Notable Former NHL Stars Still Awaiting Induction Into Hockey Hall of Fame
Golden Knights take Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Tomas Nosek scored the tie-breaking and insurance goals as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. Reilly Smith and Derek Engelland also had two points for the Golden Knights, as did Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie for the Capitals. Game 2 goes Wednesday night in Las Vegas.
Washington forward Tom Wilson garnered attention with yet another controversial hit, this one a blind-side job on Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault, who believes “the league’s going to take care of it.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a fast-paced, highly entertaining contest. It’s unlikely to be fondly remembered by the goaltenders. Washington’s Braden Holtby and Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury both looked a little rusty in this one.
The Capitals seemed at times to struggle against the Golden Knights’ aggressive forechecking. Vegas’ fourth line of Nosek, Ryan Reaves and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare certainly made their presence felt in this one, tallying three of the Golden Knights’ six goals.
Ice conditions at T-Mobile Arena weren’t the best. The puck bounced a lot and there were several delays to repair slushy patches.
Earlier in the day, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly revealed a Seattle expansion vote by the league board of governors could come as early as this fall. An update on the city’s expansion application will be provided to the board at its June 20th meeting.
Bettman and Daly both indicated a willingness to begin talks on a new collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA, though those discussions haven’t started yet.
Daly said the league still projects the salary cap for 2018-19 could come in between $78 million to $82 million, depending upon the NHLPA triggering its annual five percent inflator. Daly also said the Arizona Coyotes, Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders and Calgary Flames are continuing efforts to construct new arenas.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While Seattle fans will have to wait until this fall to find out if they’ll have an expansion club, there’s little to suggest this isn’t going to happen. The earliest that franchise could start operations is 2020-21.
While the current CBA expires at the end of 2021-22, the league or the PA can vote in September 2019 to reopen negotiations at the end of 2019-20. The league could be keen to have a new agreement in place before ’20-’21. The concern for hockey fans, of course, is this results in yet another lockout.
According to TSN, the icy standoff between the Flames and the city of Calgary over a new arena may be thawing. The city council voted to form a committee to reopen negotiations with the team.
SPORTSNET: Former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson recently told an interviewer he’s hoping his former club gets a new owner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk incurred the ire of the team’s fans and pundits around the league last fall for his veiled threats to relocate the franchise if attendance figures didn’t improve. Though Melnyk subsequently walked back those remarks and tried to mend fences with Senators fans, Alfredsson’s remarks suggest the cantankerous owner still has a lot of work to do. Aflie’s wasting his breath hoping for a new owner, as Melnyk has indicated he doesn’t intend to sell the club.
TSN: Reports indicate New York Islanders forward Nikolay Kulemin reached an agreement with the KHL’s Magnitogorsk Metallurg to join them next season. He’s an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Game recaps, stars of the month plus updates on Corey Crawford, Daniel Alfredsson and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Tristan Jarry made 34 saves for his first NHL shutout while Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins blanked the Buffalo Sabres 4-0. The supposedly rebuilding Sabres have only one win in their last 10 games and sit mired at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Frustration is growing among Buffalo fans and pundits over the Sabres’ ongoing mediocrity. Only two months into this season, there’s calls for first-year head coach Phil Housley and general manager Jason Botterill to do something – anything – to shake up this moribund lineup.
Joe Pavelski netted his 300th career NHL goal and Aaron Dell had a 39-save performance as the San Jose Sharks edged the Florida Panthers 2-1.
Michael Grabner had a natural hat trick and Henrik Lundqvist kicked out 32 shots to lead the New York Rangers to a 5-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Kyle Connor scored twice while Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine each collected a goal and two assists to give the Winnipeg Jets a 7-4 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.
Tyler Toffoli potted two goals and Darcy Kuemper made 39 saves as the Los Angeles Kings downed the St. Louis Blues 4-1, giving the Kings their fourth straight win.
Ryan Dzingel scored twice to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 6-5 victory over the New York Islanders to snap their seven-game losing skid. Isles forward Anders Lee also tallied two goals in a losing cause.
Josh Anderson and Artemi Panarin each had a goal and two assists as the Columbus Blue Jackets overcame a 2-1 deficit to double up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2.
The New Jersey Devils snapped a six-game losing streak in Denver with a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Brian Boyle tallied the game winner.
Speaking of the Avalanche, center Nathan MacKinnon was named the NHL’s star of the month for November 2017. Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen was the second star while the third star was St. Louis Blues center Brayden Schenn.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators icon Daniel Alfredsson will be inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Hall of Fame. Former NHL players Rob Blake, Chris Chelios, and Jere Lehtinen will also be inducted.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford was placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the Blackhawks struggle with consistency this season, Crawford was a steady presence between the pipes. They cannot afford to have him sidelined for a lengthy stretch.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson was placed on IR with a minor injury. He’s not expected to be out for long.
EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers also claimed forward Nathan Walker off waivers from the Washington Capitals.
TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild blueliner Jared Spurgeon is out at least two weeks with a groin sprain.
CALGARY SUN: Flames winger Kris Versteeg is listed as month-to-month with a hip injury.
On Monday, Nov. 13, former NHL stars Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya, Mark Recchi and Dave Andreychuk will be among the class of 2017 inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. So it’s appropriate to look ahead toward next year’s potential inductees.
It goes without saying Martin Brodeur will be a first-ballot inductee. He backstopped the New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cup championships, won four Vezina Trophies in five years between 2002-03 and 2007-08, shares the single-season wins record (48) with Washington’s Braden Holtby and the all-time records for games-played (1,266), wins (691) and shutouts (125).
Winger Martin St. Louis could also be inducted in his first year of eligibility. He’s a two-time winner of the Art Ross Trophy (2004, 2013) and Lady Byng Trophy (2010, 2011). He also won the Hart Memorial Trophy and the Pearson in 2004 and played a significant role in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup run. He finished his career with 1,033 points and is the Lightning’s all-time leader in assists (588) and points (953).
2018 will be forward Daniel Alfredsson‘s second year of eligibility. Winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1996, Alfredsson is the Ottawa Senators’ all-time leader in goals (426), assists (682) and points (1,108). It’ll be surprising if he’s passed over again.
Several notable players eligible for induction in recent years could be among those who get the nod in 2018.
Center Pierre Turgeon amassed 515 goals and 1,327 points in a career that stretched from 1987-88 to 2006-07 with the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche. Winner of the 1993 Lady Byng Trophy, only two active players (Jaromir Jagr and Joe Thornton) have more points than Turgeon.
Right wing Alexander Mogilny is one of the greatest Russian players in NHL history. He and Teemu Selanne are the last players to exceed 70 goals in a season (1992-93). He also won the Lady Byng Trophy in 2003. Mogilny sits third among Russian-born NHLers in goals (473) and points (1,039) playing for the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, New Jersey Devils (winning a Stanley Cup with them in 2000) and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Goaltender Curtis Joseph sits fifth on the NHL all-time list for wins (454) and sixth for games played (943) backstopping the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes and Calgary Flames. “CuJo” was also a three-time finalist for the Vezina Trophy.
Right wing Theoren Fleury tallied 455 goals and 1,088 points in 1,084 career NHL games, of which 791 were spent with the Calgary Flames. He won a Stanley Cup with them during his rookie season in 1988-89. He’s second among the Flames all-time leaders in goals (364) and points (830).
Forwards Jeremy Roenick and Keith Tkachuk are two of the highest-scoring American-born players in NHL history. Roenick is fourth among US players in goals (513) and points (1,216) while Tkachuk sits third in goals (538) and fifth in points (1,065).
Updates on Connor McDavid, Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
TSN: Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid is attempting to downplay his displacing Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby atop The Hockey News’ annual ranking of the 50 best NHL players. “Everyone knows who the best player in the league is…and it’s not me,” said a modest McDavid.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some will point to McDavid winning the Hart Memorial Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award and the Art Ross Trophy as proof he’s now the NHL’s top player. Others will point to Crosby winning his second consecutive Conn Smythe Trophy leading the Penguins to their second straight Stanley Cup championship ( as well as winning the Richard Trophy as the top scorer in the regular season) as indicative of his ongoing dominance. McDavid can downplay that talk now, but he’s clearly Crosby’s successor.
Sean Burke, general manager of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Hockey Team, contacted unrestricted free agents Jarome Iginla and Shane Doan about their potential availability. Whether the two veterans are interested remains to be seen. Iginla’s agent, Don Meehan, said they’re currently not dealing with this issue.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Iginla and Doan obviously hope to sign with NHL clubs for the upcoming season, which would make them ineligible to play in the 2018 Olympics. If they don’t get new NHL contracts, I can see them skating for Team Canada in South Korea.
OTTAWA SUN: Former Senators executive Daniel Alfredsson intends to take some time away from hockey to focus on his family. They’ll continue to live in Ottawa.
NBC SPORTS: Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou is mulling a one-year offer from a KHL team. Talks between the Wings and the 23-year-old restricted free agent have apparently stalled.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems like a negotiating ploy by the Athanasiou camp to reboot those contract talks. I think the Wings would’ve re-signed him by now but they’re currently handicapped by their lack of salary-cap space.
THE ATHLETIC: Defenseman James Wisniewski is skating in Columbus and hoping to sign with an NHL team. He split last season between the KHL and AHL. Failing that, he could skate with Team USA in the Pyeongchang Olympics.
TORONTO SUN: Unrestricted free agent winger Scottie Upshall could also consider playing in the Olympics if unable to land an NHL job.
NEW YORK POST: Former New Jersey Devils winger Bobby Farnham signed a professional tryout offer with the New York Rangers.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators will hold auditions Thursday for anthem singers.