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Game and season over

June 5, 2008 - John Mehno

If your hockey season ends on June 4, you've had one heck of a year.

That might of little consolation today to the Penguins, who lost the Stanley Cup final to Detroit on home ice Wednesday night. I wasn't there, but my spies tell me the locker room was a grim scene with a lot of tears. You work that hard and last that long, it hurts to come up short and know that you have to start all over again in a few months.

The future is promising, though, depending on how the Penguins are able to stay fluid with their roster and adhere to the salary cap. They'll profit from the experience of playing against a team like the Red Wings. Their three relatively easy Eastern Conference series did nothing to prepare them for Detroit's relentless checking.

Free agency starts on July 1, and the Penguns are sure to lose some players. They might also sign a few, too. It's going to be a significant offseason, and the Penguins have less time than most teams to prepare for it.

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