The Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators will play for the Stanley Cup beginning next week, with the Penguins looking to repeat and the Predators looking to turn hockey’s Holy Grail into a giant spittoon, we imagine. The Predators rolled teams to get here, starting with their emphatic sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks through their six-game series win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Washington Capitals looked like they had them dead-to-rights in Game 7 of that semifinal series, which began like a coronation before it ended in ruination for the Capitals.
It’s been a really long time since LeBron James wasn’t playing in the Finals.It was 2010, and we were all so young, and LeBron had just flamed out against the Celtics in the conference semifinals. Boston met Los Angeles in the the 2010 Finals, which began June 3 of that year.Here’s a slice of what life was like on that day, nearly seven years ago.• Barack Obama was the president, and democrats controlled both houses of congress.• Donald Trump was about to start his final season of The Apprentice.• The Burj Khalifa, the tallest man-made structure in the world, had recently opened.• Less than 24 hours prior to the start of the Finals, Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers had lost his perfect game on an incorrect call on the last play of the ninth inning.• The Chicago Blackhawks were less than a week from winning the first of their trio of Stanley Cups.• The Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico not two months earlier.• Spain was about to win its first World Cup. Italy was the defending champion.• Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber had recently met for the first time. Gomez called Bieber her “little brother.”• Brett Favre was still playing football, and had started every game he played in over the past 19 seasons.• Ken Griffey Jr. had just retired from baseball on June 2.• John Wall wasn’t in the NBA yet.• Reggie Bush had not yet forfeited his Heisman Trophy.• Derrick Rose was healthy.• “OMG” by Usher and will.i.am. was the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100. (Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh)• George Steinbrenner was still alive.• UConn women had just completed their second consecutive 39–0 season.• Shrek: Forever After was the No. 1 movie in America.• I had not yet applied to college.• LeBron hadn’t left the Cavaliers yet.
Like other seasons, there is genuine opportunity for a newcomer to make an impression on the back for the Vancouver Canucks next fall. But this one is different. That’s how the National Hockey League club sold Swedish defenceman Philip Holm, 25, on a one-year, two-way contract Friday that pays $925,000 US in the bigs and $70,000 in the minors. With Nikita Tryamkin bolting to the KHL, restricted free agent Erik Gubranson coming off wrist surgery and the possibility of losing Luca Sbisa to the Las Vegas Golden Knights next month in the expansion draft, general manager Jim Benning beat the Chicago Blackhawks and other suitors to acquire the two-way defenceman, who can also jump up into the play.