Nick Bonino was ‘quarantined’ during Stanley Cup final, almost shut down by Penguins

Jared Clinton
Nick Bonino #13 of the Pittsburgh Penguins moves the puck against the New York Rangers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 23, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)

The post-season injury lists for the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks will begin filtering out over the next few weeks, but the strangest tale of all may have already been revealed.

During his end of season meeting with media, Penguins center Nick Bonino said that he had to battle through some serious situations during the final two rounds of the post-season. Bonino said that during the Stanley Cup final he was dealing with an infection in his elbow that had him on medication and a fever so high — over 101, according to Bonino — that he had to be kept away from his family.

“They were going to shut me down for the year,” Bonino said. “I was on a ton of antibiotics, getting IVs every day at the hospital. The doctors did a really good job keeping my elbow healthy. I don’t think I practiced the whole (Stanley Cup final). Guys were ripping me for it because I could just play games, didn’t have to practice anymore. I rested up and then we got it done…I was quarantined in the hotel, I wasn’t even living at home. They didn’t want me around the baby.” Read more

Kessel says ‘good chance’ he’s bringing Cup to Toronto, Penguins Cup parade sets record

Jared Clinton
Phil Kessel (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Stanley Cup drought may not be over for the Maple Leafs, but fans in Toronto might get a day with the trophy.

Ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup parade, Sportsnet 590’s Joey Vendetta spoke with Phil Kessel, who said he hasn’t quite made up his mind about what his plans are for his day with the Stanley Cup. Most might have assumed that Kessel would take the Stanley Cup back to his home, Madison, Wis., but the 28-year-old said he might be taking the trophy back to Toronto.

“I probably will end up bringing it back (to Toronto). Nothing for sure yet, nothing’s been decided, but I think there’s a good chance that’ll happen,” Kessel told Vendetta. “I have a lot of friends in Toronto. That’s kinda where I spend most of my time now.” Read more

Rumor Roundup: Patrick Marleau’s future in San Jose still uncertain

Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton celebrate a goal for the San Jose Sharks

Following the end of the 2016 Stanley Cup final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks, it didn’t take long for speculation to begin over the Cup finalists’ off-season plans.

ESPN.com’s Craig Custance suggests the Penguins trade goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. With Matt Murray taking over as the starter during the playoffs and the Penguins carrying limited salary-cap room, they could consider moving the 31-year-old’s $5.75-million cap hit.

Custance believes Fleury could be “a great fit” with the Calgary Flames or Carolina Hurricanes. Both clubs need depth between the pipes and have depth in young talent and prospects to entice the Penguins.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari notes the Penguins could also move Fleury this summer in order to protect Murray in a possible expansion draft next June. He also speculates the veteran netminder could request a trade.

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Rumor Roundup: Expansion draft rules could force teams to move goalies

Marc-Andre Fleury (Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)

The NHL is expected to announce its decision on a possible expansion to Las Vegas by June 22. More details recently emerged regarding the guidelines for an expansion draft that could affect this summer’s trade market .

It was originally believed players with no-movement clause carrying partial no-trade clauses (such as Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury) wouldn’t be protected from the draft. However, that only applies to players whose contracts expire at the end of 2016-17. That also includes those with full no-movement clauses. Those with contracts that run through 2017-18 must be protected.

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Will speed demon Penguins spawn a legion of NHL copycats?

Sidney Crosby (Getty Images)

SAN JOSE – Aside from the players themselves, there are a good number of 18-year-old kids who were thrilled to see the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup this spring.

Unless you follow the prospect world, there’s a good chance you haven’t heard of the likes of Will Bitten, Clayton Keller, Vitali Abramov, Alex DeBrincat and Rasmus Apslund yet. But you will. And depending on how many NHL teams try to copy the blueprint provided by this year’s Stanley Cup-winning Penguins, they might have a better chance to make the NHL than they ever have.

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Watch Kris Letang’s Stanley Cup-clinching goal, Penguins sing ‘We Are The Champions’

Jared Clinton
Kris Letang fires home the Stanley Cup-winning goal (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

As judged by Conn Smythe Trophy voters, Sidney Crosby was the Pittsburgh Penguins’ best forward — and best player — in the post-season, but it was Kris Letang who was undoubtedly the Penguins’ top blueliner throughout the post-season. It’s fitting then that Pittsburgh clinched the franchise’s fourth Stanley Cup on a goal that saw Crosby and Letang link up.

With the Penguins having their second chance to close out the Sharks and take the Cup, Pittsburgh made sure to keep any glimmer of hope San Jose may have had to a minimum. The Penguins opened the scoring on a power play tally by Brian Dumoulin in the first period, but the SAP Center exploded less than seven minutes into the second frame when Logan Couture tied the game. But in a series where the Sharks trailed for the majority, Game 6 would be much the same.

From the moment the puck was dropped following Couture’s goal, the Penguins took over. Pittsburgh got possession, turned the puck up ice and skated circles around the San Jose zone, putting pucks on net and making Sharks netminder Martin Jones dart back and forth to cover his goal. After nearly 40 seconds of zone time, which included Letang showcasing some fancy footwork along the left wing wall, Crosby dug a puck out of the front of the net, swooped behind the goal and laid a perfect pass out front for Letang to one-time home: Read more

Sidney Crosby channels his inner Steve Yzerman to win Conn Smythe

Sidney Crosby (Getty Images)

SAN JOSE – Perhaps Sidney Crosby will never score 100 points ever again. Then again, maybe he will. If you go by analytics, logic states that his numbers should begin declining at some point pretty soon. But he proved in the Stanley Cup final, and by winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP, that he’s about so much more than numbers.

“I think Sidney Crosby’s best hockey is ahead of him,” said Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin.

Whoa there, cowboy. Best hockey ahead of him? Two Stanley Cups, two scoring championships, two Hart Trophies, a Conn Smythe, five 100-point seasons, two Olympic gold medals and a space waiting for his plaque in the Hockey Hall of Fame and his best hockey is still ahead of him? Well, if you consider that Crosby has essentially turned himself into a Selke Trophy candidate and that he’s altered his entire game a la Steve Yzerman, perhaps that’s not as outlandish as it sounds.

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Cup-winning Penguins have sights on becoming NHL’s next dynasty

Pittsburgh Penguins (Getty Images)

SAN JOSE – It was a team that had one player who overcame thyroid cancer, another a stroke. A third player had to retire because of blood clots. It was a team of superstars and castoffs, one player who was run out of the so-called Center of the Hockey Universe. It was run by a guy who called himself a caretaker, then ended up remodeling the whole darn school. It was a team that was floundering until it fired its coach, then had to turn to 22-year-old kid with all of 13 games of NHL experience in the playoffs.

And now the Pittsburgh Penguins are Stanley Cup champions. So they know a little something about staring down adversity. And they also know a little something about forming habits. This is Pittsburgh’s fourth Cup in the past 25 years, which doesn’t seem like much until you consider that the Detroit Red Wings are the only other team to win as many Cups as Pittsburgh in that time frame.

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