NHL rumors: Latest buzz, news during the Stanley Cup playoffs

By Matt Connolly, Chat Sports

The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is nearly complete. On Sunday three more teams—the Washington Capitals, Dallas Stars and New York Islanders—punched their tickets to the conference semis. 

Two series will resume play tonight, with the Anaheim Ducks looking to close out the Nashville Predators and the reigning champion Chicago Blackhawks trying to complete a comeback from down 3–1 against the St. Louis Blues.

Here are the latest news and rumors around the NHL.

• Pavel Datsyuk’s next game will come with the Russian national team, according to MLive. The Detroit Red Wings star is still considering a relocation to his home country next season.

• Fellow Russian star Alexander Radulov is reportedly returning to the NHL, reports Luke Fox of SportsNet.

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• Free-agent-to-be Milan Lucic is dead set on remaining with the Los Angeles Kings, while teammate Vincent Lecavalier has reiterated his desire to hang up his skates.

• On the brink of a first-round collapse to the Blackhawks, there are reports of friction between Blues winger Vladamir Tarasenko and head coach Ken Hitchcock. 

• Hitchcock will almost certainly be fired if St. Louis cannot win Game 7 against Chicago, reports TSN's Darren Derger.

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• Neither Anton Stralman nor J.T. Brown are expected to play in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s second-round series.

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