After 49 years, the Blackhawks have hoisted the Stanley Cup again.
As for us? Well, we finally both got it right for once. We had picked the Hawks to win it. Hey, we had to get one right eventually, didn’t we?
With that, the silly season can now begin. Next year officially becomes “This Year”, and the whole thing starts over. So who will be the teams to watch (in the offseason)? Hard to say.
- Chicago – The defending champs always bear watching. Even if it’s just to see what crazy things they do with the Stanley Cup.
- New Jersey – Still haven’t hired a coach but, they’re the Devils. They can be a machine at times.
- Phoenix – The fact they they were a good team this year gets lost in the fact that the ownership situation down there is, to be charitable… A train wreck. That train wreck is of course, why we have to keep watching. Can’t look away.
- Pittsburgh – No longer the defending champs. Still very young and talented though. But rumors of a big name like Malkin being moved have started to surface. (Chicago, with a bunch of good young players should watch this too. It could happen to them before long). Does it actually happen? We’ll find out.
- Tampa Bay – New owner, new GM, new coach. Watch to see who stays, who goes, and maybe mostly importantly… who they bring in.
- Carolina – Strange things are afoot, with the owner looking for a partner to take a minority ownership stake. In the meantime, they’re cutting payroll well below the salary cap. You never want to hear that as a fan.
Those are just a few of the teams that jump out to me as I write this. Of course, as the off season progresses things can change fast. Two weeks ago, I’d have probably put Detroit on the list, but they got Lidstrom and Holmstrom signed, and now it looks like they’ll be pretty quiet. Will Atlanta make some noise? They usually don’t, but time will tell.