Ways To Change Up The NHL All-Star Game Format
Metropolitan Division wins All-Star Game final, Simmonds named MVP & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.com: Two goals five seconds apart by Cam Atkinson and Wayne Simmonds gave the Metropolitan Division a 4-3 victory over the Pacific Division in the All-Star Game final, winning the $1 million prize.
The game’s turning point came when Metropolitan coach Wayne Gretzky successfully challenged a Ryan Kesler goal that would’ve given the Pacific a 4-2 lead when review showed Connor McDavid was offside. Simmonds was named the most valuable player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I though the final game of this tournament was more competitive and entertaining than the semifinals. Heck, at one point late in the game, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin blocked a shot, something rarely seen in an All-Star game. Obviously the competitive juices kick in when a million bucks in on the line. Ovechkin, in my opinion, was the most entertaining player, as he was clearly enjoying himself throughout this tournament. Simmonds and Atkinson, who replaced sidelined Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin, were the offensive standouts.
NBC SPORTS: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman reiterated his criticism of the International Olympic Committee, saying the league owes it to its fans to ensure Olympic participation doesn’t adversely affect the NHL product. “Subjecting the game to players who might get injured more often, or are more tired because they’ve got more back-to-backs, so they’re playing five games in seven nights — that’s what you get when you disrupt the schedule.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With all due respect, Mr. Commissioner, I call bullshit. You and the team owners have no problem with Olympic participation when its held in North America. The concerns only seem to arise whenever the Olympics are staged elsewhere. And if previous reports are to be believed, the league wants to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing as a means of establishing a footprint in China. But because the 2018 Winter Olympics are being staged in a much smaller market (South Korea), the league doesn’t seem to believe it’s worthwhile participating in those games.
If the NHL is to grow its product, it must do so outside the tapped-out North America market. That means taking part in the Winter Olympics, regardless of where they’re staged. The players are obviously keen to take part so there’s no issue with them.
Ultimately, this comes down to money for the league. If the IOC was willing to give the NHL a bigger cut of the revenue generated by the league’s top players taking part in the Olympics, this would probably be a different story.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden believes the NHL should do more to protect its goalies.
STLTODAY: The St. Louis Blue will retire former defenseman Bob Plager’s No. 5 in a ceremony prior to their Feb. 2 game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Long-time LA Kings broadcaster Bob Miller suffered a mild stroke during the All-Star weekend. He is reportedly under the care of specialized physicians and is in good spirits.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks placed defenseman Michal Rozsival on injured reserve.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes have recalled goalie Eddie Lack from his conditioning stint in the minors.
Game recaps, All-Star Game rosters reveal, Leafs trade Enroth to Ducks & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.com: Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each tallied three points as the Boston Bruins defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-3. It was Bruins forward David Backes’ first game in St. Louis against his former club since joining the Bruins as a free agent last summer.
Mikkel Boedker netted a hat trick while goalie Martin Jones made 33 saves to give the San Jose Sharks a 5-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner each had three points to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, handing the latter their third loss in four games. The Jacket were playing without starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who was sidelined by illness.
Sam Reinhart scored a goal and set up two others while Anders Nilsson made 39 saves to give the Buffalo Sabres a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
John Gibson turned in a 33-save shutout performance to give the Anaheim Ducks a 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars. Jakub Silfverberg netted a goal and an assist. The Stars lost defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and Patrick Eaves to injuries and were playing without captain Jamie Benn (foot injury) for the fourth straight game.
Following the game, the Ducks acquired goaltender Jhonas Enroth from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2018.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Enroth will likely be sent to the Ducks’ farm team.
Duncan Keith’s overtime goal gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings, giving the Hawks their fourth straight victory. Blackhawks rookie forward Ryan Hartman collected two assists.
Calle Jarnkrok’s late overtime goal lifted the Nashville Predators to a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Earlier in the day, it was reported Canucks star Daniel Sedin unknowingly shared a helicopter ride with a convicted drug smuggler.
Rookies Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine are among the 40 players selected to participate in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles on Jan. 29.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman won’t be shaking up the coaching staff of his struggling club. He believes head coach Jon Cooper “is doing an excellent job.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries and a lack of blueline depth are largely responsible for the Lightning’s current struggles.
TSN.CA: The Toronto Maple Leafs claimed goaltender Curtis McElhinney off waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils placed Andy Greene (left wrist) and Yohann Auvitu (lower body) on injured reserve.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers mourn the passing of NYPD detective Steven McDonald, who was the inspiration for the club’s annual award given to the Ranger who goes “above and beyond the call of duty.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to McDonald’s family and friends and to the Rangers organization.
Game recaps, December’s top rookie and star and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets collected their 16th consecutive victory by downing the Edmonton Oilers 3-1, moving to within one game of tying the league record of 17. Cam Atkinson, William Karlsson, and Nick Foligno scored for the Jackets.
Alex Ovechkin’s overtime goal capped the Washington Capitals’ rally from a 4-2 deficit as they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5, snapping the Leafs five-game win streak.
Ovechkin’s OT goal was his 19th, tying him with Florida Panthers winger Jaromir Jagr for the most in NHL history. Evgeny Kuznetsov had a four-point performance (one goal, three assists) and Justin Williams collected three points for the Capitals. Leafs rookies Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner each had two points.
Shea Weber scored in his return to Nashville since being dealt last summer to the Montreal Canadiens, helping his new club defeat the Predators 2-1 in overtime. Former Predators winger Alexander Radulov set up Weber’s goal and Max Pacioretty’s winner.
Nikolaj Ehlers scored twice and set up another while Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves to give the Winnipeg Jets a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Jets rookie Patrik Laine also scored and set up two others, while Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored two goals and picked up an assist.
Tanner Pearson scored in overtime, Jeff Carter had a goal and an assist and Peter Budaj made 26 saves to give the Los Angeles Kings a 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks.
Justin Bailey scored his first NHL goal and Anders Nilsson made 24 saves as the Buffalo Sabres upended the New York Rangers 4-1. Earlier in the day, the Rangers revealed forward Matt Puempel is sidelined indefinitely by a concussion.
The New Jersey Devils got back-to-back wins for the first time since December 8, as Corey Schneider made 29 saves in a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Earlier in the day, the Devils placed forward Reid Boucher on waivers only a day after claiming him from the Nashville Predators in hopes of giving him playing time with their AHL affiliate. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes remain without the services of backup goalie Eddie Lack, who’s once again sidelined by a concussion.
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin and Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk were named the NHL’s three stars for December 2016.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This marks the first time a Blue Jackets player was named player of the month.
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews was named NHL rookie of the month for December 2016.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After being somewhat overshadowed by Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine, Columbus’s Zach Werenski and Leafs teammates William Nylander and Mitch Marner earlier in the season, Matthews rose to the fore in December. He’s now tied with Laine for the rookie scoring lead and the Leafs top scorer.
ESPN.COM: Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, Montreal’s Carey Price and Nashville’s P.K. Subban were named divisional captains for the 3-on-3 tournament in the upcoming NHL All-Star Game.
PHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers activated goaltender Michal Neuvirth off injured reserve.
STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues placed forward Ty Rattie on waivers.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks sent rookie Tyler Motte to their AHL affiliate in Rockford.
NEWSDAY: New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic is glad he rescinded last season’s trade request. Hamonic asked to be dealt to a Western Conference club to be close to an ailing relative in Manitoba but changed his mind after the relative’s health improved.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So no, the Islanders’ struggles this season hasn’t made Hamonic regret his decision to pull his trade request.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Former Blackhawks Nick Boynton, Ben Eager, and Dan Carcillo admit they experienced difficulty adjusting to life after their NHL careers ended. “I had a difficult period,” Carcillo said. “Every year you’re familiar with a routine and structure and you have a purpose, and now you’re kind of searching for what to do next and what will motivate you.” The trio credit their families with helping in their transition.
STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis city leaders and Blues executive seek taxpayer help in making $138 million in renovations to Scottrade Center.
Game recaps, injury and waiver updates, All-Star voting & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl scored twice, Connor McDavid collected two assists and Cam Talbot made 31 saves as the Edmonton Oilers shut out the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0.
P.K. Subban scored twice as the Nashville Predators downed the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1.
The New York Rangers overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. Rookie Jake Guentzel scored both goals (his first in the NHL) for the Penguins. Earlier in the day, the Rangers claimed forward Matt Puempel off waivers from the Ottawa Senators, while forward Pavel Buchnevich (back) will be sidelined two-three weeks. The Penguins, meanwhile, placed winger Chris Kunitz (lower-body injury) on injured reserve.
Brent Burns had a goal and an assists and Martin Jones made 27 saves as the San Jose Sharks blanked the New Jersey Devils 4-0. Earlier in the day, the Sharks announced winger Tomas Hertl is sidelined indefinitely following a minor procedure to address a knee sprain.
Jamie Benn scored in overtime to give the Dallas Stars a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
Matt Duchene’s overtime goal lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Kyle Okposo had a goal and an assists to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames.
TSN: Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter, Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom are the NHL’s stars of the week.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes announced Tucson Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham is in stable but critical condition after collapsing prior to an AHL game against the Manitoba Moose.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Cunningham makes a swift and full recovery.
NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers announced defenseman Alex Petrovic (ankle injury) will miss the next eight weeks.
The Carolina Hurricanes placed goaltender Eddie Lack (concussion) on injured reserve, called up goalie Michael Leighton and assigned defenseman Ryan Murphy to their AHL affiliate on a conditioning stint.
LAS VEGAS JOURNAL-REVIEW: The NHL’s Las Vegas expansion franchise will reveal their name and jersey today.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thank heavens, I was getting tired of calling them the “Las Vegas Insert Your Name Here”.
NHL.COM: The league is changing the fan voting rules to prevent the fans from stuffing the ballot box for a write-in candidate.”Players who are injured or in the minors won’t be on the active ballot until they’re back in the NHL. If someone is voted captain and is hurt or in the AHL, the player with the second-most votes gets in.” Last year, the fans voted for long-time enforcer John Scott, who was playing in the minors at the time..
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fortunately for the league, Scott’s presence at the 2016 All-Star Game turned into a feel-good story with a happy ending. The league obviously wants to avoid the possibility of a potential embarrassment in future All-Star contests.
WINNIPEG SUN: Former NHL defenseman Ian White was granted a three-month conditional sentence and placed on 12 months supervised probation after pleading guilty to three firearm storage offenses.
Stars of the week, notable demotions, recalls, injury updates & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending October 30, 2016.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: A plea agreement will see the harassment and trespassing charges against Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane dismissed, provided he remains out of trouble for the next six months.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: The NHL intends to restrict All-Star Game participants to “bona fide players.” That could mean no repeat of a marginal player being selected via fan voting, such as what happened with enforcer John Scott last year.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Scott situation had a happy ending for the league. However, I see the sense in restricting this sort of thing from happening again. Just because the Scott story ended well doesn’t mean another scenario involving a player who is clearly not All-Star caliber couldn’t become an embarrassment for the league.
THE MERCURY NEWS: Despite being pointless in his last seven games, Mikkel Boedker will continue to skate on the San Jose Sharks’ top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski.
TWINCITIES.COM: Injuries and limited salary-cap space prevented the Minnesota Wild from icing a full lineup for practice yesterday.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Ales Hemsky is sidelined five-to-six months following hip surgery.
BOSTON HERALD: Bruins forward David Backes (day-to-day, elbow surgery) will miss the club’s upcoming road trip to Florida.
THE GLOBE & MAIL’s James Mirtle reports the Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman Matt Hunwick on injured reserve.
NBC SPORTS: The injury-riddled Los Angeles Kings recalled defenseman Rob Scuderi.
NJ.COM: Promising center Pavel Zacha is expected to remain with the New Jersey Devils beyond the nine-game deadline for returning him to his junior club.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes assigned forward Christian Dvorak to their AHL affiliate in Tucson.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens sent defenseman Mikhail Sergachev back to his OHL club in Windsor.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes placed forward Martin Frk on waivers for the purpose of demotion to the minors.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Check out the 10 best costumes worn by NHL players this Halloween.