First off, congratulations are in order to the Boston Bruins on their first Stanley Cup since defeating the New York Rangers in the 1972 finals. In the end, Boston had the better goalie in Tim Thomas, who won his first Conn Smythe trophy with his brilliant play, and had the mental toughness to get the job done. For Vancouver, they have a lot of questions going in to next season after letting it slip away. Can Roberto Luongo win the big one after having a miserable second half to the Finals? Where were the Sedin twins exactly? What do they need to do to get over the hump?
After witnessing a great final round and playoffs overall, we march into the offseason.
– The NHL Entry Draft is Friday June 24th at the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota. If you’re looking to for something to do that night, the Rangers are hosting a draft party at SNAPS Sports Bar at 6:30PM. What better way to watch the Rangers draft than in the company of fans, Rangers alumni, and prospects?
– There’s a lot of quality centers near the 15th spot the Rangers occupy. However, I wouldn’t be shocked if they went winger there. I would be shocked if they took another defenseman.
– The NHL buyout period is from June 15-30. However, as per the CBA, a little stipulation adds that they can’t commence until 48 hours after the last Stanley Cup finals game. I understand why – you wouldn’t want to find out minutes after you won the Cup that oh, by the way, you don’t have a job anymore. Good riddance. I guess that means Chris Drury gets a stay of execution.
– Tim Thomas opened a lot of eyes this season. He will almost certainly win the Vezina trophy on June 22nd in Las Vegas when the awards are presented for his outstanding season. He took home the Conn Smythe at 37 years young, rolling back the clock. A season like this is encouraging to Rangers fans as Henrik Lundqvist, if given a good enough team, is fully capable of doing what Thomas was able to do this postseason.
– Really Vancouver fans? Really? Rioting and destroying the city of Vancouver won’t change the fact that your team simply couldn’t get the job done. Instead of becoming vandals and arsonists, suck the loss up and look towards next season; anything is possible.
– Now the fun really begins as NHL Free Agency is only weeks away. Plus, there are always flurries of activity at the Draft in terms of trades. Do the Rangers trade for more picks (they only have 4 this year) by trading down? Do the Islanders move their 5th overall pick? Does Jeff Carter switch teams? Where does Brad Richards ultimately end up?
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