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From the Branches: Two days til Stammergeddon

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When can teams come a'courting? Saturday.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hmmm, wonder if anything happened while I was aslee --

Oh, okay. How about Stamk --

Oh, that rumor-mongering reporter again. Yeah, no. Any controversial takes on the award show this morning?

Yeah, I agree with this one. Anyway, on to...

Hockey News

Auston Matthews blazing his own trail to NHL stardom | SI
'Along with the presumptive No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the Matthews family imported a cupboard’s worth of Mexican food through Swiss customs last August. Dried cilantro, corn tortillas, jalapenos, assorted seasonings—all the home-cooking ingredients that Ema would need, but couldn’t find locally, while her only son Auston played professional hockey for the Zurich Lions. "He has a sauce that he really likes, a bottle of sauce that he puts to all his meals," she says. "We pretty much have to bring the sauce with us everywhere. That was the first thing.' -- I love everything about this article.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Don’t Wait On Lupul Trade | Editor in Leaf
"Joffrey Lupul is a $5+ million cloud hanging over the Toronto Maple Leafs, and he’s almost untradeable – almost."

Maple Leafs Lou Lamoriello: The Goalie Whisperer | Hockey Buzz
"Looking over the Maple Leafs off-season check list, it’s almost complete and in perfect order."

Maple Leafs trying to avoid history in NHL draft | Toronto Sun
"But if the ‘best player available’ approach prevails with Mark Hunter and his scouts, there will be choices at wing and centre. Nathan Bastian, a 6-foot-4 winger and part of the powerful Mississauga Steelheads draft class, is ranked in the 20-to-30 category, but depending where teams finally get into picking a goalie or two, it could mean Boris Katchouk from the Soo Greyhounds and others gets bumped."

Murray still looking to maneuver | Buffalo News
"The free-agent interview period starts Saturday and word is the Sabres want to be as close to the front of the line with Stamkos as they are with Vesey. And it’s a word that extends all the way up to owner Terry Pegula. The chatter at the Stanley Cup final was that the Sabres’ ballpark could be seven years and $77 million, and TSN said this week the figure might be $12 million a year."

Highlights from 2016 NHL Awards show | USA Today
More like Western Conference awards amirite?

NHL unveils 2015-16 NHL All-Star Teams, All-Rookie Team | Sportsnet
They had to get McDavid an award somehow!

Shaky Loonie Checks Quebec’s Bid to Return to NHL | Wall Street Journal
"When Quebec lost its bid for a new National Hockey League franchise on Wednesday, fans were quick to finger a longtime nemesis of Canadian sports teams: their country’s often weak currency."

5 potential coaches for the new Las Vegas NHL franchise | Vegas Review Journal
"Travis Green: Head coach of the AHL Utica Comets. Made it to the Calder Cup finals two years ago and is considered a rising star in coaching."

NHL players, coaches ponder 'Las Vegas effect' | CBC
So losing the two points doesn't matter because it stays in Vegas, right?

And then there's this: