Coaching News Coming, Colorado Clinches (and Damages) the Cup, Ovechkin Kicks It, Wolves Win it All, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Nathan MacKinnon Avs Stanley Cup

Coaching News Coming, Colorado Clinches (and Damages) the Cup, Ovechkin Kicks It, Wolves Win it All, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

What a game! What a series! The Colorado Avalanche denied the Tampa Bay Lightning’s hopes of a third consecutive championship and put dynasty talk on hold as they will now wear the crown. Colorado scored twice in the second period to erase a one-goal deficit and take the lead for good on Sunday night. Now the Cup will return to Denver for the first time in more than 20 years.

  • Big first and foremost in Monday’s bullets: we expect the Blackhawks to formally, officially announce the hiring or Luke Richardson today at some point. Stay tuned for that to become official.
  • This morning we added another prospect profile to our series with the 2022 NHL Draft beginning next week. How would Danny Zhilkin fit in Chicago?
  • One big win for the Tampa organization last night came early in the game, when the Lightning announced every full-time employee was going to receive $5,000 to donate to their choice of charity. That’s an incredibly generous move by the ownership group in Tampa at a time when many charities need help.
  • The Lightning tried everything to get the house excited on Sunday, including Hulk Hogan being in attendance. Unfortunately, the Avs were simply the better team with younger, faster legs.
  • There were some extra-intense moments in the media area where one Finnish television personality was having a personally trying night. Artturi Lehkonen’s dad watched his son score the Avs’ second goal, which held up as the game-winner and Cup-clincher. That third period wasn’t easy on anyone’s nerves, but especially a parent.
  • When the Avs got together on the ice for the annual team photo, the Stanley Cup arrived with a bang — literally! And images after the team picture were taken showed it’s going to need a few hours in the shop to get the damage worked on before this version of the Cup makes another public appearance.
  • Now begins the fun part of the NHL summer: tracking where the Stanley Cup is showing up. My friends Dennis Bernstein and Dave Pagnotta of The Fourth Period were in Tampa covering the series and DB caught the Cup wandering up an escalator at 2 AM ET.
  • Our last Stanley Cup related link comes from the terrific Pierre LeBrun, who penned a really good piece overnight about how Joe Sakic built the champion Avs. As some of the players noted last night after they won, it hasn’t been an easy or straight path for Colorado to get to the summit of the game, but they got there eventually. This is a really good read for Blackhawks fans as we head into a rebuild.
  • In their “32 Thoughts” podcast this weekend, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek talked about the Blackhawks hiring Luke Richardson as their next head coach (again, which should be formally announced today). Friedman noted there are a lot of people really happy for Richardson, who has been a popular player and coach for more than two decades. Their Blackhawks talk starts around 25:50 into the podcast.
  • Why is Richardson the right fit? According to Friedman: “He’s patient. He’s calm. He’s a teacher. Those have been his strengths. I’m not surprised in the least bit that that’s what they’re looking for.”
  • Regarding the Blackhawks’ trade options, Friedman only reiterated that everyone on Chicago’s payroll except the big three players with no-trade clauses — Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Seth Jones — is available right now.
  • In other hockey “news,” Alexander Ovechkin is apparently spending time bodying smaller players — on the pitch. Ovi took a crack at playing soccer this weekend and even scored a goal. Players on turf learned quickly what other NHL players have known for more than a decade: don’t get in the way.
  • We do have a hockey championship to celebrate in Chicago! The Wolves won the Calder Cup as AHL champions over the weekend. They served as the minor league affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes this season and ran the table against a tough postseason slate that included the Rockford IceHogs. Congrats, Wolves!
  • Finally, it was amateur hour in St. Louis yesterday where the Cardinals blew a five-run lead to the Cubs and their fans did the wave. First, what legit fan base does the wave? And, secondly and most importantly, WHO DOES IT CLOCKWISE???

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Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab