Tag Archives: Connor McDavid

NHL players will be eliminated? This is the decline of things.

Jonathan Toews

Jonathan Toews

NHL players have competed in the past five Winter Olympics, dating to 1998. The 2018 Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, will be different. The league will not take a break next season to allow players to participate, as it has during recent Olympic seasons. But, even though NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in April that he considers “the matter officially closed,” confusion still surrounds the conversation — or perhaps it’s just fans holding out hope that they’ll see top players take the Olympic ice after all. Here’s a primer on where things stand and what’s at stake.

Wait, so NHL players really aren’t going?

Not with the league’s blessing. The NHL scheduled its 2018 All Star Game for Jan. 28 in Tampa, Florida — just two weeks before the Olympics begin, on Feb. 9; the last three times NHL players went to the Olympics (2006, 2010, 2014), there has not been an NHL midseason showcase. Then, in June, the league unveiled its 2017-18 regular-season schedule, with no Olympic break built in. It would be wholly unprecedented to re-arrange a schedule after it has been publicly released. The NHL is not going to budge.

What do the players have to say about it?

Some of the league’s biggest stars — Henrik Lundqvist, Connor McDavid, Alex Ovechkin, Carey Price, Jonathan Toews — have publicly expressed disappointment about not playing in the Olympics. As one veteran player agent told ESPN.com: “Good luck finding a player who thinks this is a good idea.” In April, the NHLPA called the decision “shortsighted,” adding that “NHL players are patriotic and they do not take this lightly. A decent respect for the opinions of the players matters. This is the NHL’s decision, and its alone. It is very unfortunate for the game, the players and millions of loyal hockey fans.”

Connor Mike David, Austen Matthews in the headlines of the awards show

Connor McDavid may get a chance to bring home the hardware.

 

It’s Awards Night in the NHL, as the league will honor the best of the best from the 2016-17 season. The Penguins finished the season as the league’s best team. But who were the top individual performers?

Hart Trophy

Nominees: Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Sergei Bobrovsky

The 20-year-old McDavid is trying to become the third player to win the Hart Trophy before his 21st birthday, along with Crosby and Wayne Gretzky (who won it twice).

Crosby, who led the NHL with 44 goals this season, is attempting to become the ninth player to win the Hart Trophy three times.

Bobrovsky winning would be highly notable. He led the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage. He’s trying to become the fourth goalie to win the Hart in the last 50 years, joining Dominik Hasek (twice), Jose Theodore and Carey Price.

Calder Trophy (Top rookie)

Nominees: Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, Zach Werenski

Matthews led all rookies with 40 goals and 69 points this season. He’s the first rookie to score 40 goals in a season since Alex Ovechkin in 2005-06. He can become the first Maple Leafs player to win the Calder since Brit Selby in 1965-66, the first American to win it since Tyler Myers in 2009-10 and the second player of Hispanic heritage to win, joining Scott Gomez (1999-2000).

Laine led rookies with an average of 0.88 points per game. He can become the first Finnish player to win a Calder since Teemu Selanne in 1992-93.

Werenski led all rookie defenseman with 11 goals and 47 points and hopes to become the second Blue Jackets player to win the Calder, joining Steve Mason (2008-09).

Vezina Trophy (Best goalie)

Nominees: Sergei Bobrovsky, Braden Holtby, Carey Price

The three finalsts have won three of the last four Vezina Trophys. Bobrovsky led the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage. Holtby tied for the NHL lead with 42 wins and led with nine shutouts. He can be the first back-to-back Vezina winner since Martin Brodeur (2006-07 and 2007-08). Price won the Vezina in 2014-15.

Norris Trophy (Best defenseman)

Nominees: Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson, Victor Hedman

Burns can become the first Sharks player to win the Norris. He led defensemen with 29 goals and 76 points. Per Elias, he is the second defenseman to have at least a share of the team lead in goals, assists and points in a season (Kevin Hatcher in 1990-91). Karlsson is trying to become the ninth player to win the Norris Trophy three times. Hedman led defenseman in assists and power-play points. He can become the first Lightning player to win the Norris.

Also up for grabs …

Selke Trophy (Best defensive forward)

Nominees: Patrice Bergeron (Bruins), Ryan Kesler (Ducks), Mikko Koivu (Wild)

Lady Byng Trophy (Most gentlemanly player)

Nominees: Johnny Gaudreau (Flames), Mikael Granlund (Wild), Vladimir Tarasenko (Blues)

NHL Foundation Player Award (Core values of hockey)

Nominees: Travis Hamonic (Islanders), Wayne Simmonds (Flyers)

Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award

Nominees: Nick Foligno (Blue Jackets), Ryan Getzlaf (Ducks), Mark Giordano (Flames)

Masterson Trophy (Perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey)

Nominees: Craig Anderson (Senators), Andrew Cogliano (Ducks), Derek Ryan (Hurricanes)

Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year)

Nominees: Mike Babcock (Maple Leafs), Todd McClellan (Sharks), John Tortorella (Blue Jackets)

GM Of The Year Award

Nominees: Peter Chiarelli (Oilers), Pierre Dorion (Senators), David Poile (Predators)