Updates on the Stanley Cup Finalists, latest recommendation from the NHL competition committee, an updates on Shane Doan and more.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Despite the recent decline in production of the Lightning’s “Triplet Line” of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov, coach Jon Cooper believes the trio will find a way out of their slump. Johnson, the playoff scoring leader, hasn’t scored in five games stretching back to the Eastern Conference Final.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the Lightning to defeat Chicago and win the Stanley Cup, they need the Triplets to start scoring. If the Blackhawks successfully keep the trio contained, the Bolts could be in serious trouble.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks rookie Teuvo Teravainen is thriving under the pressure of his first NHL playoffs. He was the hero of Game One of the Stanley Cup Final, scoring the game-tying goal and assisting on Antoine Vermette’s winner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After playing in only two games in the Blackhawks opening round series against Nashville, Teravainen has gained the trust of coach Joel Quenneville. The youngster has tallied eight points in 13 playoff games, one shy of his points total in 34 regular-season games.
CBS SPORTS: The NHL’s competition committee has recommended ” introduction of expanded video replay that would also introduce a coach’s challenge for goals that may have resulted from goaltender interference and offside plays.” The recommendation now requires the approval of the league and the NHLPA.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe we’ll see this one get approved.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: The NHLPA membership’s discontent over escrow, the declining value of the Canadian dollar and the reduced number of outdoor games this season are several factors which could ensure only a marginal increase in the salary cap for 2015-16.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The biggest is the decline in the value of the Canadian dollar. Even with more outdoor games last season and the PA approving its annual escalator clause, the salary cap for this season came in $2.1 million shy of expectations. The value of the “loonie” was considerably higher at this point last year (.92 cents USD) than it is now (.80 cents USD), which is having a significant effect upon the NHL salary cap.
TSN.CA: Long time NHL insider Bob McKenzie has been named this year’s recipient of the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award by the Hockey Hall of Fame.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved and long-overdue honor for McKenzie, who is the best hockey reporter in the business. No one in the game is as well connected or respected as he is.
THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Despite ongoing uncertainty over the future of the Arizona Coyotes and their summer roster plans, captain Shane Doan insists this has been just an ordinary offseason for him. He’s entering the final year of his contract and will be eligible for UFA status next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Coyotes are still a non-contender before next season’s trade deadline, don’t be surprised if management approaches him about a trade to a playoff club.