I'm sitting here on a nice, sunny day in London and all I can think about is hockey.
Game one is in the books, and the Red Wings have a 1-0 lead in the series. The difference last night was Marc-Andre Fleury, who was nothing short of terrible. We've seen this kid choke before (WJC), but he really needs to shake last night's game and move on. Game two goes tonight, the Pens have no time to sit and reflect. Go back out there, fight hard, and tie that series up!
So many things I'd like to talk about right now, but let's just take one thing at a time.
We are heading into the summer of Mats Sundin II, except this time he won't be the best free agent available. Yes, Mats can still play; we saw that at the end of the Chicago series, but should he come back to the NHL he will be signed at half the price.
Sources tell me that the Canucks will not bring him back, and other sources tell me that should Sundin return, he may want to return to Toronto. Whether Burke wants him remains to be seen, and this could all revolve around how well Toronto does on June 26 and July 1st. If Burke has room, I think he'd welcome him back for a year, but if Burke is successful in landing the Sedins, Jay-Bo, Cammy, etc, then Sundin won't have a chance to finish his career in Toronto.
The Montreal Canadiens have one last chance to make a splash on their 100th season in Montreal, and I still believe they will pull the trigger on something massive at the Draft. Will it be Vinnie? That I don't know. For the Habs to offer Kovalev a contract with guarenteed captaincy, I am sort of doubting the Habs have Vinnie in their plans. Tampa Bay holds a lot of cards right now, as what they do will dictate what several other teams do. Tampa has the Vinnie card, the #2 card, and of coarse the rumoured "lets sell Malone and Prospal" card. I'm interested to see what Tampa does, because they really are the team most in control right now.
Speaking of the Habs, I believe letting Koivu go is a mistake. This guy has been such a big part of the Habs over the last ten years, it will be sad for many Habs fans to see him go. All money has him going to Minnesota, which will be nice for Wild fans, since it looks like Gaborik will be on his way out, maybe to Vancouver (depends on Sedins and if they leave or not).
Speaking of Vancouver, what do they do with Luongo? With one year left on his deal, there are strong rumblings that Luongo isn't interested in re-signing with the Canucks any time before next season. I think the team has to hang on to him, as dealing him would send the wrong message to their fans. The Canucks have to have a big offseason, build a solid team around Luongo, and convince him that Vancouver is his best chance to win a Stanley Cup.
If the cap does fall the $2-3 million that we're hearing, how do the Red Wings keep Hossa? I've been friends with forum member Brandon Allin too long to say Hossa is done as a Red Wing. Ken Holland is a genious, and if Ken wants Hossa back, and Hossa wants to stay, something will get worked out.
On the Penguins side, if Guerin does return for another NHL season, and there is no reason to think that he won't, how does he not stay in Pittsburgh? He's looked at home in a Pens uniform, and I think the two are a great fit for one another.
Finally, if you are an NHL GM, who are your top choices in this year's draft. We'll be doing a mock-draft closer to the draft (if you are a team blogger, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I have a fun concept I'd like to do for this year), but as of right now, I'm split between Tavares and Hedman. Both are going to be stars in this league, and I honestly believe Hedman is more NHL ready. As for Matt Duchene, I'm not sold on this kid. He'll be good, but not yet, his body just isn't there yet. If I'm picking 3,4,5, I'm looking at Schenn, Kane and Pjaarvi-Svensson.
That's all for me today, make sure to contact me if you're a team blogger and make sure to catch game two of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight!