So, apparently, a new NHL team is being drafted tonight by some money hungry drunks in the desert. I use the description ‘money hungry drunks’ because they were smart enough to make a solid logo and use the colors black and gold as the main theme for the team. But they must have been drunk enough to add this random, out of place, red stripe on the elbows of the new jerseys. Seriously, it looks so displeasing to the eye. I get that most teams usually have a third color but that color can be white and usually is white. Even a midnight purple would have fit not only the color scheme but the city as a whole so much better. But I digress…
Here are my mock picks, team by team, for the Las Vegas Golden Knights (rumored trades and free agent signings excluded):
EDIT: Now I know this article is being released post expansion leaks, but this was my original list – feel free to tell me how smart or dumb I am on twitter dot com tomorrow…
Anaheim: Sami Vatanen- RHD
Arizona: Alexander Burmistrov – C
Boston: Colin Miller – RHD
Buffalo: William Carrier – LW
Calgary: Hunter Shinkaruk – C
Carolina: Lee Stempniak – RW
Chicago: Trevor van Riemsdyk – RHD
Colorado: Calvin Pickard – G
Columbus: Matt Calvert – LW
Dallas: Cody Eakin – C
Detroit: Petr Mrazek – G
Edmonton: Griffin Reinhart – LHD
Florida: Jonathan Marchessault – C
Los Angeles: Brayden McNabb – LHD
Minnesota: Matthew Dumba – RHD
Montreal: Brandon Davidson – LHD
Nashville: James Neal – LW
New Jersey: Beau Bennett – RW
NY Islanders: Brock Nelson – C
NY Rangers: Jesper Fast – RW
Ottawa: Bobby Ryan – RW
Philadelphia: Michael Raffl – RW
Pittsburgh: Marc-Andre Fleury – G
San Jose: Brendan Dillon – LHD
St. Louis: Jori Lehtera – C
Tampa Bay: Andrej Sustr – RHD
Toronto: Brendan Leipsic – LW
Vancouver: Reid Boucher – LW
Washington: Philip Grubauer – G
Winnipeg: Marko Dano – RW
There it is people, you heard it here first. Your 2017-2018 Las Vegas Golden Knights. Want my explanations for each individual pick? Too bad. I have a full-time job that isn’t writing about hockey so go buy ESPN Insider.
NHL Award Predictions
I did these last year and got 50% right. That’s an ‘F’ on a typical North American educational grading platform. But, just like most students receiving that ‘F’, I felt I deserved an ‘A’. I made those predictions with ease, gliding over the keyboard with my predetermined picks without a care in my mind. I am going to do the same thing this year. And, if my grade is anything less than 75%, I will proceed to rip the PHWA another asshole just like I did last year for being completely inconsistent and bias. With that said, on with my picks…
Hart Trophy: Connor McDavid
The speed and team-changing talent that this kid brought this season will win him this one, while Sidney eats mayonnaise out of his Stanley Cup or whatever.
Ted Lindsay Award: Sidney Crosby
The NHLPA votes for this one so, yea.
Norris Trophy: Erik Karlsson
I voted for Erik last season and he got boned by the PHWA, voting in that clown Drew Doughty on the non-existent LA Kings. The amount of back pain Erik Karlsson is suffering from at the moment from carrying his team through to the Eastern Conference Finals, the PHWA has no choice but to give it to him this year.
Vezina Trophy: Sergei Bobrovsky
The man stood on his head night in and night out (in the regular season). Rumor has it, he will also be seeing a ‘sports psychologist’ this offseason to get him out of his playoff plummet phase. Give the guy who was also nominated for the Hart some credit with this award.
Calder Trophy: Auston Matthews
Sparked the worst team in the league the previous season to make the playoffs just one year later. He also entered the league by scoring 4 goals in his debut game. Yeah, he gets it over Patrick Laine all day in my book.
Selke Trophy: Patrice Bergeron
There is only one defensive forward better than Sean Couturier (we should totally still trade him, right?) in this league – that being Patrice Bergeron. Evidence enough for me.
Lady Byng Trophy: Vladimir Tarasenko
Dude is a class act who just keeps getting screwed by his defense year in and year out. And yet, he never throws them under the bus. That’s a gentleman of the sport right there, real class act.
Jack Adams Award: Mike Babcock
I would give this award to Todd McLellan, but since he disobeyed the NHL’s rules on mandatory off-days in the beginning of the season, I expect the PHWA will factor that little cheat code in. With that said, Babcock took 5-6 rookies who had never seen the speed of the NHL game before and developed them to fit his system in one of the shortest periods of time I have ever seen a coach do.
Masterson Trophy: Craig Anderson
Come on, this is obvious. Dedication to hockey award? The man’s wife had cancer, and after spending some time at home to take care of her, came back to take care of her morale on the ice by helping his team get to the Eastern Conference Finals. Easy, easy pick here.
General Manager of the Year Award: David Poile
Peter Chiarelli got lucky with Connor McDavid and Pierre Dorion didn’t really do anything crazy either. However, David Poile had the nerve last offseason to fix something that really didn’t need to be fixed by trading Shea Weber for P.K. Subban straight up. And it worked out in his favor, adding much needed offense to the blue line, especially when injuries to forwards came later in the season and in the playoffs.