It may not be official until later next week, but it seems all but certain that NHL hockey is leaving Atlanta for a second time. Just as I felt a great deal of sympathy for the Coyotes in their 11th hour, so I feel for the guys at BWA, who now find themselves staring into the abyss.
Meanwhile, in the 'Peg....let's just say they're enthusiastically awaiting the next turn in the story.
With all the hubbub, you'd be forgiven for not knowing that Tim Thomas rebounded from giving up 5 goals on Tuesday by slamming the door in Tampa Bay last night, while Guy Boucher had himself a wee bit of a meltdown after he disagreed with a penalty call.
(In his defense, it sure looked like Bergeron hit Krejci with his shoulder, not the elbow, from where I sat.)
In other NHL news, the Blackhawks have extended young goalie Corey Crawford for three more seasons and 8 million dollars. Obviously this is a move that will pay huge dividends, because a rookie who plays extremely solid in goal in his first NHL season has never taken a step backwards afterwards.
The speculation on where Ken Hitchcock will coach next season is starting to spin up with the news that the Minnesota Wild have received permission to speak with the former Columbus head coach, while it's expected that New Jersey and Ottawa also have an interest. (I would personally think the Devils have the inside track here, but stranger things have happened.)
In "News that should be entirely unexpected", according to the Windsor Star the Red Wings want to talk to recently resigned assistant coach Bob Boughner, who they'd like to replace Brad McCrimmond, who is leaving to pursue an NHL head coaching gig. While part of me wants to get ticked off on that, it does make sense from both the "Hey, they're a lot more successful team" standpoint and the "I'd only be a short drive across a bridge from my family, instead of a four hour drive" angle. Would I perhaps respect Boughner a wee bit more if he said No, and spent a year or two more in Windsor, as he'd talked about? Maybe....but I wouldn't entirely blame him.
Meanwhile, closer to home, Puck-Rakers pours some cold water on the idea of moving to the East right away, and also gives the information that the team's prospect camp will be held on 6/28 - 7/2...when I just realized I will be out of town for a wedding. Damn you, familial obligations!
DBJ, on the other hand, takes a look at an interesting interview posted by the Jackets with Scott Howson, and weighs in with his own news about the potential of the Jackets making a move to the East in the near future.
For those interested in the NHL draft beyond our Draft Prospect Profiles series, which will run right up to the first day of the Draft on June 14th, they guys at Hockey Prospect.com have their 2011 draft guide out - a great tool, and worth keeping alongside as we get deeper into the offseason.
Speaking of the later rounds of the draft, over at The Hockey Writers, they think that there's some real potential that the Jackets would be interested in RPI defenseman Patrick Koudys in the later rounds. The Jackets have kept an eye on his former RPI teammate, Allen York, and it's certainly possible that he's on their scouting radar as a result.
Hope you have a good weekend - we'll try to keep you up to date as the news swirls around the Jackets, and the NHL at large, no matter what happens with the Velocirapture.
Son, fetch my dinosaur huntin' guns...