Kopitar, Datsyuk and Hudler named finalists for Lady Byng

Pavel Datsyuk  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

At the NHL awards in June, Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar and Calgary’s Jiri Hudler will stand in the way of Pavel Datsyuk tying one of Wayne Gretzky’s marks.

The NHL announced Tuesday that Kopitar, Hudler and Datsyuk have been selected as finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy, the award given to the league’s most gentlemanly player. Datsyuk, who has already captured the award four times in his career, hasn’t won since taking home the trophy for the fourth consecutive year in 2008-09. If he takes home the Lady Byng for 2014-15, it will tie him with Wayne Gretzky with five wins and leave him two back of New York Rangers legend Frank Boucher, who won seven times. Read more

Hi, my name is Ken…and I’m addicted to the draft lottery simulator

Connor McDavid (Photo by Ken Andersen/Getty Images)

Spoiler alert: The Buffalo Sabres will win tonight’s NHL draft lottery with the numbers 11, 5, 6 and 7. Your trusty correspondent knows this because he went to this really cool website that simulates the NHL draft lottery and it told him so.

Then he did it 99 more times because, like a certain potato chip, you can’t do it only once. The website, http://nhllotterysimulator.com/#/official, took on a new life on Friday when the NHL made public the lottery number combinations for each of the 14 teams in the event. Suddenly, fans everywhere could, with the click of a keyboard, determine where Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel will end up next season. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Kari Lehtonen for Jimmy Howard or Cam Ward?

Kari Lehtonen (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

Heading into the off-season, Dallas Stars management face a difficult decision regarding the state of their goaltending. Depth between the pipes was a serious issue, as the Stars failed to find a suitable backup for struggling starter Kari Lehtonen. As a result, they finished the season 27th in goals against.

In a recent chat with Stars fans, the Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News speculated over Lehtonen’s future. While acknowledging the 31-year-old is a “35-win, .917 goalie” who would be difficult to part with, Heika is wavering on whether Lehtonen can regain his form with the Stars.

Heika’s concern is understandable. While Lehtonen won 34 games for the Stars, his goals-against average (2.94) and save percentage (.903) was among the worst for NHL starting goalies. It didn’t help that Lehtonen’s backups (Jhonas Enroth, Anders Lindback and Jussi Rynnas) fared little better, though Enroth improved in his final games of the season.

Perhaps Lehtonen would benefit from a fresh start, but moving him won’t be easy. In addition to his woeful stats, he’s got three years left on his contract at an annual cap hit of $5.9 million. He also has a no-trade clause, though that becomes a limited one starting in 2015-16. Heika wonders if the Detroit Red Wings would be interested in a swap of Jimmy Howard or if Carolina would want to trade Cam Ward straight up for Lehtonen. Read more

Los Angeles Kings’ Jarret Stoll arrested on suspicion of drug possession: report

Josh Elliott
Jarret Stoll

Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll has been arrested for alleged drug possession, police told CBS Los Angeles.

Stoll was arrested at a resort pool in Las Vegas on suspicion of possession of cocaine and ecstasy.

The Kings have issued a statement acknowledging the situation.

“Our organization is concerned and has begun conducting a thorough investigation,” the statement said. “While we continue to actively gather facts, we are withholding further comment at this time.”

Stoll, 32, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer after seven seasons with the Kings, including two Stanley Cup wins.

He is coming off a three-year, $9.75-million deal.

Stoll registered six goals, 17 points and 58 penalty minutes in 73 games this season.

Draft lottery odds: the most likely outcome for your team

Connor McDavid (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

It’s amazing how things will change by Saturday night. Connor McDavid will know which NHL team he will belong to. The McDavid parents will know in which city their son’s adult life will begin to unfold and flourish. Vendors will go crazy preparing McDavid jerseys, signs and apparel.

(And make no mistake, McDavid will be the first overall selection in the June 26-27 NHL draft in Sunrise, Florida. There will be zero drama with that pick.)

The NHL’s draft lottery will be televised Saturday night at 8 pm. The proceedings will begin about 7:30, but the drawing of lottery balls will take place about a half hour later. McDavid’s most likely destination is a city other than Buffalo, but Buffalo has the best odds of all the 14 non-playoff teams. Here’s how it works.

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Robyn Regehr officially announces retirement after 15 seasons

Jared Clinton
Robyn Regehr

After a 15-year NHL career, blueliner Robyn Regehr has decided it’s time for him to hang up his skates.

With the Los Angeles Kings’ season ending and Regehr, 34, having suited up for nearly 1,100 regular season contests, he has decided to walk away from the game. Rumblings had surfaced following the Kings’ 4-1 victory Saturday over the San Jose Sharks that it would be Regehr’s final outing in the league, but it was made all the more official Monday evening when Los Angeles announced that it was indeed Regehr’s final game. Read more

Brendan Shanahan provides huge breath of fresh air

Ken Campbell
Brendan Shanahan  (Chris So/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brendan Shanahan spoke for only 21 minutes Monday afternoon, one day after he took a pressure washer to the team’s front office, but kicked every crutch out from underneath his organization and dispelled almost every myth under which it has operated for years.

It’s great when you have the support of the board of directors to do and say what Shanahan has done and said over the past couple of days, but it was refreshing nonetheless. Shanahan made it absolutely clear, with no grounds for any reasonable doubt, that the rebuild is on in Toronto. Nobody has ever had that kind of latitude before and Shanahan plans to use it. Read more