There seems to be plenty of questions surrounding Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, who has yet to make his playoff debut after undergoing core muscle surgery in early March and now has been listed as “unfit to play” with a lower-body injury. Now it looks like that if he will play in the playoffs it will have to be in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Lightning and head coach Jon Cooper announced that Stamkos will miss the entire Eastern Conference Finals due to his undisclosed injuries, adding that he will update that status if anything changes. There was plenty of hope that Stamkos might be ready to return to the team and supplement the offensive powerhouse Lightning against the stingy defense of the Islanders. However, that won’t happen here and the team will have to win the series without him if they have any hopes of him returning for the playoffs.
If or when he returns, however, The Athletic’s Joe Smith believes that Stamkos will likely begin on the team’s second line and center both Alex Killorn and Anthony Cirelli as they likely won’t want to breakup the impressive play of the first-round combo of Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov.
- With plenty of rumors swirling around Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi after a disappointing second season with the team, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports on Hockey Night in Canada Saturday night that Domi’s agent, Darren Ferris, and Canadiens’ general manager Marc Bergevin met to discuss Domi’s future. Friedman notes that Domi is not requesting a trade out of Montreal. “The news got out that Max Domi has a new agent — he’s now represented by Darren Ferris,” Friedman said. “He met with Marc Bergevin, he didn’t really want to say too much about the meeting, but the one thing he was willing to say was that Max Domi has not asked for a trade from the Montreal Canadiens. I don’t know where this is going to go, but Domi has not asked to be traded.” Domi saw a 11-goal and 28-point decline in his statistics last year, something the team wasn’t thrilled about as Domi saw his playing time in the playoffs drop significantly to 14:21 of ATOI.
- The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa (subscription required) writes the Boston Bruins are likely going to have a challenging time finding a new contract with restricted free agent Jake Debrusk. The forward is averaging 1.09 goals per 60 minutes of play on the team, the fourth-highest number on the team, besides the team’s top-line players. However, his inconsistency has showed at times as he has also been put on the team’s third line at times. However, with impressive numbers, he is in line for a contract similar to that of Travis Konecny (six years, $33MM) and Brock Boeser (three years, $17.63MM). However, with the flat salary cap, Debrusk may have to accept less in a short-term deal.