The Islanders announced they’ve signed right winger Chris Bruton to an NHL deal for next year. Looks like he brings some grit and toughness; he was also captain of the 2008 Memorial Cup champions in Spokane, scoring 10 points in 21 playoff games that year after 63 in the regular season. He’s worked his way up, beginning the 2011-12 season on an ECHL deal, earning a trip to Peoria and then a deal again last year. Appears this will be his first NHL deal at age 26.
Nighttime edit: Toronto was on the verge of prolonging things tonight, but Grand Rapids scored three in the third — the first two 28 seconds apart, the last with 4:03 to go — and beat the Marlies 4-3 in Game 6. So last year’s finalists are both out (though Syracuse obviously has some continuity with last year’s champ), and whoever wins the Western Conference will be playing for the Cup for the first time. The Griffins and Oklahoma City will start Friday in Michigan.
The Eastern Conference will play on Saturday and Sunday, one way or t’other. Game 7 should be fun Wednesday.