Sens meeting with agents of Ryan, MacArthur next week

9 Comments

After going through tricky ordeals with Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza in the past two summers, the Ottawa Senators would like to avoid similar drama next year.

Forwards Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur are entering the final year of their contracts and can both become unrestricted free agents. As Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen shared, assistant GM Pierre Dorion is trying to get ahead of matters and will be speaking with agents for both players next week.

Recently we shared how the Sens are looking to get a new multi-year deal done with defenseman Marc Methot as well, but with Ryan and MacArthur’s free agency looming next summer, there’s a sense of dread looming if talks can’t progress quickly. After all, when a team loses big time offensive producers in back-to-back offseasons that’ll happen.

MacArthur and Ryan were fourth and fifth on the team in points last season. With Spezza gone, it’ll be up to Kyle Turris to do what he did last season and more to help keep the Sens offense going. With Erik Karlsson putting up monster numbers from the blue line, the forwards have to do their part as well and the production fell off quickly after Ryan.

Turris excited about being Sens’ likely top center

9 Comments

With Jason Spezza out of town, the Ottawa Senators likely turn to 24-year-old forward Kyle Turris as their top center for the 2014-15 season.

Turris believes that the sometimes-painful taste of being a No. 1 center when Spezza was injured in 2011-12 might just serve him well if he’s thrust into that role full-time, as he told the Ottawa Sun.

“This upcoming year, if I’m put into that role again, I think the experience I have now will work in my favor, to know what to expect and how better to prepare for it,” Turris said. “If I get that opportunity I’ll be excited about the challenge, that’s for sure.”

Despite having 2012 Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, a pair of streaky but potentially difference-making goalies and a talented young power forward in Bobby Ryan, the Senators generally seem like a rebuilding team on paper.

Turris seems to believe that this group is capable of big things, however.

“Oh without question, I think we’ve got a definite playoff team and not just a playoff team, I feel we’ve got a group that can make a run in the playoffs,” said Turris. “I definitely feel we have a real good team.”

The accuracy of that claim will probably hinge on how well Turris handles his expected bump to unquestioned go-to guy.

Ducks’ Murray takes GM of the Year award

6 Comments

The 2014 GM of the Year Award went to Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray.

Murray is the fifth winner of the newly established trophy for the top executive in the NHL. He joked that he would easily switch places with Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who finished third in voting but whose team happened to win the 2014 Stanley Cup.

Plenty of votes also went to Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, who rounded out the top three finalists for the award.

The Ducks earned the most standings points in the Western Conference and the second-most in the NHL overall with 116. They went 54-20-8. The Kings ousted them in the second round of the postseason, but voting is only based on the regular season.

Murray made some bold moves over the last season-and-change, sending Bobby Ryan out of town and acquiring Mathieu Perreault via trades. He managed to bring back Teemu Selanne, yet his best work might be in developing the Ducks’ promising group of prospects. Kyle Palmieri, John Gibson and Frederik Andersen rank among young players who are already showing promise in the present and may only get better in the future.

Naturally, this award is also based on cumulative work, and hiring Bruce Boudreau in 2011 is clearly paying off.

Here are the voting results:

Pts. (1st-2nd-3rd)
1. Bob Murray, ANA 66 (9-6-3)
2. Marc Bergevin, MTL 49 (7-4-2)
3. Dean Lombardi, LA 33 (3-4-6)
4. Stan Bowman, CHI 29 (3-4-2)
5. Jim Nill, DAL 27 (4-0-7)
6. Peter Chiarelli, BOS 23 (2-3-4)
7. Chuck Fletcher, MIN 21 (2-3-2)
8. Steve Yzerman, TB 19 (2-2-3)
9. Ken Holland, DET 14 (1-3-0)
10. Greg Sherman, COL 10 (2-0-0)
11. Glen Sather, NYR 9 (0-2-3)
12. Jarmo Kekalainen, CBJ 8 (0-2-2)
13. Doug Armstrong, STL 6 (0-2-0)
14. Dale Tallon, FLA 1 (0-0-1)

Here are the five all-time winners:

Year Winner Team
2014 Bob Murray Anaheim
2013 Ray Shero Pittsburgh
2012 Doug Armstrong St. Louis
2011 Mike Gillis Vancouver
2010 Don Maloney Phoenix

Rookie Mountain High: Avs’ MacKinnon wins Calder

5 Comments

For the second time in three years, the Calder Trophy is going to Denver.

Colorado Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon captured the league’s rookie of the year award on Tuesday night, beating out Tampa Bay teammates Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson for the honor. With the win, MacKinnon joined Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog as a Calder winner (Landeskog captured his in 2011-12) and just the ninth player in NHL history to win the trophy after being selected No. 1 overall, joining the likes of Gilbert Perreault, Denis Potvin, Bobby Smith, Dale Hawerchuk, Mario Lemieux, Bryan Berard, Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane.

Though Palat and Johnson had solid years, MacKinnon was a runaway Calder winner given his tremendous regular season — the former QMJHL Halifax star topped all first-year players in points (63), goals (24-tied), assists (39), power-play goals (8), game-winning goals (5-tied) and shots (241) this year.

Here are the voting results for the top 10 candidates:

Pts. (1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th)
1. Nathan MacKinnon, COL 1347 (130-6-1-0-0)
2. Ondrej Palat, TB 791 (5-78-29-15-5)
3. Tyler Johnson, TB 352 (0-13-29-30-26)
4. Torey Krug, BOS 287 (1-9-23-25-24)
5. Olli Maatta, PIT 225 (0-11-18-16-10)
6. Jacob Trouba, WPG 213 (1-11-17-9-14)
7. Hampus Lindholm, ANA 208 (0-7-15-22-18)
8. Sean Monahan, CGY 38 (0-2-2-3-5)
9. Frederik Andersen, ANA 25 (0-0-0-4-13)
10. Chris Kreider, NYR 20 (0-0-1-3-6)

To little surprise, MacKinnon ran away with the voting. In case you’re wondering, Nashville Predators defenseman Seth Jones came in 11th.

Take a look at the Calder Trophy winners and runners up since 1990:

Year Winner Runner-up
2014 Nathan MacKinnon, Col. Ondrej Palat, T.B.
2013 Jonathan Huberdeau, Fla. B. Gallagher, Mtl.
2012 Gabriel Landeskog, Col. R. Nugent-Hopkins, Edm.
2011 Jeff Skinner, Car. Logan Couture, S.J.
2010 Tyler Myers, Buf. Jimmy Howard, Det.
2009 Steve Mason, CBJ Bobby Ryan, Ana
2008 Patrick Kane, Chi. N. Backstrom, Wsh
2007 Evgeni Malkin, Pit. Paul Stastny, Col.
2006 Alex Ovechkin, Wsh. Sidney Crosby, Pit.
2004 Andrew Raycroft, Bos. Michael Ryder, Mtl.
2003 Barret Jackman, St.L Henrik Zetterberg, Det.
2002 Dany Heatley, Atl. Ilya Kovalchuk, Atl.
2001 Evgeni Nabokov, S.J. Brad Richards, T.B.
2000 Scott Gomez, N.J. Brad Stuart, S.J.
1999 Chris Drury, Col. Marian Hossa, Ott.
1998 Sergei Samsonov, Bos. Mattias Ohlund, Van.
1997 Bryan Berard, NYI Jarome Iginla, Cgy.
1996 Daniel Alfredsson, Ott. Eric Daze, Chi.
1995 Peter Forsberg, Que. Jim Carey, Wsh.
1994 Martin Brodeur, N.J. Jason Arnott, Edm.
1993 Teemu Selanne, Wpg. Joe Juneau, Bos.
1992 Pavel Bure, Van. Nicklas Lidstrom, Det.
1991 Ed Belfour, Chi. Sergei Fedorov, Det.
1990 Sergei Makarov, Cgy. Mike Modano, Min.

 

Here’s the official 2014 NHL Entry Draft order

8 Comments

On Monday, the NHL announced the official order for picks one through 30 at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, to be held in Philadelphia from June 27-28.

Some notes about the order…

— The first 13 picks were decided at April’s draft lottery, won by the Florida Panthers. The Panthers will select first overall; despite being a lottery team, the New Jersey Devils were given the 30th overall selection as an amendment to their punishment stemming from the Ilya Kovalchuk contract situation.

— Anaheim gets Ottawa’s pick at No. 10 from last summer’s Bobby Ryan trade.

— Tampa Bay gets New York’s pick at No. 28 from the trade deadline acquisition of Martin St. Louis.

— The Islanders had to the option to send this year’s pick (No. 5 overall) to Buffalo as part of the Thomas Vanek trade, but opted to retain the selection and forward their 2015 first-rounder instead.

Here’s the official list of picks:

1. Florida Panthers

2. Buffalo Sabres

3. Edmonton Oilers

4. Calgary Flames

5. New York Islanders

6. Vancouver Canucks

7. Carolina Hurricanes

8. Toronto Maple Leafs

9. Winnipeg Jets

10. Anaheim Ducks (from Ottawa Senators)

11. Nashville Predators

12. Phoenix Coyotes

13. Washington Capitals

14. Dallas Stars

15. Detroit Red Wings

16. Columbus Blue Jackets

17. Philadelphia Flyers

18. Minnesota Wild

19. Tampa Bay Lightning

20. San Jose Sharks

21. St. Louis Blues

22. Pittsburgh Penguins

23. Colorado Avalanche

24. Anaheim Ducks

25. Boston Bruins

26. Montreal Canadiens

27. Chicago Blackhawks

28. Tampa Bay Lightning (from New York Rangers)

29. Los Angeles Kings

30. New Jersey Devils