Quick strikes and links: May 30, 2012

It's summer and things are moving along at summer's pace: a lurch and a stall. But there's still plenty to talk about in the world of hockey, so let's just jump right on in.

Lightning links:

We're beginning our draft coverage and John starts the discussion, even as Hockey Wilderness asks for your input into the Lightning portion of their community mock draft.

Montreal Canadiens: Head coach search continues
Talk about the Canadiens raiding Tampa just won't die. This time its the coaches and the Edmonton Journal (?!) "In other words, what could happen is that both [Dan] Lacroix and [Martin] Raymond end up behind the bench." Although Erik Erlendsson reports no permission for such talks has been sought, at least as of last week.

Bolts players enjoy honor of playing for country | TBO.com
"When Nate Thompson walked into the locker room for the first time, the hair on the back of his neck stood up. As Teddy Purcell entered the locker room across the hall, all he wanted to do was take a picture." the boys talk about what playing for their country really meant to them.

Reports on Hasek, Helenius keep Tampa Bay Lightning goalie search a topic of conversation | Follow the Tampa Bay Lightning blog: Lightning Strikes | Tampa Bay Times
Cristodero says no on Hasek, maybe on Helenius.

More news after the break. >>>

Stanley Cup Finals:

It's the New Jersey Devils against the Los Angeles Kings this season in the battle of the not-really-underdogs. Puck Daddy has been previewing the matchups all week. They've got you covered on goaltending, forwards, defense, special teams, captain, coaches, karma (!), and beards.

Or get your stat nerd on with Backhand Shelf's and Puck Daddy's comparisons. Meanwhile Justin Bourne tries to get you pumped for the game.

And Clark talks about how the Kings are on the brink of making history.

Game 1 starts tonight at 8:00pm ET on NBC (Yep. The one everyone gets.)

Calder Cup Finals:

And the Norfolk Admirals are headed into the final round starting on Friday. They'll face the Toronto Maple Leafs affiliate, the Marlies. The schedule is here. Lightning.nhl.com's Dan Marrazza has his series preview here. We'll have game threads up as usual thirty minutes before game time.

The wide world of hockey:

The Flexible Elephant: On the Surprising Mobility of Bloated Contracts | Backhand Shelf
Are big contracts more moveable than we tend to think? Or do we just pay attention when they do get moved?

NHL Officials Need to be More Accountable | Backhand Shelf
Neil Corbett wants to see a crackdown on on-ice officiating: "My conclusion, thus far, is that refs in the NHL generally feel pretty free to do whatever the hell they want, and the people who are supposed to hold them accountable have a funny idea of when this freedom becomes problematic." The problem as I see it is that the NHL would be doing the supervising here.

Should penalties in NHL playoffs carry over to next game? GMs might debate it | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports
Would players behave better at the end of games if they knew it would put their team down a man to start the next game? (I doubt it, to be honest.)

NHL GMs are going to consider a new rule, and it’s terrible | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com
And Ryan Lambert has an opinion, too: "A carry-over penalty? Really? Let’s just call this what it is: a very transparent attempt to once again increase offense by artificially creating more power play situations."

NHL CBA 2012: Would Six Teams Not Survive a Lockout? - Hockey Wilderness
Bryan Reynolds reports on a good news, bad news sort of comment from Mike Russo who claimed that while he doesn't think talks will get started in earnest until late summer, the league has a whole lot to lose if there's a lockout--like maybe six teams.

Sticking with Senators prospects’ goal
Meanwhile, in news of the slightly odd, a Senators prospect has patented a new kind of peanut butter jar. "When the top half is empty, that portion is unscrewed from the bottom portion and thrown away, while the lid finds a new home on the bottom half."

In Russia, they play hockey on aircraft carriers (or at least that’s the plan) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports
The KHL appears to be trying to play games in the most exotic locales they can dream up, like an aircraft carrier, and...Brooklyn.

Sean Burke Ask a Pro: The Evolution from Benoit Allaire to Mike Smith - The Goalie Magazine - InGoalMag.com
The goalie freak in me finds this fascinating: Goaltending genealogy + how coaches really do affect your play (+ technical info).

A hockey coach’s indefensible defence - The Globe and Mail
One of the more moronically overgeneralized tirades against the "new" hockey: "The New York Rangers, the East’s top team in the regular season, made it to Game 6 of the playoffs’ third round by playing a game never before seen, where everyone on the ice plays defence, blocks shots, collapses to the net and, if necessary, plays goal along with Henrik Lundqvist."