For the third time in five seasons, Marc-Andre Fleury led his team to the Conference Final, and that doesn’t count the Vegas run last season, which Robin Lehner primarily backstopped. Vegas ran the table on the Colorado Avalanche. As each team falls, the NHL trade rumors grow. The Boston Bruins are next up, and they could undergo sweeping changes this offseason. And the Pittsburgh Penguins week was pretty quiet.
Sorry, there wasn’t much to get into with the Penguins. I’ve been saving a few trade market analysis pieces in case we get a few whispers from around the league. One of my superpowers is to speculate on trade targets who are close but not exact, trade bait, but panning the possibility of a trade just a few days before the trade occurs.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: If you’re sulking about the Penguins’ early exit, this chart should help; the Penguins have played way more playoff games than everyone in the last 15 years.
Tampa Bay will have to run the table for a couple of years to catch the Penguins.
NHL Trade Rumors, Playoffs & National Hockey Now:
Vegas: Viva…VIVA…LAS VEGAS! The Vegas Golden Knights had too many answers and created too many problems for the Colorado Avalanche. The story and talking points following Vegas’ 6-3 Game 6 win and series clincher.
The best part about that series is Paul Zeise of 93-7 owes me wings at Archies. After Game 4, this goofball predicted Colorado wouldn’t win another game. They did not. Paul, I prefer boneless wings. HOT.
Colorado: Two Avs are nominated for the major awards. Cale Makar is a strong contender for the Norris Trophy. On Thursday, the Hart Trophy finalists were announced: Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, and Nathan MacKinnon.
Boston: One day after things went sideways and the Boston Bruins somehow, someway, lost to the New York Islanders in six games, the temperature increased in Boston. The Bruins have many decisions to make on big names that may or may NOT be back.
Tuukka Rask and David Krejci are two big names who may not get a return invite.
Sportsnet: From Jack Eichel to Seth Jones and Johnny Gaudreau, the six big names who will spend the next few months in the NHL rumor mill. Who’s likely to actually get traded?
NYI: If one team can take down the $100 million Tampa Bay Lightning, it seems like it’s the New York Islanders. Last August in the bubble, Tampa Bay outlasted New York in the Eastern Conference Final in six games. The New York Islanders feel they have “unfinished business.”
San Jose: One of the big names who could hit the UFA market is Tomas Hertl. He’s good. Sometimes really good, but not always consistent. The Sharks have a big decision with some heavy pros and cons.
A couple of cool stories from Detroit.
Detroit: A Gordie Howe hockey card just sold for — are you sitting down? — $210,330.
Detroit is still in the midst of rebuilding. They could very easily sell cap space and be the conduit for a blockbuster trade. Not a bad way to use cap space.