NHL Playoff Morning Papers (Thursday Edition): The rematch is on, steroids reaction and Ken Hitchcock loves Edmonton’s hires
Stanley Cup Finals
Detroit Red Wings (2) versus Pittsburgh Penguins (4)
- Chris Osgood was tremendous last night for the Wings, writes Mitch Albom. Darren Helm is becoming a cult hero in Detroit. Marian Hossa is going to try to limit the distraction that is going to be his return to Pittsburgh. In good news, the Wings expect to have Jonathan Ericsson back in the lineup on Saturday. Here are the Penguins that Wings fans should know about beginning Saturday
- The Penguins have been generating big television numbers in the Pittsburgh area. Those ratings should continue to soar now that the Penguins face the Red Wings in a rematch of last year’s Finals. Coach Bylsma gave his players the day off on Wednesday. People don’t realize how much the Penguins have learned since last year’s playoff experience. Veteran winger Bill Guerin is just happy to have been given the opportunity to join this team mid-season.
Teams that are not in the playoffs
- The Blackhawks’ season ended last night, but they enter the summer feeling good about themselves. They have to realize they lost to the best, writes Steve Rosenbloom. It looks like Nikolai Khabibulin has played his last game as a member of the Blackhawks.
- Ken Hitchcock thinks the Oilers hit a home run with their new coaching selections. While people may love the Quinn/Renney hirings, it will still be the players that determine whether the Oilers turn their fortunes around or not. Meantime, there are rumblings that the Oilers have re-signed Dennis Grebeshkov at approximately $3 million per season.
- If Don Waddell has yet to lead the Thrashers organization to a playoff victory, then why should fans believe this time is different?
- Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs says his GM has permission to spend up to the salary cap next season. In other news, Jacobs expects the next outdoor game to be played in Boston at Fenway Park.
- Adrian Dater of the Denver Post with the details of Patrick Roy’s decision not to coach the Avalanche next season.
- New Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher wants to meet with the entire Wild staff before making any decisions on who will return and who will be let go.
- Former Islanders forward John Tonelli has been arrested for DWI.
- Former Rangers radio play-by-play man, and current Islanders television play-by-play man, Howie Rose recounts the classic “Matteau” call he made fifteen years ago.
- Phil Sheridan has a very well written piece this morning commemorating the late Peter Zezel. “It obviously is way too early for a man to die at 44 years old. The tragedy surrounding it is just horrific for any of us who knew Peter,” said Bobby Clarke.
- The Sharks’ current routine is going to lose its charm quickly, writes Ray Rotto.
- Lightning GM Brian Lawton has been working hard studying draft prospects.
- Could there be more than one Schenn in the Leafs organization after draft day?
- Maybe the Niedermayer brothers will end up on different teams next season?
- The Canucks have re-signed Rick Rypien.
- Capitals players have fully participated in the NHL’s random drug testing program, and at no point has a Capitals player tested positive,” said Capitals team President Dick Patrick about yesterday’s steroids rumors.
- Capitals players don’t seem to think any of their teammates are on steroids. (Writer’s note: I agree with Steve Eminger’s comments in this article. It isn’t like most of the players in hockey are bulky or ripped. I really don’t think there is a steroids issue in hockey at all.)
- Meanwhile, Bruce Arthur of the National Post wonders if this is the NHL’s first real drug problem?
- The NHL needs to get serious about steroids, writes Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star.
- As reported yesterday, Judge Redfield Baum has moved up the relocaiton hearing in the Coyotes case.
- Yesterday Judge Baum also ruled that Jerry Moyes will run the club day-to-day until a sale decision has been made.
- Apparently Tony Tavares was not interested in making an offer for the Coyotes.
Calder Cup Finals