GM Ron Hextall and the rest of his staff deserve some serious kudos for focusing on the draft as a route of improvement, especially since the team’s past salary cap mistakes limit their ability to make the flashy additions that once seemed like annual occurrences for the franchise.
Just look at how many of their 2015 NHL Draft selections come from other teams (via General Fanager):
Of course, whenever Markstrom’s name crops up, people wonder about his future in the Canucks organization. (Their own GM wondered as much, while PHT speculated about the possibility of Markstrom being traded, for instance.)
Canucks Misconduct argued that Eddie Lack may be the one who gets traded, at least if Vancouver makes a movie with its three goalies.
Still uncertainty whether Markstrom can translate his AHL success to NHL level. Unfortunately for #Canucks fans, Lack has most trade value.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
The Tampa Bay Lightning making the 2015 Stanley Cup Final is bad news for New York Rangers and Garth Brooks fans, as those home dates prompted the country music star to cancel three shows in Tampa this coming week. He said he’ll watch the series, though, so that’s good! (Tampa Bay Tribune)
Perhaps the Nashville Predators face a few “What ifs?” considering the fact that Shea Weber got injured during their series against the Chicago Blackhawks, yet it doesn’t sound like they’ll need to play without him to start the 2015-16 season.
Weber told the Tennessean that his rehab from a knee injury (and eventual surgery) is going smoothly.
In fact, it sounds like the 29-year-old is on track to participate in Predators training camp.
“Just going to obviously try to find out from the doctor and see what he thinks, and if it’s ready to go, then we’ll go when he says it is,” Weber said. “I think there’s no question that I should be ready for training camp.”
That’s promising for Nashville.
The question is: how many players from the 2014-15 team will join him?
Predators GM David Poile more or less admitted that Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli will not be back. Unrestricted free agents Mike Ribeiro and Mike Fisher are big considerations, while RFAs such as Colin Wilson and Craig Smith should get raises. The team has up-and-comers alongside Weber on defense and ample space to make improvements.
In other words, Weber should have help next season, but we’ll see how much he receives. Either way, a fully healthy Weber would obviously make a huge difference for Nashville.
Oshawa beats Kelowna in OT to win 2015 Memorial Cup
Noteworthy hockey players participated in what will be the biggest games of some of their lives, and it wasn’t in either Game 7. The Oshawa Generals bested the Kelowna Rockets 2-1 early in OT to win the 2015 Memorial Cup on Sunday.
Anthony Cirelli scored both of Oshawa’s goals, which was quite a feat if you judge it by this tidbit:
Unbelievable! Anthony Cirelli, passed over in two OHL drafts, gets the OT winner for Oshawa
Cirelli is the 67th ranked North American skater (up from a midterm rank of 88th), according to Central Scouting’s listings. That indicates that he might face an uphill battle as far as managing an NHL career. As you can see, for some players, this is as good as it gets:
Biggest moment of their lives? Of the 8 players that previously scored an OT goal in the #MemorialCup Final, none of them scored an NHL goal
This marks the fifth time Oshawa has claimed a Memorial Cup title, according to Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek. He points out that this night serves as a last hurrah for the building in which the game was played, too:
Whatever the future may hold for the players involved in the Memorial Cup (Leon Draisaitl won the tournament MVP, and he obviously has a future with the Edmonton Oilers), it seemed like a special night.