By Dean Matheos, Staff Writer
► All-American post season
- For the first time since 1970 there will be no Canadian representative to take part in the Stanley Cup playoffs. After many Canadian teams saw success last year, this year turned out to be a huge disappointment. For some teams it hurts more than the others.
- With that being said here are the first round playoff match-ups for those who are taking part.
- Starting with the Western Conference in the Central Division the second wild card Minnesota Wild taking on the west leading Dallas Stars and the third place Chicago Blackhawks against the second seed St. Louis Blues.
- In the Pacific Division the top wild card Nashville Predators taking on the division leading Anaheim Ducks and the third seed San Jose Sharks squaring off against the Los Angeles Kings. All three California teams ranked 1-2-3 this year.
- In the Eastern Conference in the Atlantic Division the top wild card New York Islanders will take on the division leading Florida Panthers and the third seed Detroit Red Wings who are making their 25 straight postseason appearance will take on the second seed Tampa Bay Lightning.
- In the Metropolitan Division the second wild card Philadelphia Flyers will go head-to-head against the league leading Washington Capitals and there third seed New York Rangers will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.
► Lottery sweepstakes
- As the race for the Cup begins others are patiently waiting for the draft lottery as the race for 30th has come to an end.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs beat out the Edmonton Oilers for last in the league. Rounding out the top three the Vancouver Canucks are next in line. In the fifth spot the Calgary Flames round off the top five which contains four of five Canadian teams. The Winnipeg Jets at seven and the Montreal Canadiens at nine are in the top 10 with the Ottawa Senators sit 12th on the list.
► Habs stand pat
- Curiously, the Montreal Canadiens decided to give Michel Therrien and his coaching staff a pass on the Habs disastrous season. Coach Therrien presided over the worst record in the NHL since December 1st.
- GM Marc Bergevin blamed the collapse on the loss of MVP goaltender Carey Price. Bergevin plans no major changes for 2016-17 placing his full trust that Price will be healthy and will return to form.
► Farewell Rexall
- After many great years it’s time to say goodbye to Rexall Place as the Edmonton Oilers played their final game in that arena.
- It holds the memories of many great memories from back in the day. Many Cup runs and great players have been a part of that building.
- Oilers legend Wayne Gretzky among other were present to bid their farewells.
► Snider remembered
- Philadelphia Flyers owner and chairman Ed Snider died on Monday after a battle with cancer.
- The sad news caused an outpouring of tributes from Flyers players and fans as well as executives around the league.
I feel privileged to have known such a great leader. Rest in peace Mr. Snider, you will be missed.https://t.co/i4lk3BShW8
— Claude Giroux (@28CGiroux) April 11, 2016
► Stamkos out, Drouin in
- After learning that Lightning captain Steven Stamkos would be out 1-3 months, Tampa looked into their farm system for someone to fill in. That someone was Jonathan Drouin.
- After requesting a trade and being suspended by the team, Jonathan Drouin was back with the big club. Prior the the call Drouin had nine goals in ten games with Syracuse. It may have been a surprise but Drouin won’t let the previous drama get to him. He is simply just going to play his game.
► Senators clean house
- Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that he will be stepping down as from his position. He will stay on the staff as the team’s senior hockey advisor as he continues his battle with cancer.
- Pierre Dorion will assume that position. He previously was the assistant to Murray last season.
- In his first decision Dorion fired head coach Dave Cameron. Assistant coaches Andre Tourigny and Rick Wamsley were relieved of their duties. Assistant coac Jason Smith was offered another position in the organization.
► Datsyuk to leave NHL?
- It appears that Detroit forward Pavel Datsyuk may leave the NHL at season’s end.
- Datsyuk said that he would like to go home and play at least one year in the KHL. A return to the NHL is still a possibility
- Datsyuk still had a year left on his contract at $7.5 million.