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NHL Morning Papers

NHL Morning Papers (Thursday Edition): A.O. tries for back-to-back MVPs, Wings/Penguins Part III?, Cost of getting rights to Bouwmeester might prove too high for Flyers, Does Heatley’s trade request affect his Olympic status, Another Sutter coaching signing.

2009 NHL Awards in Vegas:

  • Hockey may not be the most natural fit in this desert oasis, but it sure made itself at home Wednesday night as it kicked off the 2009 NHL Awards show stay here with a Presenters Welcome Reception.
  • Alex Ovechkin can become the NHL’s first back-to-back MVP since Dominik Hasek captured the award in 1997 and 1998 as a member of the Buffalo Sabres, and the first forward to accomplish the feat since Wayne Gretzky’s eight-year reign from 1980 to ’87. 8 in-a-row, that’s insane!!!
  • A galaxy of hockey stars will gather tonight in Las Vegas for the NHL Awards Show at the Palms Hotel, but a couple of newly crowned champions aren’t favored to win.
  • To go with his cool and calm presence on the ice, there’s also an unimaginable toughness to Nicklas Lidstrom few athletes in the world have but his Norris run is threatened tonight.
  • Tonight, amid the glitz and the glamour of the first NHL Awards show in Vegas, Malkin might add to his Conn Smythe and Art Ross as he vies for the Hart and Leaster B. Pearson awards.
  • In typical Andy Murray fashion, the St. Louis Blues coach believes any honor that comes his way can only do so if the entire organization shares in the glory.
  • Scott Burnside of ESPN suggests that the National Hockey League could not have picked a better summer to step outside the box and move its annual awards ceremony to the city that never sleeps.
  • The NHL is going for a little more glitz and glam by announcing its award winners at the Palms Hotel Las Vegas tonight. The Canadian Press takes a shot at picking the winners.  As does Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated.

Stanley Cup Teams:

  • By agreeing to a three-year deal worth $5.5 million, defenseman Alex Goligoski will not become a restricted free agent on July 1.
  • An e-mailer asked the other day whether the Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins are shoo-ins for a Part III to their Stanley Cup trilogy.  We discussed this on the IC Radio program last nightWe felt it was possible but not likely.
  • Those from Detroit aren’t going to like this and I’m sure my e-mail box will be full of angry letters, but some of the Red Wings (and one in particular) are coming off like a bunch of whiners over this whole Sidney Crosby-handshake thing.
  • Bruce Boudreau on Penguins’ Cup win: I couldn’t bring myself to cheer for them.  Who wouldn’t want to see these two teams having a re-match in the playoffs next year?

The Rest:

  • Flyers must weigh cost of getting rights to talk to prized blue-liners but some are wondering if Jay Bouwmeester or Mike Komisarek could be Flyer’s by the end of next week?
  • Banged up and sidelined by the end of Boston’s second-round playoff series with Carolina, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference had surgery to repair a hernia and alleviate a problematic groin injury.
  • Roy Mlakar took over as president of the Senators at a low point for the franchise and he took the high road in discussing his departure from Ottawa.
  • A lot has been said and written about Dany Heatley but one of the silliest is the idea that Heatley’s problems with the Senators might hurt his chances of making Canada’s 2010 Olympic team.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke wants nothing to do with disgruntled winger Dany Heatley of the Ottawa Senators.
  • Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen held a hockey camp for little ones Wednesday. Lehtonen answered questions about his future with the Atlanta team.
  • GM Rutherford has tough decisions regarding salary cap, budgeting for Carolina’s players.
  • Panthers Assistant General Manager Randy Sexton said Wednesday that he has spoken with every general manager in the league about potential deals, including a trade of soon-to-be unrestricted free-agent defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.
  • Life is good for the Wild’s Niklas Backstrom:  Four-year deal, no-trade clause, $6 million-a-year salary, one of the best goalies in the NHL and a surgically repaired hip that feels good as new.
  • Ryan Kesler admits he isn’t a betting man, which means two things: the Vancouver Canuck is keeping one hand on his wallet when he’s around teammate Roberto Luongo in Las Vegas, and he won’t be laying money on himself to win the Selke Trophy at the NHL Awards ceremony on Thursday.

Phoenix Situation:

  • There’s an idea floating around that David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski couldn’t afford to buy an NHL team, considering they took a loan when they bought the Argonauts out of bankruptcy six years ago.   Cynamon has a message: Don’t buy it.
  • The president of the Phoenix Coyotes believes his team can survive its current financial problems, as long as it improves its on-ice performance to get more Arizona fans to support the team.

Minor Hockey:

  • Another Sutter enters the coaching ranks as Shaun Sutter, son of Brian, was hired by the Regina Pats.
  • Marking a second changing of the guard in less than a week, the Rapid City Rush named Luke Fritshaw their captain for the 2009-2010 Central Hockey League season.
  • So much for free-agent intrigue for Quintin Laing.  The left winger, scheduled for free agency July 1, has re-signed with the Washington Capitals and Hershey Bears, the clubs announced Wednesday.