Despite the tomorrow team talk in the summer of 2014, the San Jose Sharks entered the season with something to prove after suffering a humbling reverse sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings. Instead, San Jose regressed further by failing to make the playoffs at all.
Peter DeBoer has since taken over the head coaching duties from Todd McLellan and after getting a chance to talk with the Sharks’ players, he was left with the impression that their 2014 first round collapse “dragged into last season and played a big part in what happened there,” per Sportsnet.
He suggested continually answering questions about what happened in the 2014 playoffs was part of the reason it continued to hang over them. It nevertheless is in contrast to what happened in Boston, as the Philadelphia’s 2010 reverse sweep of the Bruins was followed by Boston’s 2011 Stanley Cup championship. Regardless, DeBoer feels they are ready to put that unfortunate chapter in their franchise’s history behind them.
The fact that there was a coaching change might help as it will provide them clear separation from the past as well as a fresh opportunity.
“It will be their first different voice in years. They had a great run, but now it’s time for a different look,” DeBoer said.
Martin St. Louis pushed for a trade from Tampa Bay to the New York Rangers, but after a little more than a season with the team, his tenure is likely over, according to the New York Post.
Per Larry Brooks:
Meanwhile, it also can be pretty much etched in stone that if Martin St. Louis chooses to continue his career, it will not be in New York, with both sides prepared to move on.
It is unknown whether the winger, who will turn 40 on Thursday and who has used outside doubts as fuel to generate a slam-dunk Hall of Fame career, will seek employment elsewhere. Maybe Montreal?
The main issue with moving to Montreal — or signing with almost any other team for that matter — is that it would once again separate St. Louis from his family, which is in Greenwich, Conn. That’s not to say that he won’t be wearing a new jersey next season, but that might be a factor when he decides whether or not to hang up his skates.
He previously stated that he wanted to take some time to reflect before moving forward and at the time the Rangers were in the same boat. All things being equal, their preference might be to have him back, but the Rangers will have to navigate through a somewhat difficult cap situation this summer, which makes it easy to buy into the idea that they’re preparing to move on from St. Louis.
Although his age will doubtlessly be a consideration should he enter the open market, there should be demand for St. Louis after he scored 21 goals and 52 points in 74 contests in 2014-15.
The Allen Americans, which are affiliated with the San Jose Sharks, earned a 6-1 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays in Game 7 of the ECHL’s finals to earn the Kelly Cup.
Chad Costello, 28, had two goals and an assist, including the championship-winning marker. He dominated the ECHL with 125 points in 72 contests during the regular season while the next best player, Wade MacLeod, finished with 80 points.
It was Greger Hanson who was named the playoffs MVP though after recording 12 goals and 29 points in 25 postseason games. He is the first non-goalie to claim the award since 2011, per the league’s Twitter feed.
Chris Crane also stood out in Game 7 with a goal and two assists for the Americans. He was taken by the Sharks with the 200th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Andrew Rowe, 27, accounted for South Carolina’s only goal in Sunday’s contest. The Stingrays are affiliated with the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins.
Tampa Bay lost forward Nikita Kucherov in the first period of Game 5 on Saturday after he fell awkwardly into the goal post, but with everything on the line for the Lightning, he might be back for Game 6 Monday night.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper confirmed an earlier report that Kucherov traveled with the team to Chicago.
“He’s in considerably better shape today than he was last night,” Cooper added during Sunday’s press conference. “To be honest, I thought there was a chance he was coming back last night. But it didn’t work out. These two days will give him the rest he needs.”
Kucherov might participate in Monday’s skate, but his absence in it wouldn’t necessarily be cause for concern as the practice is optional. Cooper compared the situation to Bishop’s as the goaltender was unable to play on Wednesday and then missed Friday’s practice, but still returned on Saturday.
It would be a considerable blow if Kucherov isn’t able to play as the 21-year-old ranks second in the league with 22 points in 25 playoff games.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson won’t even celebrate his 24th birthday until July 17, but the amount of off-ice drama he’s had to endure might feel like more than a career’s worth. Since he made his debut on Oct. 9, 2010, the Coyotes have been in an almost constant state of uncertainty and just when it looked like they might finally be moving past that, the City of Glendale voted to terminate their lease agreement with the team, sparking a legal battle and a fresh wave of speculation about the franchise’s future.
“Not again,” Ekman-Larsson said, summing up his initial reaction to ESPN 1230’s Sebastian Noren on Today’s Slapshot. “We’ve been through so much the past couple of years, and now this happens. It’s disappointing and extremely frustrating that we have to go through something like this again.”
When asked if he feels unwelcome by the City of Glendale, he agreed, although that doesn’t mean that he’s ready to pack up and leave. He appreciates the support of the fans and hopes the team is able to stay in Glendale despite the City Council’s actions.
At the same time, he thinks it will be more difficult to attract free agents now given the instability that this latest fight has created. That’s potentially a big problem for Arizona as it might need to spend nearly $19 million (based on a $71 million cap) just to reach the floor.