It seems oddly appropriate that Lee Stempniak would be named the first star for the month of March on April Fool’s Day. (By the way, I can’t speak for Brandon or Joe, but I see little point in trying to run some kind of prank today. Seems like a waste of energy, but perhaps I’m wrong.)
Stempniak’s wild post-trade transformation for the Phoenix Coyotes has been absolutely stunning. He was named the first star while Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard received second star honors and possible Hart trophy nominee Henrik Sedin took the third spot. Let’s take a look at some of the stats and a highlight for each player.
Lee Stempniak: Since being traded to the Coyotes, Stempniak scored a stunning 13 goals in only 14 games. This insane run helped him to meet his career high in goals (27) that he set in the 2006-07 season as a member of the St. Louis Bues. Here’s one of his more exciting goals. NHL.com has a gallery of every one of his tallies, if you want to see more.
Jimmy Howard: Howard has generated some Calder trophy (and even in some areas, Hart and Vezina trophy buzz) for his outstanding play for the Detroit Red Wings. He’s been a catalyst for the team’s red hot run lately, with a 2.24 GAA and a 91.8 % save percentage in the month of March. Once again, NHL.com has a bunch of highlights of his saves. Here’s one of my favorites.
The Coyotes had to take on the contract of injured forward Dave Bolland, but in their minds, it was worth it to get a player like Crouse, who certainly brings size up front at six-foot-four-inches tall and 212 pounds. He had 23 goals and 62 points in 49 games this season with Kingston in the OHL.
“He’s a guy that you add the size and he actually enhances that for your entire group. In our opinion, it was a guy that’s rare to find, difficult to obtain. Certainly, once they become established in the league, those players are locked up well into their 30s and then you end up trying to maybe overpay for a player that has these attributes that’s not in the prime of his career.”
Crouse, who turned 19 years old in June, now joins the likes of Max Domi, Dylan Strome and Anthony Duclair as part of Arizona’s group of up-and-coming young forwards. He has familiarity with all three from playing in the OHL or for Team Canada at the world juniors.
“He can fly. He’s fast and he hits and he scores goals. You kinda get the total package,” Strome told Sportsnet.
Last week domain names were registered that might be an indicator that the NHL team scheduled to begin play in 2017 could be called the Las Vegas Desert Knights.
Last week the domains lasvegasdesertknights.com, vegasdesertknights.com and desertknightshockey.com were privately registered to Moniker Privacy Services, which is the same company that procured the domain name to NHL.com.
DetroitHockey.net first reported the new domain name Thursday morning.
Foley said via text message he had no comment regarding the process when reached by the Review-Journal.
Scott Luce has gone from the Florida Panthers to the Las Vegas expansion franchise.
The new NHL organization — still searching for a team name — announced Thursday that it has hired Luce as its new director of amateur scouting.
Luce spent the last 14 years in Florida, as a scout and as director of player personnel.
Luce was let go earlier in the offseason, as the Panthers underwent massive change within their front office, with the promotion of Dale Tallon to president of hockey operations and Tom Rowe to GM, and more attention to analytics.