The NHL probably couldn’t script a better team in the Western Conference Final than the Edmonton Oilers led by Connor McDavid. Edmonton delivered the victory to birthday boy Ben Stetler, the six-year-old Oilers superfan who is battling brain cancer and known for his catchphrase, “play La Bamba, baby!” The Carolina Hurricanes pushed the New York Rangers to the brink with a solid win in Carolina. John Tortorella officially interviewed with the Philadelphia Flyers. The latest updates and NHL trade rumors on the RFA crop, and how can the Pittsburgh Penguins replace Kris Letang?
Also, our sister site Montreal Hockey Now had an exclusive with soon-to-be No. 1 overall pick Shane Wright. It was quite the get.
It’s hard to root against Edmonton, eh? If more teams play an open style with speed and talent, that wouldn’t be so bad…
We’ll start with the Pittsburgh Penguins…
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Dave Molinari has been coming through the free-agent possibilities. We’ve been chatting and amending the list. The options aren’t many, but should Kris Letang depart–here are the Pittsburgh Penguins UFA options.
Today, I’m going to flip the script. And that’s all I got to say about that. But read Dave’s story, first. Thanks to everyone who came by Coughlin’s Law for Happy Hour yesterday. Our best-ever month keeps going. We’re going to crest 1.1 million readers this month. Heck, maybe 1.2.
NHL Rumors, News & National Hockey Now
Montreal: Our Maro D’Amico had a long chat with 2022 expected first-overall pick. The Kid has big ideas and dreams, for sure. Shane Wright speaks.
Sportsnet: The Edmonton Oilers rallied in a wild second period, then extinguished the Flames. Here’s the fan reaction, Little Ben Stetler, and the mosh pit reaction. Play La Bamba, Baby!
Luke Fox updated the top 15 RFAs, news, and NHL trade rumors.
Calgary Hockey Now: Yeah, the Flames got jobbed late in the third period. The no-goal heard around Alberta. The puck was going in anyway, but referees ruled Blake Coleman kicked it across the line. Yikes. Calgary Flames hosed?
NHL.com: Carolina won Game 5, they lead the Rangers 3-2.
As a rule, I don’t root for or against teams. However, I’ll make an exception rooting against the Rangers. I just don’t like how they’ve played in the playoffs. Penguins GM Ron Hextall’s body language said it all-the grimace and head shuck, before rhetorically asking, “did you see the first shift in Game 1?” I’m with him. It’s been too much of a pattern.
Boston: Here’s a quick fun story and you may relate. Pat Maroon was on the Pat McAfee show. The one player that drives him f!@king nuts, Brad Marchand.
Philly: I think Sam Carchidi was several days ahead of the news that John Tortorella interviewed for the Flyers coaching gig. As Sam writes, Barry Trotz or Tortz, even Rick Tocchet, the coach won’t matter unless there are better players on the Philadelphia Flyers.
Florida: Will Claude Giroux return to the Florida Panthers?
Detroit: If you’ve been around long enough, you remember young Robby Fabbri tearing it up in the playoffs for the St. Louis Blues, then tearing up his knee. Then tearing it up again. At 26, Fabbri’s career has finally gotten back on track with the Detroit Red Wings.
Colorado: Have they learned from the past or are they paper tigers? We’ll know soon about the Colorado Avalanche.
Washington: And, Tom Wilson thanked fans for their support after he had ACL surgery. If you comment on WHN, try not to be tooooo snarky.