5\23 Not much news going on and I don't expect much until the playoffs are over and Scotty Bowman gets his physical. The Wings decided today not to take the option on Larry Murphy's contract which would pay him $3 million. Ken Holland would like to keep Murphy, but for about $1.6 million like Steve Duchesne is getting. After July 1, Igor Larionov and Brent Gilchrist are unrestricted free agents. Chris Osgood, Slava Kozlov and Kris Draper are restricted free agents on the same date. 5\6 Colorado played great again, and the Wings were still unable to generate much offense and gave up too many odd man rushes. The Avs won 4-2 and move on to round three. Scoring were Murphy(sh) and Shanahan. Next up: resigning free agents and training camp. I'll say my piece, and it will be the end of it. The Wings have never replaced players they've lost over the past three years. Most notibly is Vladimir Konstantinov. Chris Chelios helped a great deal, but Vladdy is still missed. Also, Bob Rouse, Tomas Sandstrom, Mike Knuble, Tim Taylor, and on and on. The only position the Wings were in champion form was goal. With the exception of game 5, Chris Osgood was the best keeper in the playoffs. The Wings need a shake up. Much like the Shanahan for Primeau and Coffey deal. There are several players seeking contract renewals this summer. And with that in mind, and two expansion teams coming into the league next season, the Wings are going to lose some people. There is no point in speculating who will be back next year, but not everyone will. Guys who need resigned include Kozlov and Larionov. I would be surprised to see either back next year. And already the speculation on Scotty Bowman's return arises. My guess is, he won't be back either. The Wings had the second highest payroll in the league last year (Rangers), Mr.Illich expects a return on his investment. It's not going to happen with the same stale team from the last two years.The very core needs shaken up, which means losing a guy that has been to this point untradable. Oh yeah, and don't be surprised to see Alexei Yashin flying on Red Bird II next year. That's all I have to say about that. 5\4 The Wings blew a 2-1 lead with under 5 minutes to go, and go on to lose in overtime 2-3. The Wings are now down 1-3 in the best of seven series. Scoring were Holmstrom and Kozlov. Next up: at Colorado tomarrow night for game 5. 5\3 From ESPN: " The NHL announced Wednesday the three finalists for each of seven annual awards. The winners will be announced Thursday, June 15 (ESPN2) at the annual awards show at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Voting for the awards is conducted at the conclusion of the regular season. Hart Trophy (MVP): Pavel Bure, Florida Panthers; Jaromir Jagr, Pittsburgh Penguins; Chris Pronger, St. Louis Blues. Norris Trophy (top defenseman): Rob Blake, Los Angeles Kings, Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings, Pronger. Selke Trophy: (top defensive forward): Michal Handzus, St. Louis Blues, Mike Ricci, San Jose Sharks, Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings. Vezina Trophy (top goaltender): Curtis Joseph, Toronto Maple Leafs, Olaf Kolzig, Washington Capitals, Roman Turek, St. Louis Blues. Calder Trophy (top rookie): Scott Gomez, New Jersey Devils, Brad Stuart, San Jose Sharks, Mike York, New York Rangers. Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship): Pavol Demitra, St. Louis Blues, Lidstrom, Teemu Selanne, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Adams Award (coach of the year): Joel Quenneville, St. Louis Blues, Alain Vigneault, Montreal Canadiens, Ron Wilson, Washington Capitals." Chris Pronger seems to be the media favorite for the Norris, but it'll be a crime if Lidstrom doesn't win it. The Legend of Scotty Bowman: Scotty Bowman is the NHL's most successful playoff coach. Here are facts and figures from Bowman's 28 years behind the bench: * Bowman ranks first in playoff games coached (323), playoff victories(206) and playoff losses (117). * Bowman's playoff winning percentage of .638 ranks third behind Glenn Sather(89-37-1 .705) and Toe Blake (82-37 .689) * Bowman's eight Stanley Cup championships as a head coach equal former Montreal Canadiens coach Blake for the most in NHL history, and are one behind Red Auerbach of the NBA's Boston Celtics for the most championships by a head coach. Joe McCarthy and Casey Stengel, both of the New York Yankees, each guided seven World Series champions, best among baseball managers. George Halas of the Chicago Staleys / Bears and Curly Lambeau of the Green Bay Packers are the NFL's most successful coaches,with six championships. * Bowman is one of two coaches in the four major sports to win a championship with three franchises. Bowman has won with Montreal (1973,1976-79), Pittsburgh (1992) and the Red Wings (1997, '98). Guy Chamberlin coached Canton, Ohio (1922, '23),Cleveland (1924) and Frankford, Pa. (1926) to NFL championships. * Bowman is the career leader in playoff victories for four of the five NHL teams he has coached: St. Louis (26), Montreal (70), Pittsburgh (23) and Detroit(69). He is second among Buffalo coaches (18). 5\2 The Wings traded offense for bad penalties and scrums and beat the Avs 3-1. Scoring were Larionov, Fedorov, and Shanahan(en). Chris Osgood continues to be the best goalie in the playoffs. Game 4 is Wednesday night, and the Avs will be without Ray Bourque who sprained his knee last night.
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