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Lace 'em up. Time for the Morning Skate.
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I know the Stanley Cup Final began last night, but you already knew that. Here's a headline you might've missed over the holiday weekend: the Los Angeles Kings are reportedly stripping Dustin Brown of the captaincy after eight years. This is significant for two reasons. First, it's about time. In an era where captaincies are usually held by your best or most respected players, Dustin Brown's brand of third-line production with a pinch of occasional line-crossing seemed like a relic.
It also signals GM Dean Lombardi's willingness to get rid of a mistake he made by signing Brown to an eight-year, $47 million contract extension three years ago. The dude makes $5.875 million per year and hasn't registered 30 points in a season since 2012. I don't know how the Kings get rid of that contract, but I can't wait to watch them try.
OKAY, NOW WE'LL TALK ABOUT THE STANLEY CUP FINAL
Thank you for your patience. In case you were watching basketball, spending time with your family on Memorial Day or something else not as important as hockey, the Penguins took Game 1 in a thrilling match with the Sharks. Here are some things we learned:
- Sidney Crosby is ridiculous.
- Both teams know how to adjust to the other, though the Penguins did it better.
- San Jose's power play is still a major factor.
- This series is going to live up to the hype.
WORLD CUP STUFF
The final rosters for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey were released on Friday, and you can check all of them out here. If you're mad about Justin Faulk and Phil Kessel not making Team USA, you're not alone. And the Slava Voynov case is going to be fascinating to watch.
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According to reports, the Blues are planning on keeping coach Ken Hitchcock around for another year. It's hard to argue with that. The Blues didn't just exorcise their first-round demons; they took out the defending champions, best Western Conference regular season team and came within a stone's throw of the Stanley Cup Final. That's worth an extension. Now they need to work on bringing back David Backes.
- After a shaky first year in Dallas, Ales Hemsky is finally being appreciated by Stars fans.
- Former Blackhawk Tom Lysiak lost his battle with Leukemia over the weekend. Our condolences.
- Raw Charge thinks there's a problem with how NBC covered the Eastern Conference Final.
- Veteran NHLer Max Talbot is off to Russia.
- P.K. Subban, noted #good #dude, helped out a Habs fan who lost everything in the Fort McMurray fires.
- Toronto has a ton of prospect depth. They should get more by trading down at the draft.
- It might be time for the Red Wings and Jimmy Howard to part ways.
- The Coyotes need to avoid bad contracts like the one the Bruins dealt out last week.
- Finally, the Memorial Cup was won by one of the most ridiculously talented CHL teams in recent memory.