from Eric Duhatschek of The Athletic,
- There is always considerable interest in the NHL’s rookie race, and a question was posed about the chances of the Red Wings’ fine prospect, Moritz Seider, actually challenging for the Calder. My answer is yes, for a couple of reasons. One: Voters are more willing than ever to look at defencemen in rookie of the year balloting. For a long time, it was a black hole. From 1990, when Sergei Makarov won the Calder, until 2014, when it went to Nathan MacKinnon, only three defencemen won the award: Bryan Berard in 1997, Barret Jackman in 2003 and Tyler Myers in 2010.
Since then, we’ve seen Aaron Ekblad (2015) and Cale Makar (2020) win the Calder and in Makar’s year, two other defencemen were in contention for the award (Quinn Hughes and Adam Fox). This year’s race could be interesting, because the two odds-on favorites up front, Zegras and Montreal’s Cole Caufield, have been slow off the mark offensively. In theory, you could see three defencemen in the running again: Seider, Colorado’s Bowen Byram and Anaheim’s Drysdale. One thing Jason Robertson’s unexpected Calder challenge last year taught us: There’s always going to be one candidate that comes from a little off the grid to make it a race. Maybe Seider is that candidate this season.
- I was calling Bowman for a historical perspective on refereeing for a story on the state of NHL officiating. But as in any conversation with Bowman, you often veer to any number of fascinating asides. One of the things Scotty mentioned in passing was how an acquaintance of his, who liked to bet on sports, was still wary of placing wagers on the NHL — and it was because of empty-net goals and how they can distort a result at the end.
The problem has been exacerbated, he said, since teams starting pulling their goalies early. The result is, sometimes a team might surrender two empty-net goals in a single game, and once, on opening night in the Tampa Bay-Pittsburgh game, three empty-net goals were scored, the first by Teddy Blueger with a whopping 5:07 to go in regulation.
many more topics, a must read for all things NHL...