James O'Brien

I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.

NHL 18 cover: another part of a big night for McDavid

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Well, this one wasn’t about Connor McDavid vs. Sidney Crosby, as it seems like number 87 isn’t interested in being on the cover of a video game.

Regardless, it’s still probably a big honor for McDavid to be EA Sports’ cover star for “NHL 18,” which was announced during the 2017 NHL Awards.

Puck Daddy’s Sean Leahy tweeted out what the cover images will look like, which unfortunately wasn’t from that notoriously awkward shot with fans.

Here’s the trailer for NHL 18:

There’s time to unearth answers to such questions, though.

Speaking of answering questions, we’ll find out soon if McDavid gets the Hart Trophy or if that will go to Crosby (or Sergei Bobrovsky). The Edmonton Oilers star already added the Ted Lindsay Award to his mantle earlier tonight.

Burns edges Karlsson for his first Norris Trophy (video)


One would maybe say that Brent Burns won his first Norris Trophy by the hair on his chin … but then that would mean by, you know, a lot.

Anyway, Burns edged Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman to be named¬†“defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”

As expected, his speech and beard were equally fantastic, including Burns’ hope that his kids aren’t “chasing around wildebeests” in Texas.


Burns topped defensemen with 29 goals and 76 points. Karlsson generated 17 goals and 71 points while Hedman 16 goals and 72 points, rounding out a true three-horse race between high-scoring, fantastic all-around defensemen.

Here are the voting results.

2016-2017 Norris Trophy Voting

Pts. 1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th
1. Brent Burns, SJS 1437 (96-61-10-0-0)
2. Erik Karlsson, OTT 1292 (63-86-9-4-3)
3. Victor Hedman, TBL 728 (3-13-106-21-14)
4. Duncan Keith, CHI 384 (2-4-19-70-31)
5. Ryan Suter, MIN 175 (2-1-9-25-28)
6. Shea Weber, MTL 100 (1-0-6-11-27)
7. Drew Doughty, LAK 51 (0-0-1-10-16)
8. Mark Giordano, CGY 41 (0-0-1-11-3)
9. Dougie Hamilton, CGY 23 (0-0-0-6-5)
10. Justin Schultz, PIT 22 (0-0-2-2-6)
11. Roman Josi, NSH 19 (0-1-0-2-6)
12. Dustin Byfuglien, WPG 15 (0-0-2-1-2)
13. Jared Spurgeon, MIN  14 (0-0-2-1-1)
14. Kevin Shattenkirk, WSH 9 (0-0-0-1-6)
15. Torey Krug, BOS 7 (0-1-0-0-0)
16. Alex Pietrangelo, STL 7 (0-0-0-1-4)
17. Ryan McDonagh, NYR 5 (0-0-0-1-2)
18. Seth Jones, CBJ 4 (0-0-0-0-4)
Zach Werenski, CBJ 4 (0-0-0-0-4)
20. Jaccob Slavin, CAR 2 (0-0-0-0-2)
21. Cam Fowler, ANA 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Dmitry Orlov, WSH 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, SJS 1 (0-0-0-0-1)

Click here for the full history of Norris Trophy winners.

Players vote McDavid over Crosby as 2017 Ted Lindsay winner

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Round one between Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid goes to McDavid, as he was named the 2017 Ted Linsday Award. Brent Burns was the other finalist.

It’s labeled as the “most outstanding player in the regular season,” while the Hart Trophy is considered “player judged most valuable to his team” but the true difference comes in who does the voting. The NHLPA chooses this winner while writers (the PHWA) make the call regarding the Hart, so McDavid’s peers tabbed him instead of Crosby.

Crosby scored 44 goals to win the Maurice Richard Trophy, also taking home another Conn Smythe after the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup. McDavid locked down the Art Ross with 100 points (also leading the league with 70 assists). Burns topped defensemen with 29 goals and 76 points.

Sergei Bobrovsky was a finalist for the Hart instead of Burns.

Voting results will be added shortly.

Check out the full history of winners for an award that was once known as the Lester B. Pearson Award.

WATCH LIVE: Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft, NHL Awards


Buckle up and get ready: a brand-new team is about to come together.

Reports have surfaced about certain Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft picks, but it’s nice to see it all officially play out.

There is also plenty of room for surprises, whether those come via the picks that haven’t leaked or details regarding how teams sweetened deals.

The expansion draft picks will be announced during the 2017 NHL Awards tonight, which is already a great time – and sometimes a source of surprises itself – for hockey fans. Watch it all unfold on NBCSN beginning at 8 p.m. ET tonight.


Stay tuned after the expansion draft and 2017 NHL Awards for the “Round Table Rally” with Pierre McGuire on NBCSN. That show will feature instant feedback on the expansion draft, including viewpoints from the people who built and the players who will join the Golden Knights.

Reports: Capitals lose Schmidt, not Grubauer, to expansion draft


Yes, the Washington Capitals boast a workhorse star in Braden Holtby, but as they hope to remain elite through a challenging summer, having a strong backup like Philipp Grubauer could be crucial.

The good news is that former Capitals GM George McPhee reportedly¬†is not picking Grubauer, instead opting to select intriguing defenseman Nate Schmidt. Multiple outlets report that Schmidt is bound for the Vegas Golden Knights, from TSN’s Pierre LeBrun to¬†the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan.

Khurshudyan reports that the Capitals tried to hash out a deal to keep Schmidt, but no dice.

There have been times when Schmidt struggled to break into the Capitals lineup, yet with Kevin Shattenkirk among those likely on the way out, the silky-smooth defenseman would have been that much nicer to have.

Add Schmidt to a heaping list of Vegas defensemen, from veterans to promising youngsters like the apparently former Capitals blueliner.