Saturday night, the second of the three major North American men’s pro hockey championships yielded a winner in Rosemont, Illinois.
The Charlotte Checkers, who picked up a record last postseason for the AHL’s longest game in playoff history, used their extra gas this time around (there was no 94-save, 5 OT contest to wipe them out in an earlier round) to roll over the Chicago Wolves in a 4-1 Calder Cup Finals victory. They’re now the defending champs of the oldest continuous trophy in North American hockey history, giving hope to Carolina fans after a surprisingly successful run at the NHL level as well.
YOUR CHARLOTTE CHECKERS ARE CALDER CUP CHAMPIONS! pic.twitter.com/k3TB58mtPM— Charlotte Checkers (@CheckersHockey) June 9, 2019
We could give you a rundown of the game, but the people who have been following that team from start to finish — the great folks over at Canes Country — can do a much better job. Get the full recap right here.
In NHL news, the team that just saw their affiliate fall short in the final — the Las Vegas Golden Knights, who fell short in their own final series last year — have a whopping eight free agents heading into this offseason.
The Avalanche will have a few holes to fill, so it’s time to start taking a look at who’s sticking where and who’s going to be on the market. Here’s a great look at who’s going to be available from the league’s most surprising expansion team, and who might be in the process of locking things up in Sin City. [Knights on Ice]
There’s also a Stanley Cup Final game this evening, and if you want to be absolutely terrified of Zdeno Chara — if you aren’t already — here’s a video of him speaking with his mouth barely moving and his eyes bugging out:
Zdeno Chara: “I feel fine.” pic.twitter.com/RHwqiumpRU— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) June 8, 2019
Enjoy your dreams, kids!
Finally, it’s that time of year when we’re all given an extra reminder that it’s okay to love who you love and be who you are. It’s Pride Month, and the NHL’s most vocal ally for the LGBTQ community — Braden Holtby — has once again been a shining example of what being an ally looks like.
Holtby participated in the Washington DC Pride Parade with his wife for yet another year, making sure to clearly show his and the Capitals’ stance on how they support all of their fans no matter gender, race, or sexual orientation.
#Pride with the Holtby’s! pic.twitter.com/hqaYK5eVyP— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 8, 2019
This year, of course, he went a little above and beyond. It’s worth giving him a massive cheer for this moment, which likely meant the world and more to the Caps fan who got such a long, resounding hug from him:
A moment at #Pride this #ALLCAPS fan will never forget. pic.twitter.com/DRBRmztCRC— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 8, 2019
(Saturday was also Boston’s Pride March, but it’s worth pointing out that the Bruins were unable to make it as they’re currently in St. Louis.)
As an aside: we here at Mile High Hockey come from a wide sampling of nationalities, ethnicities, and religions. We proudly boast a diverse writing staff, and come to Pride Month with an important reminder: Pride Month isn’t about pushing an agenda, but rather pushing for acceptance and inclusion for everyone in the world around us. We’re proud to support