The recently acquired Boston Bruins’ forward had to leave Tuesday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes with what the team is calling an “upper-body injury” after he was on the receiving end of a hard — and seemingly legal — hit from Micheal Ferland.
Obviously without any clarification on what the “upper-body injury” actually is anything is going to be speculation. But given that Johansson has had the past two years of his career derailed by concussion issues this is obviously a scary situation for him.
The hit itself looked to be a clean one with what is simply an unfortunate result. Have a look.
The Bruins acquired Johansson just before the NHL trade deadline from the New Jersey Devils in the hopes of boosting their scoring depth. In his first three games with the Bruins he had recorded an assist. In 51 games combined with the Devils and Bruins he has 12 goals and 16 assists.
Don Sweeney took over as the Boston Bruins’ general manager in 2015 and has guided them to three straight playoff berths and a 49-24-9 record in 2018-19. On Wednesday night during the 2019 NHL Awards, his efforts were acknowledged with the GM of the Year Award.
A panel of NHL exclusives, print and broadcast media, as well as the 31 GMs annually give the award “to the general manager who best excelled at his role during the regular season.” Though the award focuses on the season, the voting does take place after the second round.
Sweeney made two significant moves before the trade deadline, acquiring Marcus Johansson and Charlie Coyle. Though the two had a limited impact during the regular season, they provided valuable secondary scoring during the Bruins’ run to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.
One of his big moves though came before the campaign when he signed goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a two-year, $5.5 million contract. That move played off beautifully for the Bruins as Halak was an ideal backup in 2018-19. He took the pressure off Tuukka Rask during his early season struggles and allowed Boston to use their starting sparingly enough that he was fresh for the postseason.
The Lady Byng is awarded to the “player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
Take a look at the top 15 voting, which also included Panthers winger Evgenii Dadonov.
Sometimes people knock the award, but it’s really a nice opportunity to give a great player who may not otherwise lock down an award some recognition. Fittingly, ast year, William Karlsson (Vegas Golden Knights) won the 2018 Lady Byng Trophy.
For just the second time in NHL history, a member of the Vancouver Canucks has won the Calder Trophy. Elias Pettersson followed in the footsteps of Pavel Bure when he was handed the award during Wednesday’s NHL Awards show in Las Vegas. The award is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association and given “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.”
Pettersson dominated the rookie scoring race with 28 goals and 66 points in 71 games. The next best rookie was Brady Tkachuk with 45 points. Due to that, Pettersson was the only forward to be included among the finalists. The other two nominees were Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and Blues goalie Jordan Binnington.
Forwards tend to walk away with this award. Seven of the last eight winners have been forwards with the lone exception being Aaron Ekblad in 2015. The last goaltender to win the Calder was Steve Mason in 2009.
Pettersson couldn’t have asked for a better start to the campaign. He had five goals and eight points in his first five contests and 10 goals through 10 contests. Obviously he didn’t maintain that pace, but he didn’t fade away entirely as the campaign continued either. Some of his highlights included a five-point game on Dec. 9 and a hat trick on Jan. 2.
The wheeling and dealing has already begun ahead of the start of the 2019 NHL Draft this weekend. Between trades, buyouts, and extensions, general managers are getting to work on preparing for next season.
There is one problem, however, as Friday approaches and the draft begins. Due to the Stanley Cup Final going seven games, the calculations that determine the salary cap ceiling and floor have yet to be finalized. GMs were given a projection of an $83M ceiling back during their meetings in December, but official numbers may not be finalized until Saturday — and the upper limit may come in lower than expected.
Multiple teams I’ve spoken to are very concerned about this cap forecast. Many fear that when the NHL and NHLPA settle on an upper limit this week, it will be LESS than $82M for next season, or an increase of only slightly more than $2M. https://t.co/KZiHydOZSD
The cap ceiling for the 2018-19 season was $79.5M, an increase from $75M from 2017-18.
Now, if you’re a general manager who likes to spend to the cap ceiling to maximize your efforts to win the Stanley Cup, well you’re in quite the holding pattern at the moment. The delay could also have a major impact on trade talks this weekend, possibly making for a quiet Friday night on the draft floor as general manager wait and see where the range ends up.