- Ruined our headline: The Caps ruined our 'best of 5' theme last night by beating the Penguins in an exciting 1 goal match up to go up 2-0 heading back to Steel town tomorrow night. Every other series is headed to game 3 dead locked at 1, after the lower seeds managed to attain the desired 'split' on the road. In the process making the remaining 3 series a Best of 5, with the lower seeds now holding the home ice advantage.
- Shortest best of 5: Of the 3 tied series the one that could prove to be the shortest of the three might be the Chicago vs- Vancouver series. Here the Hawks, when they weren't taking penalties, dominated the Canucks at GM Palace. They easily could be coming back to Chicago up 2-0. If not for Luongo, it could have been ugly. Maybe the Canucks will ask Mats Sundin to announce his retirement NOW!
2) Offer he Couldn't refuse: Another story we're working concerns the New York Rangers. From what we've heard Glen Sather informed Markus Naslund during the exit interviews that his roster spot was not going to be guaranteed. That in fact it was likely the soon to be 35 year old Swedish forward would either be dealt, or demoted to Hartford to save cap space. Markus was given that choice or choose to retire with honor. Wanting to return to his homeland and continue to play a few more seasons, Naslund announced his retirement yesterday, freeing up 4 million in cap space for the cash strapped Blue Shirts. Will this move initiate/heat up the inevitable Jagr return rumours? Absolutely one source told FAUXRUMORS late yesterday afternoon. This move was designed for this purpose. 'Slats wants JJ back badly'! Our calls to other sources on this were not immediately returned so we have yet to hear from the other party in this, but from what we have heard towards the end of the season a return to the NHL for Jagr is all but assured and we were told back then to not believe the Edmonton rumors that were widely circulated earlier. Stay tuned folks!
3) Vinny's destination: Another of the big rumors that is undoubtedly going to intensify as the (52)days/weeks lead up to the NHL entry draft in Montreal are the Lecavalier to the Canadiens discussions. Water was throw on that story a couple of weeks ago when both sides vehemently denied that talks are occurring BUT it was confirmed that discussion did take place. A well placed source in Tampa tells us that its almost a done deal that Vinny will not be a member of the Lightning after June 30th. (After that date a no trade clause kicks in, as well as an absurd 11 year 85 million deal-8 mil cap hit) The Habs remain the top contender for Vinny's services, but a source tells us that the Maple Leafs might also be interested. Although they have much less to offer, our source tells us that the Lightning are 'very motivated' so the buyer here could get the super star center at a bargain.
4) Chaos Reigns: Related to the above Lecavalier story is the fact that despite Bettman/NHL denials, financial chaos continues in several NHL cities. Specifically in Phoenix, TB, Atlanta and Florida. The most dire is Phoenix where the NHL was reported to have had to make the team's payroll, and has assumed large portions of the non hockey day to day business of the franchise. Don Maloney and Wayne Gretzky still are making the player personnel decisions, but they have to first go through the league office to make any 'significant monetary decision'. It is entirely possible that the upcoming season in the desert will be their last and a relocation to KC is now closer to reality than anyone will publicly let on.
Stay tuned to FAUXRUMORS throughout the playoffs as we follow these and any other important NHL story, as well as discuss the various series as we get closer to crown a new Cup champion. As always, keep it here for all the latest!