In 2007, the Kings made Thomas Hickey the fourth overall selection — behind Patrick Kane, James van Riemsdyk and Kyle Turris — at the NHL Entry Draft.
Today, Hickey’s time with Los Angeles came to an end as the New York Islanders announced they claimed the 23-year-old rearguard off waivers.
The captain of Canada’s gold medal-winning Junior team from 2009, Hickey has yet to make good on the promise that made him the first defenseman drafted in ’07 (ahead of Karl Alzner, Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Shattenkirk.)
He’s also yet to make his NHL debut, having spent the last four-plus seasons playing for AHL Manchester.
Injuries (ankle, shoulder) and a deep Kings blueline have played their part in Hickey not making the NHL jump. He, along with 2008 first-rounder Colten Teubert, always seemed to be stuck on a low rung of the organizational ladder (Teubert was flipped to Edmonton in the Dustin Penner trade of 2011.)
That said, Hickey should have a slightly better shot of making the Isles roster. They’re still without the services of Lubomir Visnovsky, leaving them with a crew of Mark Streit, Matt Carkner, Travis Hamonic, Matt Donovan, Ty Wishart, Radek Martinek and Andrew MacDonald on the blueline.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: