Author: Jason Brough

Callahan remains day-to-day, it’s a ‘pain-tolerance thing’ now


Ryan Callahan remains day-to-day after undergoing an emergency appendectomy earlier in the week. It’ll be up to him whether he plays in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final between his Lightning and his former Rangers, slated for tomorrow afternoon at MSG.

Callahan missed Tuesday’s Game 6 of the Lightning’s second-round series versus Montreal, but managed to return to practice yesterday. The 30-year-old winger practiced again today, skating on a line with Cedric Paquette and Jonathan Marchessault.

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper told reporters that it was “a pain-tolerance thing” for Callahan now.

“Ultimately it’s up to Ryan Callahan,” said Cooper.

Boyle good to go; Rangers holding out ‘hope’ for Zuccarello

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Seven

Dan Boyle is good to go.

Mats Zuccarello is not.

Those were the key injury updates today by Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s start of the Eastern Conference Final between New York and Tampa Bay.

Boyle practiced this morning after being knocked out of Wednesday’s Game 7 versus the Capitals on a hit by Brooks Orpik.

Boyle, who had trouble finding his legs after the collision with Orpik, has a history with concussions, so there’s understandable relief the 38-year-old didn’t suffer another serious head injury.

As for Zuccarello, he’s still not skating after missing the entire second round with a suspected concussion. However, he continues to make progress:

Related: Kerry Fraser says Orpik hit on Boyle was legal

Report: Coyotes-Glendale relationship on the rocks



Senior elected city officials in Glendale, Arizona, say they are exploring whether legal grounds exist for them to void an arena management contract with the Arizona Coyotes, an agreement that calls for taxpayers to contribute $15 million per year over 15 years to the flagging NHL club.

That’s the first paragraph of a lengthy piece by sports business reporter Rick Westhead, which — yet again — will have everyone wondering about the future of the Coyotes in Glendale.

The allegations in the piece range from breach of contract to under-reporting of income, while Glendale’s mayor, Jerry Weiers, even complains he can’t get a meeting with new majority owner Andrew Barroway.

Westhead goes on to cite “sports investment bankers and four senior NHL sources, including one NHL team owner” as saying “there’s a widespread belief among NHL executives that the Coyotes are doomed in Glendale.”

One unidentified NHL owner believes the Coyotes will end up in Las Vegas.

“I could see them moving the Coyotes there when the new arena is done,” the owner said.


Report: Billionaire wants NHL team in Vegas; new Coyotes owner ‘sees flipping the team as a good investment’

Coyotes ‘out clause’ means more uncertainty in the desert

Bergevin sees ‘no reason’ to make changes to Canadiens coaching staff

Montreal Canadiens Introduce Michel Therrien As New Head Coach

Sounds like we can cross off Montreal as a potential landing spot for Mike Babcock, or any other free-agent head coach.

“I have no reason to make any changes when it comes to our coaching staff,” Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said this morning. “They are doing great work.”

Under Michel Therrien, the Habs finished first in the Atlantic (50-22-10) and made it to the second round of the playoffs. Which is a lot better than most teams.

But despite that, Therrien received a good amount of criticism for how his team played. The Canadiens were relatively poor at controlling the puck, they had the 20th-ranked offense, and were overly reliant on goalie Carey Price.  

Montreal’s power play also struggled, ranking 23rd during the regular season and scoring just twice in the playoffs. That put assistant coach Dan Lacroix, the power play being his responsibility, under the microscope. But based on Bergevin’s remarks today, Lacroix will remain on the staff.

Bergevin also made a comment about 21-year-old Alex Galchenyuk that raised some eyebrows.

“Chucky is not there yet,” Bergevin said, per TSN’s John Lu. “He might never be a centerman. He might be, he could be.”

Galchenyuk was the third overall pick in 2012. He was drafted to be a center. On top of that, many feel the Canadiens’ biggest flaw is down the middle, where Tomas Plekanec and David Desharnais are currently their top two centers.

Perhaps Bergevin was just trying to motivate Galchenyuk. Or, perhaps his remark, as some have suggested, is related to the fact Galchenyuk is a pending restricted free agent and will be negotiating a new contract this summer. Because Bergevin also acknowledged it’s next to impossible to land a number-one center through a trade, suggesting the price to do so would be, well, Price.

Related: Canadiens need to be more than Carey Price

(Video) PHT Extra: On Canada’s Stanley Cup drought

Brian Boyle, Max Pacioretty

Once again in 2015, it will be an American market that’s celebrating when the Stanley Cup is awarded. Not since 1993, when the Montreal Canadiens defeated Wayne Gretzky’s Los Angeles Kings, has the Cup been won by a team north of the border.

It’s a remarkable streak, really. That a Canadian team has been to the final five times — and lost four times in Game 7 — only adds to it. The Canucks (twice), Flames, Oilers, and Senators have all played for the Cup since 1993.

The fact the Toronto Maple Leafs, the richest team in the NHL, haven’t won a playoff series in over a decade is pretty incredible too. Even in the salary-cap age, there’s a major advantage to having deep pockets.

Then again, these things go in cycles. Remember that Canadian teams owned the Stanley Cup from 1984-90, when the Oilers, Flames, and Canadiens combined to win seven straight titles. And before that, from 1956-79, it was the Habs or Leafs who won the Cup in 19 out of 24 seasons. Only a four-year run by the Islanders broke those two stretches up.