Lupul: Shoulder hits to head just a part of hockey

Everyone is weighing in on the issue of hits to the head, with most
in the camp — including me — that believes that any and all hits to
the head should be illegal. This includes direct shoulder hits to the
head, such as the Mike Richards hit and the latest transgression by Matt
Cooke.

Count Anaheim Ducks winger Joffrey Lupol as someone who doesn’t want the NHL to
go in that direction.
From Lupul’s twitter feed
(and it must be noted that this is NOT a
verified Twitter account, but it certainly seems legit) —

Hitting people in
the head w/ ur shoulder is part of NHL hockey. We’re big boys. Discuss..

…but the game moves
fast out there. Late hits should be punished. Shoulder hits should not
IMO

My point is it’s a
split second decision and we don’t want to lose hitting from the
game.As a player I hate seeing injuries but..

Lupul’s
point about late hits is interesting, since that is part of the issue
surrounding the Cooke and Richards hits. It’s not just the fact that the
hits were directly to the head, it’s that they were blind-side hits
that caught the injured players vulnerable and exposed well after
releasing the puck. That there was direct contact with the head just
adds to the debate.

I understand what Lupul is trying to say, that we should not
be trying to take hitting out of the NHL. I don’t think anybody is
wanting that to happen, but at the same time there has to be a way to
protect the players better. This isn’t just a matter of someone breaking
a bone or tearing a ligament in their knee — concussions can have
lasting effects that a player will have to deal with years after the
original injury. Just ask Mike Smith.

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    PHT’s 2017 NHL Draft Tracker

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    From the United Center in Chicago, it’s the first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft!

    Click back here throughout the night for all the latest picks, complete with draft profiles, stories and video from tonight’s broadcast on NBCSN.

    1. New Jersey Devils: Nico Hischier center, QMJHL Halifax (profile)

    More: Hischier not caught up in ‘Nico vs. Nolan’ hype

    2. Philadelphia Flyers: Nolan Patrick center, WHL Brandon (profile)

    More: ‘The media’s pumping it down’ — Patrick rejects notion of weak draft class

    3. Dallas Stars: Miro Heiskanen, defenseman, HIFK Finland (profile)

    4. Colorado Avalanche: Cale Makar, defenseman, AJHL Brooks (profile)

    More: D-man Makar makes for compelling prospect

    5. Vancouver Canucks: Elias Pettersson, center, SHL Timra IK

    6. Vegas Golden Knights: Cody Glass, center, WHL Portland

    7. New York Rangers (from Arizona): Lias Andersson, center, SHL HV71

    8. Buffalo Sabres: Casey Mittelstadt, center, Eden Prairie HS (profile)

    More: Mittelstadt has no regrets after chasing Minnesota high school title

    9. Detroit Red Wings: Michael Rasmussen, center, WHL Tri-City

    10. Florida Panthers: Owen Tippett, RW, OHL Mississauga (profile)

    11. Los Angeles Kings: Gabriel Vilardi, C, OHL Windsor (profile)

    More: Gabriel Vilardi deserves your attention

    12. Carolina Hurricanes: Martin Necas, center, Czech League Brno

    13. Vegas Golden Knights (from Winnipeg): Nick Suzuki, center, OHL Owen Sound

    14. Tampa Bay Lightning
    15. Vegas Golden Knights (from NY Islanders)
    16. Calgary Flames
    17. Toronto Maple Leafs
    18. Boston Bruins
    19. San Jose Sharks
    20. St. Louis Blues
    21. New York Rangers
    22. Edmonton Oilers
    23. Arizona Coyotes (from Minnesota)
    24. Winnipeg Jets (from Columbus via Vegas)
    25. Montreal Canadiens
    26. Chicago Blackhawks
    27. St. Louis Blues (from Washington)
    28. Ottawa Senators
    29. Dallas Stars (from Anaheim)
    30. Nashville Predators
    31. Pittsburgh Penguins

    Cody Glass becomes Vegas’ first-ever draft pick

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    Cody Glass became part of history on Friday night.

    Glass, the No. 6 ranked North American skater from WHL Portland, became the first-ever draft pick of the Vegas Golden Knights, who took him sixth overall at the United Center in Chicago.

    A 6-foot-2 center that was named the Winterhawks’ MVP this season, Glass has drawn comparisons to Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele. He put up a stunning 94 points in 64 games this season, and is regarded as one of the finest offensive talents in the Western League.

    While Glass is the first-ever pick for the Knights, he’ll soon have some company. GM George McPhee stockpiled a pair of additional first-round picks at Wednesday’s expansion draft — No. 13 and 15 respectively — meaning Vegas could walk away from tonight with a boatload of young, enticing prospects.

    After meteoric rise up rankings, Makar goes fourth overall to Avs

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    For all the talk about Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick, at least one NHL scout believes Cale Makar is the best prospect in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

    The Colorado Avalanche sure hope that scout is right after they picked Makar fourth overall Friday at United Center.

    The 18-year-old defenseman has experienced a meteoric rise up the rankings the past year. In the process, he’s drawn tantalizing comparisons to Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, who just happens to be Makar’s favorite player.

    Makar didn’t even play in Canada’s top junior league last season. He’s a member of the Brooks Bandits, part of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In that way, he’s a bit like another Ottawa player, Kyle Turris, who got drafted third overall in 2007 out of the BCHL.

    Makar had 24 goals and 51 assists in 75 games for the Bandits in 2016-17.

    “I don’t know if it matters what league he plays in,” Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning said earlier this week. “He’s going to be a good player. … We watched him last year. He grew over the summer. He came back this year and he was even more dynamic than he was last year. He’s an exciting player.”

    The Canucks, by the way, drafted Swedish center Elias Pettersson with the fifth overall selection.

    Related: Makar makes for a compelling prospect

    Ducks bring Eaves back for three years, reportedly for $9.4M

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    So much for the Anaheim Ducks merely making Patrick Eaves a rental.

    The NHL’s free agent pool got that much shallower on Friday as the Ducks announced a three-year deal for Eaves (during the 2017 NHL Draft, by the way).

    Eaves, 33, carried over strong work with Dallas (21 goals, 37 points in 59 games) to Anaheim after being traded, managing 11 goals and 14 points in 20 regular-season contests. He also managed two goals and two assists in seven postseason games.

    One must also note his bodacious beard.

    The Los Angeles Times’ Curtis Zupke reports that it’s worth $9.4 million overall ($3.15M per year) and the OC Register’s Eric Stephens back that up, detailing the salary breakdown as such: