of the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the League expanded to 31 (now 32) teams in 2017-18. They became the fifth team in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to win more than one series after entering as the lowest-ranked team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, joining the 2021 Canadiens (won three rounds, lost in SCF), 2017 Predators (won three rounds, lost in SCF), 2010 Canadiens (won two rounds, lost in CF) and 1989 Blackhawks (won two rounds; lost in CF).

Videos- The Dallas Stars Advance To The Western Conference Final

05/15/2023 at 10:45pm EDT

Dallas defeated the Seattle Kraken 2-1 tonight to win their series 4-3.

The Stars will face the Vegas Golden Knights beginning Friday night.

Below watch the game highlights and then the handshakes.

Your Conference Finals Schedule

05/15/2023 at 10:39pm EDT

NEW YORK (May 15, 2023) – The National Hockey League today announced the dates, starting times and television coverage for the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals. The Eastern Conference Final will feature the Florida Panthers versus the Carolina Hurricanes and will begin on Thursday in Raleigh. The Western Conference Final will feature the Dallas Stars versus the Vegas Golden Knights and will begin on Friday in Las Vegas. All times listed are ET and subject to change.

Open Post- Day 29 Of The Stanley Cup Playoffs

05/15/2023 at 7:36pm EDT

The scene is set in Dallas for game 7 between the Stars and Seattle Kraken.

The winner moves on to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Final.

Watch on ESPN, Sportsnet or TVAS. Puck drop is just after 8pm ET.

The comment section belongs to you.

How The Seattle Kraken Are On Win Away From The Western Conference Final

05/15/2023 at 2:10pm EDT

from Anthony Trudeau of The Daily Faceoff,

The Seattle Kraken sent their series with the Dallas Stars to Game 7 by winning 6-3 at home on Saturday. The NHL’s newest team has taken it to more talented squads throughout their first postseason and finds itself just a game from the Western Conference Finals. ESPN’s Ryan S. Clark joined host Frank Seravalli on Monday’s edition of Daily Faceoff Live to explain how the Kraken have brought Dallas to the brink.

Frank Seravalli: Ryan you’ve been at all the Seattle home games so far in the playoffs, you’ve watched this team up close and personal, and you’ve seen them save their season yet again. Over the weekend they forced a Game 7 against the Dallas Stars. Every time I have thought the Stars or the Avalanche were in a great position to win their series with Seattle, the Kraken stay right there in their way. Now, they have another opportunity to win Game 7. What do you like about the Seattle Kraken and how they have adjusted to the different pace that the Stars have from Colorado?

Ryan Clark: It has been just how layered and multi-functional they are. We’ve talked so much this postseason about teams that not only have depth, but have depth that can adapt to different situations. Think about what the Kraken did in Game 6, that’s a really strong example. In Games 4 and 5, that was a team that really struggled to get to the low slot and those high danger areas. The result was they were held below their 5-on-5 averages in shots, scoring chances, high-danger scoring chances.


Moving Forward With David Perron

05/15/2023 at 1:54pm EDT

from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

What Does His Detroit Future Hold?

The Red Wings will be expecting a similar contribution from Perron in 2023-24. He’ll be counted on for another 20-goal season and figures to be part of the first power-play unit, utilizing his impressive one-timer to capitalize during man-advantage situations. Perron was second on the club in goals (24) points (56), and power-play points (22). He led the Red Wings with 16 power-play assists.

From Perron’s point of view, he wants his Detroit future to include a playoff appearance following next season.


No Cup Again Canada

05/15/2023 at 12:38pm EDT

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

The Stanley Cup drought has reached 30 years in the True North Strong and Free, with no end in sight. The Maple Leafs inevitably wilt in the heat of the playoffs, their young, expensive and talented core disinclined to battle the way you have to battle come playoff time.

The Oilers have the two best players in the game but without vintage 2015 Carey Price goaltending, they can’t get over the hump.

The rest, at this point, are wannabes — the Canadiens included. The Canucks have a mess at the top, the Flames will regret the Matthew Tkachuk trade and the departure of Johnny Gaudreau forever, the Jets have a sick dressing-room culture, the Senators can’t quite seem to get there and the Canadiens may have a shot in three or four years, but they’re in rebuilding mode 30 years after they won Canada’s last Stanley Cup.

As of this writing, we’re left with three Sun Belt teams (two of them transplanted from the north years ago) and two expansion teams — one of them the Seattle Kraken, a team that has yet to celebrate its second birthday.

This is Bettman’s vision. The only thing that could possibly make him happier would be to see his beloved Arizona Coyotes play a Cup final in front of 5,000 people at Mullett Arena on the Arizona State campus.


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