That didn’t take long. The Montreal Canadiens are one of the biggest underdogs in an NHL semifinal of the last 30 years. They started strong and played well, but Marc-Andre Fleury made a few dandy saves in the opening minutes as the Vegas Golden Knights rolled Montreal. The Metro Division should be even tougher for the Pittsburgh Penguins next season as the New York Rangers got a new head coach, and he knows what he’s doing. And there could be an unexpected big-name free agent available and new names on the NHL trade market.
Who says the summer is boring for hockey news?
PHN+: Our “Off the Record” column has become a must-read. Weeks ago, we told you to watch Rick Tocchet’s and Rod Brind’Amour’s situations, and either could end up with the Seattle Kraken. And that’s exactly what is going down. When GMs, execs, and scouts go off the record, it’s a real inside hockey flavor.
The latest column indicates LW Gabriel Landeskog could be allowed to walk from Colorado to shake things up. And a couple of teams are ready to pounce on the NHL trade market, including Seattle.
Vegas: Fleury was on his game. He was brilliant early, and the Vegas Golden Knights took care of the rest. Here are the takeaways from the Vegas 4-1 win Game 1.
NYI: Do the Islanders have a Willis Reed moment in store for us? Observers saw captain Anders Lee skating after practice on Monday. *Cue the intrigue and Islanders’ hope.
After watching Vegas thump Montreal, the hockey world badly needs Vegas vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Cup Final…but it feels like the Islanders will screw that up. If you’d like to take the longshot bet on that series, here’s our Round Three bets and freebies.
NHL News, NHL Trade Talk & National Hockey Now
Philly: THE big fish on the NHL trade scene or free-agent market is Carolina defenseman, Dougie Hamilton. Now that he has permission to talk to other teams to facilitate a sign-and-trade, the Philadelphia Flyers are expected to be in the mix.
NY Post: The Penguins hill to climb in the Metro is probably taller today than yesterday. The New York Rangers hired new head coach Gerard Gallant. And there was a lot to the timing of it, too.
Sportsnet: Will the Winnipeg Jets target a No. 1 defenseman on the NHL trade market or free agency?
TSN: The Calgary Flames remodel has begun. They’ve put Kirk Muller behind the bench as associate head coach.
NHL.com: Pekka Rinne wins the King Clancy Award for his community work in Hockey Fights Cancer.
Boston: Head coach Bruce Cassidy has no regrets sticking with an injured Tuukka Rask over hotshot rookie Jeremy Swayman.
Hockey coaches may be even more reluctant to make changes than NFL coaches. Of course, you can’t live in your fears, but if a goalie has a torn labrum in his hip, let the kid play, eh?
Detroit: Buy low and sell high on the NHL trade market. The Red Wings acquisition of Robbie Fabbri remains one of Steve Yzerman’s best.
Stick tap to Kevin Allen and Bob Duff in Detroit. Since their Detroit Hockey Now launch, they have consistently put out interesting and readable content every day. They’re two real pros in the business, and I find myself learning more Red Wings hockey than I thought possible. Good writers. Good content.
San Jose: The Sharks signed three of their prospects, including the Swedish MVP and leading scorer. There’s hope in the shark tank yet.