- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs finished with the worst record in the NHL and the League’s lowest point total. This was, of course, by design, as team decided to rid itself of veteran players in attempt to tank the season for a high draft pick.
“We explained to our fans beforehand that we were going to move some players, move some contracts, and we were going to struggle a bit,” explained team president Brendan Shanahan.
It was a tank, and the majority of Maple Leafs fans were behind it, even with the acknowledgement that literally nothing ever goes right for the franchise and neither would the draft lottery. In fact, the new NHL Draft Lottery rules made it more difficult than ever for the worst team in the draft to secure the first overall pick.
“It wasn’t, in my mind, the best year to have three separate lotteries,” Shanahan said. “But the rules were the rules, and there were no complaints on our part.”
So the NHL Draft Lottery commenced on Saturday night before the Washington Capitals’ Game 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. One by one, the teams with low odds were told they didn’t hit the lottery. The Winnipeg Jets, slated to pick sixth, moved up to the top three.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
The Pittsburgh Penguins have been dealt a devastating blow on defense at the hands of Brooks Orpik.
Orpik, in his second playoff game since returning from an upper-body injury, delivered a predatory head shot on Penguins' defenseman Olli Maatta. The Washington Capitals d-man made contact with Maatta's head using his elbow/forearm at high speed.
As the video shows, Maatta passes the puck and continues to watch the play in front of the Washington Capitals net. W ell after the puck had left Maatta's stick, Orpik's gaze did not leave the young defenseman as he ramped up for the hit.
Maatta had no idea what was about to strike him as Orpik lunged with full force into Maatta, making contact with his head. The Penguin dropped like a rock to the ice.
Orpik was assessed a two-minute minor penalty for interference and remained in the game.
As for Maatta, that was his second shift of the game. He was helped off the ice by teammates, and was clearly dazed. The Penguins insider account Tweeted there would be no update on Maatta until after his game, insinuating his return is unlikely.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
None of the Canadian teams made it into the playoffs, but in the end, Canada still won.
The Toronto Maple Leafs had the highest odds of winning the first overall spot, and this time the Edmonton Oilers didn't screw everything up. The Leafs will select first, and are likely take good American boy, Auston Matthews.
In the revamped version of the draft, the first three spots were drawn. The remaining two spots went to lottery winners: the Winnipeg Jets, who moved up from sixth to second, and the Columbus Blue Jackets who moved up from fourth to third.
Take a look at the odds of each team landing their spot and where they ended up:
Not sure how this all happened? Here's the NHL's explanation of the selection process overall:
The 2016 NHL Draft Lottery will assign the top three drafting slots in the first round of the NHL Draft – an expansion over previous years, when the Draft Lottery was used to determine the winner of the first overall selection only.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
It’s Christmas morning in Canada, as the NHL Draft Lottery finally arrives.
We broke down which teams most deserved to win the lottery, which basically means everyone but Edmonton. We’ll be live-chatting the Draft Lottery beginning at 7:45 p.m., with the draft going off around 8:05 p.m. on NBC (the real one, not the cable one) and CBC in Canada.
Join us for all the shock, awe, laughs and Hamburger Women!
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
When one breaks a limb, one gets a cast. Usually that cast gets covered with illegible scribbles from friends, as we all realize that Sharpies aren’t exactly made for writing on plaster.
But when one hockey player recently broke their leg during play – getting their foot stick between the boards and the ice, snapping it when attempting to clear the puck – their cousin decided to properly decorate the cast: as a Washington Capitals-influenced hockey skate.
If you're wondering about the buttom of the cast, "It is indeed a piece of rubber that the doctor attached to the cast so I could walk on it after about four weeks," said the player, via Reddit.
This is pretty awesome, ahem, breaking news.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
ANAHEIM, Calif. – The focus for defenseman Hampus Lindholm is on the ice. Ask him a question about his contract and the pending restricted free agent points to controlling only what he can control.
“At the end of the day I just want to play hockey,” Lindholm said. “Whenever (a new contract) happens it’s going to happen. It’s not something I’m thinking about right now. Whenever that conversation starts I’ll deal with that then.”
One day after Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray indicated he doesn’t want to be as liberal as before in giving out long-term contracts or no-trade clauses to his pending restricted free agents, Lindholm still believes everything will work out and he’ll get the contract he deserves.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
Ben Bishop was pulled in Game 1 of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s series against the New York Islanders. Which was sort of embarrassing on several levels, since it was also a day on which he was nominated for the Vezina Trophy.
But here’s what happens when Ben Bishop gets pulled: His team usually wins the next game. And the Lightning bounced back to take Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series, 4-1, over the Islanders.
“It’s a team thing. The guys played really well in front of me,” said Bishop, who improved to 12-3-1 after being pulled. “We just wanted to get pucks deep. Last game, we had too many turnovers, fed their transition."
It was Tampa Bay’s transition game that fed the first goal, led by a reunited Triplets Line.
It was set up by defenseman Victor Hedman thanks in part to having Cal Clutterbuck and Nick Leddy collide in the neutral zone. Ondrej Palat easily fed a puck to Tyler Johnson, with Matt Martin forced to play defense, and he converted for the 1-0 lead at 6:03 of the first period.
Full marks to Nikita Kucherov, who forced the turnover that forced the Islanders to collide.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Frederik Andersen knows he’s an NHL level No. 1 goaltender. Not only has he proven himself as an everyday starter during the regular season, in the playoffs he’s taken the Anaheim Ducks to Game 7 of the Western Conference Final.
“Of course, you want to play. That's the bottom line. You want to be in net. When you know you can play, you want to be in net,” Andersen said.
For most teams re-signing him as a restricted free agent in the offseason would be a no-brainer. But the Ducks have a bit of a different situation with their goaltenders. John Gibson was re-signed last September for the manageable salary cap hit number of $2.3 million per-season over the next three years.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
The NHL announced Saturday that Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar, Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson and Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov were finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy, given annually “ to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association voted for the award.
So which one of these guys will win the Byng?
Why Aleksander Barkov deserves The Lady Byng
From the NHL:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
The 2016 NHL Draft Lottery, a.k.a. Canada’s Stanley Cup Final, is scheduled for Saturday night.
Please keep in mind that the lottery rules have changed, and that the worst team in the regular season is no longer guaranteed at least the second overall pick. The Toronto Maple Leafs could drop as low as fourth, which would be so very LOLeafs.
There are three draws: the first drawing will determine the club selecting first overall, the second drawing will determine the club selecting second overall and the third drawing will determine the club selecting third overall.
Once a club is assigned a pick through the Draft Lottery Drawing, it is ineligible for further participation in the Drawing; there will be a re-draw for any pick that otherwise would be assigned to a team that already has been selected.
Everyone got that?
So which teams deserve to select first overall? Here’s a look at the lottery field this year. (Please keep in mind that we’re going with Auston Matthews as the first overall pick, although Patrik Laine could easily end up No. 1 overall here.)
And here … we … go.
14. Boston Bruins
Lottery Odds: 1%