Getting itchy? Was that day off from the Stanley Cup playoffs tough or are you completely “over it” anyway since the Vancouver Canucks aren’t in it.
Well, the off-season shenanigans should start picking up shortly for the non-playoff teams. Coaches, like Barry Trotz with the Islanders and Pete DeBoer in Vegas already, could be removed, and random free agents signed.
As for Vancouver Canucks management, they’ve just finished up their amateur scouting meetings and then their pro scouting meetings. Most of the players are taking a bit of time off, although many of them will actually start working out again pretty quick if the more maniacal ones haven’t already. At least maintenance.
Defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson is playing for Sweden at the World Championships in Finland.
League-wise, the next major event outside of the playoffs is the NHL Draft on July 7th and 8th in Montreal. In the meantime …
Bergie of Boston
There are class acts in the National Hockey League, and like it or not, one of the venerable ones right now is Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins. For everything Brad Marchand is, Bergeron isn’t. He’ll forever be known in Vancouver as the man who scored the Cup winning goal against the Canucks, but across North America he’s known as one of the most respected players in the league.
After 18 seasons, four Selke Trophies as best defensive forward, a King Clancy for community service and a Mark Messier Award for leadership, it’s time for Bergie to decide if he’s coming back, a decision he said he’ll be making with his family.
As for the rumours that he’ll play somewhere else, especially those regarding Montreal, he clearly stated no. If he comes back, he’ll finish in Boston.
By the way, Bergeron is from Quebec City and grew up when the Nordique were still around and he hated the Habs long before he became their rival. He told me so himself during a walking tour of his hometown for TV back in 2006.
Sid’s Core Demise
Along almost the same timeline as Bergeron’s NHL existence is that of Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, another man forever tied to Vancouver because of the 2010 Golden Goal. His pro career started two seasons after Bergeron’s in Boston, but similar to the Bruins captain, Crosby’s will end with one team.
Not sure the same can be said for Evgeni Malkin or Kris Letang, both unrestricted free agents this summer. Decisions are looming for the aging core.
Here’s the rub: Letang was the team’s 3rd-leading scorer with 68 points behind Jake Guentzel and Sid. He’s resilient like Crosby. We’ll check the cost.
Hey! Stanley Cup Playoff 2nd-round, Game-1’s tonight.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers at 4 pm pacific, St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche at 6:30 pm.
Enjoy the Hockey Action!