Devils eliminate Rangers and advance to Stanley Cup Final, four Kings worthy of MVP honor, Hasek thinking of return to NHL, Blackhawks re-sign Mayers, and more.


New Jersey Devils are 2012 Eastern Conference Champions.

NJ.COM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Adam Henrique scored barely a minute into overtime as the New Jersey Devils defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 to win the Eastern Conference Final four games to two, marching on to face the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final, which begins May 30.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty are four Kings who merit serious consideration for this year’s Conn Smythe Trophy honors.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At this point, I’d say Brown has the edge over Quick. Of course, everything will depend on the outcome of their Cup Final series against the Devils, whose candidates (in my opinion) include Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Travis Zajac.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith hopes Sean Burke will return as the Coyotes goalie coach. Burke doesn’t have a contract for next season, and much could depend upon the club’s ownership situation.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Cited a report from RDS claiming the Chicago Blackhawks have re-signed pending UFA forward Jamal Mayers to a one-year, $600 K contract.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman Hal Gill suffered a fractured tibia in the club’s second-to-last regular season game when he blocked a shot by Dallas Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray, which required surgery to repair. That explains why he missed the club’s opening-round series against Detroit.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: A Czech newspaper claims former NHL goaltending great Dominik Hasek is considering a comeback.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: NHL coaching legend Scotty Bowman was awarded the Order of Canada.

BND.COM: St. Louis Blues CEO Mike McCarthy has stepped down.