Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL June 2, 2014

John Grieshop

The Kings are headed to the Finals.

Alec Martinez scored at 5:47 of overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals Sunday night.

Martinez’s shot went off Blackhawks defenceman Nick Leddy and over goalie Corey Crawford, stunning the sellout crowd at the United Center and leading to a wild on-ice celebration for Los Angeles. Leddy was disconsolate as the Kings gathered in a big huddle along the boards.

Los Angeles improved to 7-0 in elimination games with its third Game 7 win on the road this post-season. It will host the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday night.

Just how expensive will Subban be?

Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban may be a divisive figure in hockey circles, but no one can plausibly argue he didn’t carry the mail in the playoffs.

That’s not to say he was perfect – he wasn’t – but Subban was clearly the best defenceman in the Habs’ lineup over the course of the postseason, and one of the top two or three in the league.

Now his general manager is going to have to get off his wallet.

Marc Bergevin will have all manner of subjects to consider this off-season, but it starts with sorting out a new contract for the 25-year-old defenceman.

It’s going to be expensive, perhaps even crazily so – why wouldn’t agent Don Meehan start the discussions at Evgeni Malkin-type money: eight years and $76-million?

Oh, to be a fly on the wall in this interview...

Colorado and Detroit engaged in one of the NHL’s most bitter rivalries during the 1990s. One of the defining moments came during Game Six of the 1996 Western Conference final, when Claude Lemieux of the Avalanche hit Kris Draper from behind and drove the face of the Red Wings forward into the boards. Lemieux’s dirty blast resulted in Draper breaking his jaw, cheek and orbital bone.

Draper is a special assistant to Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland. Lemieux’s son, Brendan, is the 28th-ranked prospect. Detroit invited the 18-year-old for an interview, and Draper helped conduct it.

“We had a great conversation,” Brendan Lemieux said. “He’s a really nice guy.”

While the chat went well, it was still surreal.

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