Happy Sunday, Washington Hockey Now readers. I always find the weekend strange, because it feels like it ends before it starts. Still, it gives us at least a moment to reflect, a moment to get away and just relax.
Regardless, there’s quite a few Capitals and NHL stories to go through, and what better way to ring in Sunday than with a little bit of hockey?
- Caps blueliner Michal Kempny was back in the Czech Republic to lend a helping hand after a tornado left behind significant damage in the South Moravia area, including Kempny’s hometown of Hodonín. Ian Oland has more on the defenseman’s efforts to help in the aftermath. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
- Make-A-Wish Mid Atlantic and Warroad helped make 6-year-old Dylann Wetzel’s dreams of an indoor rink come true. Taryn Bray shares the Keedysville, Maryland native’s story and how T.J. Oshie and the team also contributed to the cause (Washington Capitals)
- Washington faces an overage penalty after bonuses for Zdeno Chara and Ilya Samsonov. Tarik El-Bashir looks at how this impacts the team’s salary cap and offseason plans. (The Athletic)
- The Expansion Draft looms, and so do questions surrounding who Washington will protect. Ted Starkey turns his attention to the Capitals crease to discuss if they should expose Samsonov or Vitek Vanecek come July 21. (The Hockey Writers)
- Connor McMichael made a major impact in his AHL rookie season with the Hershey Bears and is making a strong case that he’s NHL ready. Here’s more on his journey as well as a never-before-seen 1-on-1 with the 2019 first-rounder. (Washington Hockey Now)
- From several changes to the constant of Carey Price, Marc Bergervin and the Canadiens’ road to the Stanley Cup Final was a ride. James O’Brien takes a look at how the team was built and how Montreal got to this point. (ProHockeyTalk)
- Throughout the playoffs, there’s been a lot of chatter surrounding the quality of the referees. Matt Porter examines the officiating throughout the postseason (The Boston Globe)
- Meanwhile, in Detroit, the Red Wings could end up having quite a bit of money to throw around this offseason. And by a bit of money, I mean $27 million. Kevin Allen has more (Detroit Hockey Now)
- The Avalanche face several questions heading into the summer, including Cale Makar‘s next contract. Adrian Datar holds a Q&A for Avs nation. (Colorado Hockey Now)
- Former Blackhawks associate coach John Torchetti confirmed to TSN’s Rick Westhead that a meeting took place during the 2010 postseason where management discussed alleged sexual abuse of two players. (TSN)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- I have a feeling that Cole Caufield is going to make serious noise in the Stanley Cup Final. When he dropped to No. 15 in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, I immediately knew he would be one of the top scorers that most teams missed out on because they deemed him too small. The Habs scored big, and that speed and lethal shot will serve them well against the Bolts in the first All-East Cup Final since 1980.
- Back in D.C., I believe the return of a healthy Kempny will work wonders for Washington. I’ve always liked his play and stability on the backend, and I definitely think he’ll help bolster the left side, especially if Seattle selects a LHD like Brenden Dillon. Of course, Martin Fehervary could prove to be heavy competition as well.
- Former Capitals tough guy D.J. King turns 37 today. He suited up for 17 games over two seasons in D.C., picking up three assists. He also had four helpers in 29 games with Hershey in 2011-12.
- Speaking of past Caps, random shoutout to Steven Oleksy. “Binky” had a long journey to the NHL that took a lot of hard work and dedication and truly defined a strong work ethic. Since hanging up the skates, he’s founded his own coffee company and summer hockey league.
- In non-NHL news and nothing to do with anything, I’ve been on a major HBO kick. I’m just sending a friendly PSA that if you need a pick-me-up, check out Adventureland (greatest movie ever made, hands down) and the animated Harley Quinn series. My puppy and I love it.