Steven Stamkos hopes to be back with the Tampa Bay Lightning next season.
Stamkos is set to become one of the biggest names to ever hit the open market. Many have speculated that Stamkos will be heading home to Toronto, but he insists he still wants to be in Tampa. "I hope to be back," Stamkos said. "We have some unfinished business. This group has been unbelievable; this city has been unbelievable to me. I can't believe it's been eight years already; time flies. The last couple years, you can finally see that light. You still haven't got to (a Stanley Cup win), but it's there, it's dangling right in front of us. When you start something, you want to finish it, and I really hope that can be the case." Time will tell if he really wants to stay.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun believes Alex Chiasson could be on the move this summer.
Chiasson was acquired in the Jason Spezza trade with Dallas back in 2014, but he's failed to make an impression since landing in Ottawa. The 25-year-old is coming off an eight goal and 14-point season in 2015-16 and it wouldn't be surprising to see him dealt to another team. Chiasson will be a restricted free agent on July 1st. He could be an intriguing low-risk acquisition.
Brad Marchand is thrilled about being selected to play for Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey.
"It’s an incredible honor to play for Team Canada. It’s something that I think we all take a lot of pride in, and something that is…it’s not an easy accomplishment," said Marchand. "It’s not something you get to do very often, and to have that opportunity twice this year is very special and it’s not something I take for granted." Some questioned whether he should be on the team ahead of players like Corey Perry and Taylor Hall, but there's no doubt that Marchand had a terrific season. The 28-year-old had 37 goals and 61 points in 77 games during the '15-16 season.
Likely Game 1 starter Matt Murray has never played against the San Jose Sharks.
Murray has taken over as the Penguins top netminder, supplanting the once injured Marc-Andre Fleury. He has been terrific in the post-season for the most part as he is 11-4 with a 2.21 GAA and a .924 save percentage. The 22-year-old goalie is the Penguins goalkeeper of the future and his play could force Pittsburgh to trade Fleury by the start of the 2017-18 season, especially if expansion takes place before then.
Matt Cullen left practice Saturday a few minutes early and did not return.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review stated that Cullen seemed to be walking 'gingerly' back to the locker room. If there is anything wrong, it should be updated either Sunday or Monday, otherwise assume he will be in the Pittsburgh lineup for Game 1 Monday.
Chris Kunitz had a maintenance day Saturday and missed practice.
Kunitz is currently on a five game points streak with three goals and six points in that span. He has 10 points in 18 games and will likely line up on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Game 7 hero Brian Rust.
Nick Bonino did not participate in practice Saturday.
Coach Mike Sullivan said that the center sat out for maintenance reasons. Most players are banged up at this stage of the playoffs so expect to see Bonino in the Penguins lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday. He has three goals and 15 points in 18 playoff games this season which is tied for eighth overall in the scoring race. Not too shabby.
Olli Maatta had three assists and was a plus-five in the Penguins last three games of the Conference Final.
Maatta had been benched for the three previous games but a season-ending injury to Trevor Daley got him back in the lineup and he did not disappoint. Maatta, at age 21, will be the youngest participant in the Stanley Cup Final but he has played plenty over the last three seasons since being drafted 22nd overall in 2012. He is worth taking late in deeper pools next season as he has a lot of upside.