Bergeron wins third Selke Trophy in four years

14 Comments

For the second straight year, the finalists for the Selke Trophy were Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron and Anze Kopitar and once again Bergeron came out on top.

This is the third time in four years that Bergeron has taken home the award and the one time he fell short in that span, he still was recognized as the runner-up. The two-way center had a league-leading 60.2% faceoff success rate in 2014-15. From an analytics perspective, he looked superb with a 57.36% 5-on-5 Fenwick on a Bruins’ team that had a 48.01% rating when he wasn’t on the ice.

Jonathan Toews finished just shy of Bergeron with the final margin being 1,083 to 1,051. That’s in contrast to last year when Bergeron ran away with the award.

Here are the voting results for the award, cutting off at the top 10:

Pts. (1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th)
1. Patrice Bergeron, BOS 1083 (75-29-19-8-11)
2. Jonathan Toews, CHI 1051 (51-58-20-9-8)
3. Anze Kopitar, LAK 364 (5-8-29-32-17)
4. David Backes, STL 363 (7-17-20-20-14)
5. Pavel Datsyuk, DET 238 (3-9-13-21-17)
6. Max Pacioretty, MTL 156 (7-4-7-4-11)
7. Marian Hossa, CHI 105 (2-3-6-8-10)
8. Tyler Johnson, TBL 69 (1-3-4-4-6)
9. Ondrej Palat, TBL 68 (0-4-5-3-6)
10. Ryan Kesler, ANA 67 (0-3-4-6-8)

Year Winner Runner-up
2015 Patrice Bergeron, Bos. Jonathan Toews, Chi.
2014 Patrice Bergeron, Bos. Anze Kopitar, L.A.
2013 Jonathan Toews, Chi. Patrice Bergeron, Bos.
2012 Patrice Bergeron, Bos. David Backes, St.L
2011 Ryan Kesler, Van. Jonathan Toews, Chi.
2010 Pavel Datsyuk, Det. Ryan Kesler, Van.
2009 Pavel Datsyuk, Det Mike Richards, Phi.
2008 Pavel Datsyuk, Det. John Madden, N.J.
2007 Rod Brind’Amour, Car. Samuel Pahlsson, Ana.
2006 Rod Brind’Amour, Car. Jere Lehtinen, Dal.
2004 Kris Draper, Det. John Madden, N.J.
2003 Jere Lehtinen, Dal. John Madden, N.J.
2002 Michael Peca, NYI Craig Conroy, Cgy.
2001 John Madden, N.J. Joe Sakic, Col.
2000 Steve Yzerman, Det. Michal Handzus St.L
1999 Jere Lehtinen, Dal. Magnus Arvedson, Ott.
1998 Jere Lehtinen, Dal. Michael Peca, Buf.
1997 Michael Peca, Buf. Peter Forsberg, Col.
1996 Sergei Fedorov, Det. Ron Francis, Pit.
1995 Ron Francis, Pit. Esa Tikkanen, St.L
1994 Sergei Fedorov, Det. Doug Gilmour, Tor.
1993 Doug Gilmour, Tor. Dave Poulin, Bos.
1992 Guy Carbonneau, Mtl. Sergei Fedorov, Det.
1991 Dirk Graham, Chi. Esa Tikkanen, Edm.
1990 Rick Meagher, St.L Guy Carbonneau, Mtl.

Beleskey rejects Ducks’ offer, headed to free agency

19 Comments

After saying the club would take one final shot at signing Matt Beleskey on Monday, Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray told reporters on Tuesday that talks have broken off.

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports that the Ducks’ latest offer to Beleskey was “rejected immediately”, according to Murray.

Beleskey, who took home $1.4 million during the 2014-15 season, will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

According to Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times, Anaheim’s final offer to Beleskey was believed to be a four-year extension worth $16 million.

“We’ve done a lot of work here and we’ve turned him into a pretty good hockey player,” Murray said per Dillman. “I could have traded him the day before the deadline – I had a deal – and I just said ‘No, that was wrong for my hockey team.'”

The 27-year-old set career highs in goals (22), assists (10) and points (32) in 65 games last season.

Ducks will take ‘one more shot’ at signing Beleskey

5 Comments

It appears Anaheim Ducks’ forward Matt Beleskey could be headed to the open market.

The 27-year-old set a career-high in goals (22) and points (32) during the 2014-15 season.

His two-year, $2.7 million contract is set to expire on July 1 making him an unrestricted free agent and, according to GM Bob Murray, the two sides aren’t close.

“It’s a bumpy road right now,” Murray told The FAN 590 on Monday. “I’m not going to lie. We’re going to take one more shot at it, and then we’ll have to move on.

“You gotta protect yourself. It’s not just the contract this year; it’s what it does to your team in future years. You’ve gotta be looking one, three, five, seven years out. You gotta see what that contract does to you, the term of it. There’s lots of things that go into this that people don’t see right off the bat.”

Prior to last season Beleskey scored just 35 goals total in parts of six seasons with the Ducks.

Beleskey has expressed his desire to remain in Anaheim, but the Ducks have decisions to make with Emerson Etem and Jakob Silfverberg both set to become restricted free agents.

Murray also has to make a decision on Tomas Fleischmann who is set to become an unrestricted free agent next month.

“The organization has some very difficult decisions coming up in the next two or three months,” Murray said.

On the blue line Francois Beauchemin is schedule to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Rutherford: Pens need a better ‘supporting cast’ for core

24 Comments

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is more than comfortable with the core of his roster.

And no, he has no plans to trade Evgeni Malkin, despite the speculation.

It’s the “supporting cast” — beyond Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury — that Rutherford is taking it upon himself to improve.

For good reason, he sees Chicago as the blueprint for success in the salary-cap era.

“The Blackhawks’ core group have risen to the occasion over the span of these last three Cups,” Rutherford told the Post-Gazette. “Clearly Kane and Toews and Crawford and Keith and some others have been really key players, but all three times they’ve had a different supporting cast.

“The conclusion I draw from that is that 1, we have the core guys to win a championship and 2, it’s my job and the job of everyone in hockey [operations] to try to get the right supporting cast so that we can build enough balance, speed and youth to have a complementary group that allows us to make the same run.”

One of the areas where the Penguins have fallen short is player development. Case in point, Rutherford admitted at the end of the season that Beau Bennett hasn’t been brought along properly.

Bennett was the Penguins’ first-round draft pick (20th overall) in 2010.

That was also the year Los Angeles took Tyler Toffoli, one of the leading scorers for the Kings in their second Cup run, with the 47th overall pick.

The next year, the Blackhawks drafted Brandon Saad in the second round and Andrew Shaw in the fifth.

To stay competitive in the salary-cap era, teams need that constant “support from the bottom.”

The Penguins haven’t received that. We mentioned Bennett’s failure to develop into an impact player. Well, at least he’s still with the organization. Pittsburgh traded the first-round picks that came before and after him. Simon Despres (2009) went to the Ducks to get Ben Lovejoy; Joe Morrow (2011) went to Dallas to get Brenden Morrow.

The Pens do have some good prospects in Derrick Pouliot, Kasperi Kapanen and a few others. The key for Rutherford will be to develop those prospects properly, while also acquiring the right veterans, for the right price, to fill out the rest of the roster.

Related: Rutherford insists Pittsburgh is ‘very appealing’ for free agents, even with ownership situation

Report: Heatley considering offers to play in KHL

6 Comments

After spending much of the 2014-15 season in the American Hockey League, Dany Heatley is considering offers to spend next season in the KHL.

The Hockey News cites Championat.com, which is reporting that CSKA Moscow and SKA St. Petersburg have contacted Heatley about playing in the KHL next season.

Heatley signed a one-year, $1 million contract with Anaheim last summer, but found himself on waivers after just six games with the Ducks.

In February the Ducks sent Heatley along with a 2015 third-round pick to the Florida Panthers for Tomas Fleischmann.

The 34-year-old had a minus-3 rating in six NHL games during the 2014-15 season. He added eight goals and 12 assists in 43 AHL games split between the Norfolk Admirals and San Antonio Rampage.

Heatley spent part of the 2004-05 lockout in Russia with Ak Bars Kazan scoring three goals and an assist in 11 games.