Malhotra plans for Game 1 … Wings looking for Dman … Crosby to be re-evaluated … Another group interested in Thrashers

  • Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province: Canucks forward Manny Malhotra has been given medical clearance and is preparing to play in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. 11 weeks ago he nearly lost his eye. “Everything is as it should be,” Malhotra said of the eye. “Going forward, I will continue to be monitored daily and if at any time the doctor doesn’t like what he sees, he has the ultimate veto power,” Malhotra said. Malhotra is expected to take Cody Hodgson’s spot as the 4th line center.
  • Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News: The Red Wings will now be looking for a top defenseman after Rafalski’s unexpected retirement. “The market isn’t as strong, but we’re only looking for one guy,” Holland said. “If a player’s not out there or doesn’t want to buy into the program, we’ll look at an alternative plan. Do you go a touch higher than you want? Yeah. But we’re not going to go dramatically higher than what we think makes sense.” UFA’s that might interest the Wings are Kevin Bieksa, Christian Ehrhoff, Joni Pitkanen, Ed Jovanovski, James Wisniewski, Roman Hamrlik, Ian White and Tomas Kaberle.
  • Fan 590 Audio: Ken Holland talks on Prime Time Sports (Thursday) talking about Rafalski’s retirement and what it means for their blueline.
  • Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Sidney Crosby will be re-evaluated by a concussion specialist in the next week or so. Crosby has been vacationing in Europe, needs clearance from doctors before he can resume his off-season workouts. The Penguins won’t be re-signing Alex Kovalev or Mike Comrie. Comrie could retire, “I’m not sure what Mike’s going to do,” Shero said. “He might be leaning toward retirement.” Shero didn’t rule out re-signing any of their UFA’s: Max Talbot, Pascal Dupuis, Mike Rupp, Craig Adams, Arron Asham, Eric Godard, Chris Conner and Nick Johnson.
  • Craig Custance of the Sporting News: Chris Osgood is “100 percent healthy” but a decision on his playing future is still not known.  “He’s going through the internal process to decide if he has the energy and the desire and determination to play hockey again,” Holland said. “In the middle of June, we’ll look at the goalies that are out there, we’re going to try and figure out a way to be the best team that we can.”
  • Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Another group stepped forward with interest in buying the Thrashers and keeping the team in Atlanta. Statement from president Don Waddell.

    “Along with all other groups who have expressed an interest in pursuing an ownership opportunity, which has happened as recently as earlier this week, we have said continuously that ‘until an agreement is signed and approved by the board of governors, it’s never too late but they will have to move very quickly and decisively.  Ownership still is committed to selling at a greatly reduced price to anyone committed to Atlanta.’  ”