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NYHN Daily: Islanders and Offer Sheets, Tarasenko Talk & More

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The Stanley Cup is headed back to Tampa as the Lightning win the elusive trophy for the second consecutive season. Could the Islanders be in offer sheet trouble given the RFA’s that need to be re-signed? St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko has asked for a trade and the Islanders are on his list. These stories and more in today’s daily links!

Could the New Jersey Devils be the one to get things going, and who are they targeting? If chatter has any credibility, we could finally see more offer sheets to star RFAs, such as breakout defenseman Cale Makar, this offseason. Don’t take your eyes off the New York Islanders. According to one NHL exec, not much player movement will occur until NHL GMs can figure out Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis’ “poker face.” For a deeper look into that, read more in the latest ‘Off The Record.’ (NYI Hockey Now)

There’s nothing going on, but there’s a lot going on. You won’t likely hear any news out of the Islanders this week or even early next week. The early buyout window opens 48 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final and, while Lou Lamoriello might have some rather weak candidates for buyouts, it doesn’t seem like Lamoriello’s way to be so aggressive before his expansion protected list has to be submitted (July 17) and the Seattle expansion draft takes place (July 21). (The Athletic)

The reputation that the New York Islanders are not a team that top players want to join is changing — even if current parameters make bringing on a top-end talent more of a longshot than anything.  As the Tampa Bay Lightning began celebrating their second-straight Stanley Cup crown — after eliminating the Islanders both times at the semifinal stage — Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic reported that St. Louis Blues star winger Vladimir Tarasenko officially submitted a trade request on Wednesday night. The 29-year-old sniper has a full no-trade clause but among his list of teams that he’d be willing to greenlight a move to supposedly are the Islanders. (AMNY)

Somewhere on a stone tablet where hockey was founded by Mi’kmaq natives and Irish settlers in the early 1800s, it is written that hockey players must play through injury, play through all aches and pains and be there for their team. Few teams have suffered as many injuries as the Pittsburgh Penguins, and few have fought through more nagging pains than Sidney Crosby. Looking at the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final, one question arises. Why? (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

One year ago today, when Florida Hockey Now launched as the new home of my Florida Panthers coverage, I certainly did not know how things were going to go down. At the time, we were still deep in the throes of a pandemic and hoped things would at least start getting back to normal soon. Less than a week after our launch, the Panthers returned to the ice in Coral Springs for a summer training camp. As I wrote in my first dispatch for FHN then: Man, it has been a strange year. (Florida Hockey Now)

NHL draft success comes from a combination of preparation, expertise, guesswork, timing and good luck. Some years, the No. 1 pick is Sidney Crosby. Other years, it is Nail Yakupov. But good teams show consistency in their drafting efforts, particularly in the first round. If we view 200 games played as the minimum required, a little less than two-thirds of first picks become NHL players. In the salary cap era, with parity now part of the game, it has become increasingly important to draft well. (Detroit Hockey Now)

The Vegas Golden Knights and then-GM George McPhee bluffed the Pittsburgh Penguins into giving the Golden Knights a second-round pick in addition to franchise face Marc-Andre Fleury. While other misfits needed a chance, Fleury was fresh from a dominant playoff performance that Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan controversially cut short for Matt Murray to finish the 2017 Stanley Cup run.It was like walking into the bank for the Golden Knights, emptying the vault, and taking a lollypop, too. Whatever Happens Next, Vegas Made Fleury a Hall of Famer. (Vegas Hockey Now)

As the Seattle expansion draft nears the horizon, in just two weeks, the Avalanche will be forced to sacrifice a roster player. And whichever way you slice it, Colorado is going to lose a good one. But who will it be? (Colorado Hockey Now)

William Eklund is almost four times more likely to be an NHL star than presumptive first-overall pick Owen Power. That is, according to data scientist Patrick Bacon’s projections. In fact, Power doesn’t even make Bacon’s 2021 NHL Draft top-five, in terms of likelihood for stardom. (San Jose Hockey Now)

The Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup for the second straight season with a 1-0 victory against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of the Final at Amalie Arena on Wednesday. “It’s so hard to win the Stanley Cup,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. “And then you do it two years in a row. You deserve to go down in history. And this group, no matter what happens from here on out, this group is going to be etched in history forward. And that’s pretty special.” (NHL)

Andrei Vasilevskiy won the Conn Smythe Trophy voted as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday. Vasilevskiy was named after he helped the Tampa Bay Lightning repeat as Stanley Cup champions. He made 22 saves in a 1-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of the Cup Final at Amalie Arena. He was 16-7 in the playoffs with five shutouts, a .937 save percentage and 1.90 goals-against average in 23 starts. Vasilevskiy was 7-0 in games following a loss in each of the past two postseasons. “I can’t believe it,” Vasilevskiy said. (NHL)

Pat Maroon became the first player in the NHL expansion era to win the Stanley Cup in three straight seasons with different teams when the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena on Wednesday. Maroon is the first player to win the Cup in three consecutive seasons since 16 New York Islanders won it four straight times from 1980-83, including Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies, Denis Potvin, Billy Smith and Bryan Trottier. Maroon won the Cup with the St. Louis Blues in 2019 and with the Lightning the past two seasons. (NHL)

As goaltenders are prone to do, Carey Price tried to take all the blame after the Montreal Canadiens came up agonizingly short in their against-all-odds campaign to end Canada’s 28-year Stanley Cup drought. Price, expressionless and downcast, was fielding the dreaded what-went-wrong question when he took the blame for Wednesday’s Game 5 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. “I just don’t think I played well enough at the start of the series,” he said. Shea Weber was having none of it. (TSN)

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