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No time for a Stanley Cup hangover as the NHL offseason is already here

Sport

No time for a Stanley Cup hangover as the NHL offseason is already here
Sport

Sport

No time for a Stanley Cup hangover as the NHL offseason is already here

2024-06-26 06:37 Last Updated At:06:40

The Stanley Cup was still on the ice when Patric Hornqvist offered up a sobering thought surrounded by former teammates and other family revelers holding cans of beer during the celebration.

The newly crowned champion Florida Panthers had work to do already because the offseason is already here for them and the NHL's other 31 teams.

The buyout window opens Wednesday, the draft is Friday and Saturday and the start of free agency is Monday, squeezing a flurry of activity to prepare for 2024-25 into a tight window.

“It’s crazy,” said Hornqvist, a two-time Cup-winning player who's now in Florida's front office. “A quick turnaround.”

The season stretching into summer and the final between the Panthers and Edmonton Oilers going the distance to Game 7 set up this quick turnaround.

Less than 12 hours after the Cup was awarded, Colorado re-signed forward Casey Mittelstadt for three more years and Winnipeg extended defenseman Dylan DeMelo.

Some teams did not wait to take care of business. Boston and Ottawa made a major goalie trade finalized Monday night sending 2023 Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark to the Senators for Joonas Korpisalo, depth forward Mark Kastelic and a first-round pick.

The Bruins will be making that selection Friday at the Sphere in Las Vegas long after San Jose leads off the draft with the expected choice of Macklin Celebrini with the first pick. After the Sharks' trying year in the NHL basement, they are eager for the draft, trade and free agent frenzy to get underway.

“Kind of a little bit scrambling and busy time, but I think everyone’s been doing their homework and people will be prepared,” general manager Mike Grier said. "This is a rewarding week for the franchise and for our scouts, who have done a ton of work. ... It’s an exciting time. We’re looking forward to it. It’s busy, but it’s a fun time in the end.”

It should be fun for players such as 57-goal scorer Sam Reinhart, who also got the Cup clincher, and others such as Jake Guentzel and 2023 playoff MVP Jonathan Marchessault who are set to cash in as pending free agents. Less so for those on the trade market and potentially on the move, from Anaheim's Trevor Zegras to Toronto's Mitch Marner.

There are also teams with more difficult offseason tasks than others. The Oilers, fresh off losing in the final, don't even have a GM under contract beyond this week and are in danger of serious roster turnover if a handful of free agents depart.

The New York Rangers could also be active and attempting to retool after getting knocked out by the Panthers in the Eastern Conference final. They already cleared salary cap space by waiving Barclay Goodrow, who was claimed by San Jose.

Formerly the Arizona Coyotes and relocated to Salt Lake City, the Utah Hockey Club has roughly $40 million to spend to the cap under new owner Ryan Smith and his group, but don't expect a signing bonanza from GM Bill Armstrong.

“There’s a little bit of a chess game for us where we have to bring in some players, but we don’t plan on using all that money and spending right out the window and locking ourselves in for the next seven years,” Armstrong said Tuesday. “We want to be smart about how we use our money.”

The buyout window is one of the first dominos to fall, opening Wednesday to give teams the opportunity to shed unwanted contracts. The cap is also going up to $88 million, a bigger jump than expected thanks to revenue outpacing projections during a memorable season that no one has time to reflect on yet because there is so much work to be done in a short period of time.

“It happens fast,” Buffalo GM Kevyn Adams said. “You’ve got to be ready.”

AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow contributed.

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

FILE - Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) makes a save during Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series, April 22, 2024, in Boston. The Bruins traded 2023 Vezina Trophy winning goaltender Ullmark to the Ottawa Senators on Monday, June 24, in exchange for the Senators' 2024 first-round draft pick, forward Mark Kastelic and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

FILE - Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) makes a save during Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series, April 22, 2024, in Boston. The Bruins traded 2023 Vezina Trophy winning goaltender Ullmark to the Ottawa Senators on Monday, June 24, in exchange for the Senators' 2024 first-round draft pick, forward Mark Kastelic and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, left, presents Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov (16) with the NHL hockey Stanley Cup after winning the Final against the Edmonton Oilers in Sunrise, Fla., Monday, June 24, 2024. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, left, presents Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov (16) with the NHL hockey Stanley Cup after winning the Final against the Edmonton Oilers in Sunrise, Fla., Monday, June 24, 2024. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Aaron Judge hit his 33rd homer for his first RBI in over a week, and the New York Yankees took the opener of their three-game set with AL East-leading Baltimore, beating the Orioles 4-1 on Friday night.

Benches cleared and there was some pushing and shoving in the bottom of the ninth after Orioles outfielder Heston Kjerstad was hit around the ear flap of his helmet by Clay Holmes' pitch.

Gerrit Cole (2-1) pitched six solid innings for the Yankees, who pulled within a game of first place. Baltimore has dropped four in a row.

The teams met for the first time since the Orioles took two of three in New York last month. Since then, the Yankees are 6-13 and Baltimore is 8-12. That has allowed Boston to creep to within 5 1/2 games of the division lead.

Cole allowed a run and five hits, throwing 106 pitches in his longest outing — by both innings and pitches — since returning from elbow problems in the middle of June.

“I just stopped missing like left and right on the glove-side part of the plate,” Cole said. “I felt confident being able to get the ball there to the left-handers, and the fastball in to the right-handers was really good.”

Three relievers finished, with Holmes working a hitless ninth for his 21st save in 26 chances.

With one out, a 97 mph pitch by Holmes hit Kjerstad in the helmet. After a delay, Kjerstad was able to get up but left the game. Then things escalated, with Orioles manager Brandon Hyde walking toward the New York dugout and pointing, at which point Yankees catcher Austin Wells tried to restrain Hyde but benches and bullpens emptied.

Hyde was ejected.

“I hope Heston's all right. Nobody ever wants to see that,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Obviously, emotional moment, two teams playing for a lot. Glad it didn't escalate too much.”

Baltimore rookie Cade Povich (1-4) permitted three runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked five and struck out six.

Anthony Volpe led off the second with a single and ended up all the way on third thanks to right fielder Anthony Santander's error. Jose Trevino's double gave New York a 1-0 lead, and a single by Jahmal Jones brought Trevino home.

The Orioles, who were shut out by the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday and Thursday, put the leadoff man on base five times in the first seven innings against New York, but their only run came on an RBI triple by Ramón Urías in the second.

Judge, who had gone eight games without an RBI or an extra-base hit, answered in the third with a drive past the deep left-field wall at Camden Yards. He leads the major leagues in home runs by five over Shohei Ohtani.

Judge walked in his other four plate appearances.

The Yankees added a run in the ninth on Juan Soto's RBI single.

The Orioles are unbeaten in their last 22 series against the AL East, going 16-0-6. The Yankees can end that run with a victory Saturday or Sunday.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Yankees: New York put INF J.D. Davis (stomach flu) on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Tuesday. The Yankees recalled INF Jorbit Vivas from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

UP NEXT

Baltimore sends Grayson Rodriguez (11-3) to the mound against Luis Gil (9-5) on Saturday. Gil didn't make it through the second inning of a 17-5 loss to the Orioles at Yankee Stadium last month.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

CORRECTS PLAYER NAME TO HESTON KJERSTAD - Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad, center, steals second base in front of New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe, left, during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

CORRECTS PLAYER NAME TO HESTON KJERSTAD - Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad, center, steals second base in front of New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe, left, during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad, left, is evaluated by a trainer, right, after being hit by a pitch from New York Yankees reliever Clay Holmes during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad, left, is evaluated by a trainer, right, after being hit by a pitch from New York Yankees reliever Clay Holmes during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Players clear the benches after Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad was hit by a pitch from New York Yankees reliever Clay Holmes during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Players clear the benches after Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad was hit by a pitch from New York Yankees reliever Clay Holmes during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Players clear the benches after Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad was hit by a pitch from New York Yankees reliever Clay Holmes during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Players clear the benches after Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad was hit by a pitch from New York Yankees reliever Clay Holmes during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Players clear the benches after Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad was hit by a pitch from New York Yankees reliever Clay Holmes during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Players clear the benches after Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad was hit by a pitch from New York Yankees reliever Clay Holmes during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad reacts after being hit by a pitch from New York Yankees relief pitcher Clay Holmes during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad reacts after being hit by a pitch from New York Yankees relief pitcher Clay Holmes during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad, left, is evaluated by a trainer, right, after being hit by a pitch from New York Yankees reliever Clay Holmes during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad, left, is evaluated by a trainer, right, after being hit by a pitch from New York Yankees reliever Clay Holmes during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Cade Povich delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Cade Povich delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

New York Yankees' Gleyber Torres (25) is caught stealing second base by Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson, left, during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

New York Yankees' Gleyber Torres (25) is caught stealing second base by Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson, left, during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad, right, collides with New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe while stealing second base during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

Baltimore Orioles' Heston Kjerstad, right, collides with New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe while stealing second base during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge celebrates hitting a home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge celebrates hitting a home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, July 12, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

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