“In the fall of 2017, when we celebrate the 100th birthday of the NHL, we will do so as a League of 31 teams,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We are pleased to welcome Bill Foley and the city of Las Vegas to the League and are truly excited that an NHL franchise will be the first major professional sports team in this vibrant, growing, global destination city.”
Ownership of the Las Vegas franchise will principally reside with Bill Foley. The franchise will play its home games in the recently opened, state-of-the-art T-Mobile Arena, which has a hockey capacity of 17,368.
This marks the first League expansion since 1997, when the NHL added four franchises – Nashville (1998-99), Atlanta (1999-00), Columbus and Minnesota (2000-01) – at a franchise fee of $80 million.
“On behalf of the Las Vegas Founding 75, our 14,000 season-ticket holders and the entire Las Vegas community, I would like to thank Commissioner Bettman, the NHL staff and the team owners for their support during this process and the confidence they have placed in Las Vegas by awarding this franchise,” said Foley. “I also would like to thank everyone who supported us through this incredible journey. As I’ve said many times over the past year, Las Vegas is a hockey town and we look forward to cheering on our home team.”
Foley's Las Vegas franchise will pay a $500-million expansion fee. That fee then will be distributed in equal shares to each of the NHL’s 30 presently existing clubs.
The NHL also announced that is has deferred the expansion application by Quebecor and its ownership group in Quebec City. Although the League sees Quebec City as a prime opportunity for future expansion, the Board of Governors concluded that the NHL’s lack of geographic balance, the belief that it would be best not to assimilate multiple teams into the League at this time, as well as the recent and significant devaluation of the Canadian dollar made it prudent to defer Quebecor’s application.
The Las Vegas franchise will begin play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in 2017-18. There will be no other changes to the NHL’s alignment.
The following rules were approved for the 2017 Expansion Draft:
Clubs will have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:
a) Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender, or
b) Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender.
All players who have currently effective and continuing “No Movement” clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft (and who to decline to waive such clauses) must be protected (and will be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).
All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).
All Clubs must meet the following minimum requirements regarding players exposed for selection in the Expansion Draft:
i) One defenseman who is a) under contract in 2017-18, and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons;
ii) Two forwards who are a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons; and
iii) One goaltender who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18. If the club elects to make a restricted free agent goaltender available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list.
Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements, unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection by the League.
The Las Vegas franchise must select one player from each presently existing club for a total of 30 players (not including additional players who may be acquired as the result of violations of the Expansion Draft rules). The Las Vegas franchise must select the following number of players at each position: 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders.
In addition, the Las Vegas franchise must select a minimum of 20 players who are under contract for the 2017-18 season. The Las Vegas franchise must select players with an aggregate Expansion Draft value that is between 60-100% of the prior season’s upper limit for the salary cap. The Las Vegas franchise may not buy out any of the players selected in the Expansion Draft earlier than the summer following its first season.
The 30 NHL clubs must submit their Protected Lists by 5:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 17, 2017. The Las Vegas franchise must submit its Expansion Draft selections by 5:00 p.m. ET on June 20. The announcement of their selections will be made on June 21.
As for the NHL Draft, the Las Vegas franchise will be given the same odds in the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery as the team finishing with the third-fewest points during the 2016-17 regular season.
The Las Vegas franchise’s First Round selection in the 2017 NHL Draft will be determined in accordance with the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery and, as a result, the Las Vegas franchise will be guaranteed no lower than the sixth overall selection.
The Las Vegas franchise then will select third in each subsequent round of the 2017 NHL Draft (subject to trades and other potential player transactions).
NHL Announces 2016 Awards
Forward Patrick Kane, who posted career highs in goals (46), assists (60) and points (106) to win the League scoring title and power the Blackhawks to their eighth consecutive playoff appearance, captured the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP at the 2016 NHL Awards, held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Kane, who also claimed the Ted Lindsay Award for most outstanding player as selected by NHL players, notched at least one point in 64 of his 82 contests (78.0%), highlighted by a 26-game streak Oct. 17 – Dec. 13 (16-24—40) – a franchise record, the longest by a U.S.-born player in NHL history and the longest by any player since 1992-93 (Mats Sundin: 30). The Buffalo, N.Y., native, who became the first U.S.-born player in League history to win the Art Ross Trophy as the League’s scoring leader, is the Blackhawks’ first Hart Trophy winner since 1967-68 (Stan Mikita).
Kane received 121 first-place votes and appeared on each of the 150 ballots for 1,395 points in voting by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, named on 145 ballots including 11 first-place tallies, finished second in voting with 800 points, followed by Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (637).
Kane is the first United States-born and trained player to capture the Hart Trophy. The only previous Hart winner born in the U.S. – Billy Burch, who received the trophy with the Hamilton Tigers in 1925 – moved to Canada from his birthplace of Yonkers, N.Y., at an early age.
Joining Kane at the winners’ podium was his Chicago linemate Artemi Panarin, who earned the Calder Trophy as the League’s top rookie. Panarin, who signed with the club as a free agent in May 2015, led all rookies in goals (30), assists (47) and points (77). He is the first Blackhawks player to win the Calder Trophy since Kane in 2007-08.
Leading a pair of Los Angeles Kings players honored at the 2016 NHL Awards was dual winner Anze Kopitar, who captured the Lady Byng Trophy for combining skill and sportsmanship and the Frank Selke Trophy as the League’s top defensive forward. Kopitar becomes the third player in League history to win the Lady Byng and Selke Trophies in the same season. Ron Francis of the Pittsburgh Penguins was the first to accomplish the feat, in 1995, followed by Pavel Datsyuk, who swept both awards with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008 and 2009.
Joining Kopitar as a Kings trophy recipient was Drew Doughty, who accepted his first career Norris Trophy as the NHL’s outstanding defenseman. Doughty ranked third in the League in average ice time (28:01), helping the Kings to a third consecutive top-five finish in team defense (third, 2.34 GA/GP). He registered his highest goals and points totals since 2009-10 (14-37—51) and posted a career-best +24 rating in becoming the second player in franchise history to win the Norris after Kings VP/Assistant GM Rob Blake (1998).
Three members of the Washington Capitals were honored following their runaway Presidents’ Trophy triumph as the League’s top regular-season club.
Barry Trotz became a first-time winner of the Jack Adams Award as the League’s top coach after guiding the Capitals (56-18-8, 120 points) to franchise records for total wins and road wins (27). Their 120 points and 29 home wins were just one shy of club records. The Capitals were dominant at both ends of the ice, placing second in team offense (3.02 G/G) and team defense (2.33 GA/G). They also ranked among the League leaders in special teams (5th on the power play, 21.9%, and 2nd in penalty killing, 85.2%).
Washington’s Braden Holtby captured his first Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goaltender. Holtby was a near-unanimous selection, garnering 26 first-place votes from the 30 cast by NHL General Managers. He equaled a single-season NHL record with 48 wins, tying the mark set by New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur in 2006-07, ranked fifth in the League in goals-against average (2.20), sixth in saves (1,661) and eighth in save percentage (.922).
For the fourth consecutive season and the sixth time in his career, Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin received the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the League’s leading goal-scorer. Ovechkin scored 50 goals, becoming the third player in NHL history to total seven or more 50-goal seasons, following Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky – each with nine. He also became the third player in League history to post 30-plus goals in each of his first 11 seasons, joining Mike Gartner (15) and Gretzky (13).
Ten days after his club captured the Stanley Cup, Jim Rutherford of the Pittsburgh Penguins received the NHL General Manager of the Year Award. Rutherford’s retooled roster and midseason coaching change spurred the Penguins (48-26-8, 104 points) to a sizzling regular-season finish and a playoff run that carried them to the fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history. In his second season in charge, Rutherford used the trade and free-agent markets to add veteran forwards Nick Bonino, Matt Cullen, Eric Fehr and Phil Kessel over the summer plus forward Carl Hagelin and defenseman Trevor Daley during the campaign. The club surged when he hired Mike Sullivan, who went 33-16-5 after taking over as head coach on Dec. 12, highlighted by a 14-2-0 record in Pittsburgh’s final 16 games of the regular season.
Florida Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr received the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. The 44-year-old inspired his team to franchise records for wins (47) and points (103) while capturing their second division title. Playing in his 22nd NHL season, Jagr led the Panthers in scoring with 27-39—66, becoming the oldest player in League history to surpass the 60-point plateau. His work ethic and off-ice mentorship, particularly with linemates Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, whose combined age is younger than Jagr, was considered as valuable as his on-ice production.
Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber received the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award in recognition of his commitment and service to charities in his community. Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames and Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks also were honored for outstanding leadership and community service. Giordano received the NHL Foundation Player Award, while Sedin was honored with the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.
Frederik Andersen and John Gibson received the William M. Jennings Trophy as the goaltenders on the Anaheim Ducks club that allowed the fewest goals during the regular season.
Andersen, who made 43 appearances in the Ducks’ goal, posted a 15-game point streak Jan. 1 – March 5 (13-0-2), the second-longest such run in franchise history behind Jonas Hiller’s 16-game streak in 2013-14 (14-0-2). Andersen went 17-1-2 in his final 22 outings dating to Jan. 13. Gibson, meanwhile, appeared in 40 games and ranked second in the NHL with a 2.07 goals-against average, paced all rookie netminders with four shutouts and shared the rookie lead in wins (21).
Electronic Arts Inc. also announced during the NHL Awards that St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko won the fan-selected cover vote and will be featured on the cover of NHL 17. Over six million votes were cast on Twitter and on NHL.com in the NHL 17 Cover Vote competition before Tarasenko, who led the Blues in playoff scoring with 9-6—15 in 20 games, was selected as the winner.
NHL Announces 2016 All-Star Teams
Center Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, voted to his fourth career berth on the First All-Star Team, heads the list of players on the 2015-16 National Hockey League postseason All-Star Teams. Also a two-time honoree on the Second Team, Crosby’s six career postseason All-Star Team selections are the most among active centers.
Joining Crosby on the First Team is defenseman Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators, voted to the top echelon for the third time. Left wing Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars and right wing Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks have been selected to the First Team for the second time, while defenseman Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings and goaltender Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals are making their first career First Team appearance.
Among those on the Second Team is Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, voted to a postseason All-Star berth for the 11th time (7 First Team, 4 Second Team).
Nine of Ovechkin’s 11 All-Star berths have come at left wing (6 First Team, 3 Second Team). The only players with as many total All-Star Team selections at that position are Bobby Hull, with 12 (10 First and 2 Second); Ted Lindsay, with nine (8 First and 1 Second); and Frank Mahovlich, with nine (3 First and 6 Second).
Center Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks has landed a spot on the Second Team for the first time since 2007-08 and third time overall, while Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko have earned Second Team honors for the second time. The Second Team is rounded out by a pair of inaugural selections, goaltender Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Sharks defenseman Brent Burns.
2015-2016 NHL First All-Star Team
G Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
D Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
D Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
C Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
RW Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
LW Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars
2015-2016 NHL Second All-Star Team
G Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning
D Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
D Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
C Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
RW Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
LW Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
NHL Announces All-Rookie Team
The National Hockey League announced today the 2015-16 NHL All-Rookie Team, including the three players voted as finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the League’s top rookie: forwards Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and Artemi Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks as well as defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Also named to the 2015-16 NHL All-Rookie Team are forward Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres, defenseman Colton Parayko of the St. Louis Blues and goaltender John Gibson of the Anaheim Ducks. Below is the complete list:
GOALTENDER - John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks
Gibson, a second-round selection (39th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft, went 21-13-4 with a 2.07 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and four shutouts in 40 appearances to help the Ducks capture the William M. Jennings Trophy. He shared first place among rookies in wins and also paced rookie goaltenders in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts (minimum: 25 GP). Overall, Gibson ranked second in the entire NHL in goals-against average, tied for eighth in shutouts and 12th in save percentage. The 22-year-old Pittsburgh native is Anaheim’s third All-Rookie Team selection in the past three seasons, joining Frederik Andersen and Hampus Lindholm in 2013-14.
Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers
Gostisbehere, a third-round pick (78th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, led rookie defensemen in goals (17), assists (29), points (46), power-play goals (8), power-play points (22) and game-winning goals (5) while playing in 64 contests. He also scored four overtime goals, setting a League record for any rookie while matching a single-season record for any defenseman. Gostisbehere posted a 15-game point streak Jan. 19 – Feb. 20 (5-13—18), an NHL record for a rookie defenseman as well as a franchise record for any rookie. The 23-year-old Pembroke Pines, Fla., native is Philadelphia’s first All-Rookie Team selection since Joni Pitkanen in 2003-04.
Colton Parayko, St. Louis Blues
Parayko, a fellow third-round selection (86th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, ranked second among rookie defensemen in goals (9), assists (t-24) and points (33) while appearing in 79 games. He also paced all rookie skaters with a +28 rating, which ranked fifth in the entire League and set a franchise rookie record. Parayko scored his first two NHL goals Oct. 13 at CGY, becoming the first Blues rookie defenseman with a multi-goal performance since 2000-01 (Peter Smrek). The 23-year-old St. Albert, Alta., native is St. Louis’ second consecutive All-Rookie Team selection, following Jake Allen in 2014-15.
FORWARDS (in alphabetical order)
Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
Eichel, the No. 2 overall choice in the 2015 NHL Draft, ranked second among rookies in goals (24) and points (56) while playing in 81 games. He also led all rookies in power-play goals (t-8) and shots on goal (238) while placing in the top three in game-winning goals (t-2nd; 5), assists (t-3rd; 32) and power-play points (3rd; 21). At 19 years, 131 days, Eichel became the youngest player in Sabres history to reach the 20-goal milestone. He also became the ninth rookie in franchise history to reach the 50-point plateau – and first since 1993-94 (Derek Plante). The North Chelmsford, Mass., native is Buffalo’s first All-Rookie Team selection since Jhonas Enroth in 2011-12.
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
McDavid, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, ranked fourth among rookies with 16-32—48 despite appearing in only 45 games due to injury. His average of 1.07 points per game led all rookies and placed third in the entire League. McDavid recorded multiple points in 12 of his 45 outings, highlighted by a five-point game Feb. 11 vs. TOR (2-3—5). At 19 years, 29 days, he became the ninth-youngest player in NHL history to register a five-point performance (as well as the third rookie in Oilers history to achieve the feat). The Richmond Hill, Ont., native is Edmonton’s first All-Rookie Team selection since Justin Schultz in 2012-13.
Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks
Panarin, who signed with the Blackhawks in May 2015, led all rookies in goals (30), assists (47), points (77), power-play goals (t-8), power-play assists (16), power-play points (24) and game-winning goals (7) while skating in 80 contests. He became the fourth rookie in franchise history to reach the 30-goal milestone and the first to do so since 1995-96 (Eric Daze). That included his first career hat trick Feb. 17 at NYR, the first by any Blackhawks rookie since 2002-03 (Tyler Arnason). The 24-year-old Korkino, Russia, native is Chicago’s first All-Rookie Team selection since Brandon Saad in 2012-13.
Vincent Lecavalier, a 17-year veteran of the National Hockey League and a Stanley Cup Champion, officially announced his retirement from the game this week.
Below is his announcement:
"As I publicly announced at the time I was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, the 2015/16 season would be my last in the NHL. I recently informed the Kings that I am stepping away from the game and will no longer play professional hockey. It is my desire and intention to retire.
Hockey has provided me so much in my lifetime but requires an incredible commitment. It is now time for me to devote more time to my family.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the people who have helped me along the way and shared this journey with me. First and foremost, I would like to thank my parents, my wife, Caroline, my brother Philippe, sister Genevieve and my entire family. I could not have accomplished anything without your love and support. Thank you to the Tampa Bay Lightning for drafting me and providing me the opportunity to embark on my NHL career. I will never forget winning the Cup together in 2004, and the incredible support from Lightning fans. To the LA Kings, thank you for providing me the opportunity to finish my career on a positive note. To the coaches who have developed me and challenged me - you made me a better player and person. To my agent, Kent Hughes, thank you for all your efforts and support throughout my career.
Hockey is the greatest team sport in the world. There is nothing like sharing a locker room with your teammates and competing together day in and day out. I have made lifelong friends and I’d like to thank them for making this an unforgettable journey…. Thank you."
The Kings acquired Lecavalier and defenseman Luke Schenn from Philadelphia on January 6, 2016, and Lecavalier recorded his first point as a King one night later with an assist in a 2-1 win over Toronto at STAPLES Center on January 7. He would go on to score 10 goals and 17 points in 42 regular season games for the Kings, providing stability and veteran leadership as a third-line center for head coach Darryl Sutter.
Lecavalier closed his Kings and NHL career this past April by skating in five Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Kings. He totaled one goal and two points in those five games.
Lecavalier spent 14 of his 17 NHL seasons in Tampa Bay where he won the Cup in 2004. He also played three seasons in Philadelphia before closing his career with the Kings.
Lecavalier represented the Lightning at four NHL All-Star Games (2009, 2008, 2007 and 2003), and he was awarded the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for leading the Lightning and the NHL with 52 goals during the 2006-07 season.
The 36-year-old native of Ile Bizard, Quebec recorded 20 or more goals in 13 of his 17 professional seasons and he finished his NHL career with 421 goals and 949 points in 1,212 regular season games. He added another 26 goals and 56 points in 75 career postseason games.
Lecavalier was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the first-round (first overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.
Ducks trade Frederik Andersen to Toronto for first and second round picks
The Anaheim Ducks announced that they have acquired Toronto’s first-round draft pick (30th overall - originally Pittsburgh’s selection) in 2016 and a 2017 second-round draft pick in exchange for goaltender Frederik Andersen.
Andersen became expendable with the emergence of the Ducks' young goaltender John Gibson.
The Ducks now have two first round picks (24th and 30th) in the 2016 NHL Draft, set for this Friday in Buffalo, New York.
Andersen, 26, played 43 regular season games with Anaheim last year, going 22-9-7 with a 2.30 goals-against average (GAA) and .919 save percentage (SV%). He was drafted by Anaheim in the third round (87th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft. Andersen has appeared in 125 career NHL games, going 77-26-12 with a 2.33 GAA and .918 SV%. He also appeared in 28 NHL playoff games with the Ducks, going 17-9 with a 2.34 GAA and .916 SV%.
NHL Payroll Range Set for 2016-2017
The National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League announced that the Team Payroll Range established for the 2016-17 League Year, pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, provides for a Lower Limit of $54 million, an Adjusted Midpoint of $63.5 million and an Upper Limit of $73 million.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services