Posts Tagged ‘Kris Letang’

NHL’s 2014 Masterton Trophy: Nominees, stories, favorites to win

Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font
Goalie Josh Harding of the Minnesota Wild has MS

There’s never been a repeat Masterton winner, but Josh Harding of the Wild may be the first. (Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

You’ll often hear it said that the Lady Byng is the award no player wants to win, but that’s not right.

The one that almost everyone wants to avoid has always been the Bill Masterton Trophy.

As Dallas Stars nominee Rich Peverley said, “I don’t want to have attention for something that happened that isn’t good.”

Unfortunately, that’s what it has become.

On the surface, the Masterton sounds honorable enough. It’s awarded to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication,” traits to which almost everyone aspires.

But just like the Oscars tend to honor films that feature themes of tragedy, loss and misfortune, the Masterton has become a tribute to the cruelest twists and turns that fate can deal a player. Things have to go awfully wrong before you can take this hardware home.

With that in mind, here are the 29 nominees that have been announced as of Thursday afternoon, April 10 (Colorado, you’re on the clock), along with some insight into why they were nominated by their local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and their chances of succeeding Minnesota’s Josh Harding as this year’s winner.

Read More…


  • Published On Apr 10, 2014
  • Top Line: NHL Coach of the year duel; Should Devils fire Lou?; more links

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Coach Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings

    Coach Mike Babcock (center) worked a miracle while leading his Red Wings to the playoffs yet again. (Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Like the Red Wings’ season was ever in doubt …

    • Does Detroit’s Mike Babcock deserve to be named Coach of the Year for what he’s done with an injury-ravaged lineup? Or is Patrick Roy the better choice for the Adams Award?

    Pavel Datsyuk blowing up Sidney Crosby? That just happened.

    Datsyuk’s play since returning from a lengthy stint on the IR signals trouble ahead for either the Bruins or the Penguins.

    • Randy Miller wonders if the new owners in New Jersey will ask Lou Lamoriello to step down after another failed season for the Devils. That would be a bold move, but it would send a message to the team’s dwindling faithful that a new path to success must be charted.

    • Changes are afoot in Toronto. James Mirtle offers his take on who is, and who isn’t, expendable as the Maple Leafs look to start over after a disappointing season.

    • Randy Carlyle has a chance to do the right thing in Toronto’s last two games.

    • Rumors are swirling that Brendan Shanahan is being pursued by the Maple Leafs for a senior management role. But is he the right guy for the job?

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 10, 2014
  • Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang returning to action after stroke

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins

    The puck-moving skills of Kris Letang (58) may be just the thing to spark the Penguins. (Andrew Dieb/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    Kris Letang says he’ll be nervous, but not scared, when he returns to action tonight against the Red Wings only 10 weeks after suffering a stroke.

    “I’m nervous because I haven’t played in a while,” the Penguins defenseman said. “But [scared] about my situation, not at all.”

    Letang has been practicing with Pittsburgh since March 17, but a return to action this season was never a sure thing. It was just over a week ago that he said he was still having good days and bad days. “I can be really dizzy,” he said. “Sometimes I have trouble walking, like, in a straight line … I have some vision things. Lights would bother me, stuff like that.”

    That didn’t sound promising, but in a press conference this morning, Penguins GM Ray Shero said that Letang had been cleared by doctors, and that it was the player’s call as to when he would return. “He’s been bugging me about it for a while,” Shero said, adding that hockey didn’t cause Letang’s stroke and that the team wasn’t concerned about the risk of another incident. “He’s at no further risk to suffer a stroke playing hockey than going to grocery store.”

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 09, 2014
  • Top Line: Martin St. Louis flopping on Broadway, Blues take a hit, more links

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Martin St. Louis of the New York Rangers

    The Rangers had 41 shots n a 1-0 loss to San Jose, but Martin St. Louis (26) didn’t take any of them. (Gerry Broome/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Wasn’t Martin St. Louis supposed to spark the Rangers’ offense? The reigning Art Ross Trophy winner hasn’t scored in seven games since joining the team, but then again he’s not the only Blueshirt who is struggling to light the lamp.

    • You can’t blame New York for feeling like the NHL war room bungled this goal review.

    • The Flyers got more than four points out of a home-and-home sweep of the struggling Penguins.

    • Pittsburgh will get two key players back for practice today, but does it mean that either is close to returning to game action?

    • Three games in three days would be a nightmare for most players, but for Nathan Lieuwen it was a dream come true.

    • The Blues will have to go deep into the playoffs if they hope to see Vladimir Tarasenko again this season. The 21-goal scorer needs surgery on his right hand and will miss at least six weeks.

    • Jim Matheson talks about a potential front-office retirement, a potential buy-out candidate and a first-line talent on Long Island in his this ‘n’ that column.

    Read More…


  • Published On Mar 17, 2014
  • Top Line: Kris Letang relives stroke horror; trade rumors swirl; more links

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins

    After suffering a stroke, Kris Letang was found unconscious on the floor by his wife. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Speaking for the first time since he suffered a stroke earlier this month, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang shared the horror of his life-altering experience. There’s still no word on when he might be able to return to the ice, but the fact that he has an eye on this season is the best possible news.

    • Darren Dreger checks in with his take on trade rumors surrounding Ryan Kesler, Chris Phillips and Tyler Myers. I can see Myers moving at some point, but at the draft in June seems like better timing than the March 5 deadline. We’ll see.

    • Brayden Schenn and Ryan O’Reilly could be among the players who would interest the Canucks in a potential trade trade for Kesler.

    • Katie Strang says talks are ongoing between the Rangers and one of their pending free agents, but they’re at a stalemate with another.

    • Tonight could mark the last home game for several players who are expected to be moved in the Sabres’ fire sale.

    • Is Zdeno Chara really pressing the Bruins to add this guy at the deadline?

    Read More…


  • Published On Feb 28, 2014
  • Stroke sidelines Pittsburgh Penguins’ All-Star defenseman Kris Letang

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins

    Kris Letang had complained of dizziness and nausea before his stroke was diagnosed. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    The Penguins have finally revealed the nature of the ailment that has sidelined Kris Letang for the past week … and it’s scary serious.

    The All-Star defenseman will miss at least the next six weeks after suffering a stroke. Letang will be treated with blood thinners and, at this point, it’s believed that his career is in jeopardy.

    “This can happen to anybody,” said Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma. “[Letang] is a pro athlete and one of the finest-tuned athletes we have. It’s scary.”

    After Letang complained of dizziness and nausea, doctors conducting tests discovered a small hole in the wall of his heart. The hole is present in all children at birth, but it typically closes up and seals over time. It didn’t in Letang’s case, and it’s possible that the hole is what led to his stroke.

    “Kris had one brief episode of dizziness and nausea last week,” Penguins GM Ray Shero said. “We held him out of the Los Angeles game [last] Thursday night, and when he continued to feel ill, tests conducted in Phoenix on Saturday gave us the first indication of his condition. Further testing then was conducted when he returned to Pittsburgh, and he continued to undergo a battery of tests here this week.

    Read More…


  • Published On Feb 07, 2014
  • Top Line: Kris Letang’s illness a season-ender?; Ryan Miller not worth it; more

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins

    Penguins blueliner Kris Letang is the latest NHL player to succumb to a mysterious illness. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • A mysterious illness has kept the Penguins’ Kris Letang on the bench since Jan. 30. Now sources are saying it could put him on the sidelines for the rest of the season … and possibly end his career. The team hopes to have more details today.

    • Neil Greenberg says the numbers prove that Ryan Miller isn’t worth the price it would cost the Capitals to acquire him. Greenberg’s math is a little sketchy, as he neglects to factor in the change in quality and quantity of chances that Miller would face playing behind Washington’s defense. There’s also an unquantifiable confidence boost that sometimes comes with a significant deadline acquisition. Getting Miller wouldn’t be strictly about the numbers for the Caps.

    • The Islanders have pulled the plug on Lubomir Visnovsky’s Olympic dream, refusing to grant the recently-concussed defenseman permission to play in Sochi. As with the Blue Jackets’ Marian Gaborik, this can’t come as a huge surprise to Slovakia, but it’s a significant loss nonetheless. Visnovsky, if healthy, is a top-four defender and would have played heavy minutes at the Olympics.

    • Adam Proteau suggests that Canadian fans might want to dial down their cockiness ahead of the Sochi tournament.

    • Chris Johnston says that Martin St. Louis is the feel-good story of the Canadian Olympic team. No doubt his presence will be valuable in the room and on the ice, no matter where he slots in the lineup.

    • Henrik Sedin made it official last night, withdrawing from Olympic competition. Swedish radio is reporting that Washington’s Marcus Johansson will replace him in Sochi. That’s a fairly significant drop in talent there.

    Read More…


  • Published On Feb 07, 2014
  • Top Line: Alex Ovechkin carries Olympic torch; Leafs deal Colborne; more links

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Alex Ovechkin carrying the Sochi Winter Olympics torch.

    Burnin’ for you: Alex Ovechkin was determined to play at Sochi even if the NHL didn’t send its players. (AP Photos)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Looks like Ovi had fun kicking off the Olympic torch relay. And check out how he works in the sponsor’s name like a pro!

    • Here’s a great piece on Ovechkin from Dave Sheinin, who writes that maturing relationships are redefining The Great 8 and helping him take aim at two significant career goals in 2013-14.

    • Remember how the Maple Leafs fleeced the Bruins in that Tomas Kaberle trade a couple of years back? Well, Kaberle helped the B’s win the Stanley Cup (kind of), while Joe Colborne, the key piece sent to Toronto, never quite managed to crack the lineup. Faced with losing him on waivers today, the Buds shipped him to Calgary for a conditional fourth-rounder. It becomes a third if he scores 10 goals and 35 points or Calgary makes the playoffs. So, pretty much it’s going to be a fourth rounder.

    • The Flames say Calgary-native Colborne “fits in very well with our rebuild,” but honestly, there are no guarantees that he makes that roster, either.

    • This is just a reminder that Bobby Orr is nearly as good at life as he was at hockey. And he was the best ever at hockey.

    • It’s not often that a PR department forwards a YouTube link, so I figured it had to be something pretty sweet. It is.

    Read More…


  • Published On Sep 29, 2013
  • It’s (finally) official: Penguins and Kris Letang agree to new deal. Dupuis, too

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    Kris Letang will get comfortable in Pittsburgh after signing an eight-year deal on Tuesday. [Michael Tureski/Icon SMI]

    Kris Letang will get comfortable in Pittsburgh after signing an eight-year deal on Tuesday. [Michael Tureski/Icon SMI]

    By Allan Muir

    UPDATE: Ray Shero is a wizard. The Pascal Dupuis deal is reportedly worth $15 million, for an AAV of $3.75 million.

    Time to put the trade rumors to rest. Kris Letang is staying in Pittsburgh.

    The Norris finalist and the Penguins finally, offically agreed today to an eight-year, $58 million contract extension. The deal begins with the 2014-15 season and runs through 2021-22, with an average annual value of $7.25 million. That ranks him third among NHL blueliners, trailing only Shea Weber ($7.86 million) and Ryan Suter ($7.54 million).

    Read More…


  • Published On Jul 02, 2013
  • Top Line: The return of Tim Thomas; the Rick DiPietro era comes to an end; more links

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    The Islanders have ended one of the sport's longest and strangest relationships by buying out Rick DiPietro's contract. (Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

    The Islanders have ended one of the sport’s longest and strangest relationships by buying out Rick DiPietro’s contract. (Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Is there a team out there so desperate for help between the pipes that they’d be willing to hire a rusty 39-year-old goalie with a teensy bit of baggage? If so, Tim Thomas might be the guy for you.

    • Come, you know we’re all looking at you, right Paul Holmgren?

    • What took so long? The Islanders are finally buying out the albatross contract of Rick DiPietro. So, what do you think? Any other organization out there willing to give him a second chance?

    • Progress was made in Monday’s multi-party Olympic talks, but there’s still no agreement in place for Sochi.

    • Boston GM Peter Chiarelli just ripped Tyler Seguin in the Boston Globe. There are two ways the kid can react to this…and considering how much the B’s have invested in him, he better choose the right way.

    Read More…


  • Published On Jul 02, 2013


  •