The biggest award of the night, the Hart Trophy, was perhaps the most hotly debated of them all. And why not, it goes to the league’s most valuable player and all three nominees had exemplary seasons. The question remaining tonight would be who out of Alexander Ovechkin, Henrik Sedin and Sidney Crosby would be the one to take home the hardware. All three players have stronger than strong cases to win the award, but it would be Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin that came away with the Hart Trophy and the voters indicated that it was really a two-horse race.
1. Henrik Sedin, VAN 894 (46-34-27-19-4)
2. Alex Ovechkin, WSH 834 (40-35-22-22-13)
3. Sidney Crosby, PIT 729 (20-35-38-29-7)
4. Ryan Miller, BUF 505 (13-22-24-27-20)
5. Ilya Bryzgalov, PHX 354 (13-6-17-22-31)
6. Steven Stamkos, T.B. 28 (0-0-2-3-9)
7. Patrick Kane, CHI 17 (0-1-0-2-4)
8. Martin Brodeur, N.J. 16 (0-0-2-0-6)
9. Craig Anderson, COL 10 (1-0-0-0-0)
10. Patrick Marleau, S.J. 10 (0-0-0-3-1)
11. Nicklas Backstrom, WSH 10 (0-0-0-2-4)
12. Joe Thornton, S.J. 9 (0-0-0-1-6)
13. Zach Parise, N.J. 7 (0-0-1-0-2)
14. Mike Green, WSH 5 (0-0-0-1-2)
15. Zdeno Chara, BOS 3 (0-0-0-1-0)
16. Duncan Keith, CHI 3 (0-0-0-0-3)
17. Drew Doughty, L.A. 2 (0-0-0-0-2)
Marian Gaborik, NYR 2 (0-0-0-0-2)
Anze Kopitar, L.A. 2 (0-0-0-0-2)
Nicklas Lidstrom, DET 2 (0-0-0-0-2)
Tuukka Rask, BOS 2 (0-0-0-0-2)
Martin St. Louis, T.B. 2 (0-0-0-0-2)
23. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Evgeni Nabokov, S.J. 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Chris Pronger, PHI 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Paul Stastny, COL 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Tomas Vokoun, FLA 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Shea Weber, NSH 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Henrik Zetterberg, DET 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
It would be Ovechkin who posed the strongest challenge to Sedin for the award and Sedin had just six more first place votes than Ovechkin. While the first place votes were split amongst the top five finishers for the award, the other two being Ryan Miller and Ilya Bryzgalov it was Colorado’s Craig Anderson who managed to get a single vote in the top spot to make for a curious outlier.
As for the real race, the six vote difference between Sedin and Ovechkin was indeed the reason for the 60 point separation between the two as first place votes count for ten points. There’s no denying how great a season Sedin had being the Art Ross Trophy winner for being the league’s leading scorer and in leading the Canucks to a Northwest Division title. You could basically toss a three-sided die and make out all right with having any of the finalists as the MVP but after all the attention both Crosby and Ovechkin earn, it’s Sedin that walks away with the big prize. So much for that whole “east coast bias” thing.
(photo credit to Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The Columbus Blue Jackets made a deal Monday, signing defenseman Doyle Somerby.
Originally selected by the New York Islanders, 125th overall in 2012, Somerby played his last four seasons with Boston University. Now 23 years old, Somerby decided to keep his options open following his senior year and test the free agent market last week, prior to inking a two-year entry-level contract with Columbus.
“It almost doesn’t make sense not to talk to everybody,” Somerby’s agent Brett Peterson told the Boston Globe.
“You’re drafted when you’re 17½ with no say who picks you. If you choose to complete your college career, you have that right. That’s just the way the market is. They have a lot of defensive prospects in New York. So that’s how we landed at this.”
And now he’s landed with the Blue Jackets organization, which had a franchise record 2016-17 season and boasts a crop of good, young players, the most notable on the blue line being Seth Jones and Zach Werenski.
Somerby scored five goals and 13 points as a junior at Boston University, marking his most productive collegiate campaign. At 6-foot-5 tall and 223 pounds, he brings size on the blue line but has been regarded as more of a stay-at-home defenseman, and reliable in his own end.
“He’s so difficult to get around,” Boston University associate head coach Steve Greeley told The Daily Free Press. “Below the dots, he’s always pushing … He plays physical, he plays hard and he’s a kid that’s really tough to play against.”
This post is part of Islanders Day on PHT…
The New York Islanders made something of a gamble when they selected Josh Ho-Sang with the 28th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and now that bet could start to pay off handsomely.
Even before Ho-Sang was drafted he was attracting quite a bit of attention. He had the tools to be a big offensive threat, but there were concerns about his attitude.
“I don’t think it’s from unfair labels, it’s from stuff that I’ve done,” he told the Windsor Star back in June 2014. He later added, “I’ve just not done certain things the proper way. That’s just all part of maturity, so if that’s going to hurt me in the draft, that’s something that I’m accepting of, because that’s all me. It’s something that’s a part of growing up.”
Those statements of acknowledgment can be seen as encouraging, but the warning signs continued as he showed up late for the first day of training camp in 2015 and the Islanders addressed it by immediately returning him to the OHL. Fortunately since then there has been more encouraging news about Ho-Sang.
He went pro in 2016-17 and had an strong season in both the AHL and NHL. With the Islanders he scored four goals and 10 points in 21 contests while getting a solid 16:27 minutes per game. That left an impression on Islanders coach Doug Weight.
“Josh was great,” Weight said. “We were getting feedback from [Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson] about his attitude down there, and he was playing hard, learning the system and played with some passion. I think he showed that when he came up.”
Ho-Sang’s spot on the Islanders still isn’t guaranteed, but he’s put himself in a position where it’s very plausible that he’ll be part of the team’s opening game roster. If he plays well he could end up being a significant presence on the club throughout the season.
All the while he might be making the case that the Islanders’ gamble has turned into a steal.
Francois Beauchemin will once again be playing for the Anaheim Ducks, according to TVA Sports and Renaud Lavoie.
Updated: The Ducks have since confirmed a one-year deal for Beauchemin.
The contract reportedly comes with a base salary of $1 million and the potential to earn roughly $500,000 more in performance bonuses.
This would be Beauchemin’s third stint with the team. He played with Anaheim for parts of four campaigns from 2005-06 through 2008-09. Along the way he averaged a staggering 30:33 minutes per game in the playoffs during the Ducks’ 2007 championship run. His second stint with the club spanned parts of five seasons from 2010-11 through 2014-15. As was the case during his previous run, Beauchemin was a workhorse and in the 2013 lockout shortened season he also finished fourth in the Norris Trophy vote.
Beauchemin spent the last two seasons with Colorado. Although he’s 37-years-old now, Beauchemin has only missed one game over the last two seasons and still averaged 21:31 minutes in 2016-17.
Despite that, Colorado decided to buy him out this summer, which freed up a protected list spot for the expansion draft and created an opening for the club’s younger defensemen as the Avalanche focus on rebuilding.
Given that defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen might start the season on the sidelines, adding another blueliner capable of serving in a top-four role like Beauchemin has the potential to be a big boost for the Ducks.
Marian Gaborik‘s recovery from a non-surgical procedure to address his “chronic” knee issue will likely bleed into training camp.
“He’s progressing pretty well from the summer,” Kings GM Rob Blake told LA Kings Insider. “He still has some difficulty with some of the lifts and the strength. We’re probably not sure if we’ll see him in training camp right away, but again, he’s a guy that trains at a very high level and he’s made a commitment to stay in L.A. after he got married, get the rehab back on course. We’re hopeful he can get back to the level that he started last season and the World Cup at.”
Gaborik has been an elite scorer at times during his career, but injuries have been a recurring issue for him. Over the past four seasons he’s played in 220 of a possible 328 contests and he’s been limited to 43 points in 110 games over the last two campaigns.
That’s particularly worrying given that the 35-year-old forward still has four seasons left on his seven-year contract worth roughly $34 million. At the same time a bounce back campaign out of Gaborik would go a long way towards addressing the offensive woes Los Angeles endured in 2016-17.