Morning Skate: Wednesday, May 30


Morning Skate: Wednesday, May 30

NEWARK, NJ Best quote of the day thus far was from New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias when asked how quick the glove hand was for Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.
Its quick, said Elias, without missing a beat. Hes Jonathan Quick.

Not only is Elias a three-time veteran of the Stanley Cup Finals with four goals and six points during 18 games in their current playoff run, but hes also quite a quick-witted fellow.
Devils coach Pete DeBoer announced that there will be no changes to the New Jersey Devils for Wednesday nights Game 1 at the Prudential Center, and instead it will be the Kings and Devils butting heads for the upper hand in a sure-to-be-entertaining series.
On to the links:

Bill Plaschke from the Los Angeles Times says that the bandwagon is filling up for the Los Angeles Kings as they get ready to take their first twirl in the Cup Finals since the Wayne Gretzky era.

Rogers Sportsnet may be looking to seize the Hockey Night in Canada franchise away from the CBC, according to a Globe and Mail report.

The Pittsburgh Daily Tribune is doing a piece on concussions affecting children in youth sports and its worth a look.

(FOH) Friend of Haggs Bruce Arthur writes that the Devils have given Martin Brodeur one more chance at greatness in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Zach Parise is leading the Devils in the Stanley Cup Finals, and it may be his last hurrah in New Jersey.

For the first time in the history of the Stanley Cup Finals, both teams will boast US-born captains as they enter the series.

For something completely different: somebody calling themselves The King of All Pimps says its time to legalize prostitution in an op-ed piece for the New York Daily News. I say its time to lock up anybody calling themselves The King of All Pimps.

Bruins sign pair of draft picks, including BC's Fitzgerald, to entry-level deals

Bruins sign pair of draft picks, including BC's Fitzgerald, to entry-level deals

Amidst the current turmoil at the NHL level, the Bruins delivered a little good news about the future today . . . with more potentially to come. 

The Bruins announced the signing of a pair of prospects/former draft picks -- Boston College forward Ryan Fitzgerald and defenseman Emil Johansson -- to entry-level contracts that will kick in next season. There will likely be another wave of signings with the Bruins from the amateur ranks once players like Charlie McAvoy, Anders Bjork and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson are finished up with their college teams in the NCAA tournament, though it remains to be seen exactly which players end up taking the NHL plunge. 

There was some uncertainty as to whether Fitzgerald would definitely sign with Boston after completing his senior season at BC, but he will immediately join the Providence Bruins on an amateur tryout agreement after signing a two-year deal. Johansson will join the Bruins on a Professional Tryout Agreement with a three-year entry level deal that kicks off next season. 

The 5-foot-10, 177-pound Fitzgerald was an alternate captain for BC in 2016-17, with 12 goals and 19 assists for 31 points in 34 games with 56 penalty minutes and a plus-14 rating. Fitzgerald is also the son of Billerica native and former Bruins forward Tommy Fitzgerald, who took to Twitter on Friday to voice his overwhelming pride over his oldest signing an NHL contract. He was a fourth-round pick by the Bruins in 2013.

Johansson, 20, completed his first season with Djurgardens IF of the Swedish Hockey League in 2016-17, establishing career highs with 7 goals and 10 assists for 17 points with 26 penalty minutes in 49 games. The B's selected him in the seventh round in 2014.

Rask given maintenance day as Bruins return to practice

Rask given maintenance day as Bruins return to practice

BRIGHTON -- The Bruns got back to work on Friday, but were without their No. 1 goaltender for practice at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of their biggest game of the season Saturday night against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center 

Tuukka Rask was given a maintenance day after playing three games in four days, and Matt Beleskey was also missing “on family leave." The off-day for Rask could have very well about getting away from the rink mentally as it was physically; he has a 3-6-0 record during the month of March. 

Interim coach Bruce Cassidy said after practice that he wouldn’t be making a decision on his starting goalie in Brooklyn until Saturday, but it would be stunning if Rask didn't play.

“We’ll see how things clear up . . . and see where we’re at,” said Cassidy of any Bruins lineup changes against the Isles. “We’ll know by then. [The starting goalie] will be determined tomorrow. I don’t want to get out in front of it, to be honest with you.”

Here are the line combos and D-pairings based on Friday’s practice, with Cassidy uncertain of any changes he might make between now and Saturday night: 
C. Miller-K. Miller