THE MORNING SKATE: Kabanov Wins Memorial Cup

First off, a thanks to all the troops and anyone who has ever served. Thank you and happy Memorial Day!

Last night, Kirill Kabanov’s Shawinigan Cataractes won a thrilling OT game to take home the 2012 Memorial Cup, given to the winner of the CHL playoffs. Kabanov finished with 13 points in 11 playoff games (55 in 50 regular season games) and notched an assist on the game winner. According to LHH, Kabanov was impressive in the win:

Kabanov was all over the place in the win, setting up the tying goal on a shot from the half boards and generally creating chances on nearly every shift. In overtime Kabanov — notoriously a pass-first forward — even altered his game to the situation by firing shots more often. It was a very impressive final junior game for Kabanov, whose countryman Anton Zlobin was the star with both goals.

Kabanov got a long look last fall, being the second to last player left off the roster (the first of course being Ryan Strome). The decision for the 20-year old won’t be as difficult or discussed as Strome, barring a KHL departure, as Kabanov will be eligible to play in Bridgeport. My bet is that’s where he ends up next season but with this kid, you just never know. He is under contract with the Islanders, having signed his ELC last summer. Having played in juniors another year, the contract slid and will not kick in until this year.

On a related note, Yahoo had an interesting piece on the surprising non-controversey of Shawinigan’s mascot.

In case you missed it, I wrote the Rangers Eulogy over at Puck Daddy. The commenters there deemed it not as good as the Pensblog but better than the guys who made fun of handicapped people. I can live with that.

A 47-year old Dominik Hasek is interested in returning to the NHL. On the other side, 30 clubs are probably not interested in his return.

Pat LaFontaine’s son was drafted into the USHL.

Have a good holiday. Hopefully you’re spending it in the world’s largest swimming pool.