Hockey Headlines: News on Hall, Carlyle and Congrats to the Penguins

All Hail the Pens

The Pittsburgh Penguins are your 2016 Stanley Cup Champions, as they should be, considering the way they performed since turning things around mid-season. It was a complete team victory, all the way from the General Manager to the third-string goaltender. The series somehow went six games, though that can easily be attributed to the other-worldly play of Martin Jones. The Penguins had the edge in shots, in shot attempts, in possession, and most famously, in speed, and the Sharks had no answers. [Yahoo Sports]

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

We can go on and on about the remarkable stories throughout this Penguin team, from Sidney Crosby, to Phil Kessel, to Pascal Dupuis, to Matt Murray, but perhaps the best one is their coach. When a team struggles, fingers point directly at the bench boss, and he often takes the fall. When the team succeeds, the coach rarely gets the credit. In the case of Mike Sullivan, well if the Conn Smythe could be awarded to coaches, he’d get it. [ESPN]

In 2009, the Penguins changed their coach mid-season and went from the basement to Champions, and obviously this year draws comparisons. But that Penguin team was so talented, all they needed was a new voice, because they had grown tired of the old one. It worked that season, though the magic would quickly wear off. Sullivan wasn’t just a different voice. He completely changed the philosophy and identity of the Penguins, literally transforming them into the best team in the league. Hats off to him, and the entire Pittsburgh organization. [Sportsnet], [Globe and Mail]

In Other News…

It looks like the Ducks are bringing back Randy Carlyle. [The Hockey News], [Puck Daddy], [The Score]

Taylor Hall, available or not? (Hopefully not). [Todays Slapshot], [Oilers Rig]

The Blues have created an interesting dynamic, hiring Ken Hitchcock’s replacement before he leaves. [NY Times]

Tomas Hertl’s injury was enough to keep him sidelined but it won’t require surgery. [NBC Sports]

The 2016 draft rankings: [Dump and Chase]

And finally, the public can pay their respects to Gordie Howe. [TSN]