2016 NHL Awards

The 2016 NHL Awards took place in Las Vegas, on the 22nd June. Here are the list of nominees for each award, with the winners in bold.

Nominees: Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI), Connor McDavid (EDM), Artemi Panarin (CHI)

Nominees: Jamie Benn (DAL), Patrick Kane (CHI), Braden Holtby (WSH)

Winner: Henrik Sedin (VAN)

Nominees: Vladimir Tarasenko (STL), Joe Pavelski (SJ)

Nominees: Gerard Gallant (FLA), Lindy Ruff (DAL), Barry Trotz (WSH)

Nominees: Anze Kopitar (LAK), Loui Eriksson (BOS), Aleksander Barkov (FLA)

Nominees: Ben Bishop, Braden Holtby (WSH), Jonathan Quick (LAK)

Nominees: Ryan Kesler (ANA), Patrice Bergeron (BOS), Anze Kopitar (LAK)

Nominees: Drew Doughty (LAK), Erik Karlsson (OTT), Brent Burns (SJ)

Nominees: Matt Martin (NYI), P.K. Subban (MTL), Mark Giordano (CGY)

Nominees: Alex Ovechkin (WSH), Shea Weber (NSH), John Tavares (NYI)

Nominees: Jim Nill (DAL), Brian MacLellan (WSH), Jim Rutherford (PIT)

Nominees: Jaromir Jagr (FLA), Mats Zuccarello (NYR), Pascal Dupuis (PIT)

Nominees: Sidney Crosby (PIT), Jamie Benn (DAL), Patrick Kane (CHI)


We Have A Franchise To Announce

In 1967, the NHL expanded from 6 teams to 12, adding franchises in California, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.

In 1979, the National Hockey League merged with the World Hockey Association, with WHA franchises Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers, Quebec Nordiques and Minnesota North Stars joining the NHL for the 79-80 season.

On June 22, 2016, Commissioner Gary Bettman announced, that starting from the 2017-18 season, there would be 31 teams in the National Hockey League, with the addition of a franchise in Las Vegas. This will be the first expansion draft in the NHL since the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets entered the league in the 2000-01 season.

The expansion draft will occur in 2017, whère Vegas will select 30 players, one from each existing franchise, including at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies. The existimg teams have the option to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters and one goalie.

Any current player with a no-move clause in their contract, at the end of the 2017 season, must be included in their franchises list of protected players.


Follow The Draft Pick Road

Draft picks get traded every single NHL season. In the 2015 draft alone, 78 of the 211 picks moved from their original team. Draft picks are usually traded, in order to spice up a deal to obtain players, to move their position in the draft or to have more picks in the draft, allowing them to have more draft picks.

However, there are some draft picks that get traded more, than the player that was drafted with the pick, with some of those draft picks being in some of the biggest and well-known trades in hockey.

One such pick, is Pick 32 of the 2010 Entry Draft.

The Toronto Maple Leafs originally held the #32 pick, the second pick of the second round, by finishing 29th in the 09-10 season, only better than the Edmonton Oilers. However, on the 3rd of July 2008, Toronto traded the pick, along with defensemen Greg Pateryn, to the Montreal Canadiens, for forward Mikhail Grabovski.

Pick 32’s travels didn’t end there. Montreal moved the pick on September 12, 2008, to the Chicago Blackhawks, in exchange for forward Robert Lang.

Chicago, on the 5th September, 2009, moved pick 32, back to the franchise that originally held the pick, Toronto. In return, the Blackhawks received picks 43 and 69 in the 2010 draft, which were used to draft Brandon Saad (43), and
Michael Paliotta (69).

With the Maple Leafs regaining the pick, it would be moved one more time before reaching its final destination. On the 18th of September, 2009, Toronto sent the pick, as well as their first round pick in 2010, and their first round pick in 2011, to the Boston Bruins, in exchange for Phil Kessel. Boston would use the picks to draft Tyler Seguin (Pick 2, 2010), Dougie Hamilton (Pick 9, 2011) and with pick 32 of the NHL draft, Jared Knight.

Knight would spend time in Boston, before being traded to the Minnesota Wild, on March 2, 2015, in exchange for Zack Phillips, where he remains on the roster. Thus ends this draft pick road. Four franchises and seven players were all affected in some way shape or form, by pick 32, with another player and franchise affected after Jared Knight was drafted. As for the franchises and players affected?

Greg Pateryn remains in Montreal, under contract until 2018. Mikhail Grabovski was bought out by the Leafs, spent one season in Washington, before signing for the New York Islanders, where he currently plays.
Robert Lang would spend the remainder of the 08-09 season in Montreal, before signing as a Free Agent for his final season, the 09-10 season, in Arizona.

Brandon Saad and Michael Paliotta, would both remain members of the Chicago Blackhawks, before both were traded in the same deal, along with Alex Broadhurst, to the Columbus Blue Jackets, in exchange for Artem Anisimov, Jeremy Morin, Corey Trapp, Marko Dano and a 2016 4th Rd pick.

Tyler Seguin would win a Stanley Cup in Boston, before being traded with Rich Peverley and Ryan Button, to the Dallas Stars. In return, the Bruins received Loui Eriksson, Matt Fraser, Reilly Smith and Joe Morrow.
Dougie Hamilton would also be traded out of Boston. Moved to the Calgary Flames organization, in exchange for a 2015 1st Rd pick (Zach Senshyn, 15), and two 2nd Rd picks (Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, 45), (Jeremy Lauzon, 52).

Phil Kessel would lead scoring for the Maple Leafs in every season he was a member of the roster, before the Pittsburgh Penguins came calling. Kessel, Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon, and a 2nd Rd pick in 2016 (61), would head to Pittsburgh, with Kasperi Kapanen, Scott Harrington, Nick Spaling, a 2016 1st Rd pick (30), and a 2016 3rd Rd pick (72).

Zack Phillips would be traded to the St. Louis Blues on March 4, 2016 for future considerations, and on July 1, after his NHL contract expired, Phillips agreed to a one-year deal with Swedish Allsvenskan franchise, Tingsryds AIF.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Will #91 Stammer His Way Home?

On July 1, the biggest Free Agency in recent hockey history, Steven Stamkos, heads home and becomes the face of the Toronto Maple Leafs. With the Leafs also holding the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft, expected to be American Auston Matthews, they could potentially have a very potent forward core.

Obtaining Steven Stamkos is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but in the case of the Leafs, is it a case of bad timing?

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Pittsburgh Penguins

Your 2016 Stanley Cup Champions

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins, for winning the Stanley Cup, for the 2015-16 season. The Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks in six games, with captain Sidney Crosby, winning his first Conn Smythe Trophy.

Pittsburgh defeated the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs, before toppling the President’s Trophy winning Washington Capitals in the semis. The Tampa Bay Lightning, pushed them to seven games, however the Pens won through to win the Prince of Wales trophy as Eastern Conference winners. They then converted that victory, by eliminating the Sharks, to win their fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history.


RIP Gordie Howe 1928-2016

On June 10 2016, Hockey has lost its greatest. Gordie Howe has passed away, aged 88, leaving behind a legacy that will never be matched. Howe started his career with the Detroit Red Wings, scoring his first of 2358 goals throughout his illustrious career, which spanned 34 years, franchises and two leagues, the National Hockey League (NHL) and the World Hockey Association (WHA). The latter of which, saw him play for the Houston Aeros in 1973, alongside his sons, Marty and fellow NHL Hall of Famer, Mark.

Mr. Hockey was the best player in the toughest era. The combo of a goal, an assist and a fight, within the same game, is dubbed the ‘Gordie Howe hat-trick’. Howe though, only had two in his entire career, Rick Tocchet has the most in NHL history, with 18.

Gordie Howe started in 1946, and fully retired in 1980, only returning for a one-off game for the IHL’s Detroit Vipers during the 97-98 season. His last all-star game was in 1980, which also just happened to be the first NHL all-star game of the game’s future greatest, then 19-year old Wayne Gretzky. Howe earned 23 all-star appearances, won four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings and two Avco World Trophiesin the WHA with the Hartford Whalers.

There may be a debate, as to who the greatest player of all-time is, but there will only ever be one Mr. Hockey. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Howe family, and all of his family, friends and fans.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs Finally Win A Thing!!

The Toronto Maple Leafs are your winners of the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery, meaning that they have the first overall pick, to be held in Buffalo on June 24-25. The likely first pick, will be Auston Matthews, who last applied his trade, for the Zurich HSC Lions. The Winnipeg Jets won the number #2 slot, with the Columbus Blue Jackets, holding #3. Edmonton fell to #4, after winning last year’s lottery.

So what does this mean for the draft?

First things first, this will fast track Toronto’s re-build in the forward sense by adding Matthews. He could slot into the Leafs’ top 6-9 in the C slot, meaning it could very well be the end of Tyler Bozak in the Air Canada Centre. Also, obtaining Matthews, as well as re-signing Nazem Kadri, could lead to Brendan Shanahan, not pursuing pending UFA Steven Stamkos on July 1, and instead using the cap to fill other needs on the roster.

But what if the Leafs trade the pick?

Well, it’s an option. Especially considering that Matthews is from Arizona. The Coyotes could try and move up from their current position (7) in the draft, to #1, allowing them to draft their hometown boy, and still leave the Leafs with two first round picks, thanks to the Phil Kessel trade and the Penguins making the playoffs. The Oilers (4) and the Flames (6), are also rumoured to be shopping their top picks, and a possible trade with the Leafs could happen, with both the Oilers and Flames having assets on their roster, that Toronto would love to have on their re-building roster.

If the Leafs draft Auston Matthews, will this mean that Steven Stamkos plays in the Blue and White next season?

Well.. With Matthews, Kadri, and Bozak, the Leafs have the middle sorted, and with Stamkos’ displeasure of playing wing, either one of the three Centres move out wide, or move out of Toronto, with Bozak being the most likely. If Bozak does move, they may have to move a Joffrey Lupul-type contract as well, in order to fit the asking price that Stamkos will ask, into the cap. A core of Stamkos, Kadri and Matthews, does sound better, and it takes the pressure off Matthews when he debuts. But, whether the Leafs decide to invest in the best Free Agent on the market, who just happens to be from Toronto, remains to be seen.

Does Toronto even need Stamkos?

No. They don’t need him. Sure, every franchise would love Steven Stamkos on their roster. But do the Leafs need him? At this point of their program, where the focus is on re-building and squad structure, then the answer is no. Stamkos is entering the prime of his NHL career, and could potentially be wasted on the Leafs, whilst the young squad around him builds for the 2-3 years it will take before they reach their prime. Also, if they throw all their cap in the Stamkos basket, then their more important needs of defense and goaltending, go neglected again. Unless Stamkos can play in net. I mean, he is that good as a player, but as a Goalie?

What will the Leafs do?

They will draft Auston Matthews with the first overall pick in the draft. If they do trade a pick, it will be the pick that they received from Pittsburgh. Matthews is on Jack Eichel levels of ability, and will instantly inject something into the Leafs’ lineup, that they haven’t seen in the franchise in a long time. As for Stamkos, well, as fate could have it, Pavel Datsyuk is verging on retiring and returning to Russia, leaving the Detroit Red Wings with a massive hole to fill in at Centre. Brad Richards probably won’t be re-signed, especially at the $3 million he signed for this season, and Darren Helm could be on the way out also. Even though the Wings will have to re-sign Petr Mrazek, as fate could have it, Steven Stamkos could sign for the franchise, in which his current GM, Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman, captained to three Stanley Cups.

That Damn Hockey Blog

Bored Hockey Fan’s Playoff Bracket prediction spectacular

Welcome to the 2016 NHL playoffs! It’s that time, where the regular season means nothing, the next six weeks mean everything and one franchise will achieve the biggest prize in the game, winning Lord Stanley’s Cup.

With the playoffs starting with Detroit and Tampa on Wednesday, it’s time to show you my playoff bracket, which you too, can do, by clicking on the following link, HERE!

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That Damn Hockey Blog

A Bored Hockey Fan’s view of Trade Deadline Day

The most hyped day in the National Hockey League outside of July 1 is done and dusted for another year.

With big names such as Eric Staal, Justin Schultz, Jiri Hudler and James Reimer all moving in the days prior. Deadline day was seen as a mop up day for some and perhaps moving day for the rest of the Maple Leafs that weren’t traded.

So, without further ado, a Bored Hockey Fan’s summary of Deadline Day.

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