I hope everyone who was off enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend and that each of you took a few minutes to reflect on our fallen heroes, veterans and current active duty military folks. We could never do enough to thank them for what they do.
We had an abbreviated edition of PredsOnTheGlass Radio last night as we only went 30 minutes. It was a holiday and we didn't have any special guests lined up but I learned my lesson that it was a mistake to shorten the show. Chris Wassel from The Program joined us and we had a good discussion about the Predator's free agents and who would stay and who would go and we simply ran out of time. A side note, Chris's BTR show will be early this week at 6:00 Central.
After a dark night on the NHL ice, Pittsburgh will play the Hurricanes in Carolina where the Canes will try to save face and avoid the sweep. I find it hard to believe that Carolina can fall this flat after the way they played in the first two series. I expect Carolina to eek out a win tonight just for good measure. Ryan at the RLD has everything you need to know about tonight's match up.
Chicago will travel to Detroit on Wednesday for their shot at avoiding elimination. Joel Quenneville received a $10,000 fine from the league on Monday for comments made about the officiating after the Hawks were blown out on Sunday.
Big Hair Hockey has an interesting contrast of this year's Hawks team to the one of 1929.
The best hockey news of the day on Monday was a story from E J Hradek that indicated that the NHL would reconsider the potential nine day break between this round and the finals if it is all wrapped up by Wednesday night.
That is good news but not good enough for me. No matter when the series end, there simply doesn't need to be more than a two to three day break before the finals begin. Both of the apparent winners, Detroit and Pittsburgh are playing great hockey and there is no reason to slow down the momentum by waiting around for an extended period for TV or any other reason.
In Predator News...
At the Canadian Hockey League Awards ceremony, Pred's prospect, Jonathon Blum was named the league's Defenseman of the Year. This is another trophy on the mantel for a great kid who spent the end of the season in the playoffs with Milwaukee. There is a good chance he will start the season in the AHL next year but could see action with the Preds at some point before the year is out.
Former Predator Bob Boughner received coach of the year honors by leading Windsor to win the Memorial Cup on Sunday. Pred prospect Chet Pickard was nominated but did not win goalie of the year. Cody Hodgson won Player of the year while probable number one draft choice John Taveras won the Prospect award.
Around the Hockey World...
In the AHL Conference finals, Hershey beat Providence 5-2 to make the finals for the third time in the last four seasons. Houston's comeback run ran into a brick wall as Manitoba finally put the nail in the coffin winning 3-1. It is the Moose's first trip to the finals which will begin in Manitoba on Saturday. Yanni is not the problem for Hershey that will cause three games in four days, it's high school graduation according to Bangin' Panger.
News from the desert that the NHL and Jerry Moyes have agreed to an interim operating plan that will handle the day to day operations of the Coyotes. The NHL is footing the bill and is in no hurry to sell the team. Moyes wants the sale to Balsillie to go through ASAP. The question remains unresolved as to whether Moyes had enough control to bankrupt the team. The next hearing is Wednesday and the judge will probably be somewhat pleased that they agreed to the day to day operating plan. Balsillie has also applied to the NHL for ownership which will be rejected. The National Post gives their take on the agreement.
The best summary of the PHX situation that I have seen recently comes from Mirtle this morning. This is a must read to get a true sense of what is going on with Balsillie, Moyes, and the NHL.
It is reported that Patrick Roy has indeed been offered a contract as GM and Coach of the Colorado Avalanche. It would be a risky move and the Avs may be giving Roy more than he can handle but the Avs seem to be in compitition with the Habs for Roy's services. Another point is that Tony Granato is still officially the coach, leaving him in an awkward situation with a month to go before the draft.
There are rumors floating around that Sergei Fedorov is headed to the KHL next season. Japers' Rink does a season wrap up on Fedorov today.
The tradition of every player on the winning team getting time with the Stanley Cup sounds like fun but Jay Feaster gives the story of all the planning and logistics that are reqired to make it work.
The turnout for extras for the Don Cherry Movie is impressive.
Congrats to Dee Karl, NY Islanders 7th Woman, for getting a repost of her Bill Guerin story on HockeyBuzz that was linked on POTG on Monday. HB will give a nice story a much broader audience.
Way off topic... I found this article in the Examiner about hiking in Utah that actually has a picture of the Crystal Geyser erupting. I've been there twice and have not seen it go off. There is really no pattern to the eruptions. It is unique because it is a cold water geyser and is located near Green River, Utah. The rock formations around it make it a must see if you are every passing by there on I-70. It's only a few miles from the road and is something like you will never see anywhere else.
...And because you probably don't want to be at work today after the long weekend, this listing with pictures of the 12 Worst Product Names ever will bring a smile to your face.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass
Here is an interesting story by John Manasso as he covered the Canes-Bruins series for NHL.com. John is another good writer looking for work in the shrinking world of the newspaper business.
The Washington Nationals spell worse than me. After the uniform fiasco of a few weeks ago, they have now screwed up a bobble head of Teddy Roosevelt.
Multiple reports indicate that the Oilers have hired Pat Quinn as head coach and Tom Renney as the assistant. A major press conference will be held at 1:00 CDT. For live local coverage, go to the TEAM 1260 or justagame.ca.
Forechecker has a profile of soon to be free agent Greg Zanon. Good he got it in now because he will be gone July 1 unless something unexpected happens.
Craig Custance writes on the emerging trend of losing veteran players to the KHL and the potential damage that will result to the NHL. To me it seems the only alternative for aging players that cannot gain top dollar in the NHL when clubs are tring to hold on to the younger star players with multi-year contracts. With the salary cap possibly going down over the next two years This will be the only way for some players to maintain their salary level. More on this in tomorrow's blog.
USA Hockey announced that among a list of awards that Pred prospect Colin Wilson was the College Hockey Player of the Year. He will receive the award on June 3rd in Colorado Springs.
In the daily afternoon breaking story from the Globe and Mail, David Shoalts reports that Balsillie will withdraw his offer for the Coyotes if the sale can't be completed by June 30. There are also numerous other items listed like that he would want control prior to the June 26 draft. If this wasn't a bluff, this would be great news for the "Save the Coyotes" crowd. The NHL Board of Governors would never meet and approve something that they wanted to do that quickly.
Afternoon update from Brian Metzer is here. I'm picking Carolina but pulling for the Pens tonight. I'm ready to move on to the finals without waiting a week or so.
Great comment on Pat Quinn that I couldn't pass on including here. From @WanyeGretz: Pat Quinn is so old he remembers Jesus as "that nice carpenter who lived down the street"