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TORONTO (June 1, 2023) – Frank Seravalli, President of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, and Chuck Kaiton, President of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association, announced today that Mark Mulvoy will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism, and Dan Rusanowsky will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.
NEW YORK (JUNE 1, 2023) – Country music superstar Dierks Bentley will host the 2023 NHL Awards™ on Monday, June 26, the National Hockey League announced today. The celebration of the League’s best regular-season performances will broadcast live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on TNT, Sportsnet and TVA Sports in the U.S. and Canada, at 8 p.m. ET. Tickets to the 2023 NHL Awards are available here.
“Hockey plays a big part of my daily life,” said Bentley. "I’ve been to rinks all over the country with my travel hockey son. I coach his spring league games and spend hours in the local hockey store, telling him, 'No, you do not need a new stick!' We love watching YouTube highlight reels, the whole family loves going to Nashville Predators games and watching the Stanley Cup Final together. And, I am a proud member of a beer league team here in Nashville. To get to add NHL Awards host to this list is truly an honor.”
via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The Pittsburgh Penguins announced today that Kyle Dubas has been named President of Hockey Operations. Dubas becomes just the second person to hold this position in the history of the franchise.
Dubas, 37, will oversee all aspects of the Penguins hockey operations department including establishing the strategic vision and philosophy for the franchise. Fenway Sports Group Principal Owner, John Henry, and Chairman, Tom Werner, issued the following joint statement:
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
There is no shortage of problems and issues for Treliving to immediately deal with, which is a touch unusual when taking over a team that finished with 111 points.
This isn’t the way most new GMs have to work. Normally, the team is replacing a GM when everything goes bad — the way it did with Brian Burke or John Ferguson Jr. or Dave Nonis, or any of those who came after Pat Quinn. Those firings were expected and hardly questioned.
The chain of events that led to the dismissal of Kyle Dubas was full of drama and speculation and pathos, the way so many Toronto hockey decisions seem to be made amidst difficulty.
A case can be made today that keeping Dubas over Treliving was something that should have been further considered. But once a replacement had to be made and that experience was prominent on Brendan Shanahan’s list of requirements, he made the easy and convenient hire.
He brought in a GM with as many warts as the GM he let walk. He brought in a GM with little history of playoff success, cutting loose the GM who had a similar resume. He brought in a GM who had 219 points worth of Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau on his Calgary roster a year ago and lost one to free agency and the other in a deal for the disappointing Jonathan Huberdeau and defenceman MacKenzie Weegar.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Carter Mazur left Detroit Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde thinking he will fit right in with the club.
Lalonde, back in metro Detroit after serving as an assistant coach with the U.S. at the World Championship, talked up the 21-year-old forward, who was part of the American team that had a really good tournament until the final weekend.
"I was very happy with Carter," Lalonde told the Free Press Wednesday. "He represented a lot of our young guys, where they elevated their game immediately. The thing I really like about Carter is, he already plays through bodies and a lot of times, we are having to teach young players that. So that is a huge credit to him."
Lalonde described Mazur as "still very raw," but that's to be expected with a guy who spent the past two seasons playing college hockey, capped by two weeks in the American Hockey League this spring. The World Championship was his first experience playing for the men's national team. Mazur had a goal and three assists in 10 games.
"There are still a lot of areas where he needs to grow his game, but I got a very good impression from him," Lalonde said. "Carter represented our guys — no fear. He put his nose right into things. It was impressive to see."
* The culmination of the 2022-23 season will start in just two days with Game 1 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final. The Golden Knights, who finished with the fifth-best record during the regular season, will welcome the Panthers, the postseason’s lowest-seeded team, to T-Mobile Arena as both franchises continue their chase for their first-ever championship.
* Matthew Tkachuk and Mark Stone are two of a few star players ready to participate in a Stanley Cup Final for the first time in their careers when the puck drops on the NHL’s championship series on TNT, TBS, truTV, Sportsnet, CBC and TVAS Sports.
* Alex Pietrangelo and Carter Verhaeghe are two of several players set to make their return to the Stanley Cup Final after having won the championship previously.
KK/A2Y has moved to a new server and host.
You should notice an increase of speed once on the site including pages loading quicker.
There is still a lot of work to be done until I am completely satisfied, and my priority is to make sure you feel the same way.
I will keep you posted as things progress and at this point I believe we are on the right track.
from Matt Levy of the New York Post,
Either Jonathan Marchessault’s Golden Knights or Matthew Tkachuk’s Panthers will emerge victorious and get to hoist the famed silver trophy above their heads for the first time.
And if you want to be there to witness hockey history, we’re happy to report that last-minute tickets are still available for all seven games.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any bargain prices available for the high-profile series.
The cheapest tickets available we could find at the time of publication were $349 before fees on Vivid Seats for a game at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
Ticket prices start at $424 before fees at Sunrise, FL’s FLA Live Arena.
Want to go to a game?
Here’s everything you need to know and more about the 2023 Stanley Cup between the Golden Knights and Florida Panthers.
via awood40's YouTube page,
Moritz Seider highlights from the 2022-23 regular season. All points + other stuff.
Both teams playing for their first Stanley Cup.
via the Seattle Kraken,
Just 32 people have had the chance to spearhead building hockey operations for an NHL club from the ground up. Ron Francis is one of them. In just under four years as inaugural general manager of the Kraken, the two-time Stanley Cup champion and NHL Hall of Famer has laid foundations for success at all levels of the organization. And now, with the announcement today that the organization has extended Francis' contract, he'll continue that work through at least the 2026-27 season.
"Ron has done remarkable work over the last four years and deserves this recognition," said Seattle Kraken co-owner, Samantha Holloway. "He has built a tremendous team, putting Seattle hockey on the map. He is building for long term success and is dedicated to our city, our fans, and our community." Francis was hired in July 2019, two years before the 2021 Expansion Draft and with a lot to do. He had to build out a staff that included research and development, coaches, scouting and ultimately players. There was also the need to construct a quality group of prospects that could evolve and sustain success at all levels of play.
Toronto Maple Leafs press release,
Toronto Maple Leafs President and Alternate Governor Brendan Shanahan announced today that Brad Treliving has been named the hockey club's General Manager. Treliving becomes the 18th General Manager in Maple Leafs history.
"I'm very pleased to welcome Brad into the Maple Leafs organization," said Brendan Shanahan. "Brad brings a wealth of knowledge from his years of experience as a General Manager and hockey executive in Calgary, Arizona and beyond. He has earned tremendous respect amongst his peers throughout his years in the NHL and has built excellent relationships at all levels within the game. We are confident that Brad's leadership and strategic vision will elevate the Maple Leafs in our continued pursuit of a championship."
from Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff,
Left Wing, Washington Capitals
Contract: 1 more season, $5.7 million AAV
Buyout Structure: 2 seasons at $1,366,667 and $2,166,667
Scoop: Has there ever been a trade with both teams more dissatisfied in the result than Mantha for Jakub Vrana, a 1st, 2nd and Richard Panik? Probably not. The Capitals have let teams know that they’re ready to move on from Mantha, who was a healthy scratch at times last season. They’re likely going to have to attach a sweetener to that deal, so the buyout factor will probably have to be weighed. The thought might be that the only thing worse than Mantha for one more year at $5.7 million is two more seasons on your cap with Mantha. It all depends how aggressive GM Brian MacLellan wants to be reshaping the team. The argument could be made that the Caps are better off taking the buyout, finding a third line player at $3 million that they like better, and they’d still be $1.5 million south of Mantha’s current $5.7 million.
four more names...
from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic,
Hurricanes GM Don Waddell wasted no time after his team’s playoff exit in reaching out to agent Gerry Johannson about his client Sebastian Aho to get the ball rolling on contract talks.
Aho is the top priority for the Hurricanes this summer, the team hoping to extend him a year ahead of his deal expiring in 2024. It’s amazing how time flies, but it was already four years ago that Aho made headlines after signing a five-year, $42.295 million offer sheet contract with the Canadiens — one which Carolina owner Tom Dundon matched without hesitation.
Also noteworthy is how little bitterness there ever seemed to be between the organization and Aho over that. It’s not something that the Hurricanes have made a point to hold against Johannson and Aho. They turned the page quickly. Business is business. And so that relationship has stayed healthy, and now that’s going to be important as the organization tries to get Aho signed long-term as early as July 1 when he’s allowed to get an extension done. Both sides have agreed to get talking on it in very short order.
I think Aho wants to stay, and the Hurricanes no doubt will want to do the max eight years. So what does that deal look like? Too early to know, but what we do know is that Johannson negotiated an eight-year, $76-million extension for his client Brayden Point with Tampa Bay two years ago, a deal with a $9.5 million cap hit that kicked in this past season. I would imagine the Hurricanes would like to get Aho below that threshold, and I would imagine Johansson would counter that the Point deal is two years old.
more ($) plus additional, current hockey topics...
Nashville, Tenn. (May 31, 2023) - Incoming Nashville Predators General Manager Barry Trotz announced today that the team has hired Andrew Brunette as the fourth head coach in franchise history.
"When I look at our roster and those in our system, we have a lot of fast, skilled players and we will likely select more of those types of players in this year's draft," Trotz said. "We want to become more of an offensive team and Andrew specializes on that side of the ice - he lived it as a player, and he coaches it as a coach. He is as good of an offensive teacher and power-play coach as there is in the game today. He will be great with our young players, and I know, because of his background as a player, he will connect well with our top, skilled players. At the end of the day, he is a good person who looks forward to working in partnership with our players to make them, and our team, better. I can't wait to get in the foxhole with him."
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
If this spring’s Stanley Cup playoffs have taught us anything, it’s that things always could be worse.
We could be living in Canada, following its NHL teams. No Canadian team has won the Cup since Montreal did in 1993. In the 30 years since then, only six Canadian teams have reached the final. And hockey is supposed to be their sport?
We could be in Toronto, following the Maple Leafs. They beat Tampa Bay in the first round this season — their first playoff win in 19 years — before losing to Florida in five games in the second round. Almost unbelievably, they haven’t won the Cup since 1967. Would someone please tell me why Kyle Dubas is such a hot commodity as a general manager?
We could be in Edmonton, following the Oilers. They have the best player in the world in Connor McDavid and a top-10 player in Leon Draisaitl, but they can’t win in the postseason. They went to the Western Conference final last season before being swept by Colorado but took a step back this year, losing to Vegas in six games in the second round. McDavid and Draisaitl aren’t getting any younger. The four Cups the Oilers won during the Wayne Gretzky era seem like a lifetime ago.
We could be in Montreal, following the Canadiens. They have missed the playoffs in four of the past six seasons. Their Cup win in 1993 is the most recent of their 23 championships.
We could be in Boston, following the Bruins. They set the NHL record with 135 points this season but were beaten by Florida in the first round in seven games despite leading, 3-1, in the series. They have won one Cup since 1971.
from The Athletic,
Using your grades and ratings, we’ve ranked the local broadcasts from 32 to 1, a project that has become an annual tradition for The Athletic going back four seasons....
2. Detroit Red Wings
The broadcast: Bally Sports Detroit carries Red Wings games with Ken Daniels calling play-by-play and Mickey Redmond handling most games as the color analyst.
Local ranking: 2
Last season: 1
The results: Red Wings fans have endured a lot of pain and losing in recent years. A bad on-ice product can sour the experience of viewers, so it’s a testament to Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmonds’ first-class presentation that Detroit’s local broadcast continues to be revered.
The Red Wings broadcast earned extremely high marks because of how well they strike the balance between clean, professional playcalling, informative analysis and entertaining storytelling. They have a perfect feel for what the moment requires. Mickey’s catchphrases are legendary among Wings fans, with his colorful personality adding a nice foil to Daniels’ sharp, objective play calling.
a bit more ($) and the rest of the teams... Kraken at #1, Stars 3, Bruins 30, Blackhawks 32...
from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,
* The southernmost Stanley Cup Final in NHL history pits the Golden Knights against the Panthers, with Game 1 slated for Saturday in Las Vegas at 8 p.m. ET. It will open the first-ever Final televised on TNT, with the contest also carried on TBS and truTV in the U.S. as well as on Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports in Canada.
* Florida and Vegas reached the Final for the second time in franchise history, with the Panthers defeating three of the League’s four highest-seeded teams and the Golden Knights eliminating four 100-point players en route to clinching a berth in the championship series.
* There are several notable connections between the franchises, including Jack Eichel set to square off with his ex-teammate Sam Reinhart as well as Reilly Smith, Jonathan Marchessault and Nick Cousins facing their former franchises.
via the YouTube page of the NHL Network,
NHL Network insider Elliotte Friedman gives us the latest updates on what he's hearing about coaching searches around the league, including Nashville's reported hiring of Andrew Brunette.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Even with a week to digest the unappetizing finish, Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon still can’t believe how the team lost.
The Stanley Cup finals will go on without them Saturday, despite outplaying the Florida Panthers in all four games in every metric except the only one that matters. The owner’s takeaway from that unlikely sweep: Let’s run it back again.
That means going to quick work on new contracts for Sebastian Aho, Jordan Staal, Brett Pesce and Brady Skjei (more or less in that order of priority), and giving strong consideration to bringing back most of the Hurricanes’ unrestricted free agents, with Staal and Jesper Fast atop that list, Dundon said.
Because as bizarre as the finish may have been, the Hurricanes like their odds of getting back to that point.
“You have to look at all 97 games we played,” Dundon said Tuesday. “The last four I actually thought we played pretty well in most of them and didn’t win. You’re going to tweak around the edges but I don’t want to overreact and get worse. It’s hard to get better from where we are. It’s easier to get worse.”
While general manager Don Waddell and coach Rod Brind’Amour will meet with the media on Wednesday for the annual public debriefing, some of the offseason goals are already clear beyond a reasonable doubt in the owner’s mind.
On a contract extension for Aho, who has a year to run left on his deal: “We want to get him on an eight-year deal, done as soon as possible. It’s a top, top priority. I think we’re on the same page. It’s kind of his team now.”
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