Another day, another daily dose of Washington Capitals and NHL news. The Stanley Cup Final is set, the Tour de France is taking off and the weekend is finally here. I welcome it greatly; it’s been a wild few days, but they’ve been great and filled with support, a lot of soda and a lot of quality time with the puppy.
So, as I chow down on some chicken nuggets in the late hours of the night, here’s the latest happening in the world of hockey, from a likely jam-packed offseason ahead for the Capitals to the Tampa Bay Lightning preparing to face the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final.
- Former Capitals winger Brooks Laich is hanging up the skates following a memorable career. Here’s the impact he had on D.C. (Washington Hockey Now)
- Washington faces a significant cap crunch heading into the expansion draft and free agency. J.J. Regan and Andrew Gillis take a look at how the team will manage its budget. (NBC Sports Washington)
- Evgeny Kuznetsov sits at No. 3 on Frank Seravalli’s trade list. He explains why he could be on the move, and the logistics behind a potential trade. (Daily Faceoff)
- All the while, the Caps face tough questions heading into the offseason. Tarik El-Bashir wants you to give your take on the state of the franchise in his latest fan survey (The Athletic)
- The Tampa Bay Lightning blanked the New York Islanders in Game 7 to advance to their second straight Stanley Cup Fina. Christian Arnold recaps the Isles loss and closes the book on their “fairy tale” run. (NYI Hockey Now)
- The Habs are on the other side of the Stanley Cup Final following a thrilling Game 6 that saw them eliminate the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime. Justin Bourne breaks down Artturi Lehkonen‘s historic overtime winner, analyzing every second leading up to the series-clinching tally. (Sportsnet)
- While the Vegas Golden Knights faced a disappointing upset in the semifinals, they’ve still accomplished quite a bit. Adam Gretz explains why their success shouldn’t be taken for granted. (Pro Hockey Talk)
- Seattle will surely be looking to bring in top-6 talent come the expansion draft. Could Jakub Voracek end up with the Kraken? Ryan Gilbert takes a look (Philadelphia Hockey Now)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- The Bolts copied their recipe for success and touched the Prince of Wales. But they also have another good luck charm in Pat Maroon. The winger could go back-to-back-to-back, having won last year with Tampa and the year before with his hometown St. Louis Blues. That’s truly something for the Big Rig.
- With the Isles and Golden Knights out, there’s no members remaining from the 2018 Capitals Cup-winning team that could capture another title. However, Bolts assistant coach, former Caps forward and Potomac, Maryland native Jeff Halpern (shoutout to my fellow Churchill Bulldogs alumni) could win his second straight ring.
- On this day, Alex Ovechkin was taken first overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Now, over 800 goals (combining regular season and playoffs) later, he’s still making his mark as the greatest goal scorer of all time (in my opinion). Also, former Capitals defenseman John Erskine turns 41 today, and it’s also Edmonton Oilers defenseman Ethan Bear‘s birthday, who’s made great strides as a First Nations player.
- There’s a lot of rumblings that the Anaheim Ducks are among the top teams in the running for Jack Eichel. While the trade would be great for Anaheim, it’d require a hefty return. If that means Trevor Zegras and even more pieces, I don’t know if I’d make that swap… but then again, I’m not a general manager.