Updates on the Stanley Cup Finalists plus the latest on the Coyotes arena situation, Penguins, Nate Thompson, Daniel Cleary and Vladimir Sobotka.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Mystery over the Lightning’s starting goalie for Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final (tonight in Tampa Bay) heightened when starter Ben Bishop (lower-body injury) sat out practice on Friday.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has led the way for his team, but more of his teammates need to step up.
TSN: The Arizona Coyotes won a temporary restraining order that prevents the city of Glendale from ending its arena lease agreement with the team.
NBC SPORTS: Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton vows he’ll do all he can from preventing the Coyotes from leaving the area, even to the point of brokering a deal to enable the team to return to its former arena in downtown Phoenix. Stanton also claims he’s reached out to the Coyotes and the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, who currently play in the ‘Yotes former arena. He’s also had preliminary discussions with the Suns regarding a new arena.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the city of Phoenix constructs a new arena, that could significantly change this situation. The city of Glendale and the Coyotes could then workout a short-term lease agreement pending completion of the Phoenix arena, allowing the Coyotes to move into the new venue, which they would share with the Suns. It would be a better location for the Coyotes and could provide the long-term stability they need.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford countered reports claiming UFA defensemen Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff, as well as forward Maxim Lapierre, would not be back next season. “I don’t want to cross anybody off the list because you don’t know what happens here in the next month,” Rutherford said. Martin’s agent, Ben Hankinson, claims the Penguins remain in play.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks forward Nate Thompson recently underwent shoulder surgery. Recovery is expected to take five-to-six months. He will miss the opening two months of next season.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings GM Ken Holland will meet next week with pending UFA forward Daniel Cleary to discuss his future.
STLTODAY.COM’s Jeremy P. Rutherford reports via Twitter: “Blues GM Doug Armstrong says he has NOT received confirmation from Sobotka’s agent that he’ll stay in the KHL and called reports “premature”