Playoffs open-round matchups and schedule set, Patrick Kane, Alex Ovechkin & the Ducks win awards and more in today’s collection of notable NHL headlines.

PHILLY.COM:  Philadelphia Flyers founder Ed Snider died of bladder cancer at the age of 83. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Condolences to Snider’s family and friends. In a statement released this morning, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called Snider “”the soul and spirit of the Flyers, who have reflected his competitiveness, his passion for hockey and his love for the fans from the moment he brought NHL hockey to Philadelphia in 1967.”

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER/THE WASHINGTON POST:  The Anaheim Ducks capped their remarkable regular-season comeback with a 2-0 victory over the Washington Capital to earn their fourth straight Pacific Division title. Ducks goalies Frederik Andersen and John Gibson earned the William M. Jennings Trophy. Capitals winger Justin Williams was honored for playing in his 1,000th career NHL contest.

The opening-round bracket of the 2016 NHL playoffs.

The opening-round bracket of the 2016 NHL playoffs.

PHILLY.COM: Michal Neuvirth returned from a 25-day absence (knee injury) to backstop the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-2 win over the listless New York Islanders. Michael Raffl collected a goal and two assists.

TSN.CA:  Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane became the first American-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy, clinching this year’s scoring title with 106 points. He was also the only player to reach 100 points this season and the first Blackhawk to win the scoring crown since Stan Mikita in 1967-68.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin won the Maurice Richard Trophy for the fourth straight year and the sixth time in his career.

NHL.COM: With the regular season finally completed, the opening round matchups for the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs have been determined and the playoff schedule released. The first games begin on Wednesday, April 13.

OTTAWA SUN: Bryan Murray yesterday announced he was handing over the reins as Senators general manager to Pierre Dorion.


TWINCITIES.COM:  Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise (day-to-day, undisclosed injury) could miss the start of his club’s opening-round series against the Dallas Stars.

TAMPA TRIBUNE:  Lightning center Tyler Johnson is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

MLIVE.COM:  Despite Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk recently admitting he’s leaning toward returning to Russia next season for family reasons, his agent suggests there’s still a chance he could finish the final year of his contract with the Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Judging by the interview Datsyuk recently gave to the Detroit Free Press’ Mitch Albom, he sounds like a man who’s heading home to Russia. I’ll have more on Datsyuk later this morning in my Rumors section.