Good morning! It's been awhile since I got one of these out the door, and everything has been happening in the meantime!
First off, a heart congratulations and Manly Hug to The Dark Blue Jacket, who will be starting a unique partnership with Fox Sports Ohio this summer. This is awesome news, and I look forward to seeing what comes out of it.
Over at Bluejackets.com, Rob Mixer sat down with newly signed prospect Michael Chaput, who isn't satisfied with just earning an NHL contract.
A little story you may have missed - former Jacket Rostislav Klesla has a discipinary hearing today for a boarding call in game four of the Coyotes / Predators series. Don't be surprised if Rusty finds himself sit down for a couple of games.
With the Kings and Yotes both looking to move on, there's a pretty good chance that the ratings for the Western Conference Final (and with it, the Stanley Cup) may take a downswing. But Tapeleg suggests that isn't such a bad thing in the long run.
Over at Ten Minute Misconduct, Jeff suggests that we could use a little "Occupy Hockey" as he goes through several issues around the league.
Congrats to the former "Carry the Flag" team, who have relaunched as "The Union Blue". Good luck in the new digs!
Rumors out of Pittsburgh suggest the Pens might deal Jordan Staal to Carolina. Should Columbus be in the discussion? Perhaps, or perhaps it might be worth checking to see if this opens up the Penguins for the Nash sweepstakes.
In case you missed it live or at the recap, Jack Johnson lead the US to victory over Canada thanks to a pair of PP goals, including a nice bomb of an OT winner. Check out Puck Rakers for additional coverage, and there's a story in today's Dispatch on Cam Atkinson looking to build his game in the tournament.
Backhand Shelf has a nice breakdown of potential Conn Smythe candidates. No surprise that Claude Giroux is at the top of their list, while Bourne discusses that the amount of Russian players in the NHL is on the decline.
Back closer to home, the Puck Rakers' report cards are up to Brassard, DBJ wrapped up his season in review, Gallos is still feeling the idea of bringing Bobby Lou to Columbus, and Crimespree Hockey looks at pending free agents big and small for the Jackets.
Department of Comeuppance: Some of the "Fans" who decided to use racist insults to harass Joel Ward after his first round OT winner turned out to be high school athletes who have been banned from taking part in school sports. Others have gotten into trouble with their employers, as well. Good. Welcome to the 21st century. Being a racist is NOT OK.
As much as it sucks for potentially using their draft pick this year, it sure seems like the LA Kings are turning into the team to beat, and Backhand Shelf's Cam Charron explains why he thinks they're going to come out on top.
Want a complete list of NHL draft combine invitees? here ya go.
Back in Canada, Labatt Brewing is in trouble with a promotion (again), and finally we'll round it out with a nice big bag of hockey hugs.
That's all I've got! Have a good Sunday!