Team Canada got turned down by Carey Price for the upcoming IIHF World Championship, but still could have some pretty excellent goaltending for the tournament. Not only will young phenom Carter Hart be part of the team, but Craig Morgan of The Athletic has heard that Darcy Kuemper is also on the team’s radar. There could be several other candidates considered, especially since teams exiting the first round of the playoffs would make their players available.
If it is Hart and Kuemper, it would certainly not be tandem that was expected at the beginning of the season. The Philadelphia Flyers goaltender won’t turn 21 until August, but put together quite an NHL debut this season. In 31 games Hart put up a .917 save percentage and kept Philadelphia in the playoff hunt longer than many expected early in the year. The same could be said about Kuemper, who went from unheralded backup to potential Vezina candidate after posting a .925 in 55 appearances. The tournament begins on May 10th.
- Now that the draft lottery is over all eyes in Los Angeles will be waiting for the result of the Kings’ coaching search, which appears to still have some work to do. Curtis Zupke of the Los Angeles Times tweets that as of earlier today nothing was imminent for the Kings, though they are still in the “sweepstakes” for Todd McLellan. McLellan has also been meeting with the Buffalo Sabres this week as he also takes in the NCAA Frozen Four, and reports have seemingly come from both sides that they were close to signing the coach. Wherever McLellan does end up, it seems as though the other team will quickly have to move on to their next candidate—unless another team moves on him first.
- Speaking of the Frozen Four, Minnesota-Duluth won their semi-final game earlier today and eliminated the Providence Friars. That marks the end of several NCAA careers for Providence including goaltender Hayden Hawkey, who will now have to make a decision on whether to sign right away or wait for unrestricted free agency this summer. The Montreal Canadiens traded Hawkey’s rights last summer in exchange for a fifth-round pick, likely to avoid this situation since they already have a full depth chart of goaltenders. The 24-year old posted a .920 save percentage for Providence this season, his third as the team’s starter. He’ll become a free agent in August if the Oilers don’t get him under contract.