The Third Annual Puck Junk Awards

A.K.A. 7 NHL Awards We Need Right Now

The NHL gives out 17 individual awards at the end of the season. To some, that might seem excessive. Do we really need a Mark Messier Award for Leadership when the league already has two awards for MVPs? 

However, I would argue that the NHL needs more awards, so in 2018 I created some new ones. We all know who the highest scorer, top coach and best goalie are. Now, let’s give props to the toughest player, greatest surprise and biggest jerk, among others. Plus, there is a new Puck Junk Award for 2020. 

Here are your winners of the third-annual Puck Junk Awards. 

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Blake’s Takes: Coyotes Renounce Pick

Last week was hot with news as most of it came from the desert. The Arizona Coyotes dominated the headlines when they renounced their rights to a draft pick after ugly details from his past surfaced. The organization also made a minor move that might actually benefit the team, too.

As always, I wrote about one of my favorite signings and a scorching hot jersey reveal. You won’t want to miss this week’s set of takes.

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Blake’s Takes: Additional Free Agency and League Notes

Sadly, there were no sexy storylines in the NHL last week. But, as I mentioned before, so much happened over the last two weeks with the opening of the free-agency window and the draft, there is plenty for me to write about.

This week, I’ll touch on some storylines that weren’t pressing enough to make into my columns over the last few weeks. Happy Monday!

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Blake’s Takes: More Free Agency Madness

In this week’s column, I’ll look at some of the major free-agent signings of the last few weeks. So much happened around the league during the first week of free agency that I couldn’t cover everything in my previous column. 

In addition to free agency news, I’ll highlight one of my favorite new uniforms released in the last few weeks. Happy Monday!

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Blake’s Takes: Offseason Moves

Last week was a busy one in the NHL. In one week we saw the start of free agency and the NHL Draft take place. I could rattle off 20 takes this week. I’ll stick to my usual five, but I’ll include some of this week’s news in future columns because there is so much to talk about.

This week, I’ll focus on the bigger transactions around the league as well as a major points jersey announcement . Happy Tuesday!

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Blake’s Takes: Tampa Bay Wins the Stanley Cup

After the NHL season was paused in March, no one was sure if we would see the Stanley Cup lifted. Well, the circumstances surrounding the Stanley Cup Final may have been odd and unexpected, but, the Stanley Cup was awarded to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In this week’s column, I’ll explore how the Lightning’s legacy has changed with their Stanley Cup win.

The rest of the league was busy last week, too! I’ll share my takes on a few notable signings and trades. Happy Tuesday!

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Re-Imagining the 1995 NHL Entry Draft

With the 2020 NHL Entry Draft finally taking place this week, it is time for my annual retro fantasy redraft. This time, we’re traveling back 25 years to 1995 — the year that the New Jersey Devils won their first Stanley Cup and “The Macarena” ruled the airwaves.

The 1995 NHL Entry Draft was the second draft in a row where the top two players selected were defensemen. In fact, the top three picks in 1995 were d-men. Meanwhile, a future 600-goal scorer was taken 11th overall, while a future Vezina Trophy winner wouldn’t be selected until the 5th round!

Knowing what we know today, what would the first round of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft look like? Who would go first overall? Fifth overall? Twenty-fifth-overall? Let’s find out! 

“And with the first-overall pick, the Ottawa Senators select…”

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Blake’s Takes: Lightning One Win Away

After everything that’s happened since the league paused for COVID-19 back in March, the Stanley Cup will be lifted this week. Tampa Bay won three straight games, but couldn’t close it out against Dallas in Game 5. They’ll face off again in Game 6 tonight with Tampa up 3-2 in the series.

The Stanley Cup Finals has provided its share of storylines, from the return of Steven Stamkos, the dominance of Joe Pavelski, and bad luck of Tyler Seguin.

Outside of the Stanley Cup, the other 30 teams have been busy handing out extensions and making trades.

You can find five of my favorite storylines below.

Also, here’s the best song I heard last week!
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Blake’s Takes: Dallas Takes 1-0 Lead in Stanley Cup Final

Saturday marked the first day of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars. Tampa was without their captain Steven Stamkos, and it looks like they could use him. I’ll share my thoughts on Dallas’ big win in Game 1.

Outside of the bubble, the other 29 teams were busy making moves and on the personnel and marketing side. I’ll spit out some hot takes on everything that happened around the league, including a horrific logo change.

Happy Monday!

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Blake’s Takes: Cup Finals Almost Set

After everything the NHL has been through since March, we’re a maximum of six games away from the Stanley Cup Finals. Both series are going into Game 5 with one team up 3-1. I’ll highlight each series as well as a few other notable storylines around the NHL.

P.S. I need the Stanley Cup Finals to start ASAP to take my mind off another soul-crushing Detroit Lions loss.

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