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Evan’s NHL Daily: Kovalenko’s ‘Invaluable’ Playoff Experience, Ducks Listening On Trades

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I thought this was supposed to be a busy week in the NHL? Instead, it just turned into a week of nothingness for the league. With the Stanley Cup Final not starting until tomorrow, I expected a move here and there, but nothing…yet? The newest team in the rumor mill is the Anaheim Ducks, who have a few pieces they aren’t totally against moving this summer.

With the Colorado Avalanche, things are still quiet right now. Jonathan Drouin’s camp is still expected to meet with Chris MacFarland, but I came across an interview with Nikolai Kovalenko’s father, talking about the experience he got in the postseason. It also sounds like the feedback was positive for him heading into the summer from the staff.

The choices for the Utah NHL team’s name? They’re out there, and they’re not exactly the best. There’s even one that will make you think the NHL brought in a soccer team.

All that and more in this Friday edition of Evan’s Daily.

Colorado Hockey Now

The NHL has a new docuseries coming out this Fall, and it will include Gabriel Landeskog. I know they shot footage of Nathan MacKinnon, but he’s not one of the guys listed as featured. Maybe he’ll still make an appearance because there’s got to be plenty of footage there.

Have you ever heard of the Media Hockey League? Me neither. At least, that was the case until yesterday. It doesn’t sound like much of a league when you dig into it, but that’s where Valeri Nichushkin will skate this summer.

CHN

Kovalenko’s Playoff Experience

It’s been a hectic few months for Nikolai Kovalenko. He got injured in his final KHL game, delaying his NHL arrival, but he did eventually make his debut in the postseason. Since the season has ended, he’s gotten engaged, so he’s kept busy. His father spoke positively about Kovalenko’s end to the season in Colorado.

“Yes, the season for Nikolai is over, although all matches against “Dallas” turned out to be equal, “Colorado” at some points gave a head start to the opponent. Nikolai played two matches in the NHL playoffs, which is an invaluable experience. But he intends to play more, on a regular basis. This was the final conversation with the head coach and general manager of Colorado. They noted some positive moments in my son’s game, suggested what to work on next. In September, he is expected at the Colorado training camp, it is necessary to take a place in the first team.”

It’s not much, but we don’t get much at this time of the year. What it does show is that Kovalenko has every intention of being a regular in the NHL for the Avalanche next season, and in my opinion, he should be.

Ducks Listening

It seems like John Gibson has been on the NHL Trade block for years, but the Ducks are still listening to offers for him. I’m hot and cold on Gibson. He once was a really good goaltender, but his numbers since 2019 are quite bad. I know the Ducks haven’t been any good, but if he is the elite NHL goaltender that everyone thinks he is, wouldn’t they look a little better? Still, I’d be interested in seeing what he would look like in a new situation. He’s not the only one in trade rumors.

Trevor Zegras, the 23 year old former first round draft pick, had a rough year after missing a chunk of camp due to a contract dispute. With just 15 points in 31 games, he didn’t exactly earn that new paycheck, and spent a lot of the year injured. Pat Verbeek didn’t comment on the speculation, but it’s been out there for months now. It’ll be interesting to see if it goes anywhere.

Utah Team Name

Here are your choices for the name of the Utah NHL team. I don’t love the options, but there’s nothing we can really do about it now.

I don’t know what it is, but I think I like Utah Venom, maybe because it’s one of the few on there that wouldn’t really be attached to Colorado. They could make it their own. Utah Hockey Club (HC) sounds like a soccer team over in Europe. Either way, they won’t have an official name for this upcoming season, and I’ll be talking more about them in the mailbag for later today.

National Hockey Now

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Who are some targets for the Pittsburgh Penguins this summer? Is there a chance they’re eyeing Nathan MacKinnon’s good buddy, Jonathan Drouin?

San Jose Hockey Now: With their newly found young talent, maybe the Sharks have a coveted NHL job now. It sounds like they’re honing in on a selection, and it could come down to one of their former players and Ryan Warsofsky.

Florida Hockey Now: Losing in the final step never feels good. The Florida Panthers haven’t forgotten the sting of losing in the Stanley Cup Final.

Nashville Hockey Now: Igor Shesterkin is likely to get paid, and that may reset the goaltender market. That’s one of the reasons why Juuse Saros might be waiting to sign a contract extension.

New Jersey Hockey Now: If the Devils want a goaltender, they might be in trouble. Someone inside their division might be able to outbid them if they want a guy like Linus Ullmark.

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