And then, there were two.
With the Devils eliminating New York last night in early OT, the Stanley Cup final has been set. One has to wonder if Glen Sather is going to be picking up the phone today to have a "polite chat" with Scott Howson.
Meanwhile, I love how Zach Parise handled the "DON'T TOUCH THE TROPHY!" debate.
Closer to home, and forgive me for playing catch up, the biggest news for Jackets fans was the three year deal for Derek Dorsett, a move that stacks up well statistically and has generally been met with a positive reaction, particularly from a particular blogger / superfan who shall remain nameless.
Less "sexy" but still good to see was the one year deal for Ryan Russell, who will likely split his time between Springfield and Columbus once again. Russell's excellent work blocking shots and helping out on the PK were a big asset to the club, particularly in the later half of the season. For all the people dismissing this move as "not enough change", Russell, Dorsett, and (hopefully) Derek MacKenzie are exactly the kind of guys you want in the core of your bottom six.
Department of WTF: At age 47, Dominik Hasek wants to come back to the NHL. Before anyone suggests it...NO. Just...no. Even if he might still be more consistent than Steve Mason at this point.
Department of OMG OW: Hal Gill spent the entire month of April and early May playing on a broken leg.
Department of WHUT: Conan O'Brien is surprisingly out of touch with the LA hockey scene.
Department of Would You Stop With The Department Joke Already: NCAA defenseman Justin Schultz, currently property of the Anaheim Ducks, is looking to go pro...but since Anaheim has yet to sign him, there's a strong chance he goes to free agency. If he hits UFA status, this could be an interesting way to boost the club's defensive depth.
You may or may not have heard that Puck The Media is now part of SBNation? Steve Lepore opens up with quite a salvo - defending the NHL's partnership with Nickelback.
We'll wrap up with some gems from over at Dark Blue Jacket: A holiday weekend glass bangers, why R.J. Umberger could flourish under Todd Richards, a polite request to the ticket office, and a polite suggestion to mark your calendars...
Have a safe and fun holiday weekend, and don't forget to say Thank You to a veteran for their sacrifices.