The Pittsburgh Penguins
were expected to punt both coach Dan Bylsma and GM Ray Shero. (Fred Vuich/SI)
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Penguins coach Dan Bylsma did not address the media during yesterday's locker clear-out activities in Pittsburgh. Rob Rossi explains why that might be significant. The Pens have announced an 11:30 a.m. press conference this morning. I'm guessing that it's not to announce now is a great time to buy season tickets for 2014-15. And according to a report, GM Ray Shero will also be in need of a crew of swarthy movers.
• UPDATE: A most curious move indeed
• Ronnie Shuker says that before they decide to blow up the franchise, the Penguins need to learn from Boston's big mistake.
• For the Pens to move on from this year's debacle, they need to abandon the corporate crisis control rhetoric.
• Some fascinating dirt is coming to the surface about John Tortorella's tumultuous term in Vancouver. The bit about Travis Green is absolutely baffling if true.
• David Shoalts says that fans who want hard, competitive players should knock off the complaining about Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand.
• A pair of Hall of Fame goalies offer opposing views on the value, and the hypocrisy, of the handshake line.
• Never heard of Dale Weise before his part in the handshake line flap? Harrison Mooney brings you up to date on his back story, including his stint as the Dutch Wayne Gretzky.
• This is why Zdeno Chara wasn't launching bombs against the Habs, but it doesn't explain why he moved like he was wearing cement skates for the last three games of the series.
• The Kings have one significant advantage ahead of tonight's Game 7 vs. the Ducks: the marvelous Drew Doughty at the height of his powers.
• Make that two advantages: Los Angeles has faced elimination four times this spring and always found a way to survive. Ice water in their veins or a horseshoe up their fanny, the Kings have that something special.
• Game 7 at home with a chance to knock our their arch-rivals? The Anaheim Ducks will take it.
• Neither team wanted Game 7, but both the Ducks and Kings agree this could be the best thing for SoCal hockey. Considering the talent that area has pumped out lately, it might turn out pretty well for the rest of hockey, too.
• The Rangers-Canadiens series will feature great goaltending, young studs and some old acquaintances.
• The Rangers will give up their off-day on Sunday to attend the funeral of Martin St. Louis' mother as a team. If you've got a mom, this might be a good time to step away from the internet and give her a quick call.
• Montreal's 2007 draft class will be front and center in this series for the Habs and for the Rangers.
• Will the Canadiens' success in the first two rounds inspire other teams to focus on smaller, crafty players next season? I'd say it's more likely that teams will want a world-class goalie and a smooth, puck-moving defenseman with a nasty physical edge. Oh, wait...
• The Blackhawks could get an important player back in the lineup for the start of the Western Conference Final.
• This is the story about a 15-year-old Chicago fan who combined her artistic talent and love of the Hawks into an opportunity to raise funds to battle pediatric cancer, and it is awesome.
• Brendan Shanahan slammed the brakes on those Dion Phaneuf trade rumors. It sounds like he wants to buy some support, not a ticket out of town, for his embattled captain.
• Dan Boyle won't be re-signed. Martin Havlat will be bought out. Brent Burns will be moved back to the blueline. The summer of change is underway in San Jose.
• Buffalo Sabres fans had plenty to smile about during Thursday's action at the World Championship.
• I'll venture that most of you don't speak Czech, but this picture of Tomas Hertl
alone should give you an idea of the ailment that beset the entire Czech team at the World Championship.
We'll keep you in our prayers, boys.