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Wake With Elias: Coaching Carousel and Another One Bites the Dust

Is this (finally) the end of the road for Joe Thornton?

Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four
Joe Thornton #19 of the Florida Panthers shakes hands with Victor Hedman #77 of the Tampa Bay Lightning after Game Four of the Second Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 23, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The future is an uncertain thing.

Just tell that to the Florida Panthers and three former members of the Vancouver Canucks coaching staff.

Here’s your morning news round-up for Tuesday, May 24th.

Canucks News

  • Over the long weekend, the Canucks announced that three members of their coaching staff: Scott Walker, Kyle Gustafson and video coach Daryl Seward, would not be returning next season.

The decision for Walker was the most surprising, although it was later revealed that his decision for leaving the Canucks was personal. Walker was hit in the head with a puck during a game against the Florida Panthers on January 21st, and went on to miss nearly two months due to vertigo symptoms.

  • What’s notable about these departures is that current assistant coaches, Brad Shaw and Jason King, got a vote of confidence from Canucks management. [The Province]
  • The Canucks also promoted 31-year-old Aidan Fox, naming him head of the team’s analytics department. [Canucks Army]

NHL News

After finishing the regular season as the only team to average more than four goals per game, the Panthers only managed to score three goals in this four-game series.

  • It looks like the Panthers’ alleged “team-building” activity, where multiple players were reportedly spotted at a strip club following their Game 3 loss, backfired. [Yahoo Sports]
  • There’s a good chance we just witnessed Joe Thornton’s final NHL game last night. He drew into the lineup for the first time in these playoffs, skating for a team-low 6:18.

If this is the end for Thornton, his illustrious career will end without a Stanley Cup. He currently ranks sixth all-time in games played (1,714) and 12th all-time in points (1,539).

Any time Thornton gets mentioned in Vancouver, it’s mandatory to bring up the late, great Jason Botchford’s story about Jumbo Joe’s potential four-goal celebration. [The Province]

  • Interesting piece on how elite offences are overwhelming good defences in these playoffs. While that was true for seven of eight series in Round One (aside from Stars vs. Flames), we’ve seen a reversal of that in a pair of Round Two series. [TSN]

The Lightning and Panthers averaged fewer than four goals per game, while the Hurricanes and Rangers have averaged exactly three goals per game in three games thus far.

Scoring in the NHL was at its highest rate in 26 years this season, with an average of 6.28 goals scored per game.

  • Finally, some fantastic history was made last week, as North Vancouver native Chloe Primerano became the first female drafted into the WHL. [NHL]

The Vancouver Giants selected her in the 13th round of the draft.