As players cleaned out their lockers, signed various items and bundled up their sticks, workers carted out what was left of the BankAtlantic Center ice.
Yes, it's officially over.
Got a lot of work to do today, but do have a little bit of news some may find interesting.
-- JM spoke today, said a number of things including that he's going to analyze his dual roles with the team, leaving the door open, I guess, for a possible change one way or another. So we'll see what happens in the coming weeks.
Also, JM says there's no rift between him and Olli; Olli says while he and JM don't go to dinner or anything like that, but there is a mutual respect between the two. JM adds he won't ask players what they think of Olli as a leader or as captain because he doesn't want to put players in that kind of position.
-- Olli says his summer training starts Wednesday. He says he plans to play for Finland at the World Championships, and he's going to get the ice in Coral Springs sometime next week so guys who want to join him are more than welcome.
-- Richard Zednik spoke to everyone today, says he's started some bike work, but is out of shape and hasn't started skating (aside from his quick jaunt around the BAC last month). Says he hopes to start skating by August, is looking forward to next season.
-- Jay Bouwmeester says now is the time for he and the Panthers to start talking about a contract, but wouldn't go into much more detail. I asked him if he wanted to stay with the Panthers, and he basically said Florida is the only place he knows and he is comfortable here. Adds the Panthers gave him the opportunity to be a big-time player, and he's appreciative of that. Jay adds he'll probably play at Worlds, although nothing is concrete. With the tournament in Canada, expect for a lot of NHLers to agree to play this summer.
-- Branislav Mezei was one of the last players to leave the locker room, just sitting at his stall taking things in. He hadn't talked to JM yet, but said he didn't have much hope of coming back. "I think I have to let this go,'' he said. Mez says he plans on playing at the Worlds too. He definitely needs a good showing. Perhaps a change of scenery will do him a world of good.
-- Forget about Kansas-Memphis, the big action tonight will be the draft lottery. According to the NHL, Tampa Bay has a 25 percent shot at getting the top pick and Steven Stamkos. The Kings follow at 18.8 percent, Atlanta at 14.2 percent. Nashville, with Florida's top pick in the upcoming draft, has only a 2.7 percent shot at the top pick.
But that's better than zero percent, no?
-- Say what you want about Versus, but when the playoffs kick off, this network shines. Look at their schedule the next two nights. Wednesday brings us Sens/Pens at 7, then Flames/Sharks at 10. Thursday, Preds/Wings (with old pal Dave Strader) and then Stars/Ducks.
Should be fun...
-- OK, here is the promised audio from this afternoon.
-- May have more later...as always, check in one, two, three times a day! Could use the numbers....