NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 26, 2017
Penguins returning to the Stanley Cup Final plus updates on the Ducks, Blues and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: For the second straight year and the sixth time in franchise history, the Pittsburgh Penguins are heading to the Stanley Cup Final.
Chris Kunitz scored twice, including the winner in double overtime, as the Penguins edged the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. Justin Schultz also scored for the Pens while Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel tallied for the Sens.
The defending champion Penguins will face the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the Cup Final on Monday in Pittsburgh.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Penguins for becoming the first defending champion to return to the Final since the 2009 Detroit Red Wings. Kudos as well to the Senators. Despite their heartbreaking defeat in this game, they proved a handful for the Penguins, pushing them to the limit in this series. Hopefully their performance in this year’s playoffs will be something they can build upon for next season.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen will undergo major shoulder surgeries that will sideline both for months. Lindholm is expected to require four-to-five months of recovery, while Vatanen could be out longer.
Meanwhile, goaltender John Gibson suffered a hamstring injury, forwards Rickard Rakell and Patrick Eaves had high-ankle sprains, defensman Kevin Bieksa suffered a torn MCL, forward Nate Thompson suffered a hairline fracture in his ankle while winger Jared Boll had a bad back.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The injuries to LIndholm and Vatanen raises questions over the effect upon the Ducks’ expansion draft plans. It’s rumored the Ducks could trade Vatanen, rather than risk losing him for nothing to the Vegas Golden Knights. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston points out an injured player can still be traded so this news might not affect the Ducks’ plans.
TSN: Speaking of the Ducks, contract extension talks with blueliner Cam Fowler are expected to resume next week. Fowler’s a year away from eligibility for unrestricted free agency. Talks have reportedly gone well thus far.
Meanwhile, contract discussions between the Montreal Canadiens and the agent for goaltender Carey Price could also resume next week. Like Fowler, Price is a year away from UFA eligibility.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fowler and Price cannot be re-signed until July 1 of this year.
STLTODAY.COM: Forward Steve Ott is ending his 14-year NHL playing career to join the St. Louis Blues as an assistant coach.
THE MERCURY NEWS: Hall of Famer Larry Robinson is leaving the San Jose Sharks to seek work with another organization closer to his home in Bradenton, Fla. For the past three seasons, he was the Sharks director of player development.
SPORTSLOGOS.NET: Over a dozen NHL teams, including the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators and Ottawa Senators, are expected to undergo some minor uniform changes for next season.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres signed Russian defenseman Victor Antipin to a one-year, $925K contract.
MLIVE.COM: Full season tickets are now available for the Detroit Red Wings’ inaugural season in the Little Caesars Arena.