Phil Kessel had an impressive playoff run scoring 10 goals and 12 assists in 24 postseason games helping the Pittsburgh Penguins win the franchise’s fourth Stanley Cup.
The 28-year-old’s 22 points worked him into the Conn Smythe Trophy conversation. What’s more impressive is he accomplished it all while playing through a hand injury suffered during the Pens’ first round, five-game, series against the New York Rangers.
One of the most emotional moments of the Stanley Cup final was watching Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby making the first pass of the Cup to defenseman Trevor Daley.
Daley was injured in the conference final and did not play in the Cup final, but Crosby shared the story that Daley’s mother was battling cancer and wanted to see her son lift the Stanley Cup. He did just that, taking the Cup for a skate for the first time in his 12-year career after the Penguins defeated the Sharks.
Daley’s mother, Trudy, passed away a little over a week later, on June 21, at 51.
With the 2016 NHL draft now history, here’s a look at some notable speculation that emerged from the weekend.
All eyes are firmly upon the Tampa Bay Lightning and their contract talks with pending unrestricted free agent center Steven Stamkos. Since Friday evening, he and his fellow UFAs can speak to rival clubs.
It’s believed Lightning GM Steve Yzerman pitched an eight-year offer to Stamkos worth $8.5 million annually. If Stamkos feels he can do better on the open market, he won’t lack for suitors.
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports Yzerman said he’ll keep all options open regarding Stamkos. He didn’t rule out the possibility of a sign-and-trade.
BUFFALO – On Day 2 of the draft, team preference plays such a huge role in when kids get picked. But for my money, there were some definite winners by round. In some cases, it was teams that made solid multiple selections. In other cases, it was a matter of the value they got in one player. Here are my winners for Day 2.
BUFFALO – Night 1 of the 2016 NHL draft gave us a bit of everything, a blend of expectant nods and wide-eyed gasps.
We saw the predictable occur. Auston Matthews went first overall, Patrik Laine second. The Calgary Flames acquired a goaltender in Brian Elliott. The Chicago Blackhawks squeezed another forward out because of their salary-cap crunch in Andrew Shaw, dealt to the Montreal Canadiens. The Detroit Red Wings shipped Pavel Datsyuk’s $7.5-million cap hit to the one team we knew would take it: the Arizona Coyotes, striving for the salary floor.
We saw plenty of shocking moments, too. Pierre-Luc Dubois, the draft’s swing pick, usurped Jesse Puljujarvi, seemingly the consensus No. 3 overall selection. The Wings went off the board on Dennis Cholowski at No. 20 overall. We had him 37th in our 2016 Draft Preview, for what it’s worth.
But plenty of hyped storylines remain unresolved entering Day 2 of the draft. Let’s review a few.
As the 2016 NHL draft draws near, trade activity is picking up. On Monday, the Anaheim Ducks shipped goaltender Frederik Andersen to the Toronto Maple Leafs for two draft picks, the New York Rangers dealt defenseman Keith Yandle‘s rights to the Florida Panthers, while the Nashville Predators dealt the rights of college prospect Jimmy Vesey to the Buffalo Sabres.
The Panthers acquisition of Yandle’s rights makes sense if Brian Campbell departs via free agency on July 1. The Miami Herald’s George Richards reports Panthers GM Tom Rowe expects Campbell, 37, to test the market.
It also douses recent trade speculation involving Panthers blueliner Dmitry Kulikov. The Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov claims the Panthers frequently get inquiries about the 24-year-old blueliner but he’s not on the trade block.
Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins will celebrate their 2016 Stanley Cup victory with a banner-raising ceremony in front of one of the Penguins, and Crosby’s, greatest rivals: Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
It will be the second Stanley Cup banner-raising ceremony for the Penguins during the Crosby era, but the first time one will be hoisted to the rafters of the CONSOL Energy Center ahead of the season. The Penguins three past championships came while the team was playing in Civic Arena, also known as the Mellon Arena. Two of the banners were raised during Mario Lemieux’s heyday, with the third coming in October 2010, early in Crosby’s career, in front of the New York Rangers.
The Penguins weren’t the only team to announce their home-opener Monday, though they’ll be the only team raising a Stanley Cup banner. All 30 teams announced their first home date of the 2016-17 season, and there are several other matchups that should make for excellent season debuts for the home sides. Read more
In recent weeks, Colorado Avalanche restricted free agent defenseman Tyson Barrie was a hot topic in the trade rumor mill. But according to Avalanche GM Joe Sakic, the 24-year-old blueliner isn’t going anywhere.
The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers reports Sakic said he’ll be meeting with Barrie’s agents during the upcoming NHL draft in hopes of working out a new long-term contract.
Sakic tells Chambers that if they cannot work out a new agreement, it’s expected Barrie will head to arbitration. “Either way, he’ll be here,” said the Avs GM.
It’s possible Sakic called his rival GMs to gauge their level of interest in Barrie and the type of return he might fetch. That could account for the recent speculation involving Barrie. Taking Sakic at his word, it’s evident the Avs wish to keep Barrie in the fold for at least the immediate future.