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Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has a busy offseason coming up – Montreal Gazette

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When asked what the offseason might look like for him, Bergevin said: “It’s unchartered territory for all of us and, obviously, with the cap being flat and without knowing when teams will be able to have fans in the stands with revenues it affects the salary cap. So it might not be as it was in the past. Again, it’s not something that we’re making up. It’s just reality. Everybody’s going to have to take a hit, but I don’t know the extent of it, how it’s going to affect. But it’s something that’s very possible.”

Bergevin also has to look ahead to after next season, when Brendan Gallagher, Phillip Danault, Tomas Tatar, Joel Armia, Jeff Petry, Jordan Weal and Charlie LIndgren can all become unrestricted free agents, while Artturi Lehkonen becomes a restricted free agent.

“Like I always say, and I”ll say it again today, players make decisions for us by the way that they perform and how they play,” Bergevin said. “So, again, we’ll have some decisions to make. I believe we only have one UFA this year, but next summer it’s a different ball game. And, again, with the cap being flat we have to be very careful how we spend our money.

“It gets a little tricky, that’s why you have to be careful,” Bergevin added about the salary cap. “It doesn’t appear to be as much as people might think when you add the guys that you like to bring back and players, as you know, don’t come on a one-year deal. Players that we want to bring back we’ll need term and then we have younger players that also we want to keep. So we need to be really careful. It’s just not like as high as people might think and it goes around the league. You have to be careful how you spend your money, especially with a flat cap probably moving forward for the next two, three years.”

Bergevin boasted that his team surprised some of the “experts” by knocking off Sidney Crosby and the Penguins in the qualifying round, but said he knew they had a chance to beat them and he also believed they could beat the Flyers.

Turns out they couldn’t do that.

scowan@postmedia.com

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Woods, Mickelson booted from Winged Foot – pgatour.com

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MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Exhausted. Beat up. Defeated. Veterans Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were among the masses who didn’t make it to the weekend of the U.S. Open after they were unable to maneuver inside the top 60 players through 36 holes.

As beat up as they were after another tough examination at Winged Foot, Woods and Mickelson would much rather be getting a couple more chances at the infamous U.S. Open course instead of packing up early. They both had scores to settle, but “The Foot” stuck the boot in once more.

Woods famously missed his first major cut as a professional at Winged Foot in the 2006 U.S. Open and was hoping to make amends while chasing a record 83rd PGA TOUR win. But the 44-year-old was felled by a brace of early double bogeys and was unable to stop the momentum going awry.


RELATED: Full leaderboard | Winged Foot fights back in Round 2


Starting on the 10th following his Thursday 73, Woods doubled the 16th after also making a bogey on the 14th. He then faced some serious déjà vu when he came up short of the 18th green on approach and for the second day running chunked a chip that failed to make the putting surface.

Woods added another four bogeys on the front side before getting minor solace from birdies on two of his final three holes to shoot 7-over 77 and finish the championship 10 over, four back of the cut line.

“It’s frustrating that I’m not going to be here for the weekend and be able to compete for this great championship. It feels like the way the golf course is changing, is turning, that anybody who makes the cut has the opportunity to win this championship. I didn’t get myself that opportunity,” Woods lamented.

“Physically it was frustrating that I didn’t drive the ball as well as I needed to. Iron play was pretty much the way it has been. It’s been good, and I finally putted well. But on this golf course it’s imperative that you hit fairways, and I did not do that.”

Mickelson was unable to rebound well enough from his dismal 79 in round one, adding a 4-over 74 to finish 13 over in his chase for a career grand slam. Hoping to make up for losing a one-shot lead on the 72nd hole in 2006, Mickelson had just one birdie on Friday. His problem was hitting just six of 28 fairways.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity to have been able compete here and I’m disappointed I didn’t play better,” Mickelson said.

“I’ve been playing very well at home, and I get out here where the penalty for a mis-hit is severe, and I find myself getting a little tight and a little steer-y and playing some of my worst golf. That’s something I’ve got to work on and fix.”

Defending U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland (+8) won’t be there to fight for a repeat result, revealing he is suffering from a hip injury

Among others to miss the weekend are recent PGA Champion Collin Morikawa (+7), and former FedExCup and U.S. Open champion Justin Rose (+10). Jordan Spieth continued with his struggles, shooting a Friday 81 to finish at 14 over.

Other former major and or PLAYERS champions to miss out included Martin Kaymer (+7), Keegan Bradley (+8), Si Woo Kim (+9), Matt Kuchar (+9), Jimmy Walker (+10), Danny Willett (+10), Henrik Stenson (+11), Sergio Garcia (+15) and Graeme McDowell (+16).

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Potential Stamkos return would increase Lightning’s emotional drive – Sportsnet.ca

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EDMONTON — We can only imagine what this has been like for Steven Stamkos.

The Tampa Bay Lightning captain hasn’t spoken to reporters since before the playoffs started. But he’s spent 55 days living behind the fences inside the NHL bubble, away from his wife and son, and unable to play for even a shift of his team’s run to the Stanley Cup Final.

That would be difficult for any hockey player, but in the context of Stamkos’s career it seems downright cruel.

From the Stanley Cup Qualifiers to the Stanley Cup Final, livestream every game of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, blackout-free, on Sportsnet NOW.

This is a guy who missed out on the opportunity to play for Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 because of a broken leg and was limited to just one game in Tampa’s run to the 2016 Eastern Conference Final because of a scary blood clot situation.

And while his list of career ailments also includes a torn meniscus, it’s not as if Stamkos is hurt all the time. It just seems to happen at the wrong times. He played all 82 games last season and got in 57 this year before undergoing core muscle surgery on March 2.

That procedure came with a six- to eight-week recovery timeline, which passed during the COVID-19 pause. Stamkos had resumed skating by the time the summer training camp came around in July and was still a regular participant in practice after the Lightning travelled to Toronto and joined the bubble.

Somewhere along the way he suffered a setback or a new injury. All we know for sure is that he’s been deemed unfit to play for all 19 Tampa playoff games so far and is unlikely to return for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Dallas on Saturday night.

“He’s still rehabbing, we haven’t ruled him out,” Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said Friday. “I don’t expect him in the lineup tomorrow.”

Under these circumstances, after everything Stamkos has been through, it would be quite something if he managed to get back playing with a chance to win the Stanley Cup.

You could see how much it meant to the 30-year-old just to be included in Thursday’s less significant presentation at Rogers Place. Victor Hedman, a teammate for 11 seasons and more than 700 games, made sure Stamkos joined the group that accepted the Prince of Wales Trophy from deputy commissioner Bill Daly after the Lightning won the Eastern Conference Final.

Stamkos and Hedman, the two foundational building blocks of this organization, have both reached the stage of their career where winning is all that matters.

Their professional existence is geared entirely around these precious moments. They’ve won individual awards and earned enough money to ensure future generations of their families are secure. They have built careers that will likely land both of them in the Hockey Hall of Fame one day.

The only thing that’s missing is now four wins away.

“Every year that passes that you don’t win, it’s another opportunity that’s gone by,” Stamkos told Joe Smith of The Athletic in September 2019. “I’ve dealt with a lot of things in my career in terms of injuries and have overcome that. But you never know what’s going to happen. You want to take advantage of playing on a team of this calibre.

“The search for that elusive trophy continues and you just want to do anything you can to win.”

You can be sure he’s doing absolutely everything in his power to get back in the lineup now. Stamkos has participated in a few recent Lightning skates here, and could be seen skating with determination and leaning into his patented one-timer during brief clips made available on the NHL’s media website.

It’s hard to imagine that he would be doing all that work for naught.

Even though the team has reached this stage without him, it’s not as though it can’t use him. The Lightning have relied heavily on Hedman and the top line of Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat for goals during these playoffs and saw its power play fall quiet for the last five games of the Islanders series.

Then there’s the fact that Point and Kucherov are each playing at something less than 100 per cent and are now entering Cup Final that will be contested in a more compressed manner than usual. The Lightning and Stars are due to play five games in the next eight days. The grind is becoming real.

Should Stamkos find his way back into the lineup at some point during that stretch, it would be an emotional shot in the arm for the group. They’ve been building towards this opportunity for a long time now and won’t want to let it slip through their fingers.

“You realize now all you want is to chase the Stanley Cup,” Stamkos told Smith last September. “The goals, the assists, the points: they’re nice. But our goal now, and [what it] should have been, is to bring home the team trophy.

“A lot of guys won individual awards last year, which is great on the resume at the end of your career. But everyone is judging you on championships. You’ve got to find a way to win them.”

Seeing him return to the lineup would help those efforts considerably.

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Lightning haven’t ruled out Steven Stamkos playing in Stanley Cup Final – Sportsnet.ca

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are back in the Stanley Cup Final and they’ve done it without captain Steven Stamkos appearing in any playoff games.

But the team still hasn’t closed the door on the star sniper appearing at some point in the championship series against the Dallas Stars — although it likely won’t happen in Game 1.

Stamkos was injured during Phase 2 skates before the NHL returned to play in late July and has been rehabbing his undisclosed injury in the bubble since, first in Toronto and now Edmonton. He was shut down before the season was paused in March after having core muscle surgery but was expected to play in the playoffs before this new injury occurred.

The Lighting have been carried offensively in the playoffs by Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Victor Hedman, but a healthy Stamkos would still be a big addition to the lineup. In 57 games this season, the 30-year-old had 29 goals and 66 points.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. PT on Sportsnet.

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