Greetings. Happy Tuesday. Hope your sun-filled Memorial Day weekend went well.
*Bucky Gleason writes Boston could become the first city in this century to win a title in each of the four major team sports if the Bruins can beat the Canucks in the Stanley Cup final, which starts Wednesday night in Vancouver. It would be the first for owner Jeremy Jacobs, the Buffalo native who purchased the franchise in 1975 for $5 million.
Vancouver, which joined the NHL with the Sabres in 1970, is making its third visit to the finals, the first as a favorite after running away with the Presidents' Trophy. The Canucks are loaded with talent, depth and leadership. They have been a popular pick to win it all.
*The Atlanta Thrashers' sale to a group which would move the team to Winnipeg could be complete this week, possibly as early as today. The Stanley Cup final begins on Wednesday, and the NHL would prefer the Thrashers' sale is announced on a day there is no hockey.
Still, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Associated Press on Monday there is no strict rule against releasing big news during the final.
"It's not a firm policy as it is in some other sports," Daly said. "I don't know how we would handle if deal is done sometime during the final."
Daly said he couldn't say if the sale could be announced as soon as Tuesday.
"It's certainly possible something will be finalized this week," he said.
*NHL.com writes that a familiar face and unmistakable voice will be missed in Toronto this week when the NHL Scouting Combine is held for 102 of the top 2011 Entry Draft-eligible hockey prospects from around the world.
NHL Central Scouting Director E.J. McGuire, the Buffalo native who passed away from a rare form of cancer in April, will not be present for the first time in nine years, but his spirit undoubtedly will carry on throughout the Combine, which started Monday with player interviews and concludes at the Toronto Congress Center with fitness and medical testing Friday and Saturday.
"This was one of the events that, because of E.J., we saw so much progress and growth in our department," NHL Central Scouting videographer and scout David Gregory told NHL.com. "In an event like this, you definitely want to make sure this one is great for him. You want to make sure that we're living up to the standards he set for us."
*The Saint John Sea Dogs defeated the host Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors 3-1 in the Memorial Cup final to become the first Quebec Major Junior Hockey League winning team since the 2006 Quebec Remparts. Saint John also hold the distinction of becoming the first Maritime team to win the national championship since the league expanded in the late 1990s.
St. Michael's forward and Buffalo Sabres prospect Gregg Sutch was injured in the semifinals. Good friend Kris Baker at SabresProspects.com has a video of Sutch getting hurt while delivering a check, and he reports Sutch suffered a broken wrist.