Where Are They Now? Calder Trophy Winners Edition

Where Are They Now? Calder Trophy Winners Edition

Since 1933, the Calder Memorial Trophy has been annually awarded to the NHL’s top rookie player as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Over the years, a number of players honored to receive this award have gone on to stellar NHL careers. Many have their names enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Among today’s active NHL players, such notables as Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Patrick Kane and Auston Matthews have taken home this trophy.

For many of the former winners, the Calder Trophy became the only major NHL award they would receive. Most still had fine playing careers but would fall short of Hall of Fame recognition.

Here’s a look at at several former Calder Winners since 1998, including the year they won the award and what they’re doing today.

Andrew Raycroft, goaltender (2003-04). Though Raycroft appeared in 21 games over three previous seasons with the Boston Bruins, it was his 57-game performance in ’03-’04 that was considered his actual rookie campaign. He sported a record of 29 wins, 18 losses and 9 overtime defeats, with a 2.05 goals-against average and .926 save percentage.

His rookie season was also Raycroft’s best as an NHL goalie. His performance declined as he bounced from the Bruins to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars. He subsequently spent two seasons in Europe before retiring in 2014. Today, he’s a volunteer goaltending coach with the University of Connecticut men’s hockey team and has appeared as a studio hockey analyst for NESN.

Barrett Jackman, defenseman (2002-03). A solid defensive blueliner, Jackman narrowly beat out Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg and Columbus’ Rick Nash for the Calder.

Jackman spent all but one of his 14 NHL seasons with the St. Louis Blues, finishing his career with the Nashville Predators in 2015-16. In 2017, he returned to the Blues as a development coach.

Former Calder Trophy winner Dany Heatley (Photo via NHL.com)

Dany Heatley, left wing (2001-02). A 26-goal, 67-point performance with the Atlanta Thrashers earned Heatley the Calder. His career was nearly derailed following a car crash in Sept. 2003 that killed teammate Dan Snyder. He pleaded guilty to second-degree vehicular homicide and received three years probation as part of his plea deal.

Dealt to Ottawa in 2005, Heatley enjoyed his best NHL seasons with the Senators, including two straight 50-goal performances in 2005-06 and 2006-07. Traded to the San Jose Sharks in 2009, his performance began to decline. Following three seasons with the Minnesota Wild and a brief stop with the Anaheim Ducks, he finished his pro career in Germany in 2015-16.

Heatley’s been out of the spotlight since then. In 2017, a Calgary court awarded him $6.5-million in damages after companies run by his former agent defrauded him of over $11 million in bad real estate investments.

Evgeni Nabokov, goaltender (2000-01). In his first full NHL season with the Sharks, Nabokov sported a record of 32 wins, 21 losses and 7 overtime defeats, with a 2.19 GAA, .915 SP and six shutouts.

Nabokov spent 10 seasons with the Sharks, establishing himself among the league’s best goalies. With the Sharks unable to re-sign him for salary-cap reasons, he spent the 2010-11 season in the KHL. He returned to the NHL in 2011-12, going on to play three seasons with the New York Islanders and one with the Tampa Bay Lightning before retiring in 2015.

Nabokov returned to the Sharks in the fall of 2015 as their goaltending development coach and special assignments scout. It’s a role he continues to fill today.

Scott Gomez, center/winger (1999-2000). The native of Anchorage, Alaska had a memorable NHL debut season, winning the Calder Trophy thanks to his 70-point performance. He was also part of the Devils’ Stanley Cup championship run in 2000.

Gomez enjoyed his best seasons during his initial seven-year tenure with the Devils, helping them win another Cup in 2003 and posting a career-high 84-points in 2005-06. He went on to spend two seasons with the New York Rangers and three with the Montreal Canadiens but never again enjoyed the level of success as he did earlier in his career.

From 2012-13 to 2015-16, Gomez played for the Sharks, Florida Panthers, Blues and Senators, including a one-season return with the Devils in 2014-15. Retiring in 2016, Gomez was hired as an assistant coach in 2017 by the New York Islanders, a role he still holds despite the recent changes among the club’s coaching staff.

Chris Drury, center (1998-99) A 20-goal, 44-point performance with the Colorado Avalanche garnered Drury rookie of the year honours. Following four seasons with the Avs (including a Stanley Cup championship in 2001), he was traded to the Calgary Flames in 2002. The following year, he was dealt to the Buffalo Sabres.

Drury’s three seasons with the Sabres were his best, co-captaining them to two straight seasons with 110-or-more points (2005-06 and 2006-07), including two Eastern Conference Finals appearances. He went on to sign with the New York Rangers in 2007 and had two solid performances in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Injuries, however, began to take their toll. In 2011, Drury accepted a contract buyout and announced his retirement.

In 2015, Drury joined the Rangers front office. Since 2016. he’s been an assistant general manager and was also named GM of their AHL affiliate in Hartford in 2017.

Sergei Samsonov, winger (1997-98). Teammate Joe Thornton was the Bruins’ highly touted rookie that season but it was Samsonov who took home rookie of the year honors with 22 goals and 47 points. From 1997-98 to 2005-06, the skilled left winger enjoyed his best seasons with the Bruins. Those years included back-to-back seasons with 70-or-more points in 2000-01 and 2001-02.

With the Bruins rebuilding in 2005-06, Samsonov was dealt to the Edmonton Oilers, tallying 15 points in 24 playoff games helping them reach the ’06 Stanley Cup Final. Over the next five seasons, he played for the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers before retiring in 2011.

In 2014, Samsonov rejoined to the Hurricanes in their scouting department. He’s now their director of forwards development.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 15, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 15, 2018

Game recaps plus updates on Seth Jones, Oscar Klefbom, Jared Spurgeon and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

James van Riemsdyk’s hat trick power the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 6-5 win over the Dallas Stars. (Photo via NHL Images)

  NHL.COM: A hat trick by James van Riemsdyk helped the Toronto Maple Leafs edge the Dallas Stars 6-5. Mitch Marner tallied the winner in a shootout. Tyler Seguin had a three-point night for the Stars. The Leafs didn’t emerge unscathed, as starting goaltender Frederik Andersen left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury. However, Toronto coach Mike Babcock suggested it might not be serious.

San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl scored twice, including the game winner in overtime, in a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Logan Couture had a three-point effort for the Sharks, who also lost winger Joonas Donskoi to an apparent shoulder injury in the third period.  He will be reevaluated later today. Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid collected two assists.

The New Jersey Devils lit up Vegas Golden Knights goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Maxime Legace in an 8-3 victory. Blake Coleman scored twice and teammates Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier each collected two points. Erik Haula tallied twice for Vegas. The victory moved the Devils (80 points) into the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson had a 32-save shutout performance in a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks, The win gives the Ducks 82 points to sit just outside a wild-card berth in the Western Conference. It was the Canucks fifth consecutive defeat and their third straight shutout loss, tying a franchise record. Earlier in the day, the Canucks announced defenseman Erik Gudbranson will undergo shoulder surgery and has been shut down for the season. 

The New York Rangers overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in overtime. Mika Zibanejad had the game-tying and winning goals and teammate Chris Kreider had a four-point game.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jacket defenseman Seth Jones, who appeared to suffer an upper-body injury against Montreal on Monday, will play in tonight’s game against Philadelphia. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon will miss at least a month with a partial tear in his right hamstring. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Spurgeon’s injury is a significant loss to the Wild’s defense corps, as he logs the second-highest average time on ice per game (24:32) and leads the club in blocked shots (127). 

EDMONTON SUN: Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom is expected to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery early next week. 

AZCENTRAL.COM: Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet will return behind the bench for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators. He was recently granted a leave of absence to attend to a family illness. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning’s penalty kill could be their Achilles’ heel in their quest for the Stanley Cup this season. They’re currently 26th in that department. 

CBC SPORTS: Charges of fraud and theft against former NHL player agent Stacey Don McAlpine have been dropped by the crown in the wake of his death. McAlpine passed away on March 5. He was accused “of defrauding former NHL players Dany Heatley and Chris Phillips of more than $12 million between January 2004 and June 2011.”


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 19, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 19, 2017

Game recaps, injury updates & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Toronto Maple Leafs scored four times on their first five shots to defeat the Detroit Red Wings 6-3. Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Nazem Kadri and Morgan Rielly each scored a goal and set up another for the Leafs. Nick Jensen collected three assists for the Wings. 

Jaden Schwartz tallied a hat trick to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Vladimir Tarasenko netted his 150th career NHL goal. The Blues also welcomed back forward Alexander Steen, making his season debut after suffering a broken wrist in preseason play. 

Adrian Kempe and Mike Cammalleri did all the goal scoring for the Kings in their 5-1 victory over the hapless Montreal Canadiens. Kempe tallied his first career NHL hat trick while Cammalleri scored twice and set up two others.

It was a costly win for the Kings, however, as forward Jeff Carter left the game with a lower-body injury that could sidelined him for a while. Meanwhile, the Canadiens learned David Schlemko underwent surgery on his right hand and is sidelined three-four weeks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s still only early in this season but the Canadiens (1-5-1) are in deep trouble. Despite getting a high volume of shots in their first seven games, they’re struggling to find the back of the net. They certainly let down backup Al Montoya, who kept them in this game through the first two periods. Costly defensive breakdowns in the third period led to this loss for Montreal. 

BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins announced forward Ryan Spooner (torn groin muscle) will miss four-to-six weeks. Meanwhile, goaltender Tuukka Rask was banged up in practice yesterday and didn’t return. A further update on his condition is expected today. 

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators listed center Nick Bonino as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Bonino’s agent believes he’ll be sidelined for “a couple of weeks.”

NBC SPORTS: Former NHL agent Stacey McAlpine has been charged with fraud in a case related to former Ottawa Senators Dany Heatley and Chris Phillips. McAlpine is accused of bilking the two players out of $12 million over a seven-year period. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 10, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 10, 2017

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara hopes to keep playing beyond the upcoming season.

Updates on Zdeno Chara, Dany Heatley, Roman Polak and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

BOSTON GLOBE: profiles Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. The 40-year-old defenseman remains in great shape and hopes to continue playing with the Bruins after his contract expires at the end of 2017-18. His defense partner for the upcoming season has yet to be determined, but could be either Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While Chara’s no longer the dominant blueline presence he used to be, he’s still a very effective NHL defenseman. A good performance this season could see him get a one-year, bonus-laden deal from the Bruins next summer. 

YAHOO SPORTS:  Former NHL forward Dany Heatley was awarded over $6 million in a lawsuit with his former agent over a real estate investment he considered fraudulent.


SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kalnins is a reliable source. As of 8 AM AST, however, there’s no confirmation  from the Avalanche. Hopefully there will be clarification later today. 

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks yesterday re-signed defenseman Brendan Gaunce to a two-year, one-way contract worth $750K per season. 

TSN: Free agent defenseman Roman Polak is recovering well from season-ending leg surgery suffered in the 2017 playoffs and expects to be ready for the start of 2017-18. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A rugged shutdown defenseman, the 31-year-old Polak could be a good, affordable addition for clubs in need of experienced blueline depth. 

NBC SPORTS: The Dallas Stars and the NHL have publicly opposed the proposed controversial “bathroom bill” currently before the Texas legislature. If passed, the bill “would restrict transgender people to using restrooms that correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.”

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: A draft agreement to purchase the Carolina Hurricanes by a Texas ownership group led by lawyer Chuck Greenberg is undergoing review by lawyers from both sides. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Former NHL player and coach Craig Ramsay was named head coach of Slovakia’s national team. 


Fleischmann to Ducks, Gleason to Capitals.

The Florida Panthers have traded left wing Tomas Fleischmann to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Dany Heatley and a 2015 third-round draft pick. The Carolina Hurricanes have traded defenseman Tim Gleason to the Washington Capitals for Jack Hillen and a 2015 fourth-round pick. (more…)