The Los Angeles Kings had a challenging road to the Stanley Cup Final, if not the most challenging Stanley Cup Final. Three straight seven-game series, each with their own special brands of adversity.
Against the Anaheim Ducks, it was the emergence of rookie goalie John Gibson.
He won his first two games, including a shutout in his postseason debut. Suddenly talk of him being the next Cam Ward – or Ken Dryden, depending on your level of hyperbole – began.
But like everything else during their run to the Cup, the LA Kings overcame this challenge, as chronicled in this clip from the official Kings 2014 Stanley Cup Champions video, which will be available on Blu-ray ($29.93 SRP), DVD ($24.99 SRP) and Digital ($9.99 SRP for SD/$12.99 SRP for HD) beginning on July 29.
Thanks to Cinedigm and NHL Studios for the clip:
You know, for a minute there, we thought the kid was going to pull it off.
DVD Special Features Include:
• Behind the Scenes with the Stanley Cup
• Top 10 Los Angeles Kings Highlights
Brenden Morrow walks like his groin is one bad stretch from snapping and like the rest of his body is being kept in place by electrical tape and happy thoughts. But it’s been that way for the last few seasons – it’s like a warrior’s swagger.
Morrow signed a 1-year deal for $1.55 million with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, which is $500,000 more than the “show me” contract he signed with the St. Louis Blues last season. He scored 25 points in 71 games, including four of his 13 goals on the power play. Although his ice time was just 11:54 per game.
From the Lightning:
Morrow, 6-foot, 205 pounds, played in 71 games with the St. Louis Blues in 2013-14, recording 13 goals and 25 points with a plus-1 rating. He scored four power-play goals and three game-winning goals. Morrow ranked eighth on the team for goals and averaged 11:54 in ice time per game.
The Columbus Blue Jackets’ playoff run last season was Brandon Dubinsky’s arrival for the franchise.
It’s not like Dubinsky was all that underwhelming. He had 20 points in 29 games in 2012-13, the season after The Rick Nash Trade. He followed that with a career best 34 assists last season, along with 16 goals. But it was in the playoffs were the true Dubinsky calling card was on the table: Annoying the ever-loving heck out of Sidney Crosby and helping to keep the Pittsburgh Penguins star in check during the Jackets’ upset bid.
His reward? A six-year contract extension, announced on Friday. From Puck-Rakers:
Brandon Dubinsky has signed a six-year, $35.1 million contract extension with the Blue Jackets, a deal that puts him under contract with the club through the 2020-21 season. The deal includes both no-move and no-trade clauses, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.
The $5.85 AAV isn’t bad for Dubinsky, at least at the start. Columbus is still a place that needs to spend a little more to retain talent. (Dubinsky would have gone UFA next summer.)
Plovers are “a widely distributed group of wading birds belonging to the subfamily Charadriinae” and known for their relatively short bills. Why anyone would want to plant a sign honoring Joe Pavelski on these poor birds is, frankly, deplorable ...
Oh, wait, sorry: Plover is apparently also a city in Wisconsin. Where Pavelski was born.
That makes more sense. Slightly.
Pavelski was honored with his own tribute sign right next to the Village of Plover sign, located near the I-39, which we hear can really get jammed up during lake house season doncha’know.
From the Stevens Point Journal, the source for most of our Plover new (at least since CNN closed their Plover bureau):
The sign, next to the Welcome to Plover sign on Highway B, was created by Mada, a Stevens Point-based custom apparel and sporting goods business.
It's a Thursday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Stars: Dominic Moore of the NY Rangers joins us to talk about SMASHFEST.
• More news from the free agent frenzy.
• The St. Louis Blues say goodbye to Sobotka, hello again to Ott.
• Marek on the Toews and Kane contracts.
Question of the Day: TBA. Email email@example.com or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek . Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
Is GM Doug Armstrong just going to show up to the hearing with the hope that Sobotka does the same?
“Yeah. Basically,” said Armstrong.
“This is a business decision by Vlad, that I respect. It doesn’t change my opinion on him as a man.”
Sobotka, 27, is one of the best faceoff men in the NHL, winning 61.9 percent of his draws last season. He had 33 points in 61 games, skating 16:44 per game. He was one of the team’s best possession players as well.
This week, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks becamethe first two players to cross the $10 million annual salary threshold in the NHL, under the salary cap. They won’t be the last.
Thing is, many of their comrades worthy of an eight-figure AAV are locked up long term: Sidney Crosby (2025), Alex Ovechkin (2021), Evgeni Malkin (2022), Zach Parise (2025), Phil Kessel (2022), Jeff Carter (2022), Corey Perry (2021) and Claude Giroux (2022) among them.
But a few players are going to have a chance to break the bank in the near future. Here’s a look at the next wave of potential $10-million men.
P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens (Restricted, 2014)
Dany Heatley was once traded for a package that included Jonathan Cheechoo. Five years later, he’s basically become him.
Heatley signed a 1-year, $1-million contract with the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday; the kind of contract NHL teams hand out to former gunslingers in full decline, and the kind of contract former goal-scoring leaders get before their seemingly inevitable KHL deal.
He spent the last three seasons with the Minnesota Wild after the San Jose Sharks flipped him for Martin Havlat in July 2011. He was in San Jose for two seasons after demanding and approving a trade from the Ottawa Senators in Sept. 2009, ending a bitter standoff.
Lou Lamoriello did his best to make Cory Schneider’s new 7-year, $42-million contract extension feel like the dawn of a new era for New Jersey Devils hockey.
“Cory’s not here to replace Marty. Cory’s here to establish his own identity,” said Lamoriello, as the Devils President/GM/Ruler Of All He Surveys announced the contract on Wednesday. Schneider’s deal kicks in during the 2015-16 season, as he has one more year at $4 million on his previous deal.
“We go from one great goaltender to another.”
The spectre of Brodeur haunts the organization. Not in the sense that anyone expects Schneider, 28, to replicate the Hall of Fame-worthy success Brodeur had in New Jersey for 20 years. But rather that he’s continuing the model the Devils perfected with Brodeur between the pipes: Success is created starting in the crease, and then built out.
Schneider said it’s all about “continuing a tradition of great goaltending in New Jersey,” and that he respects “what Marty has done for this organization.”
It's a Wednesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Stars: Mark Lazerus from the Sun-Times joins us to talk Kane and Toews; Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News joins us to talk about their big summer.
• More news from the free agent frenzy.
• Evander Kane and the Jets.
• Other NHL news and notes.
Question of the Day: We are GOING POSTAL! Ask us anything! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek . Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!