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Coyote Tracks - No Habs No Tuesday May 25 Edition

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Mike Richards and Claude Giroux celebrate after Richards scored a highlight-reel shorthanded goal in Monday's 4-2 series clinching win.
Mike Richards and Claude Giroux celebrate after Richards scored a highlight-reel shorthanded goal in Monday's 4-2 series clinching win.

First things first.  I would like to apologize in advance to those of you that have lost interest in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Second, for those of you that still have playoff fever, but might be favoring the Chicago Blackhawks in the finals...you may want to make your way over to Second City Hockey.  Why?  Because our little Coyotes blog might start to turn a little orange over the next two weeks, and I'm not going to apologize if we become the west coast home of the Broad Street Hockey crazies.

Last night, unbelievably, the Philadelphia Flyers won their 8th game of 9 and eliminated the Montreal Canadiens to earn a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.  Mike Richards had a truly unbelievable game outworking Montreal players all over the ice and making some amazing passes.  Claude Giroux, Jeff Carter and Arron Asham also shone in an outstanding 4-2 win in front of a very loud crowd at the Wachovia Center. 

So while the finals don't begin until Saturday night in Chicago, get ready for 5 days of preview stories and what-not.  I can't convince any of you fine readers to cheer for the orange and black, and I respect the Hawks a lot and have to admit that they'll be the favorites going into this series.  But if you expect me to do anything other than unabashedly cheer for my favorite/second favorite team (it really depends on the day of the week between them and the 'Yotes)...well, I don't know what to say.  I'll try and post enough articles about both teams and both sides of the story (particularly because we had some great support from a lot of Blackhawks fans during our first round series)...but I'm pulling for the Flyers all the way.

So, that being said...after the jump, the first of the Finals previews, the Coyotes make a signing for the future, NHLPA to benefit from Supreme Court ruling, and some quality whimsy...

Flyers vs. Blackhawks for Stanley Cup; please be brutal, Finals - Puck Daddy - NHL  - Yahoo! Sports
One team hasn't won since 1961, the other since 1975...whichever team wins this year's cup will break a long drought...what we can all hope for is a truly entertaining series to cap off what has been a fairly spectacular playoffs (conference finals notwithstanding).

COYOTES SIGN 2009 FIRST ROUND DRAFT CHOICE EKMAN-LARSSON TO ENTRY LEVEL CONTRACT - Phoenix Coyotes - News
Coyotes signed their 2009 first round draft pick who has been hailed as the next great Swedish defenseman (this is the country that gave us Nicklas Lidstrom...yes, please!)

NHL: ‘It’s Phoenix or Bust’ | PuckUpdate :: The Hockey Blog
Speaking of the Coyotes future, this article and the next touch a bit on the NHL's end game for the Coyotes and making hockey work in Phoenix.

NHL's Arizona obsession costing players big bucks - NYPOST.com

Supreme Court hands NHLPA victory with ruling against NFL - Puck Daddy - NHL  - Yahoo! Sports
The Supreme Court's ruling regarding the NFL's antitrust arguments could have broad implications for the player's associations as well as for future situations like the Coyotes'.  A very interesting read (at least I found it interesting...but I really enjoy antitrust law, so I'm weird...)

Carcillo's not a pest about sitting | Philadelphia Daily News | 05/24/2010
Dan Carcillo is a lot of things. He is a pest, an agitator and - as Peter Laviolette has proved this season - a pretty decent hockey player.  A nice article about my favorite former Coyotes enforcer...

No Habs No! - Claude Giroux - Pension Plan Puppets
The No habs No! campaign (Toronto edition) sends a letter to noted Maple Leafs fan Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers.  Other Flyers editions include a letter to Danny Briere and Braydon Coburn...good stuff, check them out as well.

Prime Suspects In Habs-Flyers Sandgate : Blades Of Funny
Not quite believing the lazy cleaning crew argument that Justin Bourne pushed in his blog, Blades of Funny looks for the true suspects in Montreal's "sandgate" incident.

Down Goes Brown: Other ways the NHL is trying to attract new referees - Toronto Maple Leafs Blog - Humor. Commentary. Despair.
Last week we linked to an article about the NHL hiring it's first European trained official...well, turns out that this isn't the only new avenue that the NHL is exploring for new officiating hires.