The craziness of free agency may have died down, but there were still a few notable storylines in the NHL last week. We saw one of the more interesting trades in recent memory that seems even on paper but is most certainly not. There was a major change in number as well as a very large extension. Also, the NHL’s newest team finally named a GM.
There were so many moves made this offseason that I had to comment on some of the signings from the beginning of July. I also look into the new contracts of Jordan Binnington of Kevin LeBanc, and the big trade between Colorado and Toronto.
I hope everyone had a fantastic Canada Day and Independence Day. As some of you may have noticed, there was no Blake’s Take’s last week. I’ve been traveling around Norway and Iceland so I didn’t have a chance to cover all the craziness that was the start of free agency until now.
Last week, a few big-name players signed contract extensions, and superstars were traded. The NHL Awards and the NHL Draft also took place. Here are a few of the biggest headlines from one of the craziest weeks in hockey.
The 1994 NHL Entry Draft took place 25 years ago. Unlike the drafts from the prior few years, it did not boast a generational talent like Eric Lindros, who headlined the 1991 Draft. Nor was it particularly deep, like the 1990 or 1993 Drafts. The 1994 Draft did have two players who scored over 1000 points — one who will be in the Hockey Hall of Fame some day — and three future Calder Trophy winners. And yet, those players weren’t even drafted in the first round!
So, let’s pretend that we could re-do the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. Who would be the new first-overall pick?
A.K.A. 6 NHL Awards We Still Want to See
Another NHL season is in the books, meaning it’s time for the annual postseason awards. Each year, the NHL gives its award to the best goalie, best defenseman, most
(popular) valuable player, yada, yada, yada. What the NHL really needs is some fun awards, so last year I came up with the Puck Junk Awards, to recognize this year’s surprise goalie, toughest mofo and best (worst?) boomerang player, among others. Here are the winners of the 2019 Puck Junk Awards.
The St. Louis Blues did it. They won their first-ever Stanley Cup. This week’s Blake’s Takes looks at how the Blues conquered hockey’s Mt. Everest and who the key players were along the way. I also highlight the first few major moves of the offseason.
Last week was a big one for the hockey community. We saw another missed call in a major moment as well as the Bruins push the series to a Game 7. I dive deep into the Conn Smythe race as well as how the Bruins won Game 6. The one bit of news outside of Boston and St. Louis comes from Buffalo as one of the game’s best players is much richer.
The Stanley Cup Finals continue. The Blues are now down 2-1 to the Bruins after Jake Binnington’s worst game as a pro. Torey Krug has put the Blues on notice and the Bruins’ powerplay continues to roll. We also have some exciting news in the AHL and ECHL.
The 2019 American Hockey League’s Calder Cup Finals start on Saturday (schedule here). The Charlotte Checkers, who are affiliated with the Carolina Hurricanes, take on the Chicago Wolves, the AHL affiliate of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. AHL teams only play against teams within their conference during the regular season, so this is the first time this year that the Checkers will take on the Wolves.
Jim Howard, Puck Junk’s resident “Caniac,” and Sal Barry, who has followed the Chicago Wolves the past 25 years, give their insight as to which team will win. Either way, it won’t be a sweep.