Barring an unexpected turn of events, Connor McDavid’s time with the OHL’s Erie Otters is effectively over, but he’s been given three more honors as a sendoff to his junior career. The Canadian Hockey League announced that McDavid is the 2015 winner of the Subway Scholastic Player of the Year award, Jack Link’s Top Prospect award, and Sportsnet Player of the Year award.
In the case of the Scholastic Player honors, he’s the winner for the second consecutive season.
McDavid had 44 goals and 120 points in just 47 regular season games and added another 49 points in 20 playoff contests. He also helped Team Canada win the gold medal in the 2015 World Juniors by scoring three goals and 11 points in seven contests.
He’s projected to be taken by Edmonton with the first overall pick in the 2015 draft and is widely regarded as a generational talent.
Other noteworthy winners include Tampa Bay prospect Anthony DeAngelo, who is the CHL defenseman of the year, and Dallas Stars prospect Philippe Desrosiers, who won the top goaltending honors.
When the Buffalo Sabres hired Dan Bylsma to serve as the team’s bench boss, they agreed to provide the Pittsburgh Penguins with a third-round draft pick as compensation. That’s because Bylsma was still under contract with the Penguins, even though he had been fired.
And yet the Penguins didn’t seek compensation when the New Jersey Devils hired Ray Shero under similar circumstances. So why the double standard?
“The rule is not as clear as it should be,” Penguins GM Jim Rutherford told Trib Total Media. “We felt that the intent of the rule was for employees that were still with the team, that were working with the team, not terminated employees.
“Once Edmonton (gave Boston) a pick for (former Bruins GM) Peter Chiarelli — when he was a terminated employee — we decided to ask for picks for future employees.”
At the time of Shero’s hiring, Rutherford felt the Penguins were acting as an organization should. However, given that other teams are seeking compensation for fired employees, the Penguins would be hurting themselves if they didn’t follow suit.
“I do feel at the next (board of governors) meeting there will be more clarification on the rule,” Rutherford said.
Whether or not this practice continues remains to be seen, but for now surrendering a draft pick to bring on board a fired employee is the standard.
The Toronto Maple Leafs secured head coach Mike Babcock and he in turned reportedly convinced former Red Wings assistant coach Jim Hiller to make the jump with him. Now it looks like Babcock is trying to recruit his other coaches, per Sportsnet.
Babcock and the Leafs have reportedly expressed an interest in assistant coaches Andrew Brewer and Tony Granato. Brewer, like Hiller, is likely to follow Babcock, but Granato might be more complicated because Detroit reportedly wants him back.
Granato joined the Detroit Red Wings last year after being let go by the Pittsburgh Penguins when Dan Bylma was fired. Granato is a former player with 773 games worth of NHL experience and he also served as the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche for parts of three seasons.
Hiller is a former winner of the Canadian Hockey League’s Coach of the Year Award. He also served as a video coach for Hockey Canada and worked with Babcock during the 2014 Winter Games before joining the Red Wings for the 2014-15 season.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Tampa Bay Lightning fans were treated to a Blades of Steel inspired show at Amalie Arena between periods. For those unfamiliar, Blades of Steel is an NES game from an era where its chief competitor was simply titled Ice Hockey. (Puck Daddy)
The Chicago Blackhawks have a perfect playoff record in games where Marian Hossa scores. (Chris Kuc)
Taylor Hall seems very upbeat as he prepares for the 2015-16 campaign. (Edmonton Journal)
Given how young the Lightning are, you would think that they’ll be one of the league’s top teams for years to come and they might be, but it’s not easy to pull off in the salary cap era. (Tampa Bay Times)
Paul Kariya is spending his retirement surfing in California and doesn’t seem interested in trading that in to work as a hockey coach or part of a team’s front office. “My love was for playing. If I could still play, I’d still be playing out there,” Kariya said. (Vancouver Sun)
Mike Amendola is no longer with the Carolina Hurricanes. The former chief financial officer spent 35 years with the organization, making him their longest-tenured front-office employee until his departure. (Washington Times)
The Anaheim Ducks had an opportunity to advance to the Stanley Cup Final tonight but Chicago had other ideas. Wednesday’s game might not have been the blowout that the 5-2 final score implied, but the Ducks certainly left plenty to be desired in Game 6.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf deserved some of the blame for the outcome tonight and he willingly pointed a finger at himself.
“I was terrible,” he said, per the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott.
Getzlaf was just 2-for-10 on the draw and finished with a minus-three rating. He was also bailed out when he coughed up the puck in the Ducks’ zone midway through the first period, leading to Brandon Saad nearly scoring what would have been the first goal of the game.
He certainly didn’t single-handily lose this one though.
“None of us were good, and it starts with me,” Getzlaf said, according to the Ducks’ Twitter feed. “I had too many turnovers and mistakes. We need to regroup and get ready.”
Given that this is the Ducks’ first trip to the Western Conference Final since 2007, this is largely uncharted territory for many of them. That’s not the case with Chicago. Still, the Ducks will have the home ice advantage and they’ll get two days to prepare before Game 7 on Saturday.