(During the course of the long offseason, I will be chirping a bit here with a new column called "This and That", which will include some Canes related news as well as other happenings around the league. Feel free to discuss these and other topics, in the comments.)
Great playoffs so far!
So far so good on the playoff front. The Chicago - Nashville matchup looks to be as tight as it can be. With the parity in the league, any series could go either way, especially if injuries become an issue.
Speaking of injuries, the Ottawa - Montreal series might turn into an outright civil war.
Just one game in, the coaches and general managers are already speaking up about a P.K. Subban slash to Mark Stone. The Sens are reporting that Stone has a micro-fracture in his hand and may or may not play the rest of the way. Ottawa GM Bryan Murray claimed that Subban threatened Stone previously. Coach Dave Cameron said something about slashing the Habs best player, if Subban doesn't get suspended, (which he didn't).
Sit back and enjoy, boys and girls, this is going to be good. (Paging Chris Neil...please pick up the red phone...Chris Neil...)
Babcock to Toronto?
The "rumor du jour" coming out of the "Center of the Hockey Universe" is that Red Wings coach, Mike Babcock, will be taking over the coaching duties, (and possibly GM duties as well), in Toronto.
You've got to love the people in Toronto. They automatically assume that every top person in hockey wants to move there and work for the Leafs. Sure, Mike Babcock, why not? Anything could happen. Maybe they can lure Scotty Bowman out of retirement as well.
How valid is this rumor? Apparently, valid enough so that Babcock is the odds on favorite at Bovada to take the job. Check out these odds at Bovada Sports and place your bets!
Who will be the next Full Time Head Coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Mike Babcock 9/5
Todd McLellan 9/4
Dan Bylsma 11/2
Doug Gilmour 6/1
Peter DeBoer 6/1
Dallas Easkins 13/2
Interesting stuff there. But wait, there's no John Tortorella listed? Talk about a perfect match for the Leafs' media circus. There would be non-stop drama! Oh my goodness, this has to happen. Please make them hire Torts. (silent prayer to the Hockey Gods).
By the way, Babcock is also the odds on favorite to be the next Toronto GM.
Who will be the next Full Time General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Mike Babcock 2/1
Doug Wilson 10/1
Paul Fenton 10/1
Sean Burke 10/1
Julien Brisebois 12/1
Jason Botterill 12/1
Kyle Dubas 25/1
Credit to Bovada for trying to take advantage of a hopeful Toronto market and for making a few bucks in the process.
Apparently, Babs is not wanted in Boston.
Jeff Gorton 3/1
Tom Fitzgerald 5/1
Julien Brisebois 8/1
Paul Fenton 17/2
The Staal Brothers suffered a broken leg and a broken foot - fans were broken-hearted...
Early next week we will be posting another poll, this time asking readers how they feel about re-signing Eric Staal. Ron Francis didn't exactly say that was a top priority, or job one for the organization this summer. It will be interesting to see how the Staal poll will compare with the one for Semin.
I must say, I was a bit surprised that so many readers seem to support Semin returning again next year. 45% of the 623 of you who voted, said to bring him back next season and hope for improvement. I know we would not get such a high percentage of local sports media voting the same way. Well done!