First order of Roundtable business: I will be taking a vacation for two weeks to California starting this Wednesday. Hopefully the news remains slow for the time being but, if there is breaking news, I won’t be getting to it with the speed that I have throughout the season.
I’ll be operating the Roundtable Twitter throughout my trip. I’ll retweet any news that I can’t get to instantly. And that should be your quickest access to any breaking Nashville Predators organizational news that takes place these next two weeks. My laptop is coming with on the trip -but- I’ll be in vacation mode as I explore the West Coast for the first time. Again, should news happen – Twitter will be a good source for the instant news – and either myself or Jason Karnosky will bring you the updates when we can get to them here on the website.
~2014 Stanley Cup Finals~
The reason I didn’t get to posting about the finale to the NHL season ASAP was that I really wanted it to sink in. For those who missed out on it, gave up when your team lost out, or quit on the game running into the late night hours – watch the game highlights:
It was a phenomenal game. As someone who isn’t too huge on either of the two teams playing – I was hooked in. The series may have ended 4-1 to the Los Angeles Kings, who have now won two Stanley Cups in three seasons, but the New York Rangers were in every game. It could have just as easily been a series that went seven-games. And it might be a shame that it actually didn’t.
In the end, I feel the Kings consistency of effort overwhelmed the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist could well have won the Conn Smythe representing the losing team in the Stanley Cup Finals. He played that good. Other than him though? The Rangers were lacking not only players that stepped up but line combinations. It’s something the Kings were able to get and even adjust on a regular basis in the series. And it finally won out for them.
~2014 Calder Cup Finals~
This year’s Calder Cup Finals is current standing at a 2-1 advantage for the Texas Stars over the St. John’s IceCaps. Game 1: Stars, 6-3. Game, 2: IceCaps, 2-1. Game 3, 2-1 (OT). Game 4: tonight in St. John’s. Game 5: tomorrow in St. John’s (if necessary).
I’m expecting the IceCaps to pick up one more victory on home ice that will force this series back to Texas for Game 6 (with a possibility of Game 7 also in Texas). Should the series be decided in seven-games – we’ll know our AHL Calder Cup Champions, at the latest, on Monday night. Me? I expect Chris Mueller and Kevin Henderson to party with the Texas fans, at home, Thursday night.
~Cincinnati Cyclones UPDATE~
It was announced this morning that the Nashville Predators have agreed to extend their ECHL partnership with the Cincinnati Cyclones for the 2014-15 season. I’ve yet to see a direct terms of if the deal carries over for longer than just this coming season. That said, the two-sides have worked together since the 2007-08 season and is a partnership that really works well here in Milwaukee. Plus it means more Nick Brunker for people like me! Everybody wins!
You can read the full press release by the Nashville Predators regarding the Cyclones right here.
~The Important Dates Ahead on the NHL Calendar~
With the Stanley Cup now over there are a few dates you should mark off on your calendar as it relates to the NHL off-season:
June 25: NHL Awards.
June 25-July 1: UFA’s can meet and interview with potential new teams but are not able to sign offers.
June 27-28: NHL Draft.
June 30: Deadline for tendering qualifying offers to RFA’s.
July 1: Free Agent Window Opens.
July 6-13: Nashville Predators Rookie Development Camp.
July 12: My Birthday.
September 13-16: Nashville Predators Rookie Training Camp.
September 18: Nashville Predators Training Camp.
October 10: Milwaukee Admirals 2014-15 Home Opener.
There is so much that can and will happen between now and when the puck drops here in Milwaukee. A new head coach in Nashville means a new era for the organization. I can’t wait to see what it means in terms of players coming in, going, being traded, or being drafted. Plenty of variables waiting to be played out. The sooner we get to the NHL Draft the better.