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From the Branches: Conference Finals!

Hero, Clubed!

Christian Bonin |

Who are the Hershey Bears? We'll be exploring this question later today. But first let's sit and revel in this second-round victory. Marlies are halfway to the Calder Cup, and this experience is invaluable for them. To answer my questions from yesterday's AD: Nylander remained quiet, Kapanen remained good, and the question of whether these two will go help their respective countries is now moot. The answer is, nope. So let's drink the tears of our enemies...

Marlies News

Toronto Marlies vs Hershey Bears: Calder Cup playoffs round 3 schedule released | PPP

Marlies advance to Eastern Conference final | Hamilton Spectator
They're waiting for us.

Marlies rally in third to knock out Albany | Toronto Star
Rich Clune caps wild third period as Marlies advance in Calder Cup playoffs.

Albany Devils eliminated in Game 7 vs. Toronto | Times Union of Albany
Clune's score after fortuitous ricochet in Game 7 vs. Toronto ends Albany's season

Toronto Marlies Advance To Eastern Conference Final | Editor in Leaf
The Marlies win doesn’t come without questions, though, as Antoine Bibeau struggled near the end of the series. There were some thoughts that Garret Sparks would get the start in game seven, but that clearly wasn’t the case.

Toronto Marlies advance to Eastern Conference Finals after last-minute Game 7 win | PPP
The Toronto Marlies prevailed in a very hard fought Game 7 win vs the Albany Devils to advance to the third round against the Hershey Bears.

Leafs News

Ex-Maple Leafs tough guy offers services to Blue Jays after brawl | CBS Sports
Enter Darcy Tucker, who spent eight of his 14 NHL seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, racking up 1,410 penalty minutes over his career. While many Blue Jays fans were outraged, Tucker saw the Sunday afternoon kerfuffle as a job opportunity.

Hotstove: Who Should The Maple Leafs Take 1st Overall? | MLHS
USA flag dot gif.

Toronto Maple Leafs Should Take A Chance On Sean Day | Editor in Leaf

Other hockey news

Heika: How NHL expansion, young players on the rise could affect Stars' goalie search | Dallas News
There are several teams out there with two good goalies. If the NHL approves expansion, and an expansion draft is coming in the summer of 2017, each team will only be able to protect one goalie. Would a team make a trade to avoid losing a goalie? It's certainly worth studying.

McDavid 'ready to take bigger role' with Oilers | NHL
19-year-old says question of whether he should be named captain is better answered by teammates

IIHF boss says NHL 2018 Olympic participation in doubt | Puck Daddy
President Rene Fasel said it "doesn’t look very good" when asked about NHL players taking part in the Olympics, which will take place in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Joe Pavelski’s grandmother has joined the 'NHL 17' cover vote Twitter war | SBN
That's just dirty pool.

Ice hockey: Germany beat U.S., Denmark stun Czech Republic | Reuters
After dropping their first two matches at the ice hockey world championships, Germany upset the United States 3-2 in a shootout on Sunday to win their third in four games and move closer to locking up a playoff berth.

City proposing 10-year deal with minor league hockey team |
The lease deal is the last of three agreements the Arizona Coyotes need to bring the American Hockey League’s Springfield (Massachusetts) Falcons to Tucson to start the fall season.

Hockey interest in KC heating up, but odds of getting NHL team are still long | Kansas
Lamar Hunt Jr.’s Missouri Mavericks of the ECHL are a New York Islanders affiliate playing at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence. They average more than 5,000 fans a game.

Unbeaten Canada, Finland to meet in world ice hockey tourney | St. Louis Today
After facing criticism from home fans for its slow start to the tournament with a loss to the Czech Republic and a difficult win over Kazakhstan, Russia has improved sharply. In its last four wins, Russia has 22 goals and has allowed just two.

I hear there was some kind of NHL "playoff" game last night, but my mind has somehow blanked it out. I'll let you guys do your own research.

And finally: