The five undrafted players making the biggest impact in the NHL

Tyler Johnson

For the better part of two seasons, when it comes to prospects the consistent names have been Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. Both players stand to be NHL superstars and will almost undoubtedly go first and second overall in some order.

McDavid and Eichel are the type of players teams wait for – the type of player that you “build through the draft” with. But for nearly every team in the league, there’s a selection of undrafted talent that carries some of the load. In certain instances, they’re key cogs. In others, they’re depth players who contribute in ways you can’t find on the score sheet.

For the purposes of cutting out the established NHLers like Martin St-Louis and Mark Giordano, this list of the best undrafted players in the league today are the young guns that have broken into the NHL by unconventional means in the last five seasons: Read more

New AHL overtime rules letting hockey, not shootouts, decide games

Stu Hackel
Hershey Bears Hockey

Shootouts: Some hate them, others love them. But in recent seasons — with well over half the games that go beyond regulation also going to the skills competition — GMs started lamenting that too few contests were decided by actually playing hockey.

It’s been four years since Red Wings GM Ken Holland first proposed a longer overtime, one that would add a short 3-on-3 session if no one scored in the 4-on-4 OT. But he’s never been able to muster enough support among his fellow GMs for that change. Read more

Red Wings legend Gordie Howe recovering at “a remarkable rate”

Adam Proteau
Gordie Howe (Getty Images)

All-time hockey great Gordie Howe is already on the rebound from a serious stroke he suffered in late October – recovering at what his family in a Tuesday statement called “a remarkable rate” after initially losing strength and mobility on his right side.

“(O)ver the past week Mr. Hockey has been recovering at a remarkable rate, including his speech, and his ability to walk with the assistance of a walker,” the Howe family said in the statement. “Much work lies ahead, and we would like to thank friends and fans worldwide for their prayers and incredible outpouring of support.” Read more

Rumor Roundup: Hurricanes GM Francis looking for trade partners

Jordan & Eric Staal (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

After going winless in October, the Carolina Hurricanes opened November with their first two victories of the season, downing the hapless Arizona Coyotes and the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. This recent bout of success, however, won’t stem the growing tide of trade speculation dogging the Hurricanes this season.

ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports Hurricanes GM Ron Francis is getting phone calls from other clubs interested in making deals with him. Francis claims none of them are willing to make a hockey trade which that makes sense for his club, as they’re attempting to dump bad contracts upon the Hurricanes. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Defensemen at a premium in trade market

Tyler Myers

SI.com columnist Allan Muir observes it was around this time a year ago the first significant trades of 2013-14 took place, most notably the Buffalo Sabres shipping Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders for Matt Moulson and two draft picks. Muir, Sarah Kwak and Brian Cazeneuve speculated about which NHL teams could be the first to swing a significant trade this season.

Cazeneuve notes “a lot of teams” would love to land Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers. Though he doesn’t recommend it, he believes moving Myers could fetch a return to address several areas on the Sabres requiring short-term help. Kwak points out injuries to the respective defense corps of the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers could force them into the trade market, though the market is currently thin for blueliners. Read more

Marian Hossa hits 1,000 points, but is he a Hall of Famer?

Chicago Blackhawk Marian Hossa scores on the wraparound

When Marian Hossa scored the 1,000th point of his career Thursday night, my first inclination was to put him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. After all, he already has two Stanley Cups (and possibly more to come) and he’s one of the best two-way players of his era.

Good enough for me. But then again, the Hall of Fame should be for the truly special players, not just the very good ones. And that’s where the decision around Hossa becomes a little more vexing.

Is Hossa a very good player, or truly a great player? As THN senior editor and Hall of Fame expert Brian Costello points out, 1,000 points is now more of a milestone than a Hall of Fame barometer. And there are currently 19 Hall of Fame eligible players who scored 1,000 points during their careers and who are not in the hall. With 466 career goals so far, Hossa is a shoo-in for the 500 mark and that’s where it starts to get a little more interesting. There are only seven players who have scored 500 who are eligible for the Hall of Fame and are not in there. Read more

Brutally blown calls make it clear: it’s time to expand NHL video replay

Adam Proteau
NHL referees Mike Leggo and Ian Walsh, and linesman Greg Devorski (Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

The phrase “the straw that broke the camel’s back” is tossed around too often, but when it comes to expanded video review in the NHL, the goalie interference call assessed to Detroit’s Luke Glendening Wednesday night certainly qualifies. Thankfully, the spectacular botch job didn’t decide the game’s outcome, but the fact a call this bad could be agreed on between two referees should be deeply disconcerting to league officials and every team in the league.

The reality is the game’s speed makes it tougher than ever to assess the action, and when one of the referees goes down to injury as can occur, it makes expanded replay even more vital. And imagine what would happen if a similarly awful penalty/rescinded goal materialized in the final game of the regular season and the result of that game meant the difference between a team making or missing the playoffs. Imagine if a call like that went down during the playoffs – say, in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final – and there were no option for the officials to skate over to the penalty box area, check a video monitor for a few brief minutes and make sure they got the call right. Fans and media of the team on the wrong end of such a predicament would go apoplectic, and rightfully so; any league unwilling to utilize technology readily available to assure the integrity of its game is a league painfully out of touch with what fans demand in return for their investments of time, money and emotion.

If it ever got to that point, the NHL would need to hold an IPO to raise its stock to laughing status. Read more