Congratulations to the Anaheim Ducks and their fans! The best team in the league won the Stanley Cup again this year, I don't think anyone would try to argue about that. They finished the year the same way they started it, in dominating fashion. I'm not sure what happened to the Senator team that beat the Sabres, but most of them sure didn't show up for this series. Although, I give kudos to Mike Fisher who played his heart and soul out. Some other observations... What's the deal about leaving Emery out there for the whole game last night? It was obvious during the 1st period that he was not on his game. I don't care if this is an elimination game in the Stanley Cup Finals or not, if your starting goalie is stinking up the ice, you replace him! You give your team a chance to win. We have all seen what Martin Gerber can do when he is on. If Murray would have put in Gerber after the 1st period, maybe that would have given the Sens the spark they needed. Instead, all they did was give up a couple of more soft goals. I'll give Laviolette his due here, he's not afraid to make a goalie change regardless of the situation.
It was nice to see Selanne finally lift the Cup last night. It was also cool to see one brother pass the Cup to the other. Other than that, it was kind of anti-climatic for me. Of course after last year, that's to be expected! Speaking of last year, a flood of memories came back last night. What a magical year that was.
In Hurricanes news, Luke DeCock reported that the Canes will not pursue Josef Vasicek this coming year. He also said that they would like to offer David Tanabe another contract, but under their current situation, (8 defensemen under contract), they are unable to. They expect a report on Bret Hedican today. Bret has been working out and seems to expect to report to camp. Let's all hope he is healthy and can return to his 2005-06 performance level, and not last year's. Luke goes on to give the Canes current salary situation, (which I have here), and states that the Canes self-imposed budget of 44 million allows them about another 5 million to spend on free agents, including Scott Walker. In the next few days I will be working on a free agent chart so that we can track the status of free agents and consider who might be a good fit for the Canes. I will also be making a draft chart, so that we can look at the top prospects and think about who the Canes might choose with their 11th overall pick. The disappointing 2006-07 season is officially over now so it's time to look forward to next year and examine all the possibilities open to Jim Rutherford and Cane's management to improve the team. In the next couple of weeks, that's exactly what we will do here at CanesCountry!