So, the Tampa Bay Lightning stomped all over the 18th overall team, the Montreal Canadiens, while they used loopholes in the NHL rules to be $18 million over the cap but in “compliance” to win the Stanley Cup. And now they’re being placed in the pantheon of the NHL’s greatest teams. Uh-huh, sure. If they were so great, maybe they should have had Nikita Kucherov have his surgery earlier and then try to be really cap compliant during the regular season? Were that the case, thhe we’d talk about that. In the meantime, no they aren’t and they can go screw.
Does this mean that I feel bad for the Habs? NO. I never feel bad for them especially since I coined the whole “It’s always a glorious day to hate the Habs!”, once upon a time i a different space.
In my mind, there was no winner of the Stanley Cup this year. Either that or it was the Seattle Kraken, a team who did not play during the shortened 2021 season.
What this whole season taught us is that every GM should replicate tis formula: take on all of the contracts of the LTIRetired; wait for a key, expensive player to have his surgery so that he conveniently cannot play in the regular season but will be ready for the playoffs; and load up on any available talent because of the cap room created by those first two moves. Granted, the New York Islanders were only able to sign Mathew Barzal after shedding a couple of players and once blueliner Johnny Boychuk was placed on LTIR for the remainder of his contract due to his eye injury.
Another thing this whole Stanley Cup Farce shows is that the regular season means nothing. If we’re not forcing a rostered player to play at least one game during the regular season and then allowing him to come back for the playoffs the what was that whole 82 game, or in this case 56 games, all about? I know, this happens all the time when teams bring in players from the AHL or freshly off their signing a deal, ala Charlie McAvoy, but Kucherov is a different deal.
Anyway, the playing season is over and now it’s time to focus on a different part of the 2021 season: drafts. Both the Seattle Expansion Draft (SED) and the Entry Draft (NHLED) will occur within the next couple of weeks with the SED on July 21st and the NHLED on July 23-24. The SED will be broadcast at 8pm on ESPN2 while the other draft will be split between ESPN and NHL Network.