Happy Tuesday. Only one week left in May, so that must mean summer (or even spring) is getting close, right? That would be nice.
You know what else would be nice? If the NHL stayed in Atlanta instead of moving to Winnipeg. Did you know the average high in Atlanta in January is 50 degrees? Did you know the average high in Winnipeg in January is 8 degrees? And, yes, that 8 degrees is Fahrenheit, not that annoying Celsius junk.
It still looks like the relocation is inevitable, however, so that's where we'll start with today's look around the NHL ...
*The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes negotiations between the Atlanta Spirit and True North Sports and Entertainment continued over the weekend as a deal to sell and relocate the Thrashers to Winnipeg moved closer.
As of Monday, lawyers for Atlanta Spirit, True North and the NHL were still exchanging drafts and terms but a deal was not finalized. Monday was Queen Victoria Day in Canada, a bank holiday, which prevented the completion of some details.
The Winnipeg Free Press says Winnipeggers have been patient for 15 years and it looks like they'll need to hang tight for at least a few more days -- perhaps as long as a week. Despite published reports, hints from Premier Greg Selinger and constant rumors, there will be no press conference today regarding the potential return of the National Hockey League to Winnipeg.
*Brad Marchand was sitting on the bench when he saw Tampa Bay's Steve Downie get the puck at the edge of the crease, with nothing but an empty net to shoot at.
"I thought for sure it was going to be a goal," the Bruins forward said. "Those are usually pretty easy tap-ins."
Instead, Tim Thomas reached back and deflected the puck with the bottom edge of his stick as the blade bounced off the goal post, protecting a late one-goal lead in Boston's 3-1 victory over the Lightning on Monday night.
*Sami Salo waited 12 seasons, and endured countless injuries for a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. One win from his first Cup finals, the Vancouver Canucks' defenseman doesn't want to wait any longer.
With a 3-1 lead over San Jose in the Western Conference finals heading into Game Five tonight, Salo knows how important it is for the Canucks to finish off the Sharks fast. It's something they failed to do against their opponents in Game Five at home in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
*San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton is expected to play a potential elimination game in Game Five of the Western Conference final despite leaving the previous game with an injury.
*Bucky Gleason writes that the list of concussed athletes who failed to reach the average life span of a male in the United States is long and disturbing. Many weren't aware that they had problems until much later in life before suffering downward and sometimes tragic turns.
"Obviously, it's scary and it's nerve-racking when you hear about these things happening to people," Matthew Barnaby said last week. "Maybe 'scared' is the wrong word because I don't know. Not knowing is what's nerve-racking, but I live pretty well day to day. You just don't know. There's a chance we're all going to get cancer."