June 11, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Brad Richardson (15) celebrates with fans after defeating the New Jersey Devils 6-1 in game six of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals at the Staples Center. The Kings won the series four games to two. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Sandie is too broken up by the Lappy retirement to do the Cupcakes today, so I am pinching in. Most of that preceding sentence is false, except for the fact that I'm doing them today. Sucks to be all of you.
NHL.com has a very interesting article on the way the Kings were built - primarily draft and trades, with just 3 players dressing in the last four games arriving via free agency. The good news is that this is very similar to the way Greg Sherman is building the Avalanche. The bad news is that some key players - Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards - came from a rich 2003 draft:
It has been called a contender for the greatest draft in NHL history, and this victory for the Kings has helped its case. Though most of the players are still only 27 years old, 13 of the 30 first-round selections from 2003 have played in a Stanley Cup Final, and with the additions of Brown, Carter and Richards, nine of them have hoisted the Cup.
In case you were wondering, the Avalanche did not have a 1st rounder in 2003 - it was the last remaining pick from the (irony alert) Rob Blake trade. Only three players the Avs drafted that year made it to the NHL - David Jones, David Liffiton and the gentleman pictured above. Congrats, Brad Richardson!
Speaking of Stanley Cups, those struggling with seeing a team other than the Avs winning it all should check out Aaron Musick's recent waltz down memory lane on the 2001 Cup win.
"Every time June 9 rolls around, I know exactly who’s going to call me that night," Bourque said to the Denver Post’s Terry Frei. "(Forward) Shjon Podein calls me every year on that night and we just reminisce."
The NHL has added four more celebrity presenters for the big awards show coming up on June 20th. In another sign that I am hopelessly out of touch with today's pop culture, I've only heard of one of them.
The National Hockey League has increased its roster of presenters for the 2012 NHL Awards™, the annual celebration of hockey and the 2011-12 NHL season's top performances, by four with the additions of actors Eric Stonestreet ("Modern Family"), Ray Liotta ("All Things Fall Apart," "Killing Them Softly," Goodfellas"), Adam Pally ("Happy Endings") and professional dancer and TV personality Cheryl Burke ("Dancing with the Stars"). The 2012 NHL Awards at the Encore Theater at the Wynn Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 20 will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network in the United States and online at cbcsports.ca in Canada. CBC-TV will carry the complete two-hour celebration nationally starting at 8:00 p.m. local / 8:30 p.m. NT.
Sandie should be back tomorrow. Signed, Epstein's mother.