The Kings take Game One of the Stanley Cup Final, plus the notable points from league commissioner Gary Bettman’s press conference.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Justin Williams scored in overtime as the Los Angeles Kings rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the New York Rangers 3-2, taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The usually sure-handed Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi was the goat on Williams goal, turning over the puck as he attempted to clear his zone while falling to the ice.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the remainder of this Stanley Cup Final is as exciting as Game One, this will be one of the greatest finals in NHL history. It was a tough loss for the Rangers, especially for Girardi, but they served notice in this game they won’t be pushovers. Credit the Kings for rallying back from an early 2-0 deficit. They took control over much of the remainder of the game, but had trouble at times containing the speedy Rangers, giving up several odd-man rushes.
TSN.CA: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman held a press conference before the start of Game One. Some of the notable points: Citing the NBA’s LA Clippers being valued at $2 billion, Bettman claimed the NHL has “plenty of franchises” worth “at least that, if not more”. He also said the league is considering an expansion of instant replay. He also gave a thumbs-up to the divisional realignment and playoff format and claimed concussion incidents were down this season. While Bettman stated the league’s concussion protocols are working, he added players have to be open about their symptoms if they’re to be properly addressed.
NBC SPORTS: Bettman cited what a remarkable season this has been, noting the rise in television ratings and attendance at the outdoor games. He also noted the interest from outside investors in expansion franchises, though the league isn’t ready to go that route yet.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If players aren’t being open or cooperating with concussion protocols, that means there’s room for improvement. That will require, of course, the cooperation of the NHLPA to drive home the point to its membership about the seriousness of the injury. Even so, I doubt you’ll ever fully eradicate that particular problem. Hockey players are conditioned to shrug off pain, even if it’s serious. A concussed player might not understand just how serious his injury could be during the heat of a game.
NJ.COM: Bettman also stated the New Jersey Devils got the first-round pick back in this year’s draft because the club was under new ownership, as well as the departure to the KHL of Ilya Kovalchuk. The Devils had lost the pick as punishment for attempting to circumvent the salary cap when they initially attempted to sign Kovalchuk as an unrestricted free agent in 2010.
NEWSDAY: Bettman said New York Islanders owner Charles Wang continues to weigh his options if he wants to sell the team, sell all of it or a piece.
TSN.CA: Pierre LeBrun reports the World Cup of Hockey is likely to return in September 2016. It would mostly likely be a one-city event. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment had made it clear they want to host the event in Toronto.