The Stanley Cup Final will be decided by a pair of Game 7 do or dies, starting with Rangers-Lightning tonight. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Brad Ross Gone to Europe

With his entry level contract expired, the Leafs made it known they would not be qualifying former second round pick from 2010 Brad Ross, who has signed in Germany. After a terrible first three years to his pro career including a PED violation, this is in no way surprising. Oh boy, that Jimmy Hayes deal.

Friday Links:

  • Luke Fox: Babcock sets sights on Red Wings assistants (Sportsnet)
    According to Sportsnet’s Damien Cox, the new head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs is considering bringing his assistant coaches with him from Detroit — Jim Hiller, Andrew Brewer and Tony Granato. The 50-year-old Granato spent the 2014-15 season on the Detroit bench assisting Babcock to the club’s 24th consecutive playoff appearance, but Cox reports that Red Wings GM Ken Holland would like to keep Granato in the fold.
  • Dan Feldman: Mike Babcock complained about relative salary of Pistons coaches (Piston Powered)
    “I know it was always in his craw. He used to tell me the Detroit Pistons coach was making twice as much as he did,” Scotty Bowman was saying here on Thursday. “He knows the work you have to put in to be a coach.”
  • Luke Fox:  JVR ‘itching’ to return, play under Mike Babcock (Sportsnet)
    “His resume speaks for itself. You see the Olympic gold medals and Stanley Cup and the success they’ve had in Detroit with him at the helm there. We haven’t had the years we’ve wanted to the last couple here, and this is hopefully a step in the right direction for us to be competing year in and year out to win a championship.”
  • James Mirtle: NHL in seventh heaven with dual Game 7s and zero sideshows (The Globe and Mail)
    The NHL conference finals both go to Game 7 this weekend – Friday in New York and Saturday in Anaheim – in two games that will close out what’s been the league’s best third round in recent memory. This is only the third time in league history the two penultimate series have gone the distance, after 1964 (Leafs-Habs and Wings-Blackhawks) and 2000 (Flyers-Devils and Stars-Avalanche).
  • McKeen’s Hockey: McKeen’s Final Top 30 2015 NHL Draft Rankings
    The top five remained the same from our March Rankings, with the two franchise players, Eichel and McDavid ranked #1 and 2 followed by Noah Hanifin, Mitchell Marner and Ivan Provorov – two defensive anchors who can skate and score along with the gifted Marner.
  • Craig Button: Craig’s List – Final Ranking (
    Two Ontario Hockey League rivals are next on my final list: Erie centre Dylan Strome at No. 3 and London right winger Mitch Marner at No. 4. Why Strome over Marner at three? The answer is simple. When players are so close in ability, I choose the centre over the winger.
  • Joe McDonald: Nathan Horton trying to stay positive while still in recovery mode (
    “Yeah, I’m doing all right; I’m living my life,” he told “Obviously, my back’s not great but I have my good days and some OK days. I’m just taking it easy. Eventually it’s going to go away — I hope. I’m just enjoying my life. I’m healthy and I’m happy. It’s obviously tough because I want to play. It’s only my 30th birthday today, so I know I’m still young. Life gives you curveballs and I’m just trying to be positive and that’s pretty much all I can do.”
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