The CHL Top Prospects Game will be held Jan. 22 in St. Catharines, Ont., at the new home of the Ontario League’s Niagara IceDogs. Don Cherry and Bobby Orr will serve as coaches and yes, Connor McDavid made the cut. With only 40 roster spots available, not every CHLer up for the 2015 draft could be chosen and while there weren’t any huge omissions this year, some players certainly had strong cases for inclusion. So who are the stars and snubs for the game?
Before the season began, betting site Sports Interaction was taking wagers on whether or not the Florida Panthers could eclipse 74.5 points this season. It appears smart money was on the over, as with more than 50 games remaining the Panthers are on pace to rack up 96 points and a potential playoff berth.
But these Panthers are vastly different than the team that was iced last season’s, basement team that floundered due to soft goaltending and bad 5-on-5 play. These aren’t the Panthers you’re used to seeing, and, come April, don’t be surprised if the Panthers are playing an 83rd game. Read more
The Edmonton Oilers firing of head coach Dallas Eakins prompted speculation over potential roster changes. It’s believed Oilers management will consider all options going forward, including the possibility of trading star left wing Taylor Hall.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports of a “sagging work ethic” and lack of a winning culture among the Oilers’ players, suggesting Hall hasn’t been what the front office expected “from a culture standpoint.” Dreger believes the 23-year-old Hall will be in play in the trade market and believes the best return could be had during the summer, perhaps at the NHL Draft in June.
Oilers GM Craig MacTavish spent several weeks seeking help for his floundering roster via the trade market. During a press conference on Dec. 5, MacTavish stated he wouldn’t make any knee-jerk moves and wasn’t prepared to move his core players. Read more
We’ve all been there: you’ve got to blow your nose or wipe it and you’re scrambling around looking for something to use. On Tuesday night, Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux came up with his own solution.
In the dying minutes of the first period, as a faceoff was about to happen in the Tampa Bay zone, Giroux saw the referee turn to face the Lightning center Brian Boyle. Giroux quickly wiped his nose and patted the linesman on the back, the old elementary school gag: Read more
By Namish Modi
All-Star Games may not be the most exciting event on the calendar anymore, but for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL), this one will be one to remember.
On Saturday at the Air Canada Centre, the first All-Star Game in the league’s short five-year history was played. The exhibition game, which had several Olympians playing in it, was played in front of a crowd of 6,850 people.
The two teams, Team White and Team Red, were selected by captains Jessica Campbell and Charline Labonte on Friday night, fantasy draft style. Each captain picked five players to their team while the rest of the squads were filled up by the “throwing the sticks” format. Team Red’s Rebecca Johnston scored the winning goal in a 3-2 come back victory, while Team White’s Natalie Spooner scored the first goal in CWHL All-Star Game history. Following the game, the 42 all-stars took part in a light-hearted skills showcase, which consisted of a breakaway challenge and fastest skater competition. Read more
Team USA has won two of the past five world junior championships and based on the talent available to the team, another title soon wouldn’t be surprising. Part of the challenge will be replenishing the roster when the top recruits join the NHL early and it seems like a foregone conclusion that Jack Eichel will be in The Show next season, rather than chasing gold in Finland. Luckily for America, Auston Matthews isn’t eligible for the NHL draft until 2016 – and he may be just as good as Eichel.
There’s been no shortage of great stories this season, but one of the most surprising things is the cast of rookies who have quickly made names for themselves in the league.
The thing with rookies is they’re one of the most difficult groups of players to accurately forecast. With little known about how well adjusted they’ll be to the NHL, they can either boom or bust, and in some cases an injury or unfavorable situation can send the early Calder Trophy favorite to the bottom of the ballot.
Take Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin, for instance, who some people thought would run away with the award but doesn’t even appear on our list. Or John Gibson, the THN consensus pick for the Calder, who had a shot at leading the Ducks this season before injury derailed his season.
These are the top 10 Calder Candidates at this point in the season: Read more
When you look at the list of shooters who took part in Tuesday’s shootout between Washington and Florida Panthers, you can be forgiven for thinking it looks like the roster lists for both teams. But it may as well be, because the two teams combined to make history, shattering the old NHL record for longest shootout by battling for 20 rounds before the Panthers emerged victorious over the Capitals by a 2-1 score.
The previous record for longest shootout was the 15-round showdown between the Caps and New York Rangers on Nov. 26, 2005 and two Washington players – Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich – can now lay claim to having taken part in the longest and second-longest shootouts. Tuesday’s marathon session lasted a whopping 17:43, and saw the Capitals score five goals, only to have the Panthers reply with five of their own to extend the shootout to Round 20. At that point, Florida center Nick Bjugstad stepped up and beat Washington goalie Braden Holtby to win it for the home team, give the Panthers their 13th win of the season and push them ahead of the Bruins for the final wild card berth.
Here’s video of the entire shootout. Be sure to pack a lunch and hydrate regularly once you begin watching. Read more