The Price is Right: Habs’ goaltender wins Hart Memorial Trophy

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Carey Price is the 2015 winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy.

Price becomes the first goaltender since 2002 to win both Vezina Trophy and Hart Trophy.

The 27-year-old is also the first goaltender since Dominik Hasek in 1997 and 1998 to win the Vezina Trophy, Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award.

Price is first goaltender in NHL history to win the Hart Trophy, Vezina Trophy, Ted Lindsay and Jennings.

It’s the first MVP award for Price who helped the Canadiens earn the top seed in the Atlantic Division despite Montreal finishing 20th overall in goals for per game during the regular season.

“It’s coming together,” Price told NHL.com on Tuesday. “It’s always been a process. A lot of goaltenders my age have already had a lot of success. I feel like my career is progressing in the right direction, but I’m still looking for what I ultimately want.”

Price led the league in wins (44), G.A.A. (1.96) and save percentage (.933) during the 2014-15 season.

“I think the biggest thing is I was trying to focus more on being successful as opposed to focusing on what I needed to do to be successful. That basic mindset was a big difference,” Price said of his MVP season. “[Stephane Waite] has definitely helped with that, my dad’s helped with that, but ultimately it takes the individual to accept that. Over the last couple of years, I think I’ve really done that.”

Price beat out New York Islanders’ captain John Tavares and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

Here are the full voting results:

Pts. (1st-2nd-3rd)
1. Carey Price, MTL 1498 (139-14-2-0-0)
2. Alex Ovechkin, WSH 888 (8-75-45-18-4)
3. John Tavares, NYI 739 (4-41-63-27-16)
4. Devan Dubnyk, MIN 410 (6-16-25-30-23)
5. Sidney Crosby, PIT 138 (0-2-3-25-34)
6. Ryan Getzlaf, ANA 124 (0-2-6-20-20)
7. Rick Nash, NYR 70 (0-1-4-9-16)
8. Pekka Rinne, NSH 49 (0-2-4-4-3)
9. Erik Karlsson, OTT 32 (0-1-1-5-5)
10. Jonathan Toews, CHI 31 (0-1-3-2-3)
11. Steven Stamkos, TBL 29 (0-1-0-5-7)
12. Jamie Benn, DAL 23 (0-0-0-5-8)
13. Jiri Hudler, CGY 16 (0-1-0-3-0)
14. Vladimir Tarasenko, STL 14 (0-0-0-3-5)
15. Andrew Hammond, OTT 9 (0-0-0-1-6)
16. P.K. Subban, MTL 5 (0-0-1-0-0)
17. Drew Doughty, LAK 2 (0-0-0-0-2)
18. Dustin Byfuglien, WPG 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Braden Holtby, WSH 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Zach Parise, MIN 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Shea Weber, NSH 1 (0-0-0-0-1)

Here are the MVP-winners and the second-place guys since 1990:

Year Winner Runner-up
2015 Carey Price, Mtl. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh.
2014 Sidney Crosby, Pit. Ryan Getzlaf, Ana.
2013 Alex Ovechkin, Wsh. Sidney Crosby, Pit.
2012 Evgeni Malkin, Pit. Steven Stamkos, T.B.
2011 Corey Perry, Ana. Daniel Sedin, Van.
2010 Henrik Sedin, Van. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh.
2009 Alex Ovechkin, Wsh. Evgeni Malkin, Pit.
2008 Alex Ovechkin, Wsh. Evgeni Malkin, Pit.
2007 Sidney Crosby, Pit. Roberto Luongo, Van.
2006 Joe Thornton, S.J. Jaromir Jagr, NYR
2004 Martin St. Louis, T.B. Jarome Iginla, Cgy.
2003 Peter Forsberg, Col. Markus Naslund, Van.
2002 Jose Theodore, Mtl. Jarome Iginla, Cgy.
2001 Joe Sakic, Col. Mario Lemieux, Pit.
2000 Chris Pronger, St.L Jaromir Jagr, Pit.
1999 Jaromir Jagr, Pit. Alexei Yashin, Ott.
1998 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Jaromir Jagr, Pit.
1997 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Paul Kariya, Ana.
1996 Mario Lemieux, Pit. Mark Messier, NYR
1995 Eric Lindros, Phi. Jaromir Jagr, Pit.
1994 Sergei Fedorov, Det. Dominik Hasek, Buf.
1993 Mario Lemieux, Pit. Doug Gilmour, Tor.
1992 Mark Messier, NYR Patrick Roy, Mtl.
1991 Brett Hull, St.L Wayne Gretzky, L.A.
1990 Mark Messier, Edm. Ray Bourque, Bos.

Despite ‘win right now’ mentality, Sharks unlikely to shop No. 9 pick at draft

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Even though they hired a veteran head coach in Peter DeBoer — who, upon taking the job, said his expectation is to “win right now” — the San Jose Sharks don’t sound as though they’ll be entertaining offers for the ninth overall pick at this year’s NHL Entry Draft.

“The strength of this draft year, it impacted some of our decisions this season,” GM Doug Wilson said, per NHL.com. “We were not going to move our first-round pick regardless.

“The chance to add a high-end quality player [in the draft] was not something we were going to compromise on.”

While this approach fits with the “tomorrow team” label Wilson put on his team prior to last season, there was some thought the Sharks could have altered their philosophy, largely based on what DeBoer said upon being introduced in late May.

“I think if you enter the San Jose Sharks organization, like I am as the head coach, the expectation is to win right now,” he said. “Regardless of the ages or the birth certificates of the players, there’s a tradition here of winning and of challenging to go deep into the playoffs. That’s my expectation. I think that’s [GM Doug Wilson’s] expectation, and I don’t think anyone’s looking for anything less than that here.”

DeBoer then predicted a “big bounce-back” for the Sharks after they missed the playoffs for the first time in 11 years. That belief is based partly on a veteran core group of players — Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Brent Burns, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic — who will (presumably) return next season, and not so they can be part of a rebuild.

But even with that core group in place, Wilson was adamant he wants to stockpile future talent at what’s expected to be one of the deepest drafts in recent memory.

“We see it as a very good draft,” Wilson said. “It was forecast as a good draft and it’s playing out that way.”

DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose

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So much for the San Jose Sharks becoming a “tomorrow team.”

Based on what Pete DeBoer said today at his introductory press conference, a “tomorrow team” isn’t what he signed on to coach.

“I think if you enter the San Jose Sharks organization, like I am as the head coach, the expectation is to win right now,” he said. “Regardless of the ages or the birth certificates of the players, there’s a tradition here of winning and of challenging to go deep into the playoffs. That’s my expectation. I think that’s [GM Doug Wilson’s] expectation, and I don’t think anyone’s looking for anything less than that here.”

Despite the Sharks having just missed the playoffs for the first time since 2003, DeBoer is predicting a “big bounce-back” for San Jose, which still boasts Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Brent Burns, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic on its roster.

DeBoer was asked what needs to change to avoid a repeat of 2014-15.

“I’ve got some ideas in my head, but I can’t box it up for you in one package,” he said. “I can tell you I believe it’s fixable, and the biggest thing that’s going to be fixed – and the most comforting thing to me – is the character of this group.

“You’ve got a lot of proud people here that aren’t too happy about where they were sitting at the end of last season. My history with that is, if you’ve got character and you’ve been through that, you’re ready to push back. And I think we’re going to see that.”

‘There’s nobody that wants to fight Jamie Benn,’ says Stars GM

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There’s been plenty of praise for Jamie Benn recently. After capturing the NHL’s scoring title with a final-night flurry — on what was later acknowledged to be a serious hip injury — then earning a nomination for the Ted Lindsay Award, it seems people can’t say enough about good things the Dallas captain.

Like his boss, for example.

“There’s nobody that wants to fight Jamie Benn,” Stars GM Jim Nill said, per the Dallas Morning-News. “I’ve seen it in so many buildings.

“The game gets a little bit rough, he kind of looks at somebody and the fire is put out.”

Benn, 25, is a pretty tough customer. He’s listed at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, racked up a team-high 120 hits this season and, over his six-year NHL career, has fought 14 times, which includes couple of memorable scraps.

Like this one, against Francois Beauchemin:

And another, perhaps most famously, against Joe Thornton:

The toughness factor has played a big role in Benn’s quick ascension to star status. Over the last two years, he’s accomplished an awful lot — won an Olympic gold and Art Ross, became team captain, helped Dallas snap a five-year playoff drought — yet never strayed from the gritty, sandpaper stuff.

“It’s amazing what he’s done just in the two years that I’ve been there,” Nill explained. “And what is he — 25? He’s not even in his prime yet.

“And he’s laying in bed right now with two hip surgeries. He played the whole year injured. People don’t understand that. It’s an amazing what he’s done. The encouraging part is where he’s headed. You know he’s going to get even better.”

Related: Stars’ Benn undergoes second hip surgery

Would McLellan like to coach McDavid? ‘You can have the best player and still not have the best team’

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No longer the head coach of the San Jose Sharks, Todd McLellan was asked today if he’d like to coach Connor McDavid, the likely first overall pick of the Edmonton Oilers.

McLellan’s answer was an interesting one.

“I would like to coach a great group of hockey players next year,” he said. “Connor McDavid is, obviously, everybody’s talking about him and his ability to come in and have an impact. I’m assuming that the Oilers will pick him number one.

“But one thing that I’ve learned: you can have the best player and still not have the best team. It’s about team. It’s about a group. It’s about the whole organization and the culture of the organization.

“Connor’s going to be a very exciting player to watch — again, I’m assuming in Edmonton — and he’ll have an impact on the league for years and years to come. But the bigger story is about the group as a whole.”

Take that as a shot at the Edmonton Oilers and their culture. Or, take it as a parting shot at the Sharks and theirs. Both clubs have been criticized for their losing ways — Edmonton despite three first-overall draft picks already in its lineup; San Jose for its failures to get the job done in the playoffs.

Maybe it wasn’t really a direct shot at anyone, and McLellan was just setting the table for his next opportunity.

Regardless, he wants to coach next season, and he’ll be a top candidate for vacancies in Toronto, Philadelphia, and Buffalo. And if there are openings anywhere else (Edmonton? Detroit?), probably those places too.

As for why he and the Sharks “mutually agreed” to part ways? McLellan said that with one year left on his contract and the team “clearly in a rebuild,” he felt “it was time.”

McLellan also shared some thoughts on his much-maligned former captain.

“I can tell you, ’til my last breath, I can tell you that I have a ton of respect for Joe Thornton,” he said.

“He’s a tremendous player, first of all. He cares immensely about the organization, about his teammates, and he has a strong passion for winning. And that may be one of the big misnomers out there, just because he is a relaxed guy and that type of stuff.

“But my respect level for him is very high. There’ll be a day when he’s going to be put into the Hall of Fame, and hopefully as he goes in there with all the awards, he can finish his career by winning a championship. I know that’s what his passion is all about.”