Sam McCaig

  • Backdraft 2007: Ranking the forwards, defensemen & goalies from the 2007 NHL draft

    Sam McCaig at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    Take a look back at the 2007 NHL draft: We've ranked the top 10 forwards and top 10 defensemen by career NHL points and goalies by career NHL wins.

    FORWARDS: Here are the top 10 highest-scoring forwards selected in the 2007 NHL draft, with draft position and NHL games played:

    NOTES:

    --It's hard to argue with Patrick Kane as the No. 1 pick, but how did Jamie Benn fall to 129th overall?

    --Kane leads all 2007-drafted players in NHL games (658), goals (251), assists (412) and points (663). And, not to mention, Stanley Cups (three).

    --Seven forwards were drafted in the top 10 in 2007, and six of them rank among the top 10 highest-scoring forwards. The outlier is Zach Hamill, selected eighth overall by the Boston Bruins, who had four assists in 20 career NHL games.

    DEFENSEMEN: Here are the top 10 highest-scoring defensemen selected in the 2007 NHL draft, with draft position and NHL games played: 

     NOTES:

    --P.K. Subban, the 17th defenseman selected and the 43rd overall pick, leads all 2007-drafted blueliners with 278 points in 434 games.

    NOTES:

    More in the 'Backdraft' series:

  • Backdraft 2006: Ranking the forwards, defensemen & goalies from the 2006 NHL draft

    Sam McCaig at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    Take a look back at the 2006 NHL draft: We've ranked the top 10 forwards and top 10 defensemen by career NHL points and goalies by career NHL wins.

    FORWARDS: Here are the top 10 highest-scoring forwards selected in the 2006 NHL draft, with draft position and NHL games played:

    NOTES:

    --The oft-overlooked Nicklas Backstrom leads the scoring race among forwards drafted in 2006. The Washington Capitals center, who has spent most of his NHL career on a line with Alex Ovechkin, has amassed 477 assists in 652 games -- over 100 helpers more than the second-best playmaker (Claude Giroux, 351 assists).

    --Phil Kessel, with 273 goals in 750 NHL games, leads all 2006-drafted players in both categories.

    --Milan Lucic, selected in the second round (50th overall) by the Boston Bruins, is the only non-first-round pick to crack the top 10 in scoring among 2006-drafted forwards. It was a good draft for the Bruins: they took Kessel fifth overall, Lucic 50th and Brad Marchand 71st (Marchand sits 11th in scoring among forwards drafted in 2006, with 288 points in 454 games).

     NOTES:

    NOTES:

    --No goalie has been drafted higher than Bernier (11th overall) since 2006.

    More in the 'Backdraft' series:

  • Backdraft 2005: Ranking the forwards, defensemen & goalies from the 2005 NHL draft

    Sam McCaig at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    Take a look back at the 2005 NHL draft: We've ranked the top 10 forwards and top 10 defensemen by career NHL points and goalies by career NHL wins.

    FORWARDS: Here are the top 10 highest-scoring forwards selected in the 2005 NHL draft, with draft position and NHL games played:

    NOTES:

    --Sidney Crosby, first overall: In hindsight, the Pittsburgh Penguins chose wisely.

    --Anze Kopitar, the first Slovenian player to appear in the NHL, has clearly emerged as the second-best forward from the 2005 NHL draft. And, in all likelihood, the best Slovenian forward for a long, long time.

    --Patric Hornqvist was Mr. Irrelevant in 2005, the last overall pick in the draft at No. 230 by the Nashville Predators. Also notable: Hornqvist was later traded to the Penguins for James Neal, the 33rd overall pick in 2005.

    DEFENSEMEN: Here are the top 10 highest-scoring defensemen selected in the 2005 NHL draft, with draft position and NHL games played: 

     NOTES:

    --Kris Letang, 62nd overall: In hindsight, the Pittsburgh Penguins chose wisely.

    NOTES:

    More in the 'Backdraft' series:

  • Backdraft 2004: Ranking the forwards, defensemen & goalies from the 2004 NHL draft

    Sam McCaig at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    Take a look back at the 2004 NHL draft: We've ranked the top 10 forwards and top 10 defensemen by career NHL points and goalies by career NHL wins.

    FORWARDS: Here are the top 10 highest-scoring forwards selected in the 2004 NHL draft, with draft position and NHL games played:

    NOTES:

    --Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin went first and second overall, and deservedly so. Ovechkin has 200 points more than Malkin -- and nearly 500 points more than David Krejci, the third-most productive player drafted in 2004. Here's something even more striking: with 525 goals, Ovechkin leads Malkin (295 goals) by more than 200 and third-place Andrew Ladd (210 goals) by more than 300. Malkin does lead Ovechkin in one categoy: the Penguins superstar's career points-per-game average (1.18) is slightly ahead of the Capitals superstar's career PPG (1.15).

    --Ladd and Blake Wheeler, the fourth and fifth overall picks, rank fourth and fifth in points among forwards drafted in 2004. They were also teammates on the Winnipeg Jets for several seasons before Ladd was traded at the deadline last March.

     NOTES:

    NOTES:

    More in the 'Backdraft' series:

  • Backdraft 2003: Ranking the forwards, defensemen & goalies from the 2003 NHL draft

    Sam McCaig at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    Take a look back at the 2003 NHL draft: We've ranked the top 10 forwards and top 10 defensemen by career NHL points and goalies by career NHL wins.

    FORWARDS: Here are the top 10 highest-scoring forwards selected in the 2003 NHL draft, with draft position and NHL games played:

    NOTES:

    --The 2003 NHL draft was one of the most productive in history, with every first-round pick making it to the NHL -- even Hugh Jessiman, the 12th overall selection by the New York Rangers who finally got into two big-league games with the Florida Panthers in 2011. Twenty-eight of the 30 players drafted in the first round have played at least three seasons in the NHL, and 22 of them have played at least 500 NHL games.

    --To repeat: The 2003 NHL draft was one of the most productive in history -- just ask the Anaheim Ducks, who plucked first-line center Ryan Getzlaf 19th overall and then grabbed first-line right winger Corey Perry 28th overall. Getzlaf and Perry rank second and third in points among players drafted in 2003, trailing only No. 2 overall pick Eric Staal.

    DEFENSEMEN: Here are the top 10 highest-scoring defensemen selected in the 2003 NHL draft, with draft position and NHL games played: 

  • Backdraft 2002: Ranking the forwards, defensemen & goalies from the 2002 NHL draft

    Sam McCaig at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    Take a look back at the 2002 NHL draft: We've ranked the top 10 forwards and top 10 defensemen by career NHL points and goalies by career NHL wins.

    FORWARDS: Here are the top 10 highest-scoring forwards selected in the 2002 NHL draft, with draft position and NHL games played:

    NOTES:

    --Rick Nash, taken first overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets, has scored over 150 goals and 200 points more than anyone else in the 2002 NHL draft.

    --The Detroit Red Wings didn't have a pick until the 58th overall selection, but they managed to draft three of the 11 highest-scoring forwards: Jiri Hudler (58th overall, fifth in points among forwards drafted in 2002), Valtteri Filppula (95th overall, sixth in points among forwards drafted in 2002) and Tomas Fleischmann (63rd overall, 11th in points [335] among forwards drafted in 2002).

    --Petr Taticek, drafted ninth overall by the Florida Panthers, is the only player among the first 14 picks to play fewer than 480 NHL games. Taticek skated in three NHL games with Florida during the 2005-06 season. Center Jesse Niinimaki, drafted 15th overall by the Edmonton Oilers, is the highest-picked player who never saw the NHL.

     NOTES:

    NOTES:

  • Backdraft 2001: Ranking the forwards, defensemen & goalies from the 2001 NHL draft

    Sam McCaig at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago

    Take a look back at the 2001 NHL draft: We've ranked the top 10 forwards and top 10 defensemen by career NHL points and goalies by career NHL wins.

    FORWARDS: Here are the top 10 highest-scoring forwards selected in the 2001 NHL draft, with draft position and NHL games played:

    NOTES:

    --Ilya Kovalchuk and Jason Spezza, the top two picks in the 2001 draft, sit first and second in career NHL points. Kovalchuk, who hasn't played in North America since leaving the NHL to return to Russia after the 2012-13 season, scored 816 points in 816 NHL games.

    --A total of 18 forwards were among the 30 first-round picks in 2001, with 16 of them going on to play in the NHL. The two who failed to play an NHL game are Jens Karlsson, picked 18th overall by the Los Angeles Kings, and Adrian Foster, drafted 28th by the New Jersey Devils.

    --Stepehn Weiss, selected fourth overall, ranks 11th among forwards drafted in 2001 with 423 points in 732 NHL games.

    DEFENSEMEN: Here are the top 10 highest-scoring defensemen selected in the 2001 NHL draft, with draft position and NHL games played: 

     NOTES:

    --Dan Hamhuis leads all players drafted in 2001 with 872 NHL games played.

    NOTES:

  • Backdraft 2000: Ranking the forwards, defensemen & goalies from the 2000 NHL draft

    Sam McCaig at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago

    Take a look back at the 2000 NHL draft: We've ranked the top 10 forwards and top 10 defensemen by career NHL points and goalies by career NHL wins.

    FORWARDS: Here are the top 10 highest-scoring forwards selected in the 2000 NHL draft, with draft position and NHL games played:

    NOTES:

    --Seven of the 10 highest-scoring forwards drafted in 2000 were first-rounders. The top two forwards picked, Dany Heatley and Marian Gaborik, have been the most productive, with Heatley leading the way even though he hasn't registered an NHL point in two years.

    --The first round featured 21 forwards among the 30 selections, and 20 of those forwards made it to the NHL for at least a cup of coffee (and 14 have played more than 100 NHL games). Artem Kryukov, drafted by Buffalo 15th overall, is the lone first-round forward who never made it to the bigs.

    --Scott Hartnell leads all players picked in the 2000 draft with 1,109 NHL games played.

    DEFENSEMEN: Here are the top 10 highest-scoring defensemen selected in the 2000 NHL draft, with draft position and NHL games played: 

     NOTES:

    NOTES:

  • NHL Free Agency Leftovers: First & Second All-Star Teams

    Sam McCaig at Yahoo Sports 19 days ago

    The big names didn't last long when the bell rang on NHL free agency on July 1. Here's a look at the best of the rest of the league's unrestricted free agents. (Note: We didn't include Arizona Coyotes lifer Shane Doan or New Jersey Devils lifer Patrik Elias on the assumption that if they return for another season in 2016-17, it will be with the only NHL team they've ever known.)

    UFA ALL-LEFTOVERS FIRST ALL-STAR TEAM

    Forward: Jiri Hudler (2015-16: 16 goals and 46 points in 72 games with Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers) After scoring 31 goals and 76 points in 78 games with the Flames in 2014-15, Hudler's production dropped dramatically last season. But he did put up six goals and 11 points in 19 games with Florida after being traded at the deadline, demonstrating his ability to deliver as a top-liner on a playoff contender.

    Forward: Brandon Pirri (2015-16: 14 goals and 29 points in 61 games with Florida Panthers and Anaheim Ducks) He's 25 years old and has produced 49 goals and 80 points in 166 career NHL games, including 22 goals (and, uh, two assists) in 49 games in 2014-15. He has to prove he can stay healthy and consistently contribute offensively.

  • The 10 most unbreakable Stanley Cup Final records

    Sam McCaig at Yahoo Sports 1 mth ago

    Records are made to be broken. Except for these ones, which will stand forever:

    1. Most consecutive years in the Cup final: 10 (Montreal Canadiens, 1951-60 inclusive)

    When you’ve won the Stanley Cup 24 times like the Habs have, you’re no stranger to the NHL’s championship round (even if, say, you haven’t been there since 1993). But 10 straight appearances in the Cup final? That’s ridiculous, regardless of the “there were only six teams in the league” reality. It should be noted the Canadiens lost in the final four of the first five years, then captured an NHL-record five straight Cups thanks to Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Doug Harvey & Co.

    2. Most consecutive wins in the Cup final: 10 (Montreal Canadiens, 1976 through 1978)

    3. Shortest overtime in the Cup final: 9 seconds (Montreal Canadiens 3 at Calgary Flames 2 in Game 2, May 18, 1986)

    4. Most overtime wins in one series: 4 (Toronto Maple Leafs, 1951)

    5. Most penalty minutes by two teams in one series: 511 (Calgary Flames [256] vs. Montreal Canadiens [255] in 1986)

    6. Most career shutouts in the Cup final: 8 (Clint Benedict, Ottawa Senators [one in 1920, two in 1921, one in 1923], Montreal Maroons [three in 1926, one in 1928])