Updates on the Bruins, Penguins, Kings and Blackhawks, plus the latest on the Rangers coaching situation, Pavel Datsyuk, Mike Smith and more.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The most obvious key for the Bruins is containing the Penguins vaunted offense. If the Penguins can wear down Chara, it could provide more room for their scorers to operate in the Bruins zone.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In my opinion, Quick has been the playoff MVP so far, as well as the best goalie in the league. If the Kings march on to another championship, he’ll win his second straight Conn Smythe, Bickell, meanwhile, earned his promotion with his strong play in the Blackhawks previous series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gretzky does have head coaching experience, but Messier has been part of the Rangers front office for several years and is apparently champing at the bit for a bigger role. I believe, however, the Rangers should be seeking the best available coach, not hiring a former superstar.
CSNBAYAREA.COM: The San Jose Sharks coaching staff will return next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I daresay they’ll also keep as much of the roster intact as possible.
DETROIT NEWS: Pavel Datsyuk would like to sign a contract extension with the Red Wings. There had been speculation Datsyuk, a UFA next summer, would bolt for the KHL to finish his playing career in Russia.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will come as a huge relief for the Red Wings and their fans, and I daresay we’ll hear an announcement of Datsyuk’s re-signing at some point in July. He’s simply too valuable for the Red Wings to risk losing to free agency.
AZCENTRAL.COM: Sarah McLellan reports a hometown discount might be possible for Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith, but he wants assurances the club’s incoming ownership will be committed to building and maintaining a Cup contender, which includes determining if head coach Dave Tippett is retained. Smith won’t take the same “leap of faith” Shane Doan did last summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the lack of depth in this summer’s free agent market (especially in goaltenders), Smith could command around $7 million per season on this summer’s free agent market, and could head toward a more stable franchise. However, the Coyotes gave him a chance to prove himself as a quality starter, so he is understandably loyal toward them. Things are moving quickly on the ownership situation, and it appears it could finally reach a resolution which keeps the franchise in Glendale, but it could take a significant sell job by the incoming owners to convince Smith to stay.
NEW YORK TIMES: Pollster Nate Silver examines why a Canadian NHL team hasn’t won the Stanley Cup over the past twenty years.