Sean Leahy

  • Blue Jacket's GM was set on taking Dubois over Puljujärvi at No. 3

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 11 hrs ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. – Plain and simple: Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen believed that Pierre-Luc Dubois was the best player available at No. 3.

    Most mock drafts heading into Friday’s Round 1 had the Blue Jackets taking Jesse Puljujärvi, right after Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine. But Kekalainen surprised everyone inside First Niagara Center with the pick.

    So is there something he knows that we don’t?

    “Well, there might be," he said. "But it’s not about negative things, it’s about his building our list and believing in our order of preference. Pierre-Luc Dubois was No. 3 on our list."

    Heading into Friday there was speculation that the Blue Jackets would look to move the pick. Kekalainen told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he would have been fine trading out of the three spot to move down if the right offer came along. It didn’t, and Dubois heard his name called by head of amateur scouting Ville Siren.

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  • Coyotes' Jakob Chychrun confident he can make NHL jump at 18

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 12 hrs ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. – Jakob Chychrun remembers the assignment he was given when his Sarnia Sting took on London Knights in an OHL clash during his first year in the league. He was tasked with slowing down Max Domi, the forward who would post 32 goals and 102 points that season.

    Fast forward two years later and Chychrun and Domi are potential future teammates after the Arizona Coyotes selected the defenseman with the 16th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

    Chychrun had to sit and watch 15 other names come off the board before the Coyotes, who debated picking him at No. 7, made a trade with the Detroit Red Wings to move up to that spot and select the Boca Raton, Florida native.

    “You have to really prepare for anything. That’s kind of what I was doing last night,” Chychrun said. “I was kind of preparing for anything that could happen. This was unbelievable. I really wanted to go to a team that wanted me and whenever a team trades up to get you it’s special.” 

    “It’s always been a goal of mine to play in the National Hockey League at 18,” he said. “I really believe if there’s anyone that can do it and is physically and mentally ready for it it’s me.”

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  • Blue Jackets give No. 3 pick Pierre-Luc Dubois birthday surprise

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. – Nearly 20 hours after he officially turned 18 years old, Pierre-Luc Dubois heard his name called during Round 1 of the NHL Draft.

    That part was expected. What shocked everyone inside First Niagara Center was when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman called the name of the 6’2, 205 lbs. forward out of Cape Breton.

    Most, if not all of the projections for Friday’s first round saw the Columbus Blue Jackets taking Jesse Puljujärvi with the No. 3 overall pick. Instead, it was Ville Siren, head of the team’s amateur scouting, calling Dubois’ name.

    “I was a little surprised, but it’s probably my best birthday I’ve ever had in my life. Pretty happy right now,” Dubois said.

    With rumors swirling around not only the Blue Jackets’ pick at No. 3 but also the Edmonton Oilers at No. 4, Dubois said it was impossible to avoid the scuttlebutt. He tried his best to avoid it all, but couldn’t help other people talking to him about what could happen around those selections.

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  • Capitals fill third line need with Lars Eller trade

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 15 hrs ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Moments after the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Auston Matthews with the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, the Montreal Canadiens added to the excitement by making a pair of deals.

    Along with acquiring Andrew Shaw from the Chicago Blackhawks, GM Marc Bergevin dealt away Lars Eller to the Washington Capitals for second-round picks in 2017 and 2018.

    Eller is signed for the next two seasons and carries a $3.5 million cap hit.

    Capitals GM Brian MacLellan has now delivered yet again on an off-season promise. Two years ago he wanted to improve his defense so he went out and signed Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen. Last summer, he wanted to upgrade at right wing so he picked up T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams. 

    For the Habs, moving out Eller's cap hit will now allow them to sign Shaw, currently an RFA, to a new deal.

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  • Puck Daddy's Unofficial 2016 NHL Draft Drinking Game

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 16 hrs ago

    There is little drama surrounding the top three picks as the NHL Draft opens up Friday with Round 1. Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi are expected to go to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blues Jackets, respectively, to kick things off.

    After that? Your guess is as good as ours.

    While you're keeping up with the action, your friends at Puck Daddy are back with another drinking game to improve your NHL Draft experience.

    Here's what you should look for today and tomorrow to help increase your beverage-to-hand ratio.

    ONE DRINK

    • Each time a team thanks the city of Buffalo for their hospitality.

    • Each time a team congratulates the Pittsburgh Penguins for winning the Stanley Cup.

    • Each time a team gives a shout out to their fans "back home at our Draft party".

    • When the bloodlines of a draftee are brought up. (And it will happen a lot this weekend.)

    • A conversation between two general managers is shown, upping the speculation.

    • A player hugs or kisses one of his parents after being selected.

    • Any team, GM or player is booed.

    TWO DRINKS

    CHUG

  • NHL Draft: 'High hockey IQ' could vault Logan Brown into top 10

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 20 hrs ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. – Logan Brown believes it’s unfair to criticize him for not being overly physical or a big, bruising power forward type despite his 6’6, 220 lbs. frame.

    “I take a little bit of offense to that. I’m 6’6 and a half, I’m not going to throw on a lot of muscle,” Brown said. “I might not have the legs that the little 5’9 waterbugs have, they’re flying around out there. They don’t get tired. I’m a big guy. It’s just going to take a little bit of time for me to get my legs under me.”

    Brown hit the gym more during the second half of this past season with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. The extra time there worked as the centerman ended the year second in scoring on the team with 21 goals and 74 points. The workouts have extended in the off-season after he hooked up with Ottawa Senators strength coach Chris Schwarz.

    “I really realized the effect that it has on my game and the way that it helps me,” he said.

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  • Jakob Chychrun prepared for pro transition thanks to hockey pedigree

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 21 hrs ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. – Jakob Chychrun is at peace with the fact that he may not be taken where he believes he should go in this weekend’s NHL Draft. 

    A projected first-round pick, the 6-2, 205 lbs. defenseman slipped from the No. 2 to No. 4 North American skater in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings. A knock like that used to bother Chychrun, but not any more.

    After undergoing shoulder surgery at the end of his first OHL season in 2014-15, Chychrun bounced back with 11 goals and 49 points in 62 games, helping the Sarnia Sting to a division title.

    Chychrun enters this year’s NHL Draft with a hockey pedigree. His dad, Jeff, played 262 games in the league. His uncle, Luke Richardson, racked up 1,417 games in The Show. His best friend’s father, Jeff Brown, suited up 747 times with seven NHL teams.

    It’s safe to say Chychrun is fully prepared to make this transition from junior hockey to pro with all the resources he’s been surrounded with. It also helps that his dad was a fellow bruising defenseman back in his day.

    What will the team who does select Chychrun get? This is what he says:

    After all those years, their dreams are about to become a reality.

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  • No surgery for Malkin; Lucic to market; Obama calls Sullivan (Puck Headlines)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com.

    • What do you think of the new North Dakota Fighting Hawks logo? [USCHO]

    • The next 48 hours could be big ones in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s pursuit in re-signing Steven Stamkos. [TSN]

    • Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins will not require surgery on his elbow and will be ready for the start of next season. [Penguins]

    • Milan Lucic will head to market after failing to work out an extension with the Los Angeles Kings. [LA Kings Insider

    • Finally, here’s Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan getting the congratulatory call from President Obama:

  • How Braden Holtby won the 2016 Vezina Trophy

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    Braden Holtby is your winner of the 2016 Vezina Trophy award in a landslide over Ben Bishop and Jonathan Quick.

    Here’s why Holtby took home the award, via the NHL: 

    Holtby equaled a single-season NHL record with 48 wins, tying the mark set by New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur in 2006-07, to backstop the Capitals to the 2015-16 Presidents’ Trophy as the League’s top regular-season club. Holtby, who tied a franchise record with 41 victories in 2014-15, became the seventh goaltender in NHL history to record consecutive 40-win seasons – and the first to do since San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov from 2007-09 (3x). The first-time Vezina finalist ranked fifth in the NHL in goals-against average (2.20), sixth in saves (1,661) and eighth in save percentage (.922).

    Here’s how the GMs voted:

    Pts. (1st-2nd-3rd) 1. Braden Holtby, WSH 140 (26-3-1) 2. Ben Bishop, TBL 51 (2-12-5) 3. Jonathan Quick, LAK 36 (1-8-7) 4. Roberto Luongo, FLA 14 (0-3-5) 5. Corey Crawford, CHI 10 (1-1-2) 6. Cory Schneider, NJD 10 (0-1-7) 7. John Gibson, ANA 3 (0-1-0) Martin Jones, SJS 3 (0-1-0) 9. Brian Elliott, STL 3 (0-0-3)

    Holtby is the third Capitals netminder to win the award, joining Jim Carey and Olaf Kolzig. 

  • Barry Trotz takes home 2016 Jack Adams Award

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 2 days ago

    The third time was the charm for Barry Trotz as he was named the winner of the 2016 Jack Adams Award Wednesday night at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

    "I think to me I’ve always been about team and when you do win it, anything you win in this league – there’s individual trophies and all that but you need everybody around you," Trotz said. "To me winning a Jack Adams Award is really a representation of a great staff you put together. The players buy in – management and ownership putting a good team in your hands to handle and making it try to work." 

    Here's why the Washington Capitals' head coach deserved the win, via the NHL:

    Trotz guided the Capitals (56-18-8, 120 points) to the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top regular-season club, setting franchise records for total wins and road wins (27). Their 120 points and 29 home wins were just one shy of club records. The Capitals were dominant at both ends of the ice, placing second in team offense (3.02 G/G) and team defense (2.33 GA/G). They also ranked among the League leaders in special teams (5th on the power play, 21.9%, and 2nd in penalty killing, 85.2%).

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