Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson revealed to reporters, including ESPN’s Joe McDonald (Twitter link), that he played through the entire first round of the playoffs with two hairline fractures in his right foot. He added that he was receiving regular injections to help deal with the pain and that he’s hopeful that it will be back to normal by Thursday.
Despite the injury, Karlsson logged a heavy workload for Ottawa in their first round victory over Boston. He led the team (and the league) in ice time with an average of 30:23 per game while his six assists lead all defensemen in the postseason. He will undoubtedly be a focal point of their attack as the Sens get set to take on the Rangers in the second round.
Other notes from around the league:
- The Kings named John Stevens their new head coach today. Helene Elliott of the LA Times reports that the bench boss will receive a three year contract and that there may be options involved as well. Stevens will now turn to hiring assistants to replace himself and Davis Payne who was let go along with Darryl Sutter at the end of the season.
- Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe suggests that it’s likely that right winger Jimmy Hayes has played his last game in a Bruins uniform. However, given his disastrous campaign, one where he recorded just five points in 58 games and his $2.6MM contract for next season, it’s unlikely that the team will be able to trade him or that Vegas will take him in expansion. As a result, he notes that he’s a strong candidate for a buyout. Doing so would cost Boston a cap charge of roughly $867K for the next two seasons.
- The NHL announced the finalists for the Lady Byng Award, given to the player who best combines sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct, and ability. The top three in the voting are Johnny Gaudreau of the Flames, Mikael Granlund from Minnesota, and Vladimir Tarasenko of St. Louis. The winner will be announced on June 21st during the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.