Happy 50th Super Mario and St. Patrick – which one would you take?

Mario Lemieux and Patrick Roy  (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)

Separated by only a couple of hours and about 150 miles, two of the greatest players of their generation were born on this day in 1965. So, Happy 50th Birthday to Mario Lemieux and Patrick Roy.

Google tells me that Andy Griffith and Marilyn Monroe were born on precisely the same day. So were Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. But the best parallel we can make for two people of bound by precisely the same birthday and excellence in the same craft are B.B. King and Charlie Byrd, who were a couple of pretty decent guitar players.

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Ekman-Larsson shooting to become best in Sweden and NHL

Ken Campbell
Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Before Oliver Ekman-Larsson can even think about being the best defenseman in the NHL, he has to be the best defenseman in his own country. Heck, he’s not even the best defenseman in his own blueline pairing for Sweden. But Larsson is shooting for the title, both literally and figuratively.

When Sweden chooses its World Cup team, it will have some vexing decisions to make on its defense corps, but one of them will not be whether or not to include Ekman-Larsson. And there’s probably a good chance that whoever coaches the team will not duplicate the actions of Par Marts, who sat Ekman-Larsson out for the entire semifinal of the Olympics in Sochi and for the first two periods of the gold medal game. After starting the tournament as Erik Karlsson’s defense partner, Ekman-Larsson played fewer than 24 minutes total in Sweden’s final four games in Sochi. Ekman-Larsson started the tournament strongly with Karlsson, but was a fixture on the bench when Alexander Edler returned from his two-game suspension to start the tournament.

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Flyers owner Snider recieves lifetime achievement award at Global Sports Summit

Jared Clinton
Ed Snider receives the lifetime achievement award from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman at the Global Sports Summit. (Evanta Ventures, LLC)

Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Global Sports Summit in Aspen, Colo., Monday evening.

Snider was presented the prize by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and received the award as an owner who, “has made a lasting contribution to their team, league, and community through their leadership and commitment over an extended period of ownership.” And an extended period it has been.

Snider, 82, has been the owner of the Flyers since they came into the league as an expansion team in 1967, and is the longest tenured owner in the NHL.

As the Flyers’ owner, Snider worked to construct the Philadelphia Spectrum, which played host to Philadelphia’s two Stanley Cup championship teams. In 1971, he became the owner of the Spectrum and, three years later, Snider created Spectacor, which would make way for the creation of Comcast SportsNet.

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2015 NHL Awards: Carey ‘Cash Money’ Price cleans up

Josh Elliott
Carey Price

It was another night of bad speeches, flat jokes and shiny trophies in Las Vegas, as Carey Price came out the big winner at the 2015 NHL Awards.

Actor Rob Riggle (that kinda funny guy from that comedy you kinda like) had the unenviable task of hosting, as joke after joke bombed in front of a mostly humourless audience.

That said, the most entertaining and merciful moment of the night came when Riggle and the house band interrupted Jamie Benn and his Art Ross Trophy speech that never was.

Commissioner Gary Bettman appeared on stage only briefly, to prod Jordan Leopold’s daughter, Jordyn, into reading that adorable “trade my dad” letter we shed a tear over a while back.

So yeah, the awards were about as entertaining as you’d expect. But it’s the winners we care about – not the speeches.

The big winners are listed below.

And while you peruse the list, don’t forget to check out our THN Awards to see which awards we nailed (and which ones we made up).
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The 2015 Hockey News Awards: (Insert Carey Price pun here)

Matt Larkin
Carey Price. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

It’s NHL awards season, and we at The Hockey News want to join the party…with a twist.

We’ve voted on similar honors to what the NHL hands out, from the most valuable player to the best goaltender. We’ve renamed the (virtual) hardware, though, and we’ve expanded the trophy case. Hate it when offensive defensemen win the Norris despite mediocre shutdown skills? No problem. We’ve given defensive D-men their own category. Same goes for the MVP-versus-best-player debate. All that and a few other custom categories highlight the 2015 THN awards.

Our system gives five points for a first-place vote, three for second place and one for third place. We only factor in regular-season play. Enjoy, and share your agreements and disagreements in the comment section.

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Duncan Keith: Today the Conn Smythe, tomorrow Hall of Fame

Duncan Keith  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – No matter who won the Stanley Cup this season, a defenseman was destined to win the Conn Smythe Trophy. It really was a matter of deciding between Duncan Keith and Victor Hedman. One of them got his day. The other will have his in the future.

That Keith deserved the playoff MVP award was beyond dispute. At least that’s the way the 18 members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association saw it. Keith received 18 first-place votes to win the award in a landslide.

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Allen Americans win ECHL championship with 6-1 Game 7 victory

Jared Clinton
ECHL Logo Featured

The Allen Americans had no interest in making Game 7 of the ECHL final a nail biter. Before the game was halfway through, Allen had stretched their lead to 4-0, including a pair of goals from Chad Costello. In the end, the Americans, the ECHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, walked away with their first Kelly Cup championship thanks to a 6-1 Game 7 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays.

Coming into the final series, the Americans were the favorites, considering all season they had dominated the Western Conference, finishing atop their half of the league with a 48-14-6 record. A big part of Allen’s regular season domination was their offense, which was the highest scoring in the entire league by nearly one dozen goals.

However, South Carolina made waves this season with a remarkable winning streak that stretched 23 games and put their name all over the league record books. Read more

Manchester Monarchs capture Calder Cup with 2-1 Game 5 victory

Jared Clinton
Manchester Monarchs captain Vincent LoVerde is handed the Calder Cup by commissioner David Andrews. (via LA Kings Insider)

The Manchester Monarchs, the Los Angeles Kings AHL affiliate, are Calder Cup champions. Manchester defeated the Utica Comets in five games, with the Cup-clinching victory coming on the back of two early goals scored little more than three minutes apart by Adrian Kempe and Vincent LoVerde.

The Monarchs, who were the regular season’s best team with a record 50-17-6-3 record, captured the Calder Cup in 19 games, never taking more than two losses in a single series. The closest the Monarchs came to dropping a series was in the first round against the Portland Pirates, where they emerged victorious from the best-of-five series 3-2. Read more