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The best hockey goals of 2017 (PHT Year in Review)

(Pro Hockey Talk is taking a look back at the year in hockey. We’ll be presenting you with the best goals, saves, moments, players and much more as we bring you the best of 2017.)

One of the great things about Twitter is just how fast a goal can be scored and the highlight be blasted across the interwebs for all to see, no matter what part of the globe the game took place. This list of the best goals of 2017 isn’t limited to NHL highlights. We’ve scoured the Internet for the best moves and efforts that resulted in goals and broken them down in different categories.

You’ll see great individual efforts, creative attempts and even a slew of goalie goals.

We hope you enjoy.

THE SOLO EFFORTS

Andreas Athanasiou vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Jan. 14

AA has wheels. AA has hands. He combined those two skills to embarrass the Penguins.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BmDyYSbdCg%5D

Laura Horwood vs. Union, Jan. 21

If you’re going to stop Horwood from taking a scoring chance, you apparently need to do a little more than hand out a few chops and trip her up.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAzOhxofVts%5D

Auston Matthews vs. Carolina Hurricanes, Feb. 19

The 2017 Calder Trophy winner routinely made goaltenders look silly, as Cam Ward discovered. This effort, a twisty backhander that went five-hole was all sorts of ridiculous.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBA6zZiVisw%5D

Sidney Crosby vs. Buffalo Sabres, March 21

The 2016-17 Sabres were bad, bad, bad, so it’s no surprised that to defend Crosby, they parted the seas and allowed the Penguins captain to one-hand a shot by Robin Lehner.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gXSN5tV9NE%5D

Alex Radulov vs. New York Rangers, April 16

Radulov was electric in his NHL return with the Montreal Canadiens last season. That was on full display during the first-round of the playoffs when he undressed Henrik Lundqvist with this one-handed beauty.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncsGtMQ0t7M%5D

Mike Hoffman vs. Bruins, April 17

This is a complete package of a goal. Not only do we get a marvelous Hail Mary pass from Erik Karlsson that lands on Hoffman’s tape, we then get a Nilsson/Forsberg move to top it all off.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlZ_EuE0Ks4%5D

David Farrance vs. Finland, Aug. 4

Coast-to-coast goals are a thing for Farrance. He showed that once again with the U.S. National Team Development Program during August’s World Junior Summer Showcase.

David Pastrnak vs. Vancouver Canucks, Oct. 19

The Canucks were just like us on this goal, admiring a wonderful end-to-end rush by the Bruins star.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cVIiYk9eVk%5D

Jack Hughes vs. Green Bay Gamblers, Oct. 23

We’ll be hearing a lot about Hughes in the next few years as he prepares for the 2019 NHL Draft with the USNTDP. Here he is giving us a taste of what’s to come.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeRUKpk4Ps0%5D

Adam Henrique vs. New Jersey Devils, Dec. 18

“It’s good to be back in New Jersey. Now here’s a highlight-reel goal.” – Henrique, probably.

It’s not just the big kids who can score pretty goals:

THE DIPSEY-DO’ERS

Pontus Aberg vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, May 31

Poor Olli Maatta, getting posterized on a national stage like the Stanley Cup Final.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm682A6tidw%5D

Viktor Arvidsson vs. Carolina Hurricanes, Nov. 27

The Nashville Predators forward pulled this same move off against the St. Louis Blues a year ago. That scouting report appeared to get lost.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Buhd4wQW9eY%5D

Dmitry Orlov vs. Dallas Stars, Dec. 19

Orlov is still playing for the Capitals, which means no one reported him to the authorities after he pulled this move on John Klingberg.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YXnDT5C_Ag%5D

THE BASEBALL BATTERS

Jared Spurgeon vs. New Jersey Devils, Jan. 17

It’s not so much the Minnesota Wild defenseman batting away here, it’s the wherewithal to catch and release in such a small amount of time that puts this one on another level.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5kmYFo7ZTo%5D

Patric Hornqvist vs. Florida Panthers, March 19

This might be the closest thing we get to an alley-oop in hockey. Great timing and connection here between Hornqvist and Phil Kessel.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMWrKQ_pNk4%5D

THE CHEEKY BETWEEN-THE-LEGS SCORERS

Chad Kolarik vs. Dusseldorf, Sept. 17

These types of goals are never not be enjoyable every single time you watch. Just the sheer confidence alone to decide to pull this move off during a game — a close one in this instance — is enough to warrant praise.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7m2_cRD1kQ%5D

Robert Farmer vs. Sheffield Steelers, Oct. 14

Silky. Smooth. Call it whatever you want. Farmer pulls this is off in a very calm manner like he’d done it before.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTO_1Tfph6k%5D

Josh Bailey vs. San Jose Sharks, Oct. 21

Bailey does it all here. He intercepts the pass, makes Joe Pavelski look silly and then gets tricky inside Aaron Dell‘s crease.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uprjDdB0yes%5D

Boris Sadecky vs. Lokomotiv, Oct. 25

Sadecky was feeling it this night in October. He not only embarrasses a defenseman on his way to the net, he then was feeling supremely confident that he felt that going backhand or forehand wasn’t the way to go.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1H7IucnIjxE%5D

Kenny Agostino vs. Utica Comets, Dec. 10

In what turned out to be the 2,000th win in franchise history, Agostino needed only 26 seconds of overtime to deliver this absolute beauty.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjiwZwhpD70%5D

THE BILL ARMSTRONG/MIKE LEGG TRIBUTES

Kalle Kossila vs San Jose Barracuda, Jan. 20

You have to admire the patience of the San Diego Gulls forward here. It’s clear he badly wants to attempt the lacrosse-style shot and he’s just waiting out the defenseman to give him the space needed to do it. Success.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB2cqbJN8iI%5D

Matthew Strome vs. Ottawa 67’s, Nov. 25

Just like The Spanish Inquisition, no goalie ever expects the scoop shot.

THE GOALIE GOALS

Étienne Montpetit vs. Quebec Remparts, Jan. 7

Montpetit put a different spin on things by taking advantage of the Remparts emptying their net trying for a goal while on a power play. A shorthanded goalie goal.

Mike Smith, All-Star Skills Competition, Jan. 28

If Smith had accomplished this feat during an intermission, he probably would have won himself a brand new car or some cash.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krPWOcXemAg%5D

Dylan Wells vs. Kingston Frontenacs, April 13

Really one of the best parts of a goalie goal is when they take part in the bench fly-by. It’s always well-deserved.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9kzEeLbfQw%5D

Mikhail Berdin vs. Muskegon Lumberjcks, Nov. 20

Not only did Sioux Falls Stampede fans get to enjoy a win during Teddy Bear Toss Night, they also got to see Berdin strut his stuff in celebration after he scored the first goal of his career.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzSGnZnZu8M%5D

Previously:

————

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

NHL, NHLPA agree on protocols to resume season

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The NHL and NHL Players’ Association agreed Sunday on protocols to resume the season, a major step toward the return of hockey this summer.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press there was an agreement on protocols for training camps and games and the sides are still negotiating an extension of the collective bargaining agreement, which is crucial to the process.

A person with knowledge of the situation said the return-to-play protocols would only go into effect if each side votes to approve the full package of the CBA extension and return-to-play agreement. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because CBA talks are still ongoing.

To complete a return, two-thirds of the league’s board of governors and majorities of the players’ executive committee and full membership must vote in favor.

If everything is ratified, it will end a pandemic-forced shutdown that began in mid-March. Games would resume in late July or early August with 24 teams taking part in an expanded playoffs, finishing with the Stanley Cup being awarded in October.

The agreement was first reported by TSN.

The 47 pages of protocols outline the health and safety measures the league and players agreed to after several weeks of negotiations. Any player has until 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday to notify his team if he’s choosing to opt out of participating in training camp and games.

For those playing, each team is limited to 30 skaters and an unlimited amount of goaltenders for camp and total roster of up to 31 players for games. Each team is limited to 52 personnel in its game city, a group that must include two trainers, a doctor and compliance officer in addition players, coaches and management.

They are expected to be quarantined from the general public during play at least for the qualifying and first two traditional playoff rounds. Family members will be permitted to join when play is moved to one city for the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final.

All team and league employees plus hotel, restaurant and arena staff coming in contact with players will be tested daily in the two ”hub” cities.

One player’s positive coronavirus test result is not expected to shut down play entirely. The league has said it would isolate any player or staff member who tests positive, acknowledging an outbreak would threaten the remainder of the season.

”The players will be pretty well-protected from being exposed,” Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson said during a conference call in June. ”It’s going to be a completely different way for you all and us watching hockey and being around a team because players will be really well protected throughout the process.”

The protocols include a provision for Commissioner Gary Bettman in consultation with NHLPA executive director Don Fehr to postpone, delay or cancel games in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Assuming the protocols are approved, teams are expected to open training camps July 13 before traveling to the two hub cities for games. Players have been able to skate and train off-ice in voluntary, small-group workouts since June 8 – nearly three months after hockey was halted March 12 with 189 regular-season games remaining.

Returning for the playoffs is seen as a stirring victory for the NHL, which like other top leagues faced the prospect of losing millions more without the television revenue tied to the postseason. There were deep concerns about canceling the rest of the season and word of positive tests didn’t help: 26 players since June 8, in addition to almost a dozen before that.

Boston defenseman Matt Grzelcyk called the positive test results ”eye-opening” but expected. A few players expressed concerns in recent weeks about the uncertainty surrounding a return.

”We have obviously a unique situation right now,” Montreal goaltender Carey Price said. ”The NHL and the NHLPA are trying to make the best of a very difficult situation. Moving forward I’d like to play, but we have a lot of questions that need to be answered and a lot of scenarios that need to be covered.”

If the protocols and an CBA extension cover those scenarios for enough owners and players, there will be a path forward to hand out the Stanley Cup. Only twice since 1893 has the Cup not been awarded: in 1919, when the final couldn’t be completed because of the Spanish flu pandemic, and 2005 when the season was wiped out by a lockout.

Seven hockey players suspended in Belarus match-fixing case

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ZURICH — Seven ice hockey players have been suspended during an investigation into match-fixing in the Belarus league.

The players — five from Belarus and two from Russia — told a domestic investigation they were paid to help arrange the outcome of a game in November, the International Ice Hockey Federation said on Friday.

“During the investigation, each of the players also admitted that they had agreed to exert an unlawful influence on the outcome of the game in exchange for illegal remuneration,” the governing body said in a statement.

The IIHF said its disciplinary board had taken over the case “for further review and sanctioning.”

The case involves Dynamo Molodechno’ losing to Mogilyov 6-5 in a Belarus Extraliga game.

The players have been suspended from taking part in any competition organized by the IIHF or its member federations.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL vs. viruses; Flat salary cap pain = Avs’ gain?

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Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from the NHL and around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit for the PHT Morning Skate? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

Lafreniere, COVID-19 hockey concerns, and how Avs may benefit from a flat salary cap

• Rank Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen among those expressing some misgivings about playing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. [TSN]

• Breaking: Alexis Lafreniere is not a defenseman. In all seriousness, a look at some Maple Leafs possibilities … which might be complicated at No. 1 because of that positional point. Maybe? [Pension Plan Puppets]

• Speaking of those Maple Leafs, Buds fans are not pleased about the idea of a possible flat, $81.5M salary cap. There are teams who might take advantage of this situation, though. Here’s why the Avalanche could be one of those teams. [Mile High Hockey]

• A look back at the NHL’s “rivalries” with viruses. Does the history of the NHL’s dealing with such issues — even the Mumps — be a cause for concern amid COVID-19 outbreaks? [Arctic Ice Hockey]

• Earlier this week, PHT selected the best landing spots for Alexis Lafreniere. What about getting even more specific? Andrew Berkshire shared his picks for some of the lines that would benefit most from adding the consensus No. 1 pick to their left side. [Sportsnet]

Other hockey links

• Sean Gentille put together an oral history for the Jean Claude Van Damme masterpiece “Sudden Death.” If you haven’t heard of the candidate for “so-bad-it’s-good” designation, how about the elevator pitch: “Die Hard at a hockey game.” [The Athletic (sub required)]

• On face value, this article focuses most on Rudy Gobert and Novak Djokovic and athletes feeling invulnerable to COVID-19. But it’s a really good read for hockey fans, players, and executives as cautionary tales with a return-to-play picking up steam. [The Score]

• Joe Pelletier of Greatest Hockey Legends wonders why the bar is set so high for goalies to get into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Not an awful point when you consider that they play the most important position in the sport, and all. I wouldn’t mind Ron Hextall making a future cut, to name just one worthy goalie. [Greatest Hockey Legends]

• Five crossovers between hockey and Todd McFarlane. Yes, the “Spawn” guy. [PuckJunk]

• Taking a run at putting together the Sabres’ roster during the upcoming offseason. It gets elaborate, including potential trades. Yes, this scenario includes trading away Rasmus Ristolainen. Don’t they all? [Die by the Blade]

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Our Line Starts podcast: NHL, NHLPA nearing agreement; hub cities, Olympics, CBA

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Liam McHugh, Keith Jones, and Patrick Sharp react to the reports that the NHL and NHLPA are nearing the completion of a massive agreement that would not only cover this year’s Return to Play protocols, but also serve as an extension to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The guys discuss Edmonton and Toronto emerging as hub city favorites, as well as what it would mean for the NHL to return to the Olympics. Plus, a breakdown of the Qualifying Round series in both conferences.

Start-4:45 Edmonton, Toronto new hub city frontrunners
4:45-8:45 NHL, NHLPA nearing CBA extension, including Olympic participation
8:45-13:00 Other return to play details
14:00-23:00 Eastern Conference Qualifying Round preview
23:50-End Western Conference Qualifying Round preview

Where else you can listen:

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id1482681517

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/nbc-sports/our-line-starts

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7cDMHBg6NJkQDGe4KHu4iO?si=9BmcLtutTFmhRrNNcMqfgQ

NBC Sports on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/nbcsports