Good morning, PPP!

For my fellow Americans, today is the start of a holiday weekend, and I hope it’s a relaxing one. For the rest of you—enjoy your normal, inferior, non-holiday weekend, I guess.

The Erie Otters beat the St John’s Sea Dogs last night to move on to the Memorial Cup Finals (go read Seldo’s recap here!), which I suppose means the whole team bleaching their hair an eye-searing shade of yellow is paying off. Jeremy Bracco and the Windsor Spitfires need to beat the Otters on Sunday, lest more CHL teams start thinking DIY bleach is the right idea. The last thing we need is an epidemic of self-inflicted chemical burns among Canadian junior hockey players.

On to your morning links!


Official William Nylander appreciation post - Pension Plan Puppets

This is mandatory reading for all PPP members.

Maple Leafs prospect Jesper Lindgren signs with Finnish team HPK - Pension Plan Puppets
The deal takes Lindgren right up to the date the Leafs’ rights expire.

Maple Leafs Draft Target: Finnish Defenceman Juuso Valimaki - Pension Plan Puppets
He’s 6’2 and scored like crazy this season. Could he help the Leafs on the back end?

Maple Leafs know their second round pick position for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft - Pension Plan Puppets
With Ottawa and Anaheim out, the draft order is set with the exception of 30 and 31.

What’s the story on Kyle Dubas and the Avs? - Pension Plan Puppets
"I gotta tell you, this is a weird story." Elliotte Friedman tells Sportsnet radio a tale.

Maple Leafs News

Friedman: Window closed for Kyle Dubas in Colorado -
On Tuesday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the Avalanche had been granted permission to talk to Maple Leafs assistant general manager Kyle Dubas. Three days later, he believes that window is officially closed.

Weighing up the Toronto Maple Leafs' trade options: Sami Vatanen, Tyler Bozak, JVR | Maple Leafs Hotstove
Bob McKenzie joined Leafs Lunch on Friday afternoon to discuss the Leafs’ options on defence, the expansion draft situation in Anaheim, and James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak’s situations entering the final year of their contracts.

Would it be a mistake to sign Roman Polak? - Arctic Ice Hockey
The Leafs smart front office signed him twice; should the Jets sign him once?

NHL News

Is the Stanley Cup really the "hardest trophy to win in sports"? - Five For Howling
It's one of the enduring pillars of hockey myth - that winning the Stanley Cup is the hardest thing you can do in pro team sports. But is it? It's time to find out.

Down Goes Brown: Stanley Cup final preview
Six weeks ago, the NHL playoffs started with 16 teams. Now, after last night's epic double-overtime win by the Penguins, we're down to two, and the Stanley Cup Final is here.

Larry Robinson is available and the Islanders would be dopes to not hire him - Lighthouse Hockey
He would have the consultant job he wants with the personnel that needs his particular expertise in a place that’s just a two hour flight away when necessary.

Why are the Canadiens seeing so few prospects coming through their own system? - Eyes On The Prize
Looking for reasons for the Canadiens developmental stagnation.

Also, a reminder: in exactly a week, we’re holding a meetup (somewhere) in downtown Toronto to watch Game 3 of the Finals! Come hang with members of the PPP masthead. It might be fun. Or something.