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Stanley Cup Champs, Tragic Death and a Wideman Grudge

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Thursday Links, Notes and News

2021 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

First all; congrats to the Tampa Bay Lightning for winning the Stanley Cup back to back! You can analyze their final series performance all you want but the fact remains, but at the end of the day they were too much to handle for the Habs. To be fair to Montreal, they would have probably been too much to handle for any team. They are as close to perfect as any team can get in today’s NHL: skill, structure and complete focus throughout the season and the 4 rounds of the play-offs. A truly deserving champion and no, if you ask me their victory had nothing to do with the cap circumvention. It wasn’t illegal and if it were and they were forced to adjust, I still believe they would have won. On the other side, congrats to the Canadiens who beat all the odds and exceeded all expectations to give us an interesting twist on this post season. Hopefully Carey Price can still have his glory day before retiring.

  • Life is too short and if the past 16 months or so have taught us anything is that it is very precious. Sadly, this week we were harshly reminded of how quickly life can change for someone when news of the sudden death of Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks hit us. He was only 24 years old. More details have come to the light for the 4th of July tragedy that took place at Manny Legace’s house following his daughter’s wedding. Condolences to his family, friends and the entire Blue Jackets community.
  • Chris Wideman seems like ancient history for the Sens by this point. But the KHL defenceman is looking to come back to the NHL and his method of attracting suitors was to blame Pierre Dorion of ruining his career somehow. We all remember the cab video incident and how embarrassing that was for everyone involved. According to Wideman, he was made the scapegoat for the incident. Nobody knows what transpired after that video leak but the truth is, Chris Wideman was never that great of a player and he never succeeded outside of Ottawa until he got to the KHL. The Sens have done a lot of players wrong but when it comes to Wideman’s career, I think that was all on him.
  • In exciting news for teams who are looking for a major upgrade on their offense, news of Vlad Tarasenko asking for a trade are in full force. The 29-year old has two years left on his contract with a $7.5M cap hit. Just like Jack Eichel, Tarasenko has mentioned he is not pleased with the way the St. Louis Blues have dealt with his shoulder injury over the past few seasons. Tarasenko is an extremely talented player but he’s not as young as Eichel and carries a bit of a hefty price tag. It will be interesting to see how both issues transpire.
  • With the Stanley Cup now over, all eyes are on the upcoming draft. It seems Owen Power is the consensus number 1 pick but could news of him wanting to go back to college change the narrative? It’s very rare for a first overall pick to not make the immediate jump to the NHL, and it will be interesting to see how that affects the Buffalo Sabres’ decision.