Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Lightning (and our pals over at Raw Charge) are in order after the Bolts defeated the Dallas Stars 2-0 in Game 6 to win their 2nd Stanley Cup in franchise history. The fact that they were able to do it without Steven Stamkos, was incredibly impressive, but from the moment this playoff tournament started, Tampa looked like they were the team to beat if you wanted to raise the Cup. Dallas put up a good fight, but in the end, this was a pretty one-sided series.
Viktor Hedman was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as the MVP of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. They say that defence wins championships, and Hedman certainly lends credence to that. He had an outstanding tournament, scoring 10 goals along the way.
So that brings this tumultuous 2019-20 season to a close. It was one that won’t be forgotten, not just because of COVID-19 (though that will always be the biggest takeaway from this year), but also thanks to the emergence of some incredible young talent across the league. In Vancouver we were blessed to have Quinn Hughes show us that we can start getting excited about this team again. Along with Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat, the Canucks have a core they can build around. It’s up to Jim Benning to make some changes this fall, address a cap crunch and give these guys the complimentary pieces they need to succeed.
Next week is the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, and the next few days should see some wheeling and dealing as teams try to shore up picks, dump salary (or in the case of teams like Ottawa, take some on to surpass the cap floor). Can JB deal away Loui Eriksson, Brandon Sutter and a host of other unsavoury contracts? The next week could see that happen.