There was a lot of hype going into Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Fortunately, it was one of those games that paid off the hype in spades.
Even if you were rooting for the Bruins, you came out of last night looking forward to one hell of a series, with both Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo putting on exceptional performances in net, and Raffi Torres delivering on what might be one of the most clutch goals of his career to win the game for the Canucks with less than 20 seconds left in regulation.
If we get seven games with the level of emotional intensity and electric performances that we saw last night? This could be one of the best Stanley Cup series in NHL history. Though perhaps we might hope for less biting in game 2.
Closer to home, we mentioned yesterday that Calgary was in danger of failing to sign top prospect Tim Erixon - and as it turns out, they had to trade his rights to the New York Rangers. Shame - I would have loved a little extra drama to juice Columbus' draft options.
NHL Senior VP of Hockey Ops Colin Campbell will be stepping down as the head of discipline, with Brendan Shanahan taking over. We hope for a better, more consistent rule, though Dirk over at OTF reminds us that is exactly what we were supposed to get when Campbell took office, too.
Over at Canes Country, they're wondering just how radical the NHL should be thinking when it comes to realignment.
The Jacket Backers are kicking off their renewal drive for next season. Save 33% on the cost of membership? Not a bad deal.
Some Canucks Fans had one hell of a trip to San Jose during the Western Conference Finals....
Mike Commodore's latest life choices are submitted without comment.
It seems the Manitoba Moose, or at least the AHL club that went by that name, since we still don't know what the new team in Winnipeg will end up being called, will be going to St. John's, NF.
One last interesting look at the Thrashers / Winnipeg situation. A pair of stories have come out breaking down the timelines of just how long, and how hard, True North has been working on this. If there's something major for Blue Jackets fans to take away, it's the fact that over the last five years, True North were guided by the NHL to meet with Phoenix, Atlanta, and Nashville, but never even breathed the name Columbus. It may not seem like it, especially with the arena issue still up in the air and the salary cap going up yet again, but that's a major vote of confidence in the McConnells and the city from the NHL.
Edit: Don't you hate it when you forget something cool? The guys at Hockey WIlderness have put together a really great visitor guide for anyone interested in travelling to St. Paul for the draft in a few weeks. Very interesting and worth taking a look!