Pre-game reading: Some appreciation for the Presidents’ Trophy

— Up top, Kevin Shattenkirk is asked about the Capitals winning another Presidents’ Trophy, and replies: “We don’t want to be known as regular-season champions.”

— Of course, everyone knows Washington’s under tremendous pressure to win its first Stanley Cup. But for Caps blog Japers’ Rink, a second straight Presidents’ Trophy deserves to be celebrated and appreciated: “Perhaps some fans feel the only way they can be happy as a fan is to see their team win the Cup, but that seems like a pretty depressing way to enjoy something that, ultimately, is meant as entertainment. The journey should be part of the fun, even if it ends in heartbreak.” (Japers’ Rink)

— A Q&A with outspoken agent Allan Walsh, who says the NHL’s decision to skip the 2018 Olympics is “creating a poisonous atmosphere as we inch closer to the next round of collective bargaining. It’s really difficult to have the league kick the players in the groin and then say how much they want to work with them.” (ESPN)

— Another Q&A, this one a little more uplifting. It’s with Wild coach Bruce Boudreau, who believes bouncing around the minors as a player helped him become a better coach. “If I’d played regularly in the NHL, I probably would’ve taken a lot of things for granted and not learned as much as I had to do when you were in the minors. When you’re getting called up, getting sent down, seeing the effects of different players all over the place in different situations, whether it’s getting released, getting called up, getting sent down, that’s how you become a leader and a communicator.” (Sports Illustrated)

— The Sedin twins are only signed for one more year in Vancouver. And according to Henrik, it’s either re-sign with the Canucks or retire. “If they see a future for us then we might have another year in us here after next year. If not, I don’t think we’re prepared to go anywhere else.” (FanRag)

— A profile of Swiss center Nico Hischier, potentially the first overall draft pick this summer. “He’s got world-class skills, great hands, great vision, but he’s also our best defensive player,” said Halifax GM Cam Russell. “When you have a player that is your most skilled and basically your best player on the team, and he’s also your best defensive player, it provides great leadership for your younger players.”

Enjoy the games!

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