This year’s Lester Patrick Award winners have been announced and if you’re not familiar with the award, it’s given out to those who have made significant contributions to hockey in the United States. This year, the city of Boston has a lot to be proud of considering who will be honored.
Hockey Hall of Famer Cam Neely, U.S. college coaches Jack Parker and Jerry York and American Hockey League president David Andrews have been named recipients of the 2010 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
If you don’t know who Cam Neely is, I feel sorry for you. The Hockey Hall of Famer made his career with the Boston Bruins as one of the NHLs most punishing power forwards and scorers. He was as fierce with the puck on his stick as he was with his gloves off pounding someone into submission. He’s now the Bruins team president and forever known as “Sea Bass” from the movie Dumb & Dumber.
Jerry York and Jack Parker are two of the winningest coaches in college hockey and they both coach in the same town and against each other as rivals. York is the head coach at Boston College while Parker is head man at Boston University. Having that much coaching greatness in one city seems almost unfair.
David Andrews is the commissioner of the American Hockey League and with him at the helm, the league has flourished and seized control as the NHL’s go-to league for developing talent in the minors. He’s an excitable and emphatic and bold leader and one who you could say is virtually the opposite of Gary Bettman as far as public appearances go.
Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Panthers center Vincent Trocheck have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.
From the NHL:
Crosby led the League in goals and points (5-3-8) in three games as the Penguins (26-18-7, 59 points) earned four of a possible six points to secure the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.
Karlsson led the League in assists and ranked second in points (0-7-7) in three games as the Senators (24-23-6, 54 points) won one of three starts for the week.
Trocheck notched six points (3-3—6) in three games, helping the Panthers (31-15-6, 68 points) widen their lead atop the Atlantic Division to six points.
Related: Red-hot Crosby could make Pens a flawed (but dangerous) dark horse
Evgeni Malkin‘s “nagging” lower-body injury will keep him out at least one more game.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said this morning that the star center will sit out tonight at home against the Ducks. Malkin already missed two contests this weekend in Florida. His status is day-to-day.
The Penguins lost, 6-3, in Tampa on Friday, but rebounded Saturday with a 3-2 OT win over the Panthers.
Pittsburgh’s next game after tonight’s is Wednesday at home versus the Rangers.
The New York Rangers will be without Ryan McDonagh tonight at home to New Jersey, the club announcing this morning that the defenseman is out with a concussion.
McDonagh left Saturday’s game in Philadelphia following an altercation with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds that ended with McDonagh taking a punch to the face from Simmonds.
Simmonds received a match penalty and was thrown out of the game, but did not receive any supplemental discipline.
Given the standings, the Rangers can ill afford to lose McDonagh for long. They play in Pittsburgh Wednesday, followed by three home games against Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Tuesday night, Milan Lucic will play his first game in Boston as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
It should be an emotional return for the big 27-year-old winger. In an interview with the L.A. Times, he recalled his time with his former club fondly, saying how great it was to be a “part of one of the best-ever eras to be a Bruin.”
A pending unrestricted free agent, Lucic also commented on his contract negotiations with the Kings.
“Nothing to get excited about,” he said. “There’s been two or three little talks here and there. My plan is to remain a King and hopefully finish off my career here. Like I said, I go day by day and you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.”
Lucic has 12 goals and 18 assists in 50 games this season. Though the Kings reportedly want to keep him, the question is whether they can find the cap space to make it happen.
Los Angeles already has Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Kyle Clifford, Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, and Jonathan Quick locked up long term. Plus, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will require new deals after next season.
Related: Why Lucic is an interesting pending UFA