Posts Tagged ‘Team Captain’

Patrice Bergeron isn’t going anywhere.

The Boston Bruins captain has decided to re-up with the club and is expected to sign a one-year contract, reports the Worcester Telegram and Gazette’s Joe McDonald.

Bergeron would’ve been one of the most coveted players on the market had he decided to test it this summer as an unrestricted free agent. The veteran center, who’ll turn 37 in July, won the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward for a league-record fifth time earlier this spring.

He had a stellar 2021-22 season despite his age. Bergeron collected 25 goals and 40 assists over 73 contests. The versatile forward was his typically dominant self in terms of possession and defense as well. He led all NHL forwards in defensive goals above replacement, expected defensive goals above replacement, and expected goals against per 60 minutes at five-on-five.

Bergeron also ranked first in expected goals for percentage and scoring chances for percentage at five-on-five among the league’s skaters who played at least 500 minutes in those situations.

He’s spent his entire 18-year career with the Bruins, who drafted him 45th overall in 2003. Bergeron ranks fourth among the franchise’s all-time leaders in goals, assists, and points. He sits third in games played and has worn the “C” for the last two seasons.

The future Hall of Famer helped Boston win the Stanley Cup in 2011 and reach the final in both 2013 and 2019.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar has been named the winner of the 2021-22 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, the league announced Wednesday.

The honor is given annually to “the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey.” The winner is chosen by Messier himself.

In addition to helping grow the game in Southern California, Kopitar also hosts a youth hockey academy in his home nation of Slovenia.

“We’ve covered quite a few countries. The word is spreading,” Kopitar said during an interview with Messier after being announced as the winner. “I think last year we covered, altogether, 13 countries, so the kids are coming and wanting to learn and wanting to start up with hockey, and I’m very thankful to be a part of the hockey community. It’s given me so much.”

Kopitar led the Kings with 67 points in 81 regular-season games while helping his team clinch a spot in the playoffs.

The 34-year-old has spent 16 seasons with Los Angeles, and he’s sported the “C” since the 2016-17 campaign.

Kopitar is the 16th winner of the award. Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron took home the honor last season.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby recognizes the 2021-22 Stanley Cup Playoffs could be the last opportunity for his club’s longtime core to chase a championship.

Teammates Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang are set for unrestricted free agency this summer.

“As much as you don’t want to think about it, it’s something that you understand could be a possibility,” Crosby told NHL.com’s Wes Crosby. “I think you just try to enjoy it as much as you can, and try to take it all in because you know it’s something that’s not going to last forever, whether it’s this year or down the road a little bit more.

“You only get to play for so long, so I think just trying to enjoy it and be grateful for the opportunity that we have to do it again.”

Crosby (34 years old), Malkin (35), and Letang (35) have been teammates for the past 16 seasons, qualifying for the playoffs each year and winning the Stanley Cup in 2009, 2016, and 2017. The only campaign Crosby’s Penguins failed to reach the postseason was his rookie year in 2005-06, before Malkin and Letang debuted in the NHL.

Although they’re well into their 30s, the trio is still the engine that drives the Penguins.

2021-22 stats

PLAYERGPPTSATOI
Crosby688420:01
Malkin404018:25
Letang776725:48

Malkin currently carries a $9.5-million average annual value, while Letang earns $7.25 million per season. Both high-profile players could command big-ticket contracts on the open market, but the Penguins could attempt to retain the pair of superstars. Pittsburgh has more than $29 million in projected cap space this offseason, according to CapFriendly.

Crosby is signed through 2024-25 at a yearly cap hit of $8.7 million.

The Penguins currently sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 101 points and one game remaining. The Washington Capitals are hot in pursuit of their archrivals with 100 points of their own and a game in hand.

Steven Stamkos scored his 34th goal of the season and became Tampa Bay’s all-time scoring leader as the Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 8-1 on Thursday night.

Stamkos, the first overall pick in the 2008 draft, fired a one-timer from the left circle off a feed from Nikita Kucherov for the record-breaking 954th point of his career. He moved past Martin St. Louis, who had 365 goals and 588 assists with the Lightning.

A congratulatory video was shown on the scoreboard, narrated by St. Louis.

“To do it at home against the team that I grew up idolizing,’’ said Stamkos, who is from Markham, Ontario. “Then having, (Kucherov) and (Victor Hedman) assist on a one-time shot. Then my parents were here and my wife was here … to do it at home. Then to have Marty come out and do that. I mean, I don’t really think of myself as an emotional guy, but that really hit me. It was just an amazing, amazing experience.’’

Stamkos, who added two assists, has 473 goals and 483 assists in 917 career games, all with Tampa Bay.

“What an accomplishment, and he’s got so much more left in the tank, but, wow,’’ Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “Anytime you’re becoming the franchise leader in an organization that’s been around for 30 years and have the guys you’re passing are Hall of Famers, it was a great moment.’’

Kucherov collected career point No. 600 on the Stamkos goal and added his 20th goal of the season. Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat and Ross Colton each finished with three points. Colton and Killorn scored twice. Pat Maroon added his 10th of the season for the Lightning, which set a season high in goals scored and margin of victory.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 36 shots and picked up his first win in seven starts, recording his first victory since April 1 in Chicago.

Ilya Mikheyev scored a power-play goal for the Maple Leafs. Erik Kallgren stopped 28 shots for Toronto.

In a potential first-round playoff matchup, the teams combined for 114 penalty minutes, which included five misconduct penalties and a match penalty against Toronto’s Kyle Clifford.

The Maple Leafs allowed a season high in goals.

“It was clear that the game meant more to them tonight than it meant to us,’’ Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe said. “And it showed in how they played, how they competed.’’

Tampa Bay scored four goals in the second period to break the game open after a scoreless first period.

Killorn opened the scoring in the second as the Lightning wheeled the puck around the zone from Victor Hedman to Brandon Hagel to Erik Cernak, who sent a shot from along the right boards that Killorn deflected for his 24th of the season at 3:54

Colton scored his 20th of the season to make it 2-0, tapping in a backdoor pass from Nick Paul at 11:37. Stamkos made it 3-0 on the record-breaking goal, with an assist from Kucherov at 12:38. Kucherov finished off the second-period outburst with a power-play goal at 15:07.

“I really liked the urgency tonight,’’ Killorn said. “Seems like we came out and we played with a purpose right from the beginning of the game.’’

Palat scored his 17th of the season 1:12 into the third period, deflecting a Mikhail Sergachev pass while Killorn scored his second of the game and the third power-play goal for Tampa Bay, tipping a Stamkos shot past Kallgren at 4:33.

Mikhayev ended Vasilevskiy’s shutout bid with a power-play goal at 7:45, but with Clifford ejected from the game due to a match penalty for high sticking Perry, Colton scored his second of the game, tapping in a Palat pass at 8:50. Maroon scored his 10th of the season with 5:49 left.

MATTHEWS MISSING

Toronto played its third game without NHL leading goal scorer Auston Matthews, who continues to be out for undisclosed reasons, though Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe does not appear concerned it will affect his status for the start of the playoffs.

“He’s really close,’’ Keefe said. “He’s out on the ice, he’s getting his touches. We’re in a similar place to where we were a couple of days ago in terms of it just doesn’t make sense to put him in the lineup at this point.’’

Matthews leads the league with 58 goals and needs two more to become just the third player since 1996 to score 60 in a season, joining Alex Ovechkin (2007-08) and Steven Stamkos (2010-11)

NO ON POINT

The Lightning played without top center Brayden Point, who missed the game with what the team deemed a lower-body injury and is listed as day to day. Point missed practice on Wednesday for what the team called “body maintenance”

Point missed 14 games earlier this season with a shoulder injury. He led the league in playoff goals each of the past two postseasons.

UP NEXT

Maple Leafs: At Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Lightning: Host Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler shouldered the blame for his club’s frustrating 2021-22 campaign.

“I certainly take the responsibility for where this team sits,” he told reporters Thursday. “I’m hopeful that we have a locker room full of guys doing the same thing. Like I said, I’ve tried to build this into something we can be proud of, something that can be a championship level every year. And when you fall short of that, you’ve got to take responsibility for it.”

The Jets were eliminated from playoff contention when the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Washington Capitals in overtime on Wednesday night, marking the first time since 2016-17 that the team failed to make the postseason.

Wheeler gave a grim outlook when comparing this year’s club to past Winnipeg teams that missed the playoffs.

“(Before) it felt like we were building something. A lot of young players, a lot of guys that we really believed in that were going to get us to that next level, and that obviously came to fruition,” he said. “Now it just kind of feels like we’re searching for answers. Not really sure what happened.”

The Jets entered the campaign with high expectations after bolstering its blue line with the offseason additions of Brenden Dillon and Nate Schmidt.

“There have been years in the past where the expectations were really low, and we had really good teams, and we were competing for championships,” Wheeler said. “This year seemed like expectations were high, and we’ve obviously fallen well short.”

Wheeler has remained productive this season with 55 points in 60 games, but his underlying numbers took a hit.

Evolving-Hockey.com

The 35-year-old has two more years remaining on his contract with an $8.25-million cap hit.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat will miss at least the next two weeks, the team announced Friday.

Horvat will be re-evaluated at the end of the month for the lower-body injury he suffered vs. the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night. He took a slap shot off his leg and did not return.

Nils Hoglander will also be out indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair a core muscle/groin injury. There’s no timeline for his return.

The Canucks’ regular season is set to end on April 29 with seven games remaining on their schedule. The club is clinging to playoff hopes, sitting in fifth place in the Pacific Division.

Horvat has 31 goals and 21 assists in 70 games this season.

Hoglander has 10 goals and eight assists in 60 games this year. He’s been out of the lineup since March 15.

Sidney Crosby achieved a career benchmark and joined some impressive company Sunday when he scored in overtime to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Nashville Predators.

Crosby skillfully tapped home a slap pass from Rickard Rakell in the extra frame.

The Penguins captain became the seventh-fastest player in NHL history to notch 1,400 points, and he accomplished the feat in his 1,100th game.

Ryan Getzlaf is hanging ’em up.

The longtime Anaheim Ducks captain will retire at the end of the 2021-22 campaign, he announced Tuesday.

“It’s been an honor to play in the NHL and spend my entire professional career with one organization,” Getzlaf said. “None of this would have been possible without my family, who offered unwavering love and support each step of the way. Thank you to our owners, Henry and Susan Samueli, for leading an organization committed to success on the ice, but more importantly, to making a positive impact in our community and to those in need.

“A special thanks to the general managers, coaches, support staff, teammates, and of course, our fans. Playing for the Ducks and living in Orange County is a dream for an athlete, and much of that is because of you. Thank you all.”

Getzlaf is Anaheim’s franchise leader in games played (1,150), assists (731), and points (1,013). He’s spent his entire 17-year NHL career with the Ducks – 12 of them as captain.

The 36-year-old is one of the most decorated players of his era. In addition to winning a Stanley Cup in 2007, he’s been highly successful on the international stage. Representing Canada, he’s won two Olympic gold medals, a world junior gold medal, a U18 gold medal, and a World Cup.

He never took home any major individual hardware, but he was named a Hart Trophy runner-up and a second-team All-Star in 2013-14 when he recorded 31 goals and 87 points – four shy of his career high of 91 in 2008-09. Since entering the league as a rookie in 2005-06, Getzlaf ranks seventh in points and fifth in assists among all NHL skaters.

Getzlaf also showed up when it mattered most, recording 120 points in 125 career postseason contests. He led the Ducks with 17 points in 21 games during Anaheim’s Cup run in 2007, and his career points-per-game rate in the playoffs (0.96) is better than his regular-season mark of 0.88.

The Regina, Saskatchewan, native has produced at an adequate rate during his final season. He’s only scored three goals, but his 28 helpers are tied for second on the team behind rookie phenom Trevor Zegras.

Mark Giordano is headed home.

The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired the veteran defenseman, as well as forward Colin Blackwell, from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for two second-round picks and a third-rounder, the team announced Sunday.

Seattle is retaining 50% of Giordano’s $6.75-million cap hit. The Toronto native will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

The second-rounders are in 2022 and 2023, while the third-round pick is in 2024.

Giordano has recorded six goals and 17 assists in 55 games while averaging 21:29 of ice time per contest with the Kraken in 2021-22. The 38-year-old’s offensive game has declined with age, but he’s still posting elite defensive metrics this campaign.

Evolving-Hockey.com

Giordano spent the first 15 years of his career with the Calgary Flames before the Kraken selected him in the expansion draft. He won the Norris Trophy in 2018-19 while playing alongside current Leafs blue-liner T.J. Brodie. If Toronto plans to reunite the pair, its blue line could look something like this at full health:

LDRD
Morgan RiellyIlya Lyubushkin
Mark GiordanoT.J. Brodie
Jake Muzzin*Justin Holl
Rasmus SandinTimothy Liljegren

*Currently injured

Blackwell, meanwhile, has tallied eight goals and nine assists in 39 games in a bottom-six role for the Kraken. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound winger has played in 119 career NHL games between the Nashville Predators, New York Rangers, and Seattle, registering 49 points. He’s posted solid underlying numbers over the past three seasons.

The 28-year-old carries a cap hit of $725,000 and will be a UFA at the end of the campaign. He projects to slot in on Toronto’s fourth line.

The Maple Leafs cleared cap space to facilitate this deal by waiving Petr Mrazek and trading Travis Dermott to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.

The Philadelphia Flyers have traded longtime captain Claude Giroux to the Florida Panthers for a package that includes forward Owen Tippettboth teams announced Saturday.

In addition to Tippett, Philadelphia received a conditional 2024 first-round pick and a 2023 third-round pick in exchange for Giroux’s services. Prospects Connor Bunnaman and German Rubtsov and a 2024 fifth-round pick are also heading to Florida.

The Flyers will acquire the Panthers’ first-rounder in 2024 if the pick falls outside the top 10. Otherwise, they will receive the latter’s 2025 first-round selection.

Philadelphia will retain 50% of Giroux’s salary.

“Any day that you trade your captain is a tough day, and with how much Claude has meant to this organization and how he has represented himself for 15 years, makes it all that more difficult to say goodbye,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said.

“Claude is one of the best players to ever wear a Flyer uniform.”

Giroux was only willing to accept a trade to Florida, according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli. Earlier this month, reports emerged that the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues were also expressing interest in him.

The Panthers’ package was competitive but “not as aggressive” as other offers on the table, ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reports.

Giroux was one of the market’s top names available heading into Monday’s trade deadline. His contract, which carries an $8.275 million cap hit, contains a full no-movement clause, meaning he had control over his next move.

The 34-year-old logged 18 goals and 24 assists in 57 contests this season on a struggling Philadelphia squad. Giroux skated in his 1,000th game as a Flyer on Thursday night, but the team held him out of Friday’s contest versus the Ottawa Senators as trade rumors continued to heat up.

Bunnaman, a 2016 fourth-round pick, played in 15 games with Philadelphia this campaign. The 23-year-old forward has three points in 54 career NHL contests.

The Flyers drafted Rubtsov in the first round in 2016, and the forward suited up for just four games during the 2019-20 campaign.

Tippett was the odd-man-out in Florida’s deep forward corps. The 2017 10th overall pick registered six goals and eight assists in 42 games this season.

Philly’s 2006 22nd overall pick leaves as the franchise’s second-leading scorer with 900 points, sitting behind only Bobby Clarke, who still holds the top spot with 1,210. Giroux, the longest-tenured captain in Flyers history, was initially given the “C” in 2013.

The veteran center made the Stanley Cup Finals once with Philly in 2009-10, but his side ultimately lost to the Chicago Blackhawks. Giroux last suited up for a playoff game in 2020 when the Flyers fell to the New York Islanders in a spirited second-round series.

The seven-time All-Star either led or tied the Flyers in points in eight of the last 11 seasons. He will add his top-line pedigree to an already strong Panthers squad destined for the postseason. Florida sits atop the Atlantic Division with a 42-14-6 record.