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Around the NHL: The Saginaw Spirit won the 2024 Memorial Cup, Joe Pavelski could retire, and more!

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Photo credit:© Sam Navarro - USA Today
Ryley Delaney
9 days ago
In three weeks, the National Hockey League season will be over.
The Stanley Cup Final has been determined, while the hardest trophy to win in hockey was won on Sunday. Moreover, some prospects have signed with their NHL team.
Let’s dig into the latest edition of Around the NHL!

Edmonton will play Florida in the 2024 Stanley Cup Final

Starting on Saturday, the Edmonton Oilers will play against the Florida Panthers in the 2024 Stanley Cup Finals.
The Oilers are looking for their first Stanley Cup since 1990 and this will be their first Stanley Cup Finals since 2006, 18 years ago. The Florida Panthers have never won a Stanley Cup, but have been to two finals, one in 1996 and one last season, where they lost to the Vegas Golden Knights.
As for former Calgary Flames players in the two team’s lineups, the Oilers have Derek Ryan, Brett Kulak, and Troy Stecher, who has yet to play a post-season game for the Oilers. On the other side of things, Matthew Tkachuk, Sam Bennett, and Ryan Lomberg are the former Flames participating in the Stanley Cup Final for Florida.

Saginaw Spirit are your 2024 Memorial Cup champions

From the start of the Ontario Hockey League postseason until last Sunday, the London Knights only lost two games. The Flint Firebirds weren’t an obstacle, as the Knights swept them in the first round. In the second round, the Kitchener Rangers posed more of a problem, as they, along with Flames prospect Hunter Brzustewicz finished with a 41-23-1 record. However, they were also swept.
The Western Conference Finals saw the Knights lose two games, but they dispelled the Saginaw Spirit in six games, before destroying the Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League final to earn a berth to the Memorial Cup.
In round robin action, the Knights defeated the Spirit, scoring the go-ahead goal with a minute and a half left. They also beat the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Drummondville Voltigeurs to go undefeated and earn a bye to the Memorial Cup final.
That final saw a date with the Spirit, who blew out the Warriors in the semifinal game. For the third time in eight attempts since the postseason started, the Spirit defeated the Knights, even though they blew a 3-0 lead. Like the Knights in the round robin game, the Spirit found a late goal to give them a lead, with the host hoisting the 2024 Memorial Cup.

Jacob Trouba injury

Three things are certain in life, death, taxes, and players being injured during the post-season. According to Mollie Walker for NY Post Sports, New York Rangers’ captain Jacob Trouba played through a broken ankle the entire postseason.
“A big chunk of his ankle came off” doesn’t really sound great, but he was still able to play, albeit at less efficiency than normal. Offensively, it wasn’t a bad postseason for the 30-year-old defender, as he scored a goal and had seven points, but defensively, he had a rough time.
That wasn’t the only injury a Rangers’ player suffered before or during the postseason. Calgary Flames draftee Adam Fox re-aggravated his knee injury in the first round. Jimmy Vesey separated his shoulder, while Ryan Lindgren cracked his rib in the final game of the second round. Ouch.

Joe Pavelski could be done

A long-time fan favourite could be calling it quits, as according to Taylor Baird of NHL.com, Joe Pavelski said “this is it for [him]. It’s not officially official, but he said the plan is for him not to play next season.
If this is truly the end of the 39-year-old’s career, what a journey it has been. Selected in the seventh-round of the 2003 draft, Pavelski scored 355 goals and 761 points in 13 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, scoring a career-high 41 goals in 2013-14.
Moving to the Dallas Stars to begin the 2019-20 season, Pavelski scored 121 goals and 307 points in 369 games in five seasons, along with a career-high 81 points in 2021-22. Moreover, despite being 39 this past season, Pavelski scored 27 goals and 67 points in 82 games
Will he be a Hall of Famer? Probably not, as he never won a cup, but he’s definitely in the “Hall of Very Good”, going from being picked in the seventh-round to two Stanley Cup Finals and a whole whack of Western Conference Finals.
What a career it was for “Little Joe.”
Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.
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