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The Wraparound: McKee gets coaching job; final four ready; draft order set

Since I joined The News' Sabres coverage in 2002, two people stand out as the best guys to talk to about anything: Brian Campbell and Jay McKee. The Kitchener Rangers clearly agree with the choice of McKee.

The Ontario Hockey League club named McKee as its head coach Thursday. The longtime Sabres defenseman was an associate coach with the Rangers this season.

“The decision to have Jay step into this role was a simple one from an organizational standpoint,” Rangers General Manager Murray Hiebert said. “Jay is someone who our players are not only familiar with, but enjoyed playing for last season."

 

(Campbell, by the way, is a left-handed defenseman who can quarterback the power play and will be a free agent this summer. Among the things on Tim Murray's wish list is a left-handed defenseman who can quarterback the power play. Just sayin'.)

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The St. Louis Blues went to the Stanley Cup final during their first three years of existence. They haven't been back since 1970. San Jose has never played for the Cup.

The drought will end for one of them.

San Jose easily dispatched Nashville, 5-0, in Game Seven on Thursday night. St. Louis will host the Sharks on Sunday in Game One of the Western Conference final.

The Sharks have a history of letting things slip away, but they took control Thursday.

Nashville -- which has gone by the nickname "Smashville" -- lived up to the moniker.

 

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The Eastern Conference final begins Friday in Pittsburgh when the Penguins host Tampa Bay (8 p.m., NBCSN).

The Lightning are hoping to get Steven Stamkos (blood clot) back during the series.

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Buffalo is hosting the NHL Draft on June 24-25, and the first round is set following the Predators' elimination.

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For a while, it seemed like no one in Arizona wanted the Coyotes. Now there are two cities fighting for them.

The Arizona Republic reports that Phoenix and Glendale, Ariz., are battling over being the home of the Coyotes, who play in Glendale but are looking to move after a contentious relationship.

"Let me be emphatic: There are not discussions ongoing, nor have there been, for the Coyotes to stay in Glendale long term," Coyotes President Anthony LeBlanc told the newspaper. "There's absolutely none."

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Today is the 10-year anniversary of Jason Pominville eliminating the Senators with a short-handed goal. Relive it here.

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