Congrats to the fans in Winnipeg, nice to have you back, and sorry to the fans in ATL as this surely stings.
Btw, remember the Stanley Cup?... yeah, that starts tonight. That stupid four day break was certainly a buzzkill.
Florida has hired Kevin Dineen as their new head coach... good move by them as he's proven over the past six years in the AHL that he can win, develop players and entertain the fans. In five of his six seasons in Portland his team was top 10 in the league in goals including leading the league this season, so that looks promising if you own some Panthers as they finished 27th in scoring this season and dead last in PP%. He doesn't really have a lot to work with there right now but look for them to add some pieces over the summer and Dineen has shown that he can get the best out of some young guys as he's had three straight AHL ROYs in Nathan Gerbe, Tyler Ennis & Luke Adam and also coached guys like Marc-Andre Gragnani, Bobby Ryan and Dustin Penner.
Steven Stamkos says he had a shoulder injury that he picked up in the 1st round that affected him in the playoffs. I guess that could explain his playoff struggles and why he wasn't shooting the puck as much (2.56 spg in the playoffs) but his production & shots really tailed off as the season went along (3.71 /gm in the 1st half and 2.98/gm in the 2nd half), not sure if that was fatigue or something else.
Not fantasy news but the Habs have re-signed Hal Gill to a one-year deal... it will be interesting how their blueline comes together as everyone except Spacek & Subban needs a new contract.
The Blues quickly got RFA Patrik Berglund locked up for two more years... he had a strong breakout season this year with 22+30=52 in 81 games and I think this kid has a world of potential so expect more growth next season.
The Islanders signed Casey Cizikas, their 4th round pick from 2009 to an ELC... he's gained some notoriety this season from his play at the WJC & the Memorial Cup but I think he tops out as a 3rd line center in the NHL, so don't be fooled by the hype.
Nicolas Deslauriers signed an ELC with the Kings yesterday, he was a 3rd rounder in 2009... he's shown some offensive ability during his Q career (13+30=43 in 48 games this year) but he joins a LA organization that is pretty stocked with similar talent. He'll have to prove himself over a couple of seasons in Manchester before he gets a shot.
Just a follow-up on the Sami Vatanen signing from yesterday... he's expected to play in the SM-Liiga for another season, that from our Finnish source (thanks JP) and echoed by the OC Register.
So far the Flames haven't signed 2009 1st rounder Tim Erixon, at least it hasn't been reported yet, so they risk losing his rights and having him go back in the draft, where I suspect he'd be quite popular.