Kings and Ducks prepare for Game 7, plus the latest on Ryan McDonagh, Zdeno Chara, Andrew Shaw, Zenon Kenopka and more.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the first time in this year’s playoffs, the “Freeway Series” has center stage, and for the most important game of the series. This one should be a dandy. The winner will face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens but dealt to the Rangers before playing a single game with the Habs, says his heart and soul is with New York.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s an angle some in the press will try to play up, a player cast aside by his former team facing that club years later in the playoffs. Really, there’s no story here, other than the Rangers won that trade big time. McDonagh wasn’t disrespected by the Canadiens and never played a game for them. He’s been a Ranger his entire pro career. There’s no “revenge angle”.
CSNCHICAGO.COM: The Blackhawks could have forward Andrew Shaw back for the Western Conference Final. Shaw’s been sidelined with a leg injury since Game 1 of the division final against Minnesota.
ESPN.COM: Slovakian GM Otto Sykora claims Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara fractured a finger in the series against Montreal and will require surgery. Sykora claimed that’s why Chara won’t be able to join the national team in the current World Championships. Boston Bruins president Cam Neely said he was unaware of any injury to Chara.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fractured finger would partially explain Chara’s struggles against the Canadiens as the series went on.
BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres forward Zenon Konopka faces a 20-game suspension for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. Konopka is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
KING5.COM: Los Angeles real estate tycoon Victor Coleman is reportedly among a group of investors keen to bring an NHL franchise to Seattle.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL is keen to put a franchise in Seattle, but they need assurances there will be an NHL caliber arena for that franchise. It remains to be seen how long this could take, and if Seattle gets a relocated or expansion franchise.