Ducks and Predators prepare for Game 7, updated second-round playoff schedule & more in today’s collection of notable NHL headlines. 

NHL Playoff Headlines.

The Anaheim Ducks & Nashville Predators square off tonight in Game 7 of their opening-round series.

The Anaheim Ducks & Nashville Predators square off tonight in Game 7 of their opening-round series.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER/ESPN.COM: As the Anaheim Ducks prepare to face the Nashville Predators in the seventh and deciding game of their opening-round series, they must overcome their own disappointing Game 7 history. Meanwhile, the underdog Predators finally get to take center stage as they appear in their first-ever Game 7 situation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators would take center stage had the NHL not, for some inexplicable reason, decided to schedule the opening game of the New York Islanders-Tampa Bay Lightning series earlier tonight. That could steal away some of the spotlight. 

NHL.COM: Speaking of the second round, the league has released more schedule information.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: For the first time since undergoing blood-clot surgery, Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos has returned to skating with his teammates in practice, albeit wearing a red non-contact jersey. His timeline for return (one-to-three months) remains unchanged.

USA TODAY: Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin still hasn’t returned to the ice after playing in only one game (Game 2) of their first-round series against the Minnesota Wild.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik (upper-body injury) returned to practice yesterday but remains day-to-day.

NEWSDAY:  Injured NY Islanders’ Jaroslav Halak, Josh Bailey and Ryan Pulock traveled with the club to Tampa Bay for the start of their second-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. No word as to when they might return to action.

Other Notable Headlines.


TSN: New York Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle had some choice words for New York Post reporters Larry Brooks and Brett Cyrgalis during his season-ending media scrum. Lots of f-bombs tossed around.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As NBC Sports’ Mike Halford observed, this isn’t the first time Boyle’s voiced his displeasure over his media coverage. He also spoke out two years ago during his final season with the San Jose Sharks, though not with as much profanity.

SUN-SENTINEL: Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon said 44-year-old right wing Jaromir Jagr wants to return next season. Tallon doesn’t foresee any difficulty getting him under contract.

YAHOO SPORTS: The Panthers aren’t expecting defenseman and captain Willie Mitchell to return next season, as concern over what another brain injury may have ended his career.

MIAMI HERALD’s George Richards reports “Dave Bolland said to be in Toronto meeting with specialists; team expecting to cut ties w/ him this offseason.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Great news about Jagr, but sad to hear about Mitchell and Bolland. At least the 39-year-old Mitchell had a full NHL career, playing 15 seasons and helping the Los Angeles Kings win two Stanley Cups. Bolland’s won two championships as well with the Chicago Blackhawks, but the 29-year-old is facing the possibility his playing career has been cut short. He’s been plagued by issues related to a severed ankle tendon suffered during his brief season with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2013-14. His play has suffered ever since. It’s believed the Panthers can cite insurance reasons to get out of his contract. 

PHILLY.COM:  Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn will miss the opening three games of the 2016-17 season sitting out a suspension for charging Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie in Game 6 of their first-round series.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Flyers wing R.J. Umberger expects he’ll be bought out of the final season of his contract.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks re-signed center Markus Granlund to a two-year contract extension. The Canucks acquired Granlund in a trade with the Calgary Flames in February. As per General Fanager, it’s a $1.8 million contract with an annual average salary of $900K.

BOSTON HERALD: Recently ousted Bruins defense coach Doug Houda feels he hasn’t been made the scapegoat for his club’s struggles this season.

SPORTSNET: Eric Francis believes it could take some time for the Calgary Flames to get a new arena constructed.

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