As Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports, Colorado Avalanches forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano both skated this morning, while Andre Burakovsky simply had a maintenance day (link). Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar also spoke with the media today, including Chambers, telling them that both Kadri and Cogliano were not yet ruled out for Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals, which is set to get underway Wednesday night in Denver (link).
Cogliano was able to play in all four games of the Western Conference Finals against the Edmonton Oilers, and even played 11:54 in Game Four, his highest mark of these playoffs. Though not one of Colorado’s star players, Cogliano brings with him leadership and plenty of playoff success, a key asset to have in a Stanley Cup Final with many players who have never been in this position before. Kadri, on the other hand, is a key 200-foot player for the Avalanche who was lost just 37 seconds into Game Three of the conference finals where he was boarded, and injured, by Edmonton’s Evander Kane. On Monday, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that Kadri had surgery to repair his thumb which was injured during the Kane hit and was unlikely to return in the playoffs. Kadri’s status still has not changed, but today’s comments from Bednar do provide some hope that perhaps the star center will return to the lineup during the series.
- Earlier today, ESPN’s Kevin Weekes tweeted out a video, reporting that the Florida Panthers had relieved assistant coaches Derek MacKenzie and Ulf Samuelsson of their duties. Weekes adds that assistant coach Tuomo Ruutu is still with the club, as is goaltending coach Robb Tallas. Additionally, Weekes says that there have been no contract talks or additional updates on Tallas or head coach and Jack Adams Award finalist Andrew Brunette. Weekes has reported several breaking stories this season, however it is important to note that the moves have not been confirmed yet by the Panthers, who still include MacKenzie and Samuelsson as coaches on their site.
- While the NHL and AHL continue to battle for a league champion, the ECHL has crowned their own, with the Florida Everblades winning the 2022 Kelly Cup last night. The Eastern Conference Champion Everblades defeated the Western Conference Champions, the Toledo Walleye, in the finals to secure the title. The Playoffs MVP was awarded to former University of North Dakota star goaltender Cam Johnson. Johnson has played parts of four seasons with the Everblades, as well as parts of three AHL seasons, including time with the Binghamton Devils and the Cleveland Monsters.
- The Providence Bruins, the AHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins, have made an early offseason signing, bringing in forward Luke Toporowski on a two-year AHL contract, reports NHL.com’s Mark Divver. The 21-year-old Toporowski is a skilled forward who has produced offense every step of the way. Toporowski began his junior career in 2017-18 with the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL, where he would spend three seasons before moving to the USHL, playing with the Sioux Falls Stampede for a majority of the 2020-21 campaign before heading back to the WHL. In 2021-22, the forward had 63 points in just 49 games spread between the Spokane Chiefs and the Kamloops Blazers. Divver adds that Toporowski is likely to join the Boston Bruins in development camp this summer too.