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NHL Awards to conclude ahead of Game 2 of Stanley Cup Final – NHL.com

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Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon and Artemi Panarin each had a memorable regular season, but only one will be awarded the Hart Trophy during the 2020 NHL Awards presented by Las Vegas on Monday. 

The Hart Trophy, given annually to the NHL player voted to be most valuable to his team, will be one of the five remaining regular-season trophies awarded during the 30-minute show that will air at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN in the United States, and on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada. The show will take place prior to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).  

Draisaitl, MacKinnon and Panarin are also the three finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by members of the NHL Players’ Association. 

Draisaitl led the League with 110 points (43 goals, 67 assists) for the Edmonton Oilers this season. The 24-year-old center also led the NHL in points per game (1.55; minimum five games), assists, and power-play points (44), and he ranked first among forwards in average ice time per game (22:37). Draisaitl tied Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak for the League lead in game-winning goals (10), and was second in even-strength points (66) and power-play goals (16). He had at least one point in 56 of 71 games, including 33 multipoint games.

“He’s been a good player for a long time now,” Oilers center Connor McDavid said of his teammate. “Obviously he was great this year. Huge for us in all situations. [Being nominated for the Hart] is a super big accomplishment for him.”

MacKinnon finished fifth in the League with 93 points (35 goals, 58 assists) for the Colorado Avalanche, and was third in even-strength points (62). The 25-year-old center also had at least one point in 53 games of 69 games, including 29 multipoint games.

“We’re spoiled,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “We see him every day, but obviously the impact that he has for our team, we consider him an MVP candidate and the lots around the League are taking notice of that.”

Panarin tied Pastrnak for third in the League with 95 points (32 goals, 63 assists) for the New York Rangers, but he was first in even-strength points (71) and led all forwards with a plus-36 rating. The 28-year-old left wing had at least one point in 54 of 69 games, including 28 multipoint games.

“I’m really very surprised to be nominated [for the Hart Trophy],” Panarin said. “Even after the season was paused, I never even thought I would be nominated for anything so it’s very important for me and very surprising for me, but it’s much more important for my relatives and my loved ones.”

The other awards announced on Monday will be the Calder Trophy, Vezina Trophy and Norris Trophy. 

The three finalists for the Calder Trophy, which is awarded to the best rookie in the NHL, are Dominik Kubalik of the Chicago Blackhawks, Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks and Cale Makar of the Avalanche. 

The three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the best goalie in the League, are Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets, Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

The three finalists for the Norris Trophy, which is awarded to the League’s best defenseman, are John Carlson of the Washington Capitals, Victor Hedman of the Lightning and Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators. 

The awards show, co-hosted by NBC Sports’ Kenny Albert and Sportsnet’s Scott Oake from inside Rogers Place in Edmonton, the hub city for the Stanley Cup Final, will have an Edmonton feel to it, with Oilers greats Wayne Gretzky (Calder/Hart), Mark Messier (Lindsay), Grant Fuhr (Vezina) and Paul Coffey (Norris) presenting the winners of the five remaining awards.

The 2020 NHL Awards were originally scheduled for June 18 in Las Vegas but were postponed on March 25 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. 

Here are the 2020 NHL Awards winners that have already been announced: 

Art Ross Trophy (regular-season scoring leader): Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers 

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (perserverance): Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators 

Frank J. Selke Trophy (best defensive forward):Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers 

Jack Adams Award (best coach): Bruce Cassidy, Boston Bruins 

Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award: Lou Lamoriello, New York Islanders

King Clancy Memorial Trophy (leadership, contributions to community): Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild 

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (gentlemanly conduct): Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche 

Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award: Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames 

Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (regular-season goals leader): Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, and David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins 

William M. Jennings Trophy (fewest goals allowed): Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak, Boston Bruins

Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award: Dampy Brar, Apna Hockey 

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For Joey – The Players' Tribune

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Joey Moss was the greatest person I have ever met. 

And while I’m not sure if what I’m about to write will do his legacy justice, I feel as though I have to try. 

After all, trying was exactly what Joey was about. Ask anyone who has been around that dressing room in Edmonton, or heard him sing the Canadian or U.S. national anthems, or seen him dance to “La Bamba.” He was as passionate as they come. I have countless stories and so many fond memories of our time together and honestly, I could go on forever. But I will do my best to paint a picture of the man Joey was, and also of the impact he had on those around him.

When I first got to Edmonton, you could see it right away — the special bond that Joey had with the players and the other trainers, and how much they enjoyed his company. We had a young group and decided early on that we were going to include Joey in just about everything we did away from the rink. Andrew Cogliano, Tom Gilbert and myself were roommates and had an extra bedroom, so whenever we could we would invite Joey over for dinner, and then he would sleep over at our place. We would go bowling, watch wrestling (more on that later), listen to his James Bond Soundtrack CD driving around Edmonton, and have so much fun.

Spending time with Joey away from the rink turned out to be better for us than we could have ever imagined. The lessons he taught us about loyalty, about humility, and about having the proper perspective on the world, are things that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I developed such a special relationship with Joey — he even came along on one of the first dates I had with my wife! (She liked him as much as I did.)

Derek Leung/Getty Images

Joey was a huge fan of wrestling. He had every WWE DVD you could think of and was constantly making us watch them. Whenever the WWE came to town we were the first to get tickets, and we would just sit there as Joey would name off every wrestler and show us each of their signature moves. His favourite was John Cena’s “You Can’t See Me.” He would even get in on the action himself, and stage wrestling matches in the dressing room against anyone who would challenge him.

I remember one time Joey told us the WWE was coming to town so we said we had to get our tickets ASAP. It turned out that it was a live pay-per-view event at a local Cineplex theatre. We told Joey that we couldn’t go to that, that it would not be well attended and that the theatre would be empty. But true to form, Joey insisted, and when we showed up, there wasn’t a seat left in the place. I believe there were six of us, plus Joey, and the only place left for us to sit was on the stairs leading to the front row of the theatre. We thought Joey was going to be upset by that, but it couldn’t have been further from the truth. Being that close to the screen meant he didn’t miss any of the action — and the area in front of the screen gave him all the room he needed to run around and perform all of the wrestlers’ signature moves. It didn’t matter that there was a theatre full of people watching him. This was his passion and he was going to enjoy it.

We had a blast that day. We also learned so much from Joey.

When I was drafted by Edmonton, I thought of the Oilers’ dynasty years, the Stanley Cups they had won and the Hall of Fame players who had worn the jersey. Now, as I look back on my time there and think about what it means to be an Edmonton Oiler, I think about Joey Moss. He gave everything he had to the city of Edmonton and took so much pride in calling himself an Oiler. If my stall was unkempt, or my laundry bag was left out, I heard about it from Joey. If I came to the rink with my hair disheveled, I’d hear from Joey about how I must have brushed my hair with a pork chop.

The banter between Joey and the guys in that dressing room was what made playing in Edmonton so special. He really was the heart and soul of all of those teams. I had the best game of my career in February of 2012, and I received calls afterwards from Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey — which was incredibly special and something I’ll never forget. But the number one memory I have from that night, was being the last player at the rink with Joey and the other trainers. Joey went to the back fridge and grabbed a couple beers because he said he was proud of me and wanted to celebrate with me. That’s just the kind of person Joey was.

Courtesy of Sam Gagner

It brings me to tears now thinking about it.

I will always cherish everything about our relationship. The sleepover nights, the bowling alley, the wrestling matches, the banter back and forth, the way Joey would light up a room with his smile. Most of all, I’ll remember the way Joey made me feel. The way he made everyone feel.

When I remember Joey, I’ll think about how we believed all along that we were doing all these things to enrich his life….. but the truth is that he was enriching ours. Joey made everyone who spent time with him a better person. The fact that he had Down syndrome didn’t matter to him — and it didn’t matter to us, either. He was just one of the guys and that is what made him so special.

Every time I went back to Edmonton after I got traded to Arizona in 2014, Joey would be waiting for me in the visiting dressing room to say, “Miss me?” One of the reasons I was so happy last year when I got traded back to the Oilers was that I would get to spend more time around Joey and have him meet my kids. As they grow older, I plan on telling them all of the stories I have about Joey, and on using the lessons I learned from him to teach them what it means to live a full life.

So even though I am writing this with a heavy heart, the truth is that this should really be a celebration of everything Joey stood for: strength, passion, humour, loyalty and friendship.

Rest In Peace, Joey. Your legacy will live on forever.

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2020-21 start date moved back to Feb. 5 | TheAHL.com – American Hockey League

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO Scott Howson has announced that the league’s Board of Governors has approved moving the anticipated start date of the 2020-21 season to February 5, 2021, due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.

The AHL continues to work with its member clubs to monitor developments and local guidelines in all 31 league cities. Further details regarding the 2020-21 American Hockey League season are still to be determined.

In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.

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What Joey Moss and those in similar roles contribute to sports locker rooms – Sportsnet.ca

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One thing I’ve been blessed to see over the course of my life is how a circumstance of inclusion helps both parties, and to a degree few people seem to understand.

The life of Joey Moss makes everyone even tangentially related feel good, and so it should. So often when hearing his story, though, people consider the great life that hockey and football seem to have provided for him, while understating just how valuable his daily presence was to others. What most see is someone simply getting to spend time with a pro team, when a line from the piece Mark Spector wrote after Moss’s passing more accurately sums up the immediate relationships at play:

“In the heartless world that pro sports can be, Joey became the goat in the horse barn, putting an arm around a player that had just been released, assuring him better days lie ahead, and leaving an impression that no coach, GM or teammate possibly could.”

“The goat in the horse barn” is nothing but a compliment, as it’s a very real thing (seriously, google “comfort goats” — it’s amazing).

So let me frame what I’ve seen and learned given my somewhat-unique experience around those in roles like the ones Joey Moss held.

I’ve been in dressing rooms my whole life, first with my Dad’s teams and then in my own career both playing and coaching. It’s not at all uncommon for a team to employ a helper of sorts. These helpers maintain a variety of titles and duties depending on their age and capabilities, and almost all of whom are beloved if they have any run of time at all with the team. Some of these people are physically disabled, some intellectually; some are just kids, and some are seniors. But make no mistake: There’s a lot of work to be done to keep a pro hockey team clicking along at max capacity, and these are the people who help them get from 99 per cent to 100.

I also have a brother who’s active in the disability community and has been his whole life. Being from Kelowna, B.C. – a good-size town but not exactly a metropolis – meant that growing up I was a full-time member of wheelchair basketball teams, and a participant on numerous other wheelchair teams, given finding enough people between a reasonable age range with comparable limitations can be tough without a huge population to draw from.

I was around when the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL got my brother involved, and heard numerous stories of team experiences that have been provided to those within the disability community.

I’ve seen the benefits to both parties here in the immediate, from the person getting the opportunity (the value of the confidence and sense of purpose is immeasurable), to the team getting the help, both tangible and emotional.

It’s the value of that “emotional” part I don’t think many teams fully understand or even appreciate, given it’s rarely anywhere near the focus of often stressful in-season days.

It wasn’t until I took my role with the Marlies that I was really able to step back and process the true value someone like Joey Moss would’ve provided, and that’s because we had Pistol Pete Flagler. Sportsnet featured the Marlies’ locker-room attendant a couple years back:

You can follow Pistol on Instagram here.

Pete has a very real job working with the team, but he also moonlights in a kind of voluntary advisory role. One day Pete had me set up a laptop so he could go through the shifts of a Marlies centreman to help find him more ice time. He regularly campaigned to Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe for more opportunity for his favourite players, which included a group of … basically everyone who was nice to him, which was pretty much everyone (extra love here for Connor Brown, Justin Holl and Rich Clune). He even addressed the full team on multiple occasions, and when he did he could wipe away tension in a way no player or coach ever could.

He earned his jewelry:

Here’s the thing with a pro hockey locker room. With the exception of those who’ve made it to the highest level and have long-term deals and no-move clauses, almost every day and every interaction is vaguely competitive. It’s exhausting. The players are trying to climb past the players beside them with their performance on the ice.

But part of being put in good positions with linemates and ice time to do that means impressing upon staff on a daily basis that they deserve the best opportunities, which means for those more-unestablished players, even the most random conversations matter. Players aside, coaches have to juggle giving direction with keeping players happy, and how they do that is judged by the players and other around them. The evaluation rarely stops for anyone.

To go with that, every day exists in the shadow of the previous game. Players who underperformed are held to vaguely higher standards whether that’s spoken or not. There’s handwringing over team shortcomings. And if the team lost (or is generally losing a lot), the strain of each day becomes immense. Blame is just floating around, looking to land on the most inactive of the team members in the room.

Having someone like Pistol Pete, or Joey Moss, or anyone who exists somewhat outside that competitive ecosystem creates the opportunity for everyone to talk to without pressure. In the midst of the darkest times, there’s a ray of light. And if you’re ever so misfortunate as to be stuck in a cave at night, you’ll come to see just how much you can appreciate a single candle.

So while I know Joey and Pistol and their cohorts benefit from their roles, I know the players and staff benefit, too — and I don’t think either side realizes how much. When the medical staff has that ray of light around, that candle, they’re often put in better mental frames to do their job, and that trickles down to those they work on. The coaches benefit, the extended staff and management benefits — even if just in small amounts. But those small bits, for everyone, accumulated, can have a profound effect on a locker room. I believe the whole of the operation makes larger gains than any one person may feel them.

For those teams in development leagues, these relationships also provide younger players an opportunity to learn about compassion and kindness.

If there are teams out there not offering a role like this up to someone from their community, they’re missing out. Missing out on making someone’s life better, but also missing out on helping their team grow, both on the ice and off. Guys like Joey and Pistol Pete are proof of the impact that can be made in those jobs, and in turn, the positive effect that can be had on so many people.

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