Here are the morning papers for the Eastern Conference non-playoff teams:
- Ilya Kovalchuk only has two years remaining on his contract, so if the Thrashers plan on keeping Kovalchuck in the future they may want to take his advice and be active this off-season.
- Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News provides readers with a number of reasons why the Sabres will be golfing this week.
- Luke Decock of the News Observer lists a number of defensemen he expects the Hurricanes to pursue this off-season.
- The Leafs' off-season starts at tonight's NHL Draft Lottery when the team hopes it can get some luck and move up to the number three spot. Whether Paul Maurice stays or goes as Leafs head coach is the decision of the next GM said Leafs current interim GM Cliff Fletcher.
- The Lightning season was basically cursed, writes Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune.
- Islanders owner Charles Wang was encouraged this season by the play of many of the Isles' young players.
- The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has a good article about what went right and what went wrong for the Panthers this season. Apparently enforcer Wade Belak likes South Florida and would like to return to Sunrise.
Here are the morning papers for the Western Conference non-playoff teams:
- "Other than two or three players ... I told the players that you might have a contract, you might be a member of the organization, but you don't have a spot," said Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock after his team's regular season finale on Sunday.
- The Kings are hoping Luc Robitaille can get "Lucky" at tonight's NHL Draft Lottery, writes Lisa Dillman.
- The Blues ended their disappointing season on Sunday and will need to address their lack of goal-scoring this summer, writes Jeremy Rutherford. (Writer's note: This team tanked it pretty hard over the final two months.)
- In Vancouver, Brendan Morrison is understandably concerned that he may not get the contract offers he was expecting with his impending ACL surgery. In other Canucks news, veteran Trevor Linden has yet to make up his mind on whether he will return to play in the NHL or not.
- Here is a video review of the Oilers season.
- Denis Savard showed his confidence in Patrick Kane's talent and leadership ability by putting the "A" on Kane's jersey for yesterday's season finale.
**No Coyotes articles this morning**
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.
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