Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 hrs ago
Kevan Miller was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, after making $800,000 last season. Instead, he’ll make $2.5 million next season, and three more after that, as the Boston Bruins re-signed him to a new four-year deal on Tuesday.
From the Bruins:
In his third season with Boston, Miller competed in a career-high 71 games and also established career highs in goals (five), assists (13), points (18) and penalty minutes (53). He posted the second-best plus/minus rating on the team (+15). Miller played in his 100th NHL game on November 5, 2015 at Washington. In total, the 28-year-old blueliner has played in 159 games at the NHL level – all with Boston – racking up 8-23=31 totals, while amassing 106 penalty minutes. He has appeared in 11 postseason contests with the Bruins and registered two assists.
So this signing … yeah.
Miller’s $2.5 million salary joins those of Dennis Seidenberg ($4 million) and Adam McQuaid ($3 million) as too much investment for too little return. In Miller’s case, he’s a bottom-pairing defenseman that’s signed a four-year term, which is nutty.
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 hrs ago
The classic sitcom “Seinfeld” gave the pop culture world many enduring legacies – Festivus, shrinkage, Julia-Louis Dreyfus – while also delivering one for hockey culture: David Puddy, lunk-headed boyfriend of Elaine Benes, and his face/chest painted support of the New Jersey Devils.
Everybody now: ‘Gotta support the team.’
The visage of his red and green face was immortalized on the goalie mask of Scott Wedgewood of the New Jersey Devils, whose throwback Devils lid was pretty sweet.
David Gunnarsson, the creator of the mask, shared the photo above on his official Facebook page, as the great Patrick Warburton was given a mask with his painted-up David Puddy on it. “it was a huge honor to create and paint it for you,” he wrote.
And with that, the pop culture circle is complete. But please don’t try to touch his mask without asking.
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 5 hrs ago
For a while there, it looked like Scott Luce was going to outlast the Panthers in Florida.
He was involved in scouting for 14 years. That’s seven head coaches and five general managers in Florida Panthers’ terms. As director of scouting, he oversaw the construction of the Panthers team that won the Atlantic Division this season and produced two rookies of the year in Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad.
Luce was promoted to director of player personnel last season. "Scott has done a tremendous job leading and preparing our scouting staff for the last several seasons," said GM Dale Tallon in July 2015.
Less than a year later, Luce is out of a job and Tallon is no longer the general manager. And yet new GM Tom Rowe claims that Tallon was one of the voices calling for the dismissal of the guy he literally just promoted to the job last July.
What the hell is going on here?
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 6 hrs ago
TAMPA, Fla. – With their season on the line, Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan has decided to go back to rookie goalie Matt Murray after starter Marc-Andre Fleury took a loss in Game 5.
“Matt Murray is our starting goaltender,” said Sullivan, of Tuesday's Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final at the Tampa Bay Lightning, “and the reason, just like we make all of our lineup decisions, is that we try to put players on the ice that we think try to give us the best chance to win.”
The Lightning lead the series, 3-2.
Murray is 9-4-1 in the playoffs, with a .923 save percentage and a 2.33 goals-against average. The last time he played in Tampa, he was pulled after giving up four goals in the first two periods, opening the door for Fleury’s Game 4 start.
Fleury gave up four goals to the Lightning, losing in overtime, in his first start since late March.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are one loss away from elimination in the Eastern Conference Final. They’re also two wins away from making the Stanley Cup Final, but that level of optimism and appreciation of their accomplishments is soooooo very Game 3.
As a result, captain Sidney Crosby is getting called out for the team’s lack of success and his own struggles, having turned in a poor effort in Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. That’s three games after Crosby’s overtime game-winner earned accolades from media and his teammates, but again, that’s sooooo very Game 2.
We’ve decided to spotlight three sizzling hot takes on Crosby and the Penguins’ star players that were published in the wake of their Game 5 loss to the Lightning. There were no doubt more of them, but these three actually singed our eyelashes as we read them because the takes were so hot.
TAMPA, Fla. – Evgeni Malkin said it, on the eve of Game 6 in the Eastern Conference Final: “I believe in my team. I believe in myself. We can come back to Pittsburgh for sure.”
You might need a taffy pull to stretch that to a Game 6 guarantee, but that’s still one of the Pittsburgh Penguins veteran leaders saying the series could surely go seven games.
“Let’s be honest: What’s he supposed to say? ‘Oh, we’re done, we’re just going down there for a formality?’” asked Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper, moments after his team stepped off their plane onto home terra firma Monday morning.
“Of course they’re going to say they’re going to win. They’re a good team and a confident group. But we feel the same way. Look, you gotta win four. We’re a little bit closer to four than they are, but you gotta win four. And that’s all our group is thinking about.”
The Lightning had a chance to win that fourth game in Game 6 last season too, against the New York Rangers at Amalie Arena. Instead, the Rangers blew the doors off them, winning 7-3 after taking a 5-1 lead by the 7:13 mark of the third period.
Cooper said there was a bit of a premature victory lap last season for the Lightning.
Team USA was embarrassed in the bronze medal game of the IIHF world championships, 7-2, at the hands of host Russia. Well, as embarrassed as a nation can be that’s made getting dominated in the consolation game of an international hockey tournament a basic trait in the last few years ...
But embarrassing doesn’t quite describe whatever it is we’re watching here, in what’s either an extremely well-produced video stunt (probable, given the audio editing) or an extraordinary breach of security protocols, etiquette and general decency.
The video, originally uploaded by someone named Scott Edwards, shows a portly fan named Mike in a Matt Hendricks jersey (although he doesn’t wear No. 26 for the U.S.) dancing a Russian locker room around with a giant emoji featuring an Uncle Sam hat painted on his chest.
UPDATE: Reader Duncan A. offers some debunking:
I believe this is a hoax:
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
PITTSBURGH – The Heartbreak Kid was the story in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, his star-power and influence undeniable in its outcome.
No, not Shawn Michaels – the other one . The Russian one, with the bolt of electricity on his chest.
It’s easy to forget that Kucherov is effectively a kid in hockey terms: 22 years old, having completed his third full season in the NHL. It’s impossible to miss the impact he’s had on this series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the playoffs as a whole: His 11 goals lead all scorers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and his three-point night in Tampa Bay’s Game 5 victory was a superstar turn on a night when the Penguins’ biggest names were silent.
It was all there for Pittsburgh: Home ice, rabid fans, a returning Marc-Andre Fleury, a chance to push the Lightning to the brink.
Kucherov broke their hearts.
“Whenever we need a big goal, we look to him. He’s always in the right place and he’s got a knack to score those big goals,” said winger Alex Killorn.
PITTSBURGH – The measure of a champion is how they react when adversity hits.
Like when a star player is lost to surgery, or a starting goaltender is lost to injury. Like when there’s a series deficit, or a deficit in the series’ most critical game. Like when you’re on the road, facing an opponent energized by an old friend’s return to the lineup and facing the prospect of being one loss from elimination.
So, all that said after their Game 5 overtime victory at the Pittsburgh Penguins to take a 3-2 Eastern Conference Final lead: How does one measure the Tampa Bay Lightning?
“Let's pump the brakes a little bit here,” said coach, realist and party pooper Jon Cooper. “There's still more series left. We feel good and fortunate that we're up 3-2 and going home, but we still have to win another game.”
He continued. “But in saying that, the more times you get put in these situations and you're behind the wheel navigating what's going on out there, the better you are [equipped] to handle them.”
What they didn’t do, however, was panic, freak out or do anything dramatically out of character.
But they kept pushing. Confidently.
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
Your browser does not support iframes.
PITTSBURGH – The Tampa Bay Lightning are one win away from another chance at hockey’s Holy Grail.
The Lightning rallied twice and finally outlasted the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final on Sunday. Jason Garrison’s shot 53 seconds into overtime deflected off Tyler Johnson's back past Marc-Andre Fleury to win the game.
Goalie Andre Vasilevskiy made 33 saves while Nikita Kucherov had two goals, becoming the NHL’s leading goal-scorer in the postseason with 11. Vasilevskiy kept the Lightning in the game with a strong third period, making two tough saves on Chris Kunitz.
It was a valorous performance from the Lightning. They overcame the expected jolt for the Penguins with the return of Marc-Andre Fleury, who was making his first start since March 30 after having taken the crease back from rookie Matt Murray in Game 4. They overcame deficits of 2-0 and 3-2. And in the third period, they overcame the referees’ decision to swallow their whistles on several questionable calls.
They also overcame their own mistakes, as the Lightning gave up goals in the final minute of each of the first two periods.