Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks who are the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions. In six games, the Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 in overtime to win their first Stanley Cup since 1961. Patrick Kane got the game winning goal, but the Conn Smyth Trophy for the Playoff’s MVP went to Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.
Red Wings Captain, Nick Lidstrom’s contract had expired, and the 6-time Norris Trophy winner for best defenseman was contemplating retirement. If the Red Wings lost Steve Yzerman and Lidstrom in less than a week apart… I would question Sid Abel’s hockey god intentions. Luckily, Lidstrom signed a one year contract extension worth $7 million.
Lidstrom took a $1.25 million pay cut, which gives the Red Wings some room in the salary cap. Under NHL regulations, a team can only spend $56.8 m (with the possibility to increase by $3 m for next season).
Lidstrom was not considering retirement because his level of play has dropped but because his oldest son is enrolled in a hockey academy in Sweden next season. The contract extension is only for one year, and the Red Wing’s future looks uncertain with Thomas Holmstrom and Todd Bertuzzi also being free agents.
Not only is it Memorial Day Weekend but it is also the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This post is for my Chicago girls and for my boyfriend… who only recently started watching hockey. The Blackhawks are making their first Stanley Cup finals appearance since 1992, and while you’re at the bar cheering on your teams look smart with some dirt on the the opponent. Ranging to history, stats and gossip this is one Flyer’s Preview you won’t find on any other site because who wants to sound like you read some blog to get all of your knowledge
Not quite Original 6: Though not an Original 6 team like the Blackhawks, the Flyers have a relatively rich history. They came into the league when the NHL expanded from 6 to 12 teams in 1967. Interestingly enough, Pennsylvania got two hockey teams when the Pittsburgh Penguins also joined the NHL. The Flyers have almost as many Stanley Cups as the Blackhawks with 2 (Chicago has 3), their last championship in 1975. While the Blackhawks may have dominated Team Canada in the Olympics, the Flyers were the last Stanley Cup winners with an all Canadian team including coaches.
Home-ice advantage: Yeah Chicago has some pretty good fans but so does Philly… Toronto Maple Leafs tuff boy Tie Domi even once got into a fist fight with a Flyer fan while he was in the penalty box. This is not a contest of who is wearing more face paint but comes down to line-changes. In the NHL, the home-ice teams gets the last line change. This is important for players to match up. The Chicago Blackhawks are the only team in the league that run four solid lines. However, the Flyers play 3 lines or 9 forwards and have the most goals of any team in the playoffs (54 goals in 17 games).
The Villain: Chris Pronger is easily one of the most disliked players in the league. It is easy to hate him… he is a hall of famer, plays physical, and has a gapped tooth. But ladies there is more dirt on Pronger that puts him in the Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant Doghouse. After many playoff disappointments with his long-time team the St. Louis Blues, Pronger went to Edmonton and helped lead the Underdog Oilers to the Cup Finals where they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in a heartbreaking Game 7. After the 2006 Cinderella Playoffs, Pronger abruptly left Edmonton and demanded to be traded, leaving many Oiler fans heartbroken and confused. Sighting personal reasons, it later came out Pronger had an affair with an Edmonton television reporter, and his wife gave him the ultimatum to get out of Edmonton and fast. Pronger won a Stanley Cup late in his career, when he finally found success with the Anhaiem Ducks in 2007. Hopefully Philadelphia doesn’t have any pretty girls…
Bring it Duncan Teeth: Keith may have lost some teeth in Game 4 of the Conference finals when he was hit in the mouth with a puck, but Flyer Ian Laperriere lost his teeth earlier in the season… fake teeth. Lappy wears a mouth bridge after losing his teeth earlier in his career. Back in January, Laperriere had a new bridge made but en route to him the teeth were stolen because the culprit thought the teeth were made with gold to make them stronger. Lappy is one of if not the best player on the Flyers, and he had to tape a TV commercial where he promoted a charity event the Flyers were doing with Soles4Souls.