Here’s some news and notes from around the NHL that I thought were worth discussing. There’s only four teams left in the playoffs, but that hasn’t slowed the news cycle.
• Death of an enforcer. Shocking and depressing news over the weekend as Rangers wing Derek Boogaard was found dead in his apartment. Boogaard was only 28 years old. It will be a while before the cause of death is officially determined. It was amazing to see the outpouring of support from the Minnesota Wild hockey community, of which Boogaard was a part of for most of his career. The man obviously touched a lot of people in his time in Minnesota.
• Winnipeg not out yet. First, it was the Phoenix Coyotes; now, it’s the Atlanta Thrashers. The city of Winnipeg may just get an NHL team yet. The Yotes are staying put, but now the Thrash may be headed north. Atlanta’s owners are currently shopping the team, and they just might deal with the ownership group from Winnipeg, who desperately wants to bring a big-league team back to town. It’s far from a done deal, but if it does happen the next dilemma facing the league would be realignment.
• Jagr back to the Burgh? Jaromir Jagr’s been in the news lately, and talk has circulated about a return to where it all started – Pittsburgh. I haven’t written at length about this topic because I don’t think it will happen. I would hope the Pens would only consider signing Jagr for a bargain. After all, he’s getting up there in age and hasn’t played in the NHL in years. But if the price is right…well, he can’t be any worse than Alex Kovalev.
• Finland celebrates. Congratulations to Finland, who beat Sweden to win the World Championships. It was only the Finns second world title, but they beat their arch nemesis to get it. The team also produced the goal of the tourney, courtesy of Mikael Granlund. Enjoy.