Right winger Kevin Hayes has bid adieu to one of the league’s strongest franchise and signed instead with the New York Rangers. The deal is a two-way contract, as per CBA guidelines for entry-level contracts, and is expected to be worth the rookie maximum salary if he makes the NHL.
The Modus operandi was all about getting to the NHL sooner for the Boston-area native. The Hayes watch has been on high alert since the NCAA graduate rebuffed the Chicago Blackhawks and became a free agent Aug. 15. Social media has been abuzz this week speculating where Hayes may sign. At one point today, the Kevin Hayes Wikipedia page showed him a member of the Colorado Avalanche. The next minute he was a Ranger. Then he was a free agent again as rational heads prevailed leading up to his announcement.
Some wondered, tongue in cheek, if his Hall of Fame announcement would precede his NHL destination of choice.
So how good is this Kevin Hayes?
At 24, Erik Karlsson is already the best offensive defenseman of his era. His 74 points were 13 more than the next-closest blueliner, Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith, had in 2013-14. Karlsson has outscored every D-man in the league by 29 or more points over the last three seasons.
But should he be a captain right now?
The Ottawa Senators have a vacancy after trading Jason Spezza to the Dallas Stars. This week, when asked about wearing the ‘C,’ Karlsson responded with an open mind.
“Obviously it’s something I wouldn’t say no to, (but) it’s not something that I’m going to ask for,” Karlsson told the Senators website Monday. “Whoever makes the decision is going to make the right one, and whether it’s me or someone else, it’s going to be good for the team and good for the organization.”
The idea of Karlsson wearing the ‘C’ raises the question: what constitutes a captain in today’s NHL? And has it changed in recent years?
Here’s a look at the league’s captains 20 years ago, in 1993-94. Top-30 scorers that year are bolded, as are defensemen who scored in the top five at their position. Age at the start of that season is in brackets.
Josh Ho-Sang has been a drafted member of the NHL for less than two months, but he’s quickly making a name for himself as an outspoken, opinionated, brash player.
What a wonderful thing.
“If I was a general manager and had first pick in the draft, I’d pick me No. 1,” Ho-Sang said in an interview with the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons just before the draft. “In three years, I’ll be the best player in this draft. And I have no doubt about that. I know myself. I know the other players. I believe in my ability. There are guys ranked ahead of me who are nowhere near me.”
Those kind of words and that kind of confidence will earn a player a lot of detractors. Read more
Coming in at No. 4 in our logo rankings is the Winged Wheel of Detroit, which has been a long-standing symbol in the NHL – and it has roots in Montreal.
The Detroit NHL team hasn’t always been called the Red Wings. They were called the Falcons and the Cougars before James Norris purchased the team in 1932.
With the name Red Wings came a logo that has stood the test of time and represents a perfect fit with the Motor City. The crisp, clean, detailed, yet simple red and white look has only been modified a couple times in team history – and not since 1949.
Because longevity was not a factor in our rankings, we had to look at this logo again for the first time – and we still loved it. Never was there any chance of the Red Wings falling out of the top five. The only dissenting opinion we had was that it should have been higher than No. 4.
Think you can design a better logo than this Detroit beauty? Now’s your chance. Get those creative juices flowing and send your artwork to firstname.lastname@example.org. At the conclusion of our logo rankings, we’ll share some of our favorite reader designs.
HISTORY OF THE RED WINGS LOGO
On May 15, 1926 an NHL franchise was awarded to a group from Detroit. The team purchased the roster of the Western League’s Victoria Cougars, who won the Stanley Cup in 1925.
At first, the Detroit NHL team was named the Cougars after the team its players were coming from. The Cougars struggled right off the bat, though, going 12-28-4 in their first season in Michigan. They were also a money-losing franchise and played home games out of Windsor until they moved into the brand new Olympia Stadium in 1927-28.
In 1928-29, the team reached the playoffs for the first time, but the name Cougars wouldn’t last much longer.
To say that Tyler Seguin’s first campaign in Dallas was a success would be an understatement. Despite being the centerpiece of a major trade with Boston, the young center broke the point-per-game mark for the first time in his NHL career, making magic with power forward Jamie Benn in ‘Big D.’
So a summer filled with fun would be understandable. And though Seguin was mixing business with pleasure at the annual BioSteel camp in Toronto, he has also been doing his homework again during his time off.
The New York Islanders have picked up Malkin!
Or more accurately, Malkin has picked up the Islanders.
The New York Islanders have announced a new ownership structure for the team, after former Washington Capitals co-owner Jonathan Ledecky and London-based investor Scott Malkin purchased a “substantial” minority interest in the team.
From the Islanders:
Under the terms of the agreement, Charles Wang will continue as majority shareholder and Governor of the Islanders, with the Ledecky/Malkin group transitioning to majority owner in two years. Read more
The Steve Moore-Todd Bertuzzi lawsuit has been hanging over the NHL for the past 10 years, but as the Sept. 8 trial date draws near, it appears the case has been settled out of court.
Originally, Moore was seeking $38 million in damages from the incident, but recently increased his demand to $68 million. His lawyers estimated Moore would have made $35 million over his NHL career and blossomed into a top six forward. They would also have argued the Harvard graduate could have made upwards of $65 million in a post-hockey career. Read more
The state of the Philadelphia Flyers defense core remains a troubling issue. They’ve lacked a true top-two defenseman since Chris Pronger’s career was ended by injury nearly three years ago. They attempted to address that issue in July of 2012 by signing Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber to an expensive offer sheet, but the Predators swiftly matched it.
Former GM Paul Holmgren attempted to bolster the overall blueline depth, acquiring Luke Schenn, Mark Streit and Andrew MacDonald via trade and free agency. None of them, however, can fill Pronger’s skates.
The Flyers underwent a front-office shakeup this spring when Ron Hextall took over as GM. Despite Hextall’s stated preference for building from within, rumor-mongers believe the Flyers still seek a stud defenseman, linking them to Winnipeg Jets blueliner Zach Bogosian. Read more