In keeping with the sacred tradition dating back to (one assumes) ancient Mesopotamia, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will put beer and food on the line in a wager between these warring cities, as noted by the Tampa Tribune.
Should the Blackhawks prove victorious in their quest to secure a third Stanley Cup championship in six years, then Buckhorn will surrender 122 mini-Cuban sandwiches, a case of Cigar City Invasion Pale Ale, and Columbia Restaurant’s “1905” salad.
If Steven Stamkos and Tampa Bay raises the Cup, then they will be winning their city a case of beer from Slap Shot Brewing, 122 slices of Eli’s cheesecake, one of Giordano’s a deep-dish pizzas, and one of BJ’s Market’s mustard-fried catfish and peach cobbler.
There will also be a charitable contribution made as part of the bet. Should Chicago win, the benefactors will be a group helping at-risk children called Becoming A Man (BAM) and if the Lightning win then a contribution will be made to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay.
The Pittsburgh Penguins got some good news about Kris Letang (concussion), but Pascal Dupuis’ future is still hazy, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Letang has gotten the OK to participate in workouts without any restrictions. That doesn’t mean he’s fully recovered, but he might be 100% by the time training camp starts. A healthy Letang is naturally a very big asset for Pittsburgh. He had 11 goals and 54 points in 69 games while averaging 25:29 minutes per contest in 2014-15.
Getting Pascal Dupuis back would be a big deal as well, but the 36-year-old forward’s future is still very much in question. He hasn’t played since Nov. 15 because he was diagnosed with a blood clots. He’s been skating for months now and the Penguins hope to know more about his availability soon.
“The next step is, there are certain medications you can go on that may allow you to play, or may not allow you to play,” Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said.
“That’s the next step now, to see if there’s a medication that gives him enough recovery time that he’s available to play every day. That’s what we’re waiting to see.”
Dupuis thinks he can play again, but ‘it’s not up to me’
Martin St. Louis is mere weeks away from celebrating his 40th birthday and shortly after that his current contract with the New York Rangers will expire. He’s not sure if another deal is in the cards.
“I’m going to get a chance to reflect and think about it and go from there,” St. Louis said, per The Record.
St. Louis talked to coach Alain Vigneault and assistant GM Jeff Gorton for his exit interview and conveyed to them his desire to think about his future before moving forward. Vigneault thinks that’s a good idea for all sides as the Rangers can use that time to get better sense of what they can offer St. Louis monetarily.
The Rangers have around $60.5 million tied to 15 players and still have to re-sign restricted free agents Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin. So while the Rangers like what St. Louis brings to the table, they might not be able to offer him much.
Of course, St. Louis could potentially play elsewhere, but part of his motivation for demanding a trade to the Rangers specifically was to be closer to his family. It’s not clear how willing he would be to move in order to extend his NHL career.
St. Louis had 21 goals and 52 points in 74 contests this season. He also recorded a goal and seven points in 19 playoff games.
After losing the Western Conference Final to the Chicago Blackhawks, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau’s record in Game 7s has dropped to 1-6. He’s the only head coach in NHL history with six Game 7 losses to his name and he has the unwanted distinction of leading the only two teams that have ever been eliminated at home in Game 7 for three consecutive years: the Washington Capitals and now Anaheim Ducks.
As previously mentioned, at best, Boudreau has been unlucky to the point of being a significant statistical anomaly. At worst, he’s the link the correlation suggests he is. As far as he’s concerned, he’s not the cause of those defeats.
“I got to believe that it isn’t (reflective of anything),” Boudreau said when the topic of his record in Game 7s was brought up during an interview with Sportsnet’s Fan 590. “People love to relay bad stats to people, but seven games have gone to a Game 7. I don’t win them and I don’t think I’m losing them.”
He also noted that he’s won Game 7s in the ECHL and AHL. “So it’s not a question of me, I think.”
He remains optimistic about the Ducks’ future. He likes the nucleus they already have and noted that the team is young with plenty of players that should be able to build off of this lengthy playoff run. This has been an important experience for 25-year-old goaltender Frederik Andersen in particular.
After having lost to Chicago, he feels that the Blackhawks’ experience was a big asset for them in this series. Going into 2015-16, Anaheim will be in a better position in that regard.
The Ducks shouldn’t hit the panic button
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 story of Jon Cooper before he was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Tampa Bay Times)
As you might imagine, Puck Daddy has been among those previewing the Stanley Cup Final. They’ve comparing all the categories you would expect like goaltending and forwards, but they also have a section on aesthetics, which includes the anthem singers. (Puck Daddy)
The argument for trading Rick Nash. (New York Post)
Patrick Kane feels Chicago hasn’t “done anything yet” except take “a great step” by winning Game 7 against the Anaheim Ducks. (CSN Chicago)
Tampa Bay might not be a traditional hockey market, but that doesn’t mean that the Lightning aren’t a popular team. (Raw Charge)
Shane Doan threw out the first pitch at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ game. (Coyotes.nhl.com)
He also talked about social media and the Coyotes’ upcoming jerseys during an in-game interview. (MLB.com)